If you've noticed that marketers are much more focused on inbound sales and marketing strategies than outbound, why shouldn't they be? Sales prospecting is harder than getting leads qualified leads delivered, while the balance of power is always tipped in favor of leads and prospects.
However, it may surprise you to hear that outbound sales techniques are still powerful tools for business development , especially for small and growing companies.
The key components of an effective outbound sales strategy, include:
- building accurate prospecting contact lists in target verticals
- strategic development and execution of repeatable sales processes to reach decision makers
Churning up a lot of leads in a short amount of time will do you no good if they are mostly low-quality assets or if you don't have the resources to pursue them.
Get more success out of your outbound campaigns with these tips:
Set Times, Goals and Resources
Inbound campaigns have a little more leeway, because they are designed more for brand-building and lead creation over a long period of time. Ideally, the goal with outbound marketing is to drive more immediate results, which does require some heavy lifting during the initial planning and documentation period. You need to create start dates, end dates, and specific goals.
Perhaps most importantly of all, you need to develop the right resources to draw from. There are a lot of horrible cold call customer lists out there: As a general rule, never buy lists or use old customer emails, etc. from a few years ago. Every year, that data degrades 70 percent so you'll pretty much just waste more time, and frankly, we want better for you.
Start fresh, by either investing in business development tools or collecting new prospecting data on your own.
Focus on Lead Generation and Response
What do you want your customer to do? Do you want them to buy a particular product, visit your store, join a loyalty program, create referrals, or increase profit for a particular quarter?
Focus on creating leads around this goal. This sort of clarification and planning will be invaluable when it comes to your data analytics. Lead conversions, click-throughs, time to close, call to close…there's a lot of metrics to mess with, and you need to find those that most closely connect with your campaign for success.
If your business development team doesn't have a traditional sales background, it's worth your time to invest in sales coaching and training seminars to maximize productivity and effectiveness.
Ineffective follow-up is one of the main reasons prospects cool down or disappear altogether, so it's worth taking five minutes to explore how top performing salespeople follow up with prospects.
If nothing else, consider formalizing a new sales training program of sorts for your employees to dig deeper into pitch strategies and cold call/email techniques. Sales scripts, voicemails and other content may need to be updated.
Develop Advanced Lead Automation and Scoring
Marketing automation is heaven sent when it comes to dealing with new leads. Use lead scoring and automation to help filter leads, especially if you are swamped with data -- this will allow marketing and sales teams to focus only on leads with the most profitability for the business.
When done well, automation is the most efficient and cost-effective way to keep top of mind awareness with top prospects as you warm them up and nurture them down the funnel.
Know Who Your Customers Are and Where They Will Be
If all this talk about automation and sales training makes you nervous, it may help to focus more on the marketing angle first.
Successful outbound sales and marketing begins will identifying exactly who you're looking to reach and – this is the important part – what they are doing right now. Not in a creepy, stalker way, but by reaching your target audience at the right time with the right message. Meet your prospects where they are to drive new business growth.
Don't Be Afraid of Hybrid Content
Outbound and inbound marketing don't need to be entirely separate.
The right calls to action can create valuable leads from all types of content. Content can also help create leads by being provided in the right situations, shifting it from an inbound focus to an outbound project. Let the two types of marketing feed off each other as often as possible to avoid duplicating efforts and wasting time on either side of the puzzle.
Looking to jump start a new outbound sales strategy, but don't really know where to start? Here is a great, action-packed resource on hacking productivity to win new business!