Outbound Sales – Your Ultimate Guide
Outbound sales are an effective sales prospecting strategy; specifically, for people in the B2B space.
Depending on who you speak with – some people will say that outbound sales is no longer relevant, and it’s all about inbound sales in today’s day and age.
This isn’t completely correct – but isn’t completely incorrect either.
When outbound sales are done incorrectly, it can seem pushy, obstructive, and make your potential clients feel like you’re spamming them.
Examples include pitching prior to getting to know their pain points, rude cold calls without any etiquette, or email blasts that scream of spray and pray spamming.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom.
There are good outbound sales techniques that still very much work and make up how some industries get all their leads and sales success.
In this article, we’ll look at:
- What does outbound sales mean?
- What good outbound sales looks like
- Advantages of outbound sales
- Some examples of outbound sales strategies
Outbound Sales – Your Ultimate Guide
What Does Outbound Sales Mean?
Outbound sales are the process of getting leads proactively, by reaching out to people who you think would be a good potential client for your product or service.
When you make the effort through your own prospecting activity to gain a new client versus waiting for a lead to be given to you by someone else or the company; that is outbound sales.
Outbound sales can have a bit of a bad reputation, however the reason generally for this is because people have done it incorrectly.
Like anything – when something is abused and done poorly, its reputation is damaged.
Outbound sales activities definitely do still work – but only when done correctly.
Good Outbound Sales – What Does It Look Like?
Outbound sales have many advantages, in which we’ll dive into shortly.
However, for your outbound sales efforts to work, you need to ensure it’s done the fight way.
Below is a breakdown on how to achieve this.
Analyse What You’re Selling
Firstly; you should start by putting doing an activity of figuring out what it is that you’re actually selling.
Many people think they’re selling a product or service – or maybe the features and benefits.
This isn’t in fact the case.
People buy what it means when they own those features and benefits.
When you have clarity on what it means when they own it – you’ll be able to go to the next stage, being your target market.
Related article: The 5 P’s Of Marketing
Your Target Audience
The second step is learning who would be your ideal target audience, or target market. Good outbound sales aren’t a spray and pray approach – you need to be dialled in to understanding who would benefit from what you sell – and understand why.
Once you have a list of industries and companies, write out a list of who’d give you greatest leverage.
This could mean who would order the most, or perhaps who would give you a bigger account. This way, you’re using your time, effort and budget effectively.
Related article: Sales Targeting Strategy – Your Complete Guide
Finally – a good outbound sales recipe always targets people who are decision makers up front.
The reason being, is you want to limit the number of gatekeepers you need to speak with, so that you can streamline the sales process and buying decision.
A lot of Sales Professionals come across the “I need to speak to” sales objection when they end up presenting.
The reason this comes up – is because you didn’t do your due diligence up front to identify who the decision makers are, and ensure they were a part of your discovery call or sales conversation.
Good outbound sales activities involve speaking to people who would qualify for your offer, greatly benefit from it, and you reach them in places that they hang out.
If it’s networking events, then you can try that.
Perhaps they read various industry magazines or websites – what can you do to leverage advertising in those spaces? Mixing outbound up with inbound won’t hurt.
Related article: Qualifying Sales Leads – A Step By Step Guide
Some Of The Advantages Of Outbound Sales
Outbound sales definitely have some advantages over inbound sales.
Firstly – it’s easier to get in front of a highly targeted decision maker, because you can do your research up front.
With inbound sales, a lead generally comes in and you then have to qualify them.
Although you do still have to qualify in outbound sales, you can do this before reaching out – ensuring your target is well honed in.
Secondly, you can get immediate contact with decision makers. By doing your research in advance, you get speak directly to people making buying decisions.
Finally – it streamlines your sales process.
Many Sales Professionals waste time by speaking with people in a business, only to learn they need to speak to another person. By learning who your ideal client is up front, you can reach them with your outbound sales activities and shorten the sales cycle.
Related article: The 8 x Step Sales Process – A Detailed Guide
Examples Of Good Outbound Sales Strategies
Many people use cold calling as one of their outbound sales strategies. Although cold calling does work, I find it a lot better when is end an email through first.
Here is my process for finding decision makers:
Hunter: Firstly, I use a Chrome extension called Hunter. Hunter allows me to go to a website, and then generate emails leads from that website. By knowing who my target market is up front, I can go to an ideal client use Hunter to get emails, and then send through my email.
Skrapp: Skrapp is another pretty cool tool that I use with LinkedIn. I find decision makers using their search bar, and niche down until I find the person I want to peak with. I then use Skrapp to get their email and email them off the platform – rather than messaging them directly on LinkedIn.
Once I send an email; I’ll then give them a call shortly after introducing myself and following my cold calling step by step process.
Cold calling can be a very effective outbound sales strategy, as long as it’s used correctly.
My cold calling process looks like this:
- Research your ideal client up front
- Warm them up with an email
- Call, and don’t pitch
- Establish rapport
- Explain the reason for the call
- Sell the next step
To learn how to do each of these steps in more detail, read the linked article below:
Further reading: How To Cold Call – A Step By Step Guide
Some examples of other good outbound sales strategies are (and not limited to):
- Get emails via a lead generation company
- Send targeted flyers
- Cold calling
- Attend networking events
- Have a booth at expos
- Speak to people serving your customers who aren’t competition – and set up a referral system
Outbound sales are an important part of the sales process and works effectively well when done correctly.
A big issue with a lot of companies, is that they have strict KPI’s and targets to reach.
When pressure is put on sales staff to perform, sometimes and unfortunately salespeople can see people as statistics, instead of what they actually are – people.
Treat people with respect and courtesy, and your outbound sales activities will pay off.
Your potential clients can tell if they’re just another number. It’s crucial to remember this if you want to be successful at selling, and during your outbound sales activities.