Most companies today are discarding their outbound strategies and opt inbound sales where potential customers reach out to get to know more about the product they offer. While inbound sales may only be feasible for big and well-established companies, waiting and relying on your prospects to find you might not work at all times, especially if you’re just starting up.
Indeed, inbound sales are effective. But if you need urgent, more valuable leads and the ability to control it, outbound sales are something you can depend on.
This post will help you understand and discover the best practices in order to have an effective outbound sales plan.
WHAT IS OUTBOUND SALES?
Outbound sales can be defined as the strategy where a company’s sales representative or an outsourced call center support intentionally begins the conversation with its prospect customers. This is done through direct phone calls or with the use of other channels like e-mail or text messages. Unlike inbound sales, outbound sales strategies don’t require big cash investments but often take substantial time since accurate, enticing cold calling scripts have to be carefully crafted and sales representatives have to identify personal pain points of the customer and a better understanding of the structure and processes.
Outbound sales, when successfully done may carry the following benefits:
- Target the right customers
- Get qualified leads
- Increase conversion rate
- Acquire more predictable monthly sales
OUTBOUND SALES PROCESS
1. Identify the leads
This is also known as prospecting or outbound lead generation. In this step, the sales support sources contact information of potential customers. To get the qualified leads, one must first identify the target customer profile. Who are you selling your products to? What are the factors that made you consider them as your prospects? What are the ways you could help them? These are only some of the questions to focus on when identifying the leads. Outbound lead generation usually takes place with the help of web research and with the use of online platforms like LinkedIn. Some companies have an in-house team to fulfill all the steps and others, especially those owning small and start-up businesses often outsource for outbound lead generation services.
2. Cold emailing
Once the outbound lead generation has been completed, sales representatives will begin writing and sending cold emails to qualified prospects. The email should be done with short, concise content and with clear Call-to-Action.
3. Cold calling/ Lead qualification
This is usually the first live communication with your potential customer. This is also one of the ways to confirm if the email has been successfully received and if the lead is interested in entertaining the sales call and become an opportunity. When cold calling, it is necessary to prepare personalized product demonstration and a clear guide of the next steps.
Once the previous steps have been completed, you and your prospect turned opportunity are now ready to close the deal! This includes negotiation, clarifying concerns and sending out a quotation. The situation depends on the person you are negotiating with. Provide clear answers to questions, deliver the support they need and end up with a comprehensive proposal to get a positive reply.
5. Customer Success
The whole journey doesn’t end after they say yes. This final step is the time for you to be true to your words and fulfill what you have promised them during the previous steps. This is also where referral takes place.
TIPS TO GET BETTER AT OUTBOUND SALES
Know your edge. Ask yourself, why would a customer choose you over your competitors?
Be flexible. Don’t just rely on LinkedIn to get some leads. There are other platforms to help you gain your customer’s information, know their profiles and discover their interests. Use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and company websites.
Timing matters. Getting to know your customers’ time zones and the different types of work schedules will help you identify the best time to deliver your email. Note that wrong timing decreases your opportunity of receiving replies.
Find the right team. Is your business capable of handling your own in-house outbound sales team or perhaps outsourcing lead generation fits you? Establishing the right in-house sales team may take time as you need to go through strict hiring processes to get experienced and skillful members, outsourcing for call center support and lead generation services can save you since outsourcing companies already have created a team of professionals to do the job.
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