10 Outbound Prospecting Strategies that Increase Responses
Every sales rep is always on the lookout for new prospecting strategies that can help them increase their contact ratio and response rates. However, every sales rep knows this task isn’t as simple as making a minor adjustment to the outbound prospecting strategy. Instead, it requires continuous trial and error, testing new tactics to see what sticks and what doesn’t.
Yet, creating an effective outbound prospecting strategy is essential for maximizing your outbound efforts. In this article, we’ll cover 10 effective sales prospecting tips to incorporate into your outreach. Think: add personalization, use video tools, automate processes, etc. – we’ve included a wide range of outbound prospecting tips that help start more conversations, increase response rates, and fill your pipeline.
Before we dive into how to successful prospecting in sales, we’ll first review what is outbound prospecting and some common outreach methods.
What is outbound prospecting?
Outbound sales, or outbound prospecting, is the process when sales representatives find, contact, and generate new business. The goal of outbound sales is to find quality leads and draw them into the sales funnel.
Most outbound methods are a form of cold outreach, which means the prospect did not express interest in your product or service beforehand, and the rep is reaching out without any previous contact. Most outbound prospecting efforts are a combination of cold phone calls and cold emails, but in-person visits and social media outreach can also be a part of your outbound sales strategy.
Next, we’re going to cover 10 prospecting strategies that start more conversations, set more meetings, and generate more business. Try some (or all!) of these outbound sales techniques in your prospecting plan to see what works best for you and your business!
10 Outbound Prospecting Strategies to Improve Responses
1. Add personalization
Ah, personalization. In today’s digital age, consumers are expecting a personalized experience from the brands they interact with. If you’re not delivering that, it’s likely your message is going to be overlooked. Take a look at a few of these stats that show the value of personalization to consumers and how your outbound sales prospecting efforts can benefit:
- 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience
- 72% of customers will only engage with personalized messaging
- 84% of customers say they’re more likely to buy from brands that treat them like a person, not a number
- Companies that use advanced personalization see returns of $20 per $1 spent
- Personalized emails drive 6x more transactions
- 70% of brands don’t use personalized email messages
If you’re not already taking on a personalized approach, now’s the time to start. Personalization should be a key component of your outbound strategy and incorporated into every touchpoint you make with prospects. That goes for email, cold calls, Linkedin – you name it.
Take Action: Personalize every touchpoint with prospects by including the prospect’s name in the subject line and email. Even better, record and send a personalized video so the recipient knows your message is intended specifically for them. Personalize your phone calls by researching the prospect beforehand. This way you know who you’re talking to, their interests, painpoints, etc. which allows you to tailor the conversation and make it relevant. Yes, this step requires a bit of extra work, but trust us, the prospect can tell when you’ve done your homework.
2. Dedicate inbound and outbound SDRs
Inbound and outbound leads are at very different stages of the sales process, and therefore should be treated as so. Outbound prospects may be a perfect fit for your product or service – they just don’t know it yet. On the other hand, inbound leads have some level of familiarity and have engaged with your brand by either visiting your website, downloading a piece of content, listening to a podcast, watching a webinar, talking to a friend, etc.
Having two separate teams focusing on each type of lead allows the reps to really hone their skills, notice trends, and get repeated practice in similar situations.
Take Action: Create separate teams for outbound prospecting and inbound leads. This way, those sales reps can keep a narrow focus on converting leads at their given stage in the sales funnel.
3. Respond quickly
Your lead response time could be what keeps you from nailing or failing an opportunity. Going hand in hand with the previous point, response time is a critical component to moving a lead through the sales funnel.
Research suggests that businesses who respond to leads in five minutes or less are 100x more likely to convert opportunities.
Having a dedicated inbound team means they can keep an eye on new leads that come in and make contact with them as soon as possible. Wait too long, and the lead may no longer be interested, or even worse, already engaging with one of your competitors. Depending on the touchpoint, you can automate some tasks to improve your response time by using a chatbox, providing self-service options, sending welcome emails, etc. However, when it comes to a lead expressing direct interest in your service – human communication trumps automated messages.
Take Action: Have a team constantly monitoring inbound leads – that way you can follow up promptly, ideally within 5 minutes. Depending on the action the lead takes, make instant contact by automating tasks with a chatbot, self service options, or automated emails. If the individual expresses direct interest with your offering, making human contact will be the most effective.
4. Have multiple touchpoints across multiple channels
The industry standard for outbound sales suggests it takes 8 touchpoints to make contact with a prospect. Too few touchpoints and you may not catch the prospect’s attention, but too many, and your time may be better spent focusing on other opportunities.
It’s best to spread these touchpoints across multiple channels – email, phone, video, LinkedIn, etc. One industry may be more likely to answer the phone, whereas, another could be focused on email – every business operates differently so it’s best to add variety. And, this way, you’re not calling your prospect 8 separate times.
Take Action: Make at least 8 touchpoints with a lead before removing them from your pipeline. Vary your touchpoints across phone calls, voicemails, emails, video emails, and Linkedin messages to maximize prospecting efforts.
5. Automate Tasks
Now we want to tread lightly here, because automation typically contradicts personalization. However, there are some specific tasks you can automate that will make your sales reps, SDRs, and BDRs, work more efficiently. For example, using a platform like MonsterConnect eliminates the need to dial, and connects you on live calls with 8-12 decision-makers per hour. Other platforms like Outreach move leads automatically through your sales cadence depending on their engagement level. This helps your reps stay focused on the right leads at the right time.
Take Action: Automate tasks like dialing, scheduling, emailing, etc. that help outbound sales reps work more efficiently and effectively.
6. Track Activity in CRM
Every SDR should have access to a CRM where they can track activity, and keep a profile on each prospect. This is a great place to reference previous conversations, engagement, and data with your prospect. Additionally, use this data as a reference point in your next conversation. However, a CRM is only useful if you stay up to date on tracking your data and contacts, so be sure to make note of every action that could be helpful for your team when reaching out.
Take Action: Routinely track data in your CRM to help inform your next conversation with a prospect.
7. Focus on quality over quantity
When you hear sales is a numbers game, you may be tempted to try the “spray-and-pray” prospecting strategy, which focuses on contacting as many people as possible, hoping someone will bite. This is often done through mass emailing or long, unfiltered cold call lists. With this approach, you’re often wasting time on prospects that are unlikely to convert into customers. Taking on a more targeted approach, like account-based selling, focuses on a specific persona that matches the profile of your most satisfied customers.
Account-based approaches to prospecting and selling produce fewer quantity leads, but higher quality leads. In fact, 97% of marketers have reported achieving higher ROI with account-based marketing than with other strategies.
Take Action: Focus on targeting high-quality leads that match your ideal customer profile. This prospecting strategy may take more time and effort, but leads to better results when compared to focusing on maximizing lead quantity. Some account-based selling techniques that can be incorporated into your prospecting strategy include – attending industry specific events (trade shows & conferences), personalized video messaging, hosting industry-specific webinars, and targeted LinkedIn prospecting.
8. Develop an onboarding and ongoing process
Having a set onboarding process ensures outbound reps receive proper training to excel in the role. SDRs and BDRs have some of the highest turnover rates. Therefore, setting your employees up for success from the start will drive better results for your team, and increase retention. During onboarding, provide SDRs with helpful information like an overview of your product/service, data on your target market, and comprehensive competitor analysis.
Continue coaching outbound sales reps beyond the onboarding process by offering support, celebrating accomplishments, and working through obstacles. SDRs should have regular individual and team meetings – Individual meetings provide 1:1 advice, whereas team meetings are a great opportunity to collaborate on certain scenarios and share ideas.
Take Action: Set outbound sales reps up for success by developing a strategic onboarding process that review key information like product overviews, target markets, and competitor analysis. Continue this training with regular 1:1s to offer guidance, as well as team meetings to support and collaborate with other reps. Camaraderie can contribute to an SDR’s overall success.
9. Start video prospecting
One of the most challenging tasks as an SDR is getting a response. Let’s face it, email and phone calls are stale and overused prospecting strategies that easily get overlooked. As a result, sales teams are adding a more creative approach by using video in their prospecting strategy. Video prospecting stands out in the inbox, personalizes outreach, and increase engagement.
Video prospecting is when reps record short, highly personalized videos specific to each prospect. After recording, videos are sent via email, SMS, or LinkedIn with an animated thumbnail to capture your recipient’s attention.
Using video for outbound sales prospecting has a number of benefits including:
- Standing out in the inbox
- Differentiating yourself from competitors
- Personalizing outreach
- Putting a face to a name
- Increasing open, click through, and response rates
- Creating a positive experience from the first interaction
Not familiar with video prospecting? Learn everything you need to know about video prospecting – one of the newest and most powerful sales prospecting tactics.
Take Action: Replace plain text emails with video messages to stand out in the inbox, increase engagement, and create a hyper-personalized experience that gets noticed. Platforms like Covideo make it easy to record, send, and track video messages for sales.
10. Keep a positive mindset
If you’re in an outbound prospecting role, we see you. Everyone in sales knows this position is a grind, but essential to generating new business. As they say, prospecting in sales is a numbers game. Don’t let the constant “No’s” get to your head – consider each “no” one step closer to finding the right match.
When pitching your product, you want to add energy, enthusiasm, and passion. If you’re not enthusiastic and passionate about your offering, why should your prospect be? Become an expert in your product, master your pitch, and work in increments to break up monotonous tasks. All of these will help keep your energy levels high!
Take Action: Take breaks to remain focused, keep a positive mindset, and pitch with passion – remember energy is contagious!
Start Making Outbound Sales Prospecting More Effective
Implement these tips into your outbound prospecting strategy to increase engagement, get more responses, and fill your pipeline.
If you’re interested in learning about how sales teams are incorporating video in their sales process to open doors faster – reach out to our team at Covideo. Well strategize an effective prospecting strategy for your team and see how video makes a direct impact on your sales.