Outbound leads have always been the bread and butter of sales. There is a science to generating and qualifying them the right way. Sales organizations are often short on time, but cutting corners on this crucial stage of the sales journey can result in wasted time and worse results downstream. You always want to make sure your outreach is as targeted and impactful as possible to help you meet your monthly and yearly goals.
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An outbound lead is a stranger you have never touched base with before, but who is considered a qualified lead. They are usually generated through cold calling or cold emailing. An inbound lead, on the other hand, would be someone who reaches out to you or subscribes to your email list. Outbound lead generation consists of unsolicited communications like cold emails, cold calls or even in-person cold approaches. The lead has not given you ‘permission’ to approach them, so you have to tailor your approach successfully to get them to respond. It sounds like a lot of work, but the following simple but essential practices can help make this a quick and seamless process.
Many companies prefer inbound sales because it is a less intrusive method of collecting prospects, traditional outbound leads have many unique advantages, especially in the case of B2B sales. B2B emails have a much higher open rate than B2C communications, and the products being sold to a business often offer them a direct financial benefit. Therefore, success rates for cold emailing or calling are much higher in the B2B world!
Other benefits of outbound sales leads include:
To be worth your while, your leads need to be targeted. Targeting the right prospects and tailoring your approach to them is essential to save time and get results. It might be tempting to send emails to as wide a cohort as possible, without bothering to research and qualify them thoroughly, but in the long run, this will waste time and compromise your results.
It is essential to do some preliminary research, even at the earliest stages of lead generation, and to tailor and personalize your outreach to each prospect. This involves some extra effort, but is well worth the investment. If your prospect sees that your outreach is not just a generic sales communication and that you have actually taken the time to study their business, identify the problems they are facing and tailor their value offer to them, they will be much more likely to respond.
This is a corollary to the previous point, but important enough to emphasize. You absolutely need to have a streamlined, efficient researching process in place before reaching out to qualified leads. This means using reliable data from a reliable database, and researching a few key metrics for each business you contact.
A key aspect of lead generation is momentum and speed. This means always determining the next step and acting on it. The less time you spend during the different stages of the sales process, the less stalling that takes place, the more results you will get. You always want to keep your lead generation process flowing, and keep following up rapidly on promising leads.
Timing is everything in sales, and lead generation is no exception. This might mean timing your outreach to coincide with seasonal product launches, or sending out your communications when your prospect has just received funding. It also means, of course, avoiding bad timing. If the prospect just made a major purchase in the same sector as your product, it would be advisable to wait for a better opportunity so you don’t blow your chances with the lead unnecessarily.
Rejection is, of course, an unavoidable aspect of the sales prospecting process. As a salesperson, you need to develop a stomach for it. You should also find ways to quantify and track it. Tracking your rejection rates can help you refine and adjust your outreach process to have fewer rejections. Test out different strategies and see what works best! Knowing your rejection rates can also factor into your monthly goals and targets of how many communications you want to send out. This is an integral part of your sales pipeline.
You should always be testing out different emails and lead generation strategy to determine which ones are most effective. Try out different scripts and keep track of your KPIs to compare different strategies. Then, once you’ve found an outreach strategy that works, stick to it and implement it relentlessly.
Once you have a qualified lead, keep following up till you can advance them to the next stage of the pipeline. It will often take a few tries before you can connect with them and schedule a meeting or call. Persistence is essential, and each follow-up attempt should be catered toward them and offer specific value thy can benefit from.
You can alternate between different outreach strategies, from cold emailing to cold calling and even some inbound lead generation tactics. You can also combine a few of these methods. The key, again, is tracking results to see which strategy is most productive! Sales software tools like Attention can help you track your results to find out what works and what doesn’t so you’re not just working off guesswork.
Outbound lead generation is all about targeting the right people, tailoring your message to them, and building momentum. The best way to generate leads is by using a combination of the powerful techniques outlined above so you can ensure your outbound lead generation program is working the way it was intended. You can get started by following these eight simple strategies that will help you generate more leads than ever before!
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