To improve your outbound selling success, you must have a process that you strictly follow and regularly improve upon, be a continual learner, and focus on building relationships.
If you are a sales leader or a salesperson in need of an outbound sales strategy, here are our 7 steps to improve your success.
Most of the companies and salespeople we work with must do outbound lead generation and relationship building and many do not have the luxury of filling their sales pipeline with inbound leads. Like most things, if you have a plan and stick to the plan, outbound selling will be more effective. If you are a sales leader or a salesperson in need of an outbound sales strategy, here are our 7 steps to improve your success:
- Know and Focus on Your Target: If you are familiar with the 80/20 Rule, you know that the majority of your revenue comes from about 20% of your clients. Spend time defining their profile and determining how to go about finding and reaching more of them. You may have several profiles, for example, we work with both Banks and Insurance firms. In my outbound sales efforts, however, I must focus and put on one of my profile hats. If I am looking to increase my outbound lead generation with banks, I need to think about where bank CEOs hang out, what they read, what are their biggest problems, and what my message to them will be. LinkedIn, Google, associations, competitors are all great resources to help you put your best prospect hat on. This is not a one-time event of course; you should always be gathering industry information about your Target.
- Do Your Research: Think about all the irrelevant emails that you receive and dedicate yourself to not being one of those. There is a place for mass emails, but for now, I am speaking of one-to-one outbound lead gen. Once you have determined that a particular company is worthy of outreach, find out everything you can about them. If you have a resource like HubSpot, you can see other connections within the company. If you utilize ZoomInfo, you can pull down contact information and even org charts to help customize your outbound sales efforts.
- Customize Your Outreach: We are not big proponents of systematic emails – you will have a greater chance of being noticed if you customize your email or call with something you know is on your prospect’s mind. I do outbound calling on bank and insurance associations and every single time, before I reach out, I visit their websites and see what is new and what events they are working on. It takes time, but it makes my message more relevant. If you are working within an industry, you can use information you have learned from one company for another. I religiously read our industry newsletters and our competitor’s marketing messages to my target as it helps me be smarter and more relevant with my outbound sales outreach.
- Don’t Expect a Response: So, we all know that our increasingly virtual world has increased the likeliness of being ignored. Yesterday I sent out 11 custom email outreaches. I heard back from 1. I will do a call follow-up to all 11 today and send out 11 more. Then in a couple of weeks, I will reach out again, further refining my message. There are some prospects that never respond which may mean they are not a prospect, or at least not right now. Your outbound sales strategy has to include being resilient and persistent. Let’s face it, you have to prove your way in the door, find a connection, some reason for that person to engage with you. Don’t expect a response but be thrilled if you get one.
- Respond Quickly and Efficiently: Maybe this goes without saying, but your level of enthusiasm and timeliness of response is critical but don’t go overboard and send them everything you have! Answer their question and maybe offer one additional helpful suggestion – what has worked for others is always good. This is a conversation, not a sales pitch so find out how to help. If that is always your goal, to help your prospect solve a problem they have, your outbound sales strategy will be effective.
- Be Excellent with the Details: I try my best to minimize the back and forth needed and try to anticipate what the prospect will need. Make it as easy as possible on them once they are engaged. Be the resource they think, Wow that was a great experience and I got what I needed. Deliver what you say you will and remember the adage: don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Give them more than they asked for.
- Don’t Forget to Thank Them, Follow up and Build the Relationship: Seems obvious right but think of your outbound lead generation strategy as a pipeline to others. Thank them, ask them for feedback, ask them if you can help in any other way. If you feel confident that they were/are very pleased, ask them for a testimonial, or a Google review, or an introduction to another company. If a salesperson really understands your business, provides an excellent solution, is easy and efficient to work with, wouldn’t you want to help them build their business?
To improve your outbound selling success, have a process, follow and improve the process, be a continual learner, have some fun along the way and remember, these are relationships we are building. Relationships take time and genuine and ongoing interest to develop trust and longevity.