In a company, the process of generating new leads is the fuel for business to happen.
However, in order to have revenue predictability and to maintain financial sustainability, it is necessary to continuously capture new leads, like a true sales machine.
And for that, Outbound prospecting needs to be one of the main focuses!
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Maybe you’re thinking: “but isn’t Inbound the ball at hand?”
Well, Inbound Sales has evolved a lot as a strategy in recent years, proving to be a way to generate leads in a systematic way and at a low cost.
However, outbound sales still play a key role in business strategies and should by no means be ignored.
In this article, we’ll talk about when and why to bet on Outbound prospecting and also how it can be combined with Inbound so that your sales operation achieves the best results!
Outbound prospecting: what is it?
Outbound prospecting is an old acquaintance with sellers.
It is nothing more than the traditional proactive sale, in which the salesperson approaches a potential customer from a cold contact, by phone, email or other means of communication.
This model of approach and prospecting for customers uses as a starting point the segmentation lists, which contain companies and people who are within your ideal customer profile and who are not yet part of your relationship portfolio.
In other words, outbound prospecting works with profiles that have not yet been impacted by your brand.
Although outbound sales have dropped out of focus in recent years, they are still very relevant as a business strategy. Especially when we look at the features below:
- B2B sales
- complex sales
- Sales in niche markets
- Sales to top managers of large companies
- Companies that demand accelerated results in the short term
- Companies that need revenue predictability
In all of these situations, Outbound Sales is usually an effective model to reach the ideal customer and guide them to closing – even if it is not the only one used by the company.
Inbound and Outbound Prospecting: which one to use?
Well, if you were worried about having to choose between Inbound and Outbound Prospecting, you can relax.
In general, the sales operations that are most successful are those that know the strengths of each of these models and use them to their fullest potential in favor of the business.
To better understand, we list the main characteristics of each of these strategies below:
In the inbound sales model, capturing leads can be compared to fishing with a net. You capture a large volume of contacts, in a diffuse way, to qualify throughout a nutrition job those that justify a commercial approach by a sales executive.
This lead generation happens via content production, in order to attract potential to your business.
Therefore, we can highlight some points about Inbound Prospecting:
- Capture and nurture leads via content
- Attracting a potential customer who is not necessarily ready to purchase, but who has a challenge that your company can solve
- Qualification happens during the nutrition process in an automated way and requires little energy from the sellers
- Longer cycle from lead generation to closing the sale
- Low cost to perform
To understand more about attracting and qualifying leads, check out this e-book: The Ultimate Guide to Lead Qualifying
On the other hand, outbound sales are those where you aim at a specific target and do your best to achieve it, focusing and concentrating on that objective.
It makes a lot of sense to work with this type of prospecting when you already know, therefore, which potential client you want to reach.
Why wait for the prospect to be interested in a material, register in your database and go through an automated nutrition process if you already know who he is? Much faster and more effective to approach it proactively!
See also some Outbound Sales features:
- It’s an effective model when you already have a clear target
- At the time of contact, the prospect is generally not ready to purchase and may even be using a competing solution
- Qualification takes place in the Business Intelligence process during segmentation
- When there is a need to accelerate sales in the short term, this strategy is the most suitable
What can we understand when analyzing the characteristics of Outbound and Inbound Sales? The main point is that the combination of the two models is able to boost sales in a unique way.
While Inbound guarantees frequency in the generation of leads and requires little energy from the commercial team until the moment of negotiation, Outbound allows the closest prospects to the ICP – ideal client profile – to be approached.
Thus, rhythm and volume in generating opportunities is guaranteed, in addition to coverage of the entire potential market.
How to do Outbound Prospecting in your commercial area
We already know that it is important to combine the Inbound and Outbound models in sales strategy. Now, let’s explore best practices for implementing or improving outbound prospecting!
Before we go through this step by step, it is important to remember that usually the approach can take two main formats.
The first of these is Cold Call, the telephone approach we are most used to.
The second is also the one that has proven to be more effective in seeking attention from potential customers: Cold Mail. This form of contact happens by message, either by email or on networks such as LinkedIn.
See below how to use Outbound prospecting in your company:
1. Define your ideal customer profile
In proactive sales, knowing precisely the profile to be approached is essential so that the sales executives’ time is not wasted in contacts with low closing potential.
Therefore, the first step should be to define your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile, in Portuguese, Ideal Customer Profile). See in this other article from our blog how to develop your ICP.
2. Continuously work with targeting lists
Later, with the customer profile to be prospected very well defined, it is time to put the work of Commercial Intelligence into play.
This professional or this area, depending on the configuration of your company, will be responsible for continuously providing prospecting lists for the sales team.
These segmentations can come from market databases, customer lists, referrals, among others. The important thing is that they are within the desired profile for the outbound work and that they guarantee the ideal volume of approaches to supply the sales funnel.
3. Develop models for prospecting
In addition to the contact list of potential customers, before taking the first approaches, it is important to have models for prospecting.
Email, message or call templates that can be customized to the details of each account, but contain the most assertive key messages and clear call-to-actions.
To help, we made a content with 3 email templates for Outbound prospecting, which you can find here!
4. Draw a contact cadence
In Outbound, as in Inbound, the sales process has a nurturing process, from the first contact to the closing.
In these different stages, the sales executive can extract and pass on information that is important for the negotiation.
In general, the SDR (Sales Development Representative) makes the first contacts to understand the probability of closing the sale, according to factors such as demand, budget and timeline. Then, with a greater chance of acquiring this new customer, he passes the ball to the commercial executive.
In this journey, it is possible to combine different contact formats (call, email, conference call, face-to-face meeting, etc.), engaging the potential customer in different ways.
But, for consistency, it is necessary to design a sales cadence, in which this entire process can be planned and implemented towards the best results.
5. Test, analyze and improve
Following a cadence of approaches, using prospecting models and contacting a specific base of profiles, you put your Outbound Sales strategy into action.
But you need to document each step of this strategy in your CRM system to understand how effective it is really being, where the bottlenecks are for better results and proposing practices for constant improvement.
Bet on Outbound prospecting to leverage your results!
Outbound prospecting may have lost ground in recent years with the focus on Inbound.
But now, it is high time to look again at this model and all its potential to accelerate results, especially to reach those leads that are most desired by your business.
If you’re not already working on actively approaching prospects, start rethinking your strategy. Or you will miss out on important sales opportunities!