There are two primary ways to get potential customers into your sales funnel: inbound and outbound...
How to develop the best outbound sales strategy
Previously, we dug into answering what are outbound sales? Outbound sales are when you initiate a conversation with a prospective customer. But that’s not all. Today, we’ll discuss the best outbound sales strategy. But let’s first acknowledge that there is no such thing as the best outbound sales strategy. The best outbound sales strategy for your business is one that works for you.
Your business has its own brand, voice, and approach with customers. You have unique customer, industry, and product category considerations. These are things you can hone in on. And you may find outbound sales isn’t for you, but the only way to know for sure is to try.
If you do it right, you can use outbound sales to better understand who your customers are—and apply those learnings to other methods of customer acquisition like paid ads, SEO, and content marketing, and more.
Think of it as market research that could pay for itself!
So, how do you do it?
- How to do outbound sales
- Starting with inbound sales and your customers
- The best outbound sales strategy processes
- Where to get help with outbound sales
How to do outbound sales
Outbound sales is like a game of chance, but here you can actively improve your odds and we’ll share how. The concept is to present someone who experiences a problem with a solution. Chance comes in because they may not know they have the problem, they may not be looking for a solution, may think they have already solved it, or may not think it’s important in the first place. For these reasons, it can be tricky at first to get into the outbound sales game! But here’s a couple things you need to have a strong outbound sales strategy.
1) A sales playbook
Before you can master the outbound sales game, you need to begin understanding your customer journey. One way to do this is by creating a living document called a sales playbook. A sales playbook is a compilation of everything you need to know about your ideal buyers, email templates with verbiage and talking points towards your solutions, rough outlines of your contact timelines, and more.
Your sales playbook should include a scuba level deep dive of your ideal buyers. It should answer questions like, what kind of company does this person work for? What industry are they in? What do their responsibilities at work look like? How would finding a solution to this problem make their life better? Is this a resource for them or their team? What kind of experience does this person have?
If you don’t know all this at the beginning, that’s okay. Start with what you do know. Defining these unknowns will help improve your odds of discovering the best outbound sales strategy for your business.
Once you answer these questions and have a clear picture of your buyer, now it’s time to write your templates: What would you say to these people? What kind of details, facts, or questions would be helpful to catch their attention and get them interested in your product?
Lastly, you need to include a cadence. This is the rhythm or tempo of your work.
The best outbound sales strategy is one that’s repeatable. Formalizing a process can help standardize your results and make your outcomes (mostly) predictable.
2) Research tools
Once you have an idea of the people you’re looking for, it’s time to build a prospect list. This is when it can start getting tricky and time-consuming. There are tons to choose from.
We have used tools like ZoomInfo, Hunter, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Apollo, Mailswipe, UpLead, and JiffyLead—to name a few. Since we use these tools every day helping our customers find the best outbound sales strategy for their business, we have opinions about just about all of them.
If the idea of generating lead lists to use in your outbound sales is draining, exhausting, or downright dull, we can help! There’s no need to stress yourself out doing it all yourself. Get in touch to learn more about how we can support your outbound sales efforts.
Starting with inbound and your customers
Let’s take a step back. We believe the easiest way to develop an effective outbound sales strategy is to use the data you already have from your existing customers. When it comes to creating your sales playbook, use the data from your inbound customers!
Analyze the people reaching out to you. What do they have in common? What kinds of questions are they asking? Are you having repeatable conversations with them?
If you can spot some commonalities while you answer these questions, you’re one step closer to understanding who will be more likely to welcome information from you when you reach out.
If you do not see any obvious connections, think broader. Or have someone else look at it from a different perspective. Sometimes we get too in our heads about our customers, and it’s essential to use fresh eyes and maybe even an empty brain.
When it comes down to figuring out who to include and exclude when developing your outbound strategy, make your initial criteria based on the people already buying your services or product!
The best outbound sales strategy processes
Now let’s talk execution!
You can find countless opinions on the proper cadence to use when reaching out to prospects in your outbound funnel. So what’s right?
Well, we don’t have a single answer. The best outbound sales strategy is shaped by your industry, the people you’re reaching out to, what it is that you’re selling. There isn’t only one right or wrong answer.
We would encourage you above all else to think about your process as you are doing outreach. Do not do haphazard outreach to random contacts that you find on the Internet. Instead, be deliberate about doing a regular flow of outreach.
Here’s how we typically do it:
We generate a fresh list of new companies for our customers to contact. At each company, we will identify three contacts with a specific focus on their title/role at those companies. Once we confirm we’re finding the right companies and people, we’ll help draft subject lines and emails to send to those contacts.
Then, our customers score the companies and titles that we find. After a round of outreach, we apply these new learnings in our next batch of leads. We codify learnings in the sales playbook every step of the way.
Keep in mind that our sample size is low here. We’re not able to do statistically significant A/B tests or anything like that. But by keeping our workload relatively low volume, we can learn something new each week.
As we lock in learnings and confirm what’s working, we coach clients on other ways they can apply these learnings in their business. From automated emails and paid advertising, to content marketing and SEO. The best outbound sales strategy is not just about outbound, but about discovering how to discover new customers.
This process is something you can absolutely replicate on your own. We encourage you to keep accurate data regarding your results and tweak your process often to discover the best outbound sales strategy for your product.
Where to get outsourced outbound sales help
As you probably know, outbound sales is a beast of a task to take on. And you can do it! But, we know you have priorities, and sometimes dedicating hours on end to prospecting isn’t one of them.
We’re here to make it easier for you. Our team of sales experts is on standby to help you create the best outbound sales strategy possible.
Outbound sales, if done correctly, can be a fabulous way to scale your business. Remember, your inbound sales have done some of the work for you – stay curious about why they came to you, and you’ll be able to replicate the ideas into the best outbound sales strategy for your company.
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