Outbound sales has been a staple in the business for ages now. But it you’re going to do it, you’ll need the right strategy and approach. For those of you new to outbound sales, here’s what the process basically involves. Sales reps reach out to prospects and deliver pitches with the hopes of gaining customers.
One classic example of outbound sales is cold calling, but modern reps also use email as well as other forms of communication. The main difference with inbound sales is that potential customers come to you as opposed to outbound where you have to reach out. There are numerous advantages that come with outbound sales. These include immediate feedback, highly targeted outreach, personal contact with prospects and control over the marketing pace.
5 Steps to Building a Well Oiled Outbound Sales System
1. Assemble a Great Sales Team
Although you could start outbound sales all on your lonesome, you certainly won’t be building a sustainable sales process without a team onboard. Question is, just who exactly do you hire? The truth is, there are all sorts of criteria that different companies look for. Some hire for experience while others have tests to score applicants.
It’s about finding people with the potential and cultivating their skills to create solid outbound sales reps. Don’t just hire one or two people; go for a team. Teamwork not only makes things move along faster, it also fosters a sense of competition. Trust me; you want a competitive environment when it comes to any type of sales. With a motivated, well trained team, you have more calls made, emails sent, prospects converted and much more.
2. Craft Ideal Buyer Personas
So you know your target audience; big whoop. As they say, the devil’s in the details. You need to know what their job titles are, where they get their information online, and what problems they’re looking to solve. Heck, why not find out what keeps them up at night while you’re at it?
All this data is fully represented in what we refer to as buyer personas – extremely valuable tools for your outbound sales teams. Keep in mind that you will have multiple buyer personas depending on the products you sell and their appeal. Check out our article on how to create buyer personas for more information.
3. Value Proposition: Nail It Down
So, why should your customers buy from you? The answer to that question is what we refer to as your value proposition. You better make sure your entire sales team can articulate it on demand because that’s what’s going to nab majority of your sales. Keep in mind that your value proposition might change overtime as customers use your product in unexpected ways. So be ready to reposition it to account for a new market.
A quick warning before you go jumping into outbound sales. If you do it without a really solid reason as to why people should buy from you, it will backfire hard. Just make your value proposition irresistible and your sales team’s job will be that much easier.
4. Generate a Ton of Leads
Now that your outbound team knows their target buyer personas and your value proposition by heart, it’s time to build an actual list and start selling. Unfortunately, modern lead generation methods are almost exclusively focused with inbound. From hosting events and conferences to blog posts and social media, all these get people to come to you. But while these methods are scalable and don’t require huge investment, they take a long time.
Outbound lead generation methods such as direct mail, outdoor ads and traditional marketing still work too. The best approach for your company to take depends on your sales process, industry and stage of growth. However, most organizations use a combination of different methods. Either way, it’s definitely worth it to take your time and figure out what work for you. After all, you’ll never stop generating leads as long as you’re in business.
5. Plan Your Outreach and Sell Away
I’m sure you’re wondering if we’ll ever get to any actual selling. But don’t worry, this here’s the final step before your team can go nuts on those leads. What you need first is a reliable outreach plan that includes the following:
-What to do first; Call or Email
-How long to wait before following up
-What format the follow ups will take
-Specific messages to include
-Timelines for future follow ups
For companies that have been selling their products and services, you can build on your experience. If you’re just launching, try to nail down what you think will appeal to your audience. Needless to say, the plan will change as you learn what works and what doesn’t. Just have a rough guideline of how your salespeople should work and set them loose.
Now that everyone knows how to put the plan into action, let’s hit those phones and computers and start selling. You can read these and more tips in our other post where 10 Outside Sales Gurus share their secrets to success.
One More Thing
Technology is among the biggest facilitators that help managers solve the biggest problems that come with outbound sales. This especially applies to CRM and managing customer data. Remember – data is good, but analytics make it great. A lot of reps end up competing on who sold the most or what product is selling faster. However, they tend to miss the bigger picture.
Analytics help you and your teams know how the sales graph is mapped out and what aspects need to be fixed. Maybe you’re selling the right product to the wrong audience in the wrong market.
Veloxy AI also uncovers sales rep forecasting biases and sandbagging, learning from forecast history so it can give you forecasts you can trust. Get Veloxy for Salesforce CRM and Outlook today and see how all phone calls, emails and actions drive the pipeline. This will really help your outside sales team to maintain a steady improvement trajectory and bring even more business to your company.
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