Outbound prospecting is the art of targeting your prospects and proactively initiating contact them. There are many tools and tips available to salespeople that make outbound prospecting easier and more manageable.
Now, there’s been a rumor that outbound prospecting is dead, which is because of how much attention inbound data-driven prospecting has received in the past few years. We’re here to tell you that while that data-driven prospecting works, you need to be reaching out proactively as well for optimal effect. Keep reading to see why outbound prospecting is not only not-dead, but alive and thriving, and how it can work for you.
Outbound In the New Century
As far as tools go, one of the greatest resources your sales team can have is a good customer relationship management (CRM) system. Using a sales automation CRM for prospecting enhances your prospect reach, manages your contacts throughout the process, and helps you close deals. The amount of work that a good CRM automates for you saves a ton of time and effort that you can spend on the prospects you’re actually working with.
There are also marketing automation systems available that track all activity across each account’s social media channels that will help you better target prospects, increasing your chances of getting your message in front of the right people within your target. Messages can be scheduled and sent at optimal times to ensure they get the most eyeballs. Using a marketing automation system in conjunction with a CRM will have you targeting prospects like a laser, and give you the ability to fully take them on the sales journey.
Additionally, there is such a thing as sales intelligence tools that provide analytics on decision-makers. This type of application can show buying habits, interests, and more information about the business leader, which offers you clear insight into how they do business. You’ll then know if you’re a right fit for each other and whether you should pursue the lead. It can also help you to get past the gatekeeper.
Be Where Your Customers Are
Any veterans of sales and marketing knows this adage well, because you can’t sell to your customers if you aren’t where they’re at. For instance, if you sold water skis, you probably wouldn’t have much luck selling them in the Sahara Desert, right? Nobody there wants water skis. Go to the coast and you’ll be golden. When you know who you’re selling to, it makes it much easier to actually sell it because, a) they’re interested, and b) you’re filling a need.
Knowing your audience is crucial if you want to have a chance at selling to them. In one market, you could be a hit; in another, a total flop. If you use proper tools and resources, you’ll be able to avoid your previously flopped market (and any others) in the future. This saves your company time and money, which is always a good thing.
Doing It Old-School
If you don’t have a fancy CRM to help you out, there are there plenty of outbound things you can do to improve your prospecting. Some of what you can do includes:
- Stay in touch. You want to try to establish a cadence to your prospecting, that is, find the correct amount of time between initial contact and follow-ups. If you know that a certain client likes to be contacted every couple weeks, that should be your cadence.
- Use their own words. Scour a prospect’s LinkedIn page for anything that may be relevant to what you’re selling, then quote them in your message with a response crafted around it. Don’t forget to include your relevant links in the message.
- Stay on top of relevant news. If you really want to impress prospects, then get to know them and their business beyond a quick glance at their website. Check out any recent and relevant news about the company that you can use to build a rapport on.
- Do your research. When dealing with prospects, it is best to know them as best as you can so you can find the best possible solutions for them.
While most things are digital these days, there are still plenty of things that can be done by hand. However, these are mostly rigorous and time-consuming tasks, which is why we prefer to have our automated friends to do that work for us. You could sift through all the data and calculate KPIs all day, or you could let technology do it for you.
Leave A Lasting Impression
Good first impressions are important, but last impressions may be even more so. Prospects get bombarded with sales pitches all day, everyday. You don’t want to become just another email dumped in the trash. It can be extremely difficult these days to get your message through. Even if you make it past the spam filters and actually get to the prospect’s inbox, there’s no guarantee they won’t simply delete your email themselves. It’s a chance we all have to take, but the reward outweighs the risk.
What you need to do before even sending that email though, is to make sure that your messages are crafted perfectly, that they’re on-brand, and that they are impressive. You need professional copy, layout, and design. The best email messages are the gateway to working with a prospect, and you need to wow them immediately in today’s hyper-competitive world.
Don’t let anyone tell you that outbound prospecting is dead. Yes, the latest-and-greatest tools come along and have made some techniques obsolete, but outbound prospecting isn’t one of them. Every message that goes out from a sales team to an unsuspecting soon-to-be-customer is outbound prospecting. Every follow-up phone call is too. You can’t expect prospects to always be the ones initiating contact; you have to get out there. Inbound works, but outbound works even better. So, what do you think, is outbound prospecting really dead?