13 Outbound Sales Strategies to Skyrocket ROI

How old is your company? 

1 month? 2 months? 1 year? 5 years? 

Whatever that is, your company’s age shouldn’t be the parameter for your sales strategy. Instead, re-evaluate your brand. 

  • Do you have a functional website?
  • What is the number of your website visitors?
  • Do you have enough people in your sales team for content marketing?
  • How many followers do you have on LinkedIn and Twitter?
  • Do you have a YouTube channel?
  • How big is your audience base?

Now, if any answer to the above questions seems reliable enough to bring 15k visitors per month, you can stop reading. 

And, if that’s not the case, then you need to know about outbound sales. It’s the quickest sales strategy to generate more leads. 

Outbound Sales: What, Why, & How

Definition

Outbound sales is a type of lead generation technique that aims to find new prospects, warm them up, and convert them into customers. Popular tactics are cold calling, cold email outreach, cold sms, LinkedIn outreach campaigns, etc., using various tools.  

Is Inbound Marketing better than Outbound?

Source

In the decade-old debate of Inbound vs. Outbound marketing, currently, inbound sales are winning. Many sellers assume inbound is better than outbound.   

Around 82% of marketers believe inbound leads are of high-quality than outbound leads. But, is that true? 

NOT REALLY. Consider inbound vs. outbound as the “black & white” debate. Instead of picking one side, focus on creating a “gray” area. 

Think about it. Marketing managers use Social media platforms to create valuable posts. The process looks somewhat like this. 

Create a post 

🔽

Post it 

🔽

The prospects see the post 

🔽

Respond 

🔽

You follow-up

🔽 

They become customer

The process is good enough. In fact, a very impressive one. But, what if your audience is small or prospects aren't ready to buy? 

Will you keep waiting, then? Here, swoops into outbound marketing strategies. Now, it looks like this.

Create a post 

🔽

Post it 

🔽

Send it to the potential audience

🔽

You follow-up

🔽 

They respond 

🔽

They become customer

Or

You find the prospects in an appropriate channel (such as LinkedIn), send them a personalized sales pitch, and they become your customer. 

In both scenarios, you are 

  • Saving time
  • Increasing audience base
  • Finding prospects who are ready to buy
  • Plus, saving time and labor (remember, labor comes at an expense too)

The point is: COMBINE INBOUND & OUTBOUND for better results.  

Why Outbound Lead Generation?

Outbound leads have a 1.7% closing rate, which is definitely less than 14.6% of inbound leads. The difference seems huge, but it really isn’t.

Why so?

Because, in outbound strategies, you are targeting 10 times or more leads than inbound strategies. 

If your brand is an established one, then you are likely to receive a good number of visitors to your website. However, small or mid-sized businesses aren’t too fortunate in this case. 

According to a stat by Hubspot, around 49% of websites get only 1001 to 15k visitors per month 😞 

If your website is getting less than 5k visitors per month, it’s time to try outbound sales strategies

So, to list them down, the benefits of outbound selling are:

👉EASY PROCESS: Be it cold emailing or calling, all you need to do is create a script/sample, personalize it, and send it across to your targeted customers using relevant outreach tools.  

Unlike the inbound process, it’s simple and doesn’t include many steps. This is why it’s great for newbie businesses. 

👉 TIME-SAVING: Most inbound strategies include content marketing, which needs a greater audience to bear results. 

For small-scale businesses with a smaller sales team, it can take almost a year to create the content and then market it. In comparison to this, outbound strategies can bring results in a short period. 

👉PERSONALIZED MARKETING: In outbound selling, sales reps use various automation tools to collect relevant information and create a personalized sales pitch. 

According to statistics, B2B marketers prefer personalized messages when contacting them.  

👉READY PROSPECTS: As inbound sales are content oriented, their audience is mostly information-seeking novices in the field. It can take a long period for the audience to convert into prospects. 

Contrastingly, cold leads, especially in B2B marketing, are ready to buy your product. 

👉NETWORKING: Imagine, you contact your targeted B2B customer via LinkedIn, but the sale didn’t happen. Instead, they became your LinkedIn connection. 

Here, the worst-case scenario is that your prospect ends up being your audience. Later, you can use inbound tactics and convert them into a customer. 

Read ahead to find out if you should go for outbound marketing. 

Who should do Outbound Marketing? 

The answer is EVERYBODY unless you are as big as Hubspot or Neil Patel. 

I am listing down a few criteria. If any of the below points suit you, include outbound strategies in your campaigns immediately. 

  • The official website has less than 7k visitors per month
  • Your company is less than 1 year old
  • The official LinkedIn account gets less than 400 new connections monthly
  •  Your business is struggling with low ROI

However, if you get more than 10k website visitors per month and 400 new connections on LinkedIn, then you can rely on inbound tactics. 

Is cold calling dead?

As the millennials and the Gen Zs have come to prefer emails over calls, many think cold calling is dead. For B2C, cold calling may have gone cold, but it’s very much there for B2B conversations. 

According to a study by RAIN, 57% of C-level and VP buyers, 51% of directors, 47% of managers still prefer cold calls as the first contact from you. So, as far as the data is concerned, calling is very much there as an outbound tactic. 

Now, it’s your responsibility to get creative and come up with relevant topics that the customers would like to talk about. If you are hesitant to do so, go with interesting voicemails.

How to Kill It in Outbound Sales? 

1. Create ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)

Creating a customer profile is like summarizing your customer using brief but important key points. The goal is to find ideal prospects. The key points may include geographical location, age group, company size, annual revenue, demographics, buying pattern, etc. 

Creating your ideal customer profile is figuring out the characteristics of your prospects who are most likely to purchase your product/service. The first step to creating an ICP would be to figure out who derives the most value from your product or service. 

Once you have your ICP, try to make a list of people who resemble with the characteristics of your ideal customer profile. Then, target them in your outbound campaigns. 

Some of the common characteristics that most B2B sales teams consider while creating ICP are:

  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Company size 
  • Annual Revenue 
  • Business sector
  • Buying pattern

2. Choose a Channel for your Outreach Campaigns

Although multi-channel outreach programs are a successful trend, it’s not a good idea if you’re just beginning your outbound journey. It will confuse you and mess up your marketing strategies. 

To launch a successful outreach campaign, first, you need to settle down with your marketing channel. Where do you want to target your potential customers? 

If you’re a B2C marketer, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok are the ideal options. However, these platforms are a big NO for business-to-business outreach programs. 

Did you know around 575 million professionals, 2.8 million decision-makers, and 260,000 C-suite executives are active on LinkedIn?  

Yep, that’s what LinkedIn claims

This is why it's better to pick LinkedIn and Twitter if you are planning social media outreach. But, if social media analytics is confusing to you, your safest option is cold email campaigns. 

According to a study by Hubspot, email marketing was an effective strategy for 64% of B2B marketers to meet business goals in 2021.   

3. Segment Your Audience Base

The key to creating an effective outbound sales funnel is to divide your audience base into sub-categories based on common interests, needs, behavioral patterns, buying patterns, etc. This process is called marketing segmentation. 

Segmenting your audience base helps streamline your sales campaigns and brings fruitful outcomes. Some of the ways it can help are:

  • Knowing your customer better
  • Improving buying experience 
  • Make the product or service user-friendly
  • Generate high-quality leads
  • Find your niche market
  • Personalize sales pitch
  • Increase customer retention

Marketing segmentation plays a crucial role in sales campaigns and the growth of the company. Businesses that take up this practice earlier are more likely to see a high ROI than the ones that didn’t segment. 

4. Send Personalized Cold Emails

As I mentioned above, more than 60% of B2B marketers saw profit using email marketing in their sales strategy in 2021. And, 77% of marketers have seen a hike in email engagement in the next year. Now, it’s 2023, and email still stands as a profitable channel for business-to-business sales. 

But, is cold emailing enough in this competitive market? 

You guessed it right; no, it’s not. With more than 300 billion emails written, sent, and received per day, it’s definitely important to stand out with your cold email. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Use their names correctly
  • Use salutations carefully. For instance, don’t refer to non-binary recipients as “Mr”
  • Provide relevant content in the email body
  • Attach information that will catch the recipient’s attention
  • Increase interactivity by adding games, polls, and surveys in the emails
  • Write formal emails while writing to executives and directors

5. Send Personalized DMs

Emails are undoubtedly great. But, to increase engagement, try sliding into the DMs of your potential buyers too. Check out the platforms your prospects are most active. Here, active means where they are talking about their business and getting influenced to make business decisions. 

Take a detailed look at their profile. Note the minute details. Do your research thoroughly and don’t forget to find the basic details of their company. Once you’re done with that, it’s time to write the personalized text. How to do that?

  • Congratulate on a recent achievement
  • Open a conversation referring to a recent post
  • Send informative material on which they about recently
  • Provide solutions to the problems they are talking about

Take a look at an example:

Dear {Prospect},

I came across your profile while {mention how you found them}. I read a few of your articles, and I must say you provide great value in each of them. 

Congratulations on {so-and-so achievement}! You totally deserve it. 

I am {your name} from {company’s name}. We create software that {solves so-and-so issues}. Considering that you are a {mention the profession}, our product can {mention how it can help}.

It can also help with {mention additional features}.

Let’s get connected so that we can take this conversation further. 

Thank you

6. DM the Decision Makers

Let’s talk about a sales team. It has got salespeople, sales reps, the social media manager, the manager, etc. Now, when it comes to buying a product for the team, can you guess who will make the decision? 

Obviously, the manager of the team or anybody who’s in charge. So, always target the decision makers while pitching for a product or a service.

Your goal is to set a meeting, a video call, or a product demo. So, write a DM or email keeping these points in mind. One can begin with sentences like:

Hey, you need to check out this product before the end of this season.

Or 

Hey, done finalizing {a strategy} for the next season? If not, you need to check this out. 

In case you don’t know if the person you're texting is the right person, here’s how you can approach them.

Hey, quick question: can you connect me with the {designation} of {so-and-so team}? They need to see this.  

Starting the conversation with sentences like this will help you stand out amongst the hundred unread messages in your inbox. 

7. Pitch to Social Butterflies [on LinkedIn & Twitter]

Yep, pitching to social butterflies is highly recommended as an outbound tactic. Please note “social butterflies” here aren’t the chatty uncles in your church. I am obviously referring to the LinkedIn handles, or Twitter accounts that have 20k or more followers

Such people are great at creating content-oriented posts on a regular basis. This is why many decision-makers follow them too. 

Imagine this. You pitched to people who are popular on relevant social media platforms, and they agreed to give your product a try. Now, if they like your product (and need it) and decide to continue with you, then muy bien. In case they decide the opposite, you can always request a post a review of your product on their timeline. 

The perk of pitching to social butterflies is that they may or may not buy your product; either way, you win. Social selling is like fertilizer to your outbound selling techniques.

8. Pitch Influencers

Let’s say you are selling a cold emailing tool that comes with features like unlimited emails, unlimited follow-ups, automated replies, AI-generated email content, etc. 

Now, are business owners the only people who use such products?

Definitely, not. Influencers or YouTubers with large audiences also use such tools to find new subscribers or keep the existing ones in the loop. 

 If you can bag an influencer/YouTuber as a customer, your product will get extra publicity that you didn’t pay for. So, cold Dm-ing to influencers must be in your interruption marketing too. 

9. Use Your Network

Considering the fact that you are reading this article, I am guessing you have either started a new company or are thinking of starting one. So, it’s safe to conclude that you’re new to founding a company but an old player in the industry. 

Use your network to get introduced to your potential clients.

If you have been working for more than 5 years in an industry, you must have your share of contacts. At the least, you will contact the numbers of your previous colleagues. 

While starting your outbound venture, don’t hesitate to use those contacts. Call your past co-workers and ask them if their team needs the product/service you are selling. If they don’t, ask them to introduce you to other decision-makers in their network. 

10. Move to Automation Tools

The efficiency of outbound techniques depends on finding out your niche audience and sending them highly personalized emails/DM. 

One way to do that is to research and find them out–one by one. But, this way, you will only contact a handful of them in a month. The biggest perk of outbound strategies is that you can target a big group in a short time, but that’s impossible manually. 

The other way to do this is to use automation tools to do the job for you. This way, you can create personalized messages for a large audience without spending much time on them. 

Therefore, be it emailing or social media outreach programs, always use automation tools to reach a larger audience. 

11. Track Your CRM

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a feature in various software that allows you to keep track of all the interactions between you and your customers (including the potential ones). 

If you’re new to generating outbound leads, track CRM to see more conversions. This is how tracking CRM can help you: 

  • Building long-lasting relationships with customers
  • Create ICP (ideal customer profile)
  • Shortlist top customers
  • Find customers who waste time & energy
  • Potential customers
  • Build a customer retention strategy
  • Improve customer support
  • Improve the product or service
  • Understand customer’s behavioral pattern
  • Understand buying pattern
  • Evaluate your campaigns

12. Use the Right Metrics

I know you know that you should use the right metrics. But, here, I am not talking about KPIs.

If you are tracking KPIs, that’s a good thing, but to track the performance of each and every campaign, it’s important to check the sales metrics too. 

KPI or Key Performance indicators are used to track if the company is meeting its long-term goals. However, sales metrics are to check how well a campaign performed. 

And, when it comes to outbound strategies, sales metrics are stepping stones. It’s needless to say that the initial campaigns would bounce. If you still keep going at it by learning from your mistakes, pretty soon, you will see a profit.

The general sales metric includes the following parameters:

  • Number of leads
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per lead
  • Sales per representative
  • Sales by geographical region
  • Average win rate and deal size
  • Sales cycle

In case you’re launching cold email campaigns, then check the below parameters:

  • Open rates
  • Email click-through rate
  • Response rate
  • Which version performed what in A/B testing

13. Do Your Research

Before sending out a cold email or DM, always do your homework. Find out the company's priorities. Check if they have taken any special action to achieve those. If yes, what did they do? What tools are they using? 

Find something in the features of your product/service that will catch the prospect’s eye instantly. Your pitch should prioritize their goal and try resolving whatever issues they are facing. Don’t forget to create a sense of urgency in your pitch. 

Final Thoughts!

Email marketing is undoubtedly the most common outbound strategy. But, do you know what works best in email outreach?

Personalized emails with information collected from the prospect’s current activity on the internet or achievement. 

However, with 70% of marketers reporting high work pressure, I understand personalizing is almost impossible. Luckily, you have the choice of AI-driven automation tools, which will collect personal information, create an email body, and send emails at the prospect’s convenient hour. 

Probably, this is why 87% of B2C marketers include automation as a crucial part of their email marketing strategy. If you want to see a high ROI in 2023, it’s time you jump the ship of manual work and start using automation. 

FAQs

How hard is outbound sales?

If you are asking about the salespeople, then, yes, outbound sales is tough, especially if they are inexperienced and shy. However, if they follow the advice of famous salespeople, such as Mary Kay Ash, Grant Cardone, Zig Ziglar, etc. 

But, outbound marketing is an easier journey for a business, especially if they are new and have a small sales team. It takes less time and patience than inbound methods. If done correctly, outbound methods can bear great results too. 

What is an outbound example?

Examples of outbound lead generation are cold emailing, cold-calling, direct mail, putting up billboards, sponsoring events, sending SMS, LinkedIn outreach, etc.  

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