“Outbound sales” is a process through will sales agents make sales calls or use other channels to reach prospects. Here, a seller, typically the outbound sales agent, initiates engagement with a potential buyer.
Outbound sales involve cold calling in the list. The sellers get cold-call details by engaging with the brand content, filling out a form, emailing a business, or making a call to a business.
There are cases where customers might ask to be contacted and give their contact details in return through the interested-in-a-service forms like the call-me form. It is called “warm calling.” Recently leads can also be generated by third-party firms.
In comparison to inbound sales where sales wait for prospects to fill the call-me-form or reach out directly and inquire about a product, outbound selling is comparatively aggressive. A lead likely has minimal knowledge about the product or the service. It is why outbound agents are trained and equipped with sales scripts for effective cold calling and overcoming objections.
Outbound sales are velocity-driven sales; agents are trained and equipped with just enough knowledge about the product to answer the initial queries while still engendering interest.
Type of Outbound Sales Reps
1. Sales Development Reps
Tasked with outbound prospecting, the Sales Development Reps are given a list of leads to call. Even though they are supposed to cold call to the leads, they also reach out to them via email or social media first to initiate the conversation.
Instead of closing deals, sales development reps have tasks to create opportunities for account executives. This helps them save time spent on having prospects from their own leads. Only selling to qualified sales leads, account executive maximizes their amount of revenue every quarter.
2. Lead Response Reps
Lead response reps make outbound calls to leads who have shown interest by filling out a form, reading a blog, watching a video, being a part of a webinar, and others. Besides being loaded with tackling inbound leads, they are also supposed to close the deals with the outbound leads. Similar to the sales development reps, they are the incharge to create opportunities for the account executives.
Read Also: B2B outbound Marketing Strategies
B2B vs B2C Outbound Sales
Outbound Sales in B2B
In B2B sales, the reps sell to prospective customers of companies. In B2B sales cycle, the entire journey from initiating to closing the deal takes much longer involving multiple touches. Additionally, following up with the prospects is an important aspect for sales reps to close the deal.
B2B outbound sales agents prefer to dial up those who they have spoken to before or other reps have already reached out to. This is why it is vital for B2B Outbound sales agents to deploy CRM tools, analytical tools, and other sales automation tools for smooth, streamlined, and real-time prospect information.
Outbound Sales in B2C
In B2C sales, the reps are tasked with the selling of lower ticket items and these sales are mostly transactional. For instance, B2C companies are those selling insurance, stocks, policies, or timeshares. B2C sales have to dial numerous amounts of leads each day than reps at B2B companies- since because B2B sales are more driven towards strategic and emotional.
What is Outbound Sales Strategy?
Outbound Sales Strategies is deploying various sales techniques with the end goal of closing maximum prospect leads with new clients.
In the case of outbound sales, the following activities are crucial for the sales development reps or outbound sales agents:
B2B Lead Generation – to generate customers’ interest in your product or services.
Outbound Prospecting – reach out to prospects via cold email or cold call
Communicating with Decision Makers – Finding, reaching, and interacting with the key decision-makers through organization mapping and hierarchy
Schedule and Conduct Demos – fixing schedules and conducting demos with prospects for a better understanding of the product or services
Closing Deals – Communicating and negotiating deals with the prospects for making a sale.
Note- Salespeople may face challenges with their email and cold calls, high: low-cost ratio, and difficulty in tracking and analyzing results when designing an outbound strategy.
What is the Outbound Sales Process?
The outbound sales process involves critical 8 steps for converting prospect leads into customers.
- Lead generation
- Sales Pitch
- Objection Handling
What are the Critical Outbound Sales Activities?
- Cold Calling
- Outbound Email
- Social Selling
- Sales Cadences
Outbound Sales vs Inbound sales
Inbound sales is a sales process that tries to understand and prioritize the needs, challenges, goals, and interests of each buyer. Inbound salespeople work on meeting consumers where they are and then consult and guide them through the decision-making process.
Analysis of a buyer’s behavior in various stages of the buyer’s journey is crucial. A smart inbound salesperson can craft a supportive and personalized sales pitch for each unique customer.
Ultimately, the added effort time, and care you put into educating your prospects will increase your chances of conversion and transforming them into your product evangelist. Thus, inbound has a stark difference from outbound sales. Inbound is more of what we call pull marketing/sales, whereas outbound is more of push marketing/sales.
Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Sales
Outbound sales is an approach that involves reaching out to the prospects directly through cold calls, trade shows, purchased contact lists, and other activities without determining if there is an actual need. In other words, outbound sales is a push activity where you “push” your message out to a very crowd who may or may not be interested in your product.
Whereas inbound sales is a pull activity where you pull interested prospects to you through great content and qualified based on your buyer persona fit.
Cold calling a lead involves assuming prospects with specific profiles have an inherent need for your product or service. Inbound sales encourage buyers to give their information to you when they are interested without making any irrational assumptions.
Tips for Best Outbound Sales
Outbound sales are tantamount to the act of prospecting. The act of sourcing leads is an outbound activity, whereas an inbound activity involves educating, doing follow-ups, and nurturing the leads.
1. Outbound Sales Success is how well you understand the pain points and solve them with your product:
Present your product as a solution. Understand what the solution does and for what problem or pain point it addresses?
According to Jason Fried, Founder of Basecamp-
“You don’t really sell “product” at the end of the day. You sell people a better version of themselves or their company.”
Convince prospects that your product is not only solving a critical issue but also making them better, which is impossible to confer unless you have a clear understanding of the problem.
2. Does your product solve a critical issue, or is it good to have?
Answering the above question will let help you understand and crystallize your sales approach.
Important vs Good to have
A product or service that solves a critical issue also has an ROI angle attached to it is a more significant trigger to purchase. If your product is something of a good to have and you connect an ROI side, it does not create an urgency to buy right away.
It is the job of the salesperson to attach this sense of urgency. It impacts how you approach your sales.
3. Current status and me-too products/services
How do the prospects handle their problems or pain points now?
You need to answer this and understand it as well very quickly as it’s one of the essential aspects of breaking the status quo, overcoming objections, and creating your niche.
Answering the below questions may help you understand the present circumstances:
a. Who are the competitors?
b. Why are they using a specific product or service from a competitor?
c. What differentiates you, or what innovation are you bringing to the table?
d. Why are companies following their usual way of doing things?
Please do not make your product feel like an OKAY option to have than what they are currently using. Tell the story about what value are you adding like ROI, Time spent, shortening the process, and others. This value interests the chief decision-makers.
4. Drill the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) into your brain
Having the right persona will help you understand your customers better. You know the customers’ pain points better than they know themselves.
Having the right customer persona helps!
Ideal customer persona will help you focus and personalize your messages for a small group of prospects who are more likely to become our customers.
You achieve better ROI, lessen the risk, and have a more personalized focus on individual accounts.
5. Mold Your Sales Pitch and keep improving
Each customer has a different need, and the way the companies function will be different.
Understand them and their needs. Then, tailor the messages for how your solution would work to suit the best of their needs.
Be a consultant for their needs.
Do not hard sell your product or forcefully fit the product.
Don’t hard sell your product
6. How well do you handle objections?
Please keep a record of the objections faced during every call, email, and product demo ever done in a document and share it among your colleagues.
Over time, categorize them into groups based on functions, pricing, and others.
To your surprise, the objections repeat themselves a lot!
Learn to handle objections
Revisit the monthly or quarterly and craft how to approach them, what will be the messages, and how your sales team will/can answer them. It will help you avoid the most common objections you are most likely to hear.
7. The cumulative price of selling & persona-based segmentation
What price are you willing to pay to complete a sale? What is the time limit to complete each process? What are the maximum numbers of F2F interviews with a prospect?
The effort required depends on product type, target segment, the type of niche the product is serving, and the industry-wide buying cycle; however, understand this! Keep costs in check.
Analyze the target market.
Ideally, segment your customers based on your ICP (ideal customer profile) into three segments and define a go-to-market strategy for those three segments.
It is ideal segmenting them based on customers’ first interaction basis.
8. What to do when you have a Sales Qualified Lead(SQL)?
Most SaaS B2B companies directly ask for a sales demo; however, there are other avenues to driving the prospects further down the sales funnel. It includes workshops, webinars, the second round of calls with the key decision-makers, sending them educative collaterals like eBook/white paper, and brochures can also drive prospects further down the funnel.
Have a plan and have confidence in your next step so that the buyer prospect finds you as a thought leader or educator. Be the person who is there to consult, understand the pain points, and guide the opportunities in the right direction.
Find out at what stage of the sales process your prospect is after your series of communication.
Some prospects need to be further educated more on the severity of the problem (white paper, Case Studies). They can also be already in the PoC, trial, commercial proposal stage.
9. Social Media to your rescue
The limitations of varied geographical locations no longer bind buyers firmly. Even though time zone, language, and rules and regulations may differ. They don’t affect the sales process as much as before the social media era.
Buying emails in a lot is no longer a feasible way of getting leads. The contact information like emails, direct dials has become a piece of capricious data. More and more people across the globe prefer working remotely and switch jobs frequently. The only thing that remains constant is the social media profiles.
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become the single source of truth for understanding your customers, competitors, and finding out what they feel about you.
Customers are very vocal about their opinions on social media platforms.
Therefore, Social Media Insights provide a great deal of information about your prospects’ intent and their activities. The insights will help you understand your customers better and create a better sales pitch with more probability of success.
Kickstart your Outbound Sales with Ampliz
Ampliz is the leading B2B, APAC, healthcare database provider. With the most reliable B2B data to integrate with cold calling and outreach programs, Outbound sales become easier. Our B2B Database makes the critical processes of closing a deal easier as each prospect lead is filtered through multiple channels. The data is collected, recorded, and updated regularly for ensuring real-time information on each prospect.
Outbound sales are not dead yet. The channels of communication have changed or increased instead. The style is changed. It’s no more shooting in the dark (spray and pray). It is a more personalized and more calculated approach than it was a decade and a half ago.
The evolution has been drastic due to emerging and evolving channels like social media, email, and various online communities. The insights available, the kind of product or service you are selling, and your buyer persona’s preferred channel determine your communication mix.
Prospects have more authority and control over what they want to see. The type of experience (number of emails you send, what value you provide, how decent are your customer reviews and others) you provide determines if you will be in their good books. It is all about the experience you provide at various stages of the sales funnel.