Strategies for Success: Expert Perspectives on Outbound Leads

5
Min
Created On:
December 23, 2022
Updated On:
February 26, 2024

75% of marketers worldwide consider brand visibility as their topmost priority. And there are two methods of establishing a business as a market leader – inbound and outbound lead generation. 

Although the former (inbound lead generation) marketing strategy got a lot of good press (just Google once) in recent years, outbound lead generation strategies can prove to be the secret ingredient (combined with inbound lead generation strategies) to your success. 

In this blog post we’ll discuss everything about outbound lead generation. Today we’’ discuss about: 

  • What is an Outbound Lead? 
  • What is Outbound Lead Generation? 
  • Benefits of Targeted Outbound lead Generation for Businesses
  • Inbound Vs. Outbound
  • Why Outbound Lead Generation Efforts Fail? 4 Points to Know
  • Most Important Outbound Lead Generation Strategies

Let’s get started. 

What is an Outbound Lead? 

An outbound lead is a B2B prospect that has been approached by a business via outbound channels (cold calls, cold email, SMS, etc.), and agreed to bring forth the discussion with the sales team. 

What is Outbound Lead Generation?

Outbound lead generation is the process of reaching out or sending messages through various communication channels to a target audience, regardless of their query or interest. 

As in this scenario, a sales rep or a marketer decides the time and channel of communication, it is also called interruption marketing. 

Here are the major tactics used in B2B outbound lead generation: 

  • Cold emailing
  • Cold calling
  • Campaign marketing
  • Display ads
  • Social media campaigns

Unlike inbound lead generation tactics, outbound tactics depend on paid delivery mediums (communication channels), increasing the cost of operation. This, in a way, makes outbound lead generation focus on selling rather than educating or helping the audience. 

Benefits of Targeted Outbound Lead Generation for Businesses

Outbound lead generation can be as effective as inbound lead generation if the strategies are implemented properly. Here’s how outbound lead generation can benefit businesses: 

1. Shortens Sales Cycle

Outbound lead generation is a method of hyper-targeting leads that are about to make a purchase or in the final stage of their sales funnel. This way you can clearly articulate your organization’s value proposition. And most importantly, you can prepare for the obstacles that are about to come and stay prepared for them. 

2. Builds Brand Awareness

Businesses can reach out to both a wide and narrow target audience through various outbound lead generation channels such as LinkedIn Outreach, SMS, cold email outreach, and cold calling. 

This way businesses can quickly boost brand visibility and increase brand awareness. For example, mass emails or bulk emails are suitable for a wider target audience and cold calling is for highly targeted leads. 

3. Market Research and Testing

Outbound lead generation is a great way of researching and testing untapped markets. 

Your internal sales reps might be calling 100s of prospects every day, getting a very clear understanding of what is (and isn’t) working.

Also, the live feedback can help you refine your strategies and value proposition methods of the product or service you are offering to strengthen your outreach efforts. 

Inbound Vs. Outbound – 3 Key Differences You Should Know

1. The Authority Over Engagement

The primary difference between inbound lead generation and outbound lead generation is the control over engagement. It depends upon who controls the medium and time of engagement – from content consumption and information exchange to closing a deal. 

In an inbound lead generation method, a prospect chooses the time and method of communication (how to engage). 

On the other hand, outbound campaigns mostly depend on you, not your prospects. In that case, you get to decide when and how to reach out to a potential customer through cold calling, cold emailing, adverts, etc. 

2. Value Addition: Longevity of Marketing Assets

Inbound lead gen strategies have a longer lifespan than outbound lead gen and generate long term ROI for businesses. For example, content published on a business’s website can generate leads long after its completion. 

However, the value of marketing assets for outbound lead generation is short lived. Once you stop reaching out to your potential customers, it stops generating leads as well. 

3. Cost of Campaigns

Inbound lead generation costs way less than outbound lead gen methods and are relevant for a longer timeframe (such as content marketing). That’s why both SMBs and large corporations go for (or can afford to go for) inbound lead generation strategies. 

However, outbound lead gen campaigns cost way more than inbound campaigns and have a very high cost of operation and are only relevant for a specific timeframe. 

Why Outbound Lead Generation Efforts Fail? 4 Points to Know

1. Non Identification of Ideal Customer Profile

In order to make your sales prospecting successful, you need to have a clear understanding of your ideal customers. Be it outbound or inbound, creating buyers personas are very important for lead gen campaigns. 

But jumping into outbound lead generation campaigns without identifying qualified leads more likely don’t end in a sale. 

You can use LinkedIn and Google to accurately target your potential leads with detailed understanding of your potential customers’ demographics and behaviors. 

2. Not Using the Right Outbound Lead Gen Tool (Or, using them Wrong) 

Well, it is hard to choose the right outbound lead generation tool. There are hundreds of platforms that claim they can streamline your marketing and sales process and enhance productivity. 

Lead generation tools should help you automate the entire process. So, here are a few things you should check while looking for a lead generation tool: 

  • Ease of Operation: It should have a user-friendly and intuitive interface that allows you to get your outreach campaigns up and running easily. 
  • Integrations: It should be able to integrate other marketing tools for easy operation. 
  • Pricing: Check if the tool’s affordable for your organization. However, don’t just fall for the price, check if it’s adding value to your outbound lead generation campaigns. 
  • Features: Is it fulfilling your requirements (or, enhancing productivity) for your lead generation campaigns? For example, check if the tool is helping your sales team make more cold calls in a day. 

Speaking of phone calls, Smartlead.ai offers an integrated master inbox with a 360 view of all customer messages. It also helps you automate your entire sales flow with custom conditional email sending triggers, automated follow-ups, and AI-personalization. 

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Not only that, it also has an in-built CRM to manage all your outbound and inbound lead generation efforts within one user-friendly and intuitive dashboard. 

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3. Misaligned Sales and Marketing Teams

A Misaligned marketing and sales team can be fatal for outbound lead generation (and inbound lead generation as well). 

For instance, if your marketing team fails to generate qualified leads, the sales team won’t be able to make any sale. That’s why it is very important for sales and marketing teams to work in coherence with each other to make lead generation campaigns a success. 

We use Smartlead to integrate our sales and marketing teams with the built-in CRM platform to stay aligned and generate more sales.

4. Lack of a proper Demand Strategy (Only Focusing on the Outbound Strategy)

This is specifically applicable for B2B and SaaS businesses, if you are selling pizza, c=you can skip this point. 

One of the biggest mistakes B2B and SaaS businesses make is thinking that outbound lead generation is the only way to grow their audience base and generate more customers. Sadly, they are wrong. 

As these industries sell more complicated products/services, focusing on other lead generation methods is very important as outbound lead generation gets costlier with time. 

Also, once you stop the campaigns, the lead generation stops as well. So, it is best if you pair your outbound lead generation strategies with an inbound demand strategy for effective lead generation. 

Pro Tip: Focus on a foolproof demand strategy to educate your audience (The market to be specific). Run nurture campaigns so that your prospective clientele have a better understanding of your product/service and even if you stop your campaigns, leads keep flowing in. 

Most Important Outbound Lead Generation Strategies

1. Cold Emails

Did you think cold emailing was dead (in the era of social media)? 

Well, even in the era of social media, B2B and B2C audiences prefer email as a communication channel for business. 

Mailmunch data shows that the average click-through rate for email marketing is 3.57%, while Facebook and Twitter have 0.07% and 0.03% respectively. It means email marketing campaigns see more conversions than social media platforms combined. 

That is why cold email is the most effective outbound lead generation channel for the B2B industry. Cold emailing is cost-effective and leaves room for personalization. 

B2B companies use cold emailing as their primary lead generation source with sales automation software. Smartlead.ai offers you unlimited email addresses to diversify your outreach. It also guarantees you 30,000 active leads and allows you to send 1,50,000 emails per month. 

Smartlead helps you scale your business (8x more leads) with its affordable pricing plans. You get: 

  • Centralized master inbox
  • Dynamic sequences
  • Custom CRM
  • Unlimited email warm up

While we are still talking about cold emails, are you using a professional email signature? Try our free email signature generator to give your email a professional look and stay compliant with internet laws. 

2. Cold Calling 

We know that many B2B marketers have the question, is cold calling still relevant in 2023? 

Well, cold calling has been there for ages and still thriving, simply because it works. 

We’d agree that it is not the most effective outbound lead generation strategy, but the advantages it offers makes it indispensable for both B2B and B2C companies. 

Cold calling offers personalization and direct communication with a  prospect. You can understand a lot about your target customer base from cold calling. So, besides lead generation, cold calling is excellent for researching your prospects and creating ideal buyer persona. 

3. Social Selling 

Social selling is a part of the sales process to increase brand awareness and visibility in B2B marketing. Marketers or sales reps usually communicate with prospective leads through social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. 

When it comes to B2B social selling, LinkedIn is the market leader as most B2B buyers turn to LinkedIn for resources while making a purchase decision. 

LinkedIn data shows that B2B businesses that prioritize social selling as part of their outbound lead generation strategy are 51% more likely to reach their sales target

As per LinkedIn, the four pillars of social selling are: 

  • Creating a Professional Brand: Establishing a professional brand in LinedIn increases the visibility of the company and it shows the prospects that the brand is an ‘authority’ in the field. It results in increased interactions with prospective clients and brand awareness. 
  • Focusing on the Right Prospects: It is easier to find and target the right prospects (based on job roles, location, industries, etc.) with social selling. LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps businesses establish meaningful connections that are more likely to convert. 
  • Engaging with Relevant Insights: Through social selling, businesses can share news alerts, big changes in the industry, data, reports, and relevant content to establish themselves as market leaders. 
  • Building Trusted (Long-Term) Connections: Social media platforms are excellent for communicating on a personal level. It  builds trust among prospects and helps cater to their needs before selling to build trusted relationships. 

4. Pay-Per-Click Campaign (PPC) 

PPC advertising campaigns (and affiliate ads) are great for generating outbound traffic to your business. Almost 79% of businesses agree that PPC marketing is a huge driver of sales for their businesses, according to Hanapin Marketing data

PPC campaigns target audiences who aren’t aware of your brand. As the name suggests, businesses pay the medium (Google, Bing, etc.) everytime a prospect clicks on the ad.

This outbound lead generation model can be expensive for SMBs but a very good lead generation method for big organizations.

Web browsers/ISPs reward highly-targeted PPC campaigns. On that note, PPC outbound lead generation proves to be beneficial for local businesses.

5. Referrals

Referral marketing or referral lead generation tactic means incentivizing already existing customers to introduce/promote your business to friends and family. 

This way, you can turn your customers into brand advocates, providing that you are offering incentives for promoting your brand. 

Speaking of referral marketing, it can be done in two ways – inbound referrals and outbound referrals. 

Inbound referrals is when a prospect comes to your business after hearing about your brand from someone else. These leads are more likely to convert to customers. 

On the other hand, outbound referral is when you are given the contact info of potential customers and you make the move to connect with them. Naturally, these leads are not as qualified as the former, but outbound referrals are a great way of expanding brand outreach. 

Summing Up: Which Lead Gen Method is Best for Your Business? 

Although it's said that outbound lead gen is dead, it is still used in B2B sectors combined with inbound strategies. 

We’d recommend using inbound lead gen strategies (as they are relatively cheaper and generate leads for a longer timespan) paired with outbound lead gen strategies. Cold emailing, social selling, and referrals can be excellent strategies to get maximum out of your marketing efforts and establish a strong brand image.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

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Author’s Details

Sattwik Das

Sattwik is a Digital Marketing professional at Smartlead. He is a dedicated content writer who focuses on juggling words to bring out meaningful content. He is experienced in well-researched and SEO-optimized content creation, content editing, and copywriting for various businesses throughout the globe. His expertise in SEO, SMM, and SMO with a touch of creativity helps businesses grow and maximize their credibility and sales.

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Frequently asked questions

General Questions

What is Smartlead's cold email outreach software?

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Smartlead's cold email outreach tool helps businesses scale their outreach efforts seamlessly. With unlimited mailboxes, fully automated email warmup functionality, a multi-channel infrastructure, and a user-friendly unibox, it empowers users to manage their entire revenue cycle in one place. Whether you're looking to streamline cold email campaigns with automated email warmups, personalization fields, automated mailbox rotation, easy integrations, and spintax, improve productivity, or enhance scalability with subsequences based on lead’s intentions, automated replies, and full white-label experience, our cold email tool implifies it in a single solution.

What is Smartlead, and how can it enhance my cold email campaigns?

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Smartlead is a robust cold emailing software designed to transform cold emails into reliable revenue streams. Trusted by over 31,000 businesses, Smartlead excels in email deliverability, lead generation, cold email automation, and sales outreach. A unified master inbox streamlines communication management, while built-in email verification reduces bounce rates.
Additionally, Smartlead offers essential tools such as CNAME, SPF Checker, DMARC Checker, Email Verifier, Blacklist Check Tool, and Email Bounce Rate Calculator for optimizing email performance. 

How does the "unlimited mailboxes" feature benefit me?

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Our "unlimited mailboxes" feature allows you to expand your email communications without restrictions imposed by a mailbox limit. This means you won't be constrained by artificial caps on the number of mailboxes you can connect and use. This feature makes Smartlead the best cold email software and empowers you to reach a wider audience, engage with more potential customers, and manage diverse email campaigns effectively.

How does Smartlead as a cold emailing tool can automate the cold email process?

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Smartlead’s robust cold email API and automation infrastructure streamline outbound communication by transforming the campaign creation and management processes. It seamlessly integrates data across software systems using APIs and webhooks, adjusts settings, and leverages AI for personalised content.

The cold emailing tool categorises lead intent, offers comprehensive email management with automated notifications, and integrates smoothly with CRMs like Zapier, Make, N8N, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Pipedrive. Smartlead supports scalable outreach by rapidly adding mailboxes and drip-feeding leads into active campaigns Sign Up Now!

What do you mean by "unibox to handle your entire revenue cycle"?

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The "unibox" is one of the unique features of Smartlead cold email outreach tool, and it's a game-changer when it comes to managing your revenue cycle. The master inbox or the unibox consolidates all your outreach channels, responses, sales follow-ups, and conversions into one centralized, user-friendly mailbox.

With the "unibox," you gain the ability to:
1. Focus on closing deals: You can now say goodbye to the hassle of logging into multiple mailboxes to search for replies. The "unibox" streamlines your sales communication, allowing you to focus on what matters most—closing deals.

2. Centralized lead management: All your leads are managed from one central location, simplifying lead tracking and response management. This ensures you take advantage of every opportunity and efficiently engage with your prospects.

3. Maintain context: The "unibox" provides a 360-degree view of all your customer messages, allowing you to maintain context and deliver more personalized and effective responses.

How does Smartlead ensure my emails don't land in the spam folder?

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Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder. 

Here's how it works:
1. Our "unlimited warmups" feature is designed to build and maintain a healthy sending reputation for your cold email outreach. Instead of sending a large volume of emails all at once, which can trigger spam filters, we gradually ramp up your sending volume. This gradual approach, combined with positive email interactions, helps boost your email deliverability rates.

2. We deploy high-deliverability IP servers specific to each campaign. 

3. The ‘Warmup’ feature replicates humanized email sending patterns, spintax, and smart replies.
 
4. By establishing a positive sender reputation and gradually increasing the number of sent emails, Smartlead minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. This way, you can be confident that your messages will consistently land in the primary inbox, increasing the likelihood of engagement and successful communication with your recipients.

Can Smartlead help improve my email deliverability rates?

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Yes, our cold emailing software is designed to significantly improve your email deliverability rates. It enhances email deliverability through AI-powered email warmups across providers, unique IP rotating for each campaign, and dynamic ESP matching.
Real-time AI learning refines strategies based on performance, optimizing deliverability without manual adjustments. Smartlead's advanced features and strategies are designed to improve email deliverability rates, making it a robust choice for enhancing cold email campaign success.

What features does Smartlead offer for cold email personalisation?

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Smartlead enhances cold email personalisation through advanced AI-driven capabilities and strategic integrations. Partnered with Clay, The cold remaining software facilitates efficient lead list building, enrichment from over 50 data providers, and real-time scraping for precise targeting. Hyper-personalised cold emails crafted in Clay seamlessly integrate with Smartlead campaigns.

Moreover, Smartlead employs humanised, natural email interactions and smart replies to boost engagement and response rates. Additionally, the SmartAI Bot creates persona-specific, high-converting sales copy. Also you can create persona-specific, high-converting sales copy using SmartAI Bot. You can train the AI bot to achieve 100% categorisation accuracy, optimising engagement and conversion rates.

Can I integrate Smartlead with other tools I'm using?

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Certainly, Smartlead cold email tool is designed for seamless integration with a wide range of tools and platforms. Smartlead offers integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Clay, Listkit, and more. You can leverage webhooks and APIs to integrate the tools you use. Try Now!

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Is Smartlead suitable for both small businesses and large enterprises?

Smartlead accommodates both small businesses and large enterprises with flexible pricing and comprehensive features. The Basic Plan at $39/month suits small businesses and solopreneurs, offering 2000 active leads and 6000 monthly emails, alongside essential tools like unlimited email warm-up and detailed analytics.

Marketers and growing businesses benefit from the Pro Plan ($94/month), with 30000 active leads and 150000 monthly emails, plus a custom CRM and active support. Lead generation agencies and large enterprises can opt for the Custom Plan ($174/month), providing up to 12 million active lead credits and 60 million emails, with advanced CRM integration and customisation options.

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What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

No, there are no limitations on the number of channels you can utilize with Smartlead. Our cold email tool offers a multi-channel infrastructure designed to be limitless, allowing you to reach potential customers through multiple avenues without constraints.

This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.

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How can Smartlead integrate with my existing CRM and other tools?

Smartlead is the cold emailing tool that facilitates seamless integration with existing CRM systems and other tools through robust webhook and API infrastructure. This setup ensures real-time data synchronisation and automated processes without manual intervention. Integration platforms like Zapier, Make, and N8N enable effortless data exchange between Smartlead and various applications, supporting tasks such as lead information syncing and campaign status updates. Additionally, it offers native integrations with major CRM platforms like HubSpot, Salesforce, and Pipedrive, enhancing overall lead management capabilities and workflow efficiency. Try Now!

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Do you provide me with lead sources?

No. Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:

1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.

2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out. 

3. Sender Reputation Protection: Smartlead protects your sender reputation by auto-moving emails from spam folders to the primary inbox. This tool uses unique identifiers to cloak all warmup emails from being recognized by automation parsers. 

4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanised email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume. 

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How secure is my data with Smartlead?

Ensuring the security of your data is Smartlead's utmost priority. We implement robust encryption methods and stringent security measures to guarantee the continuous protection of your information. Your data's safety is paramount to us, and we are always dedicated to upholding the highest standards of security.

How can I get started with Smartlead?

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Getting started with Smartlead is straightforward! Just head over to our sign-up page and follow our easy step-by-step guide. If you ever have any questions or need assistance, our round-the-clock support team is ready to help, standing by to provide you with any assistance you may require. Sign Up Now!

How can I reach the Smartlead team?

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We're here to assist you! You can easily get in touch with our dedicated support team on chat. We strive to provide a response within 24 hours to address any inquiries or concerns you may have. You can also reach out to us at support@smartlead.ai

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