Most businesses believe that outbound sales are limited only to phone calls and cold leads. Well guess what, they are absolutely wrong! Businesses have evolved over the years and so have sales techniques and methods. If you want to go down the outbound sale route, and you want to be good at it, then you need something way more advanced than just a phone.
But before we go too deep into these techniques, let us explore a little more about what exactly is meant by outbound sales.
What is outbound sales?
It is a type of sales strategy where your company’s salesmen reach out to potential customers instead of waiting for them to come around to you. The essence of outbound sales is cold calling and cold emailing. This means that you will be calling people falling into your target audience and spreading awareness about your business.
More often than not, you will not be able to close deals during cold calls. However, it is important because it spreads awareness about your business and helps generate interest about your products. And if you hustle hard enough, you will be able to find leads and covert them into lifetime customers.
Why is outbound sales important for your business?
People casually throw around words like “outbound sales is dead” and “inbound sales are the way to go”. However, let me put an end to all those rumours and tell you why outbound sales is still an integral part of your business.
For starters, let us talk a little about inbound sales. While inbound sales have become trendy and have brought successes to many businesses, it is a black hole for resources. It sucks in a lot of capital investment, time and effort with no promise of a return. You put your time and energy into creating supposedly awesome content for your business, and then sit back and hope that customers will start rolling in. However, sitting back and waiting for customers to come to you is slow and time consuming. And if your content does not hit home, then all your time and money goes down the drain, taking the business with it.
This is where outbound sales comes in. With this sales process, you take charge and really get into the game. You approach your target audience and personally pitch to them, answering any queries that they might have. If they are interested, you can go ahead and close the deal with them. If not, then you can learn from that experience and avoid the same mistakes in your next pitch. Most importantly, you will know how your efforts are paying off, what impact it is having on the people and how you need to improvise upon your sales plan.
So, if you are willing to take the risk and take your sweet time in scaling your business, you can stick with inbound sales. However, if you want faster results and be in full control of the process, then outbound sales is definitely the way to go!
Effective sales techniques for lead generation
Now that you know what outbound sales means and why it is so important for the growth of your business, let us look at some outbound sales techniques that you can implement.
1. Get yourself an outbound sales CRM software
CRM software refers to a customer relationship management software that monitors and assists in building good relationships with your customers. It automates a series of mundane jobs like manually entering call records and customer information.
Now the obvious question that may pop into your mind is how is a customer relationship management software related to outbound sales? Well, there is a connection, and a pretty significant one.
We all know that customers love personalisation. They really appreciate it if you remember details about previous calls or keep in mind their preferences. A CRM software helps you manage all this data and integrate it into a single platform. Thus, when you call a prospect, all the data related to them will automatically pop up onto your screen.
This will keep you up to date about your customers, help you save time by automating boring tasks and will also keep your customers happy, thus increasing your chances of closing a deal.
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2. Let your satisfied customers be your salesmen
To have a better understanding of this technique, consider the following scenarios. When a friend or acquaintance comes up to you and talks highly of a product or brand, relating their own personal experiences with it, you tend to believe them and take their word for it. On the other hand, when a company salesman comes up to you and offers the same piece of information or praise, you tend to neglect their words and get on with your life.
See the difference? Your salesmen cannot have the same impact on your prospects as other customers will. So why not use this as an outbound sales technique to increase your sales? To further secure more customers as salesmen, provide some incentives which will motivate them to bring more audience to your brand.
For example, give out promo codes and coupons from which customers can avail of exclusive discounts when their references sign up on your page. This will result in a win-win situation for both you and your customers.
3. Send out cold emails
One absolutely cannot talk about outbound sales without mentioning cold email techniques. It is one of the oldest sales techniques and works miracles even today. Apart from being one of the most cost effective techniques, it is also extremely easy to implement.
Unlike cold calling, one does not need to wait for the prospect to become available to send an email. It can be done at any time of the day as per the convenience of the salesman.
However, to succeed in bringing in customers using cold email, one needs to have a sales plan in mind. The email must be creative enough to attract the customer and informative enough to convert them. It is recommended that you personalise these emails according to different target groups to have an even better impact on the prospects.
4. Pay close attention to your prospect list
This is step that most businesses skip in order to save money and time. However, what they do not realise is that skipping this step sets back their outbound sales campaign by a huge margin. Let me tell you why.
More often than not, salesmen make a lot of basic mistakes while preparing their call lists. Some of these mistakes could be attributed to manual error. However, most mistakes are due to collecting such critical information from unreliable sources. Due to security reasons, people do not give out accurate information on all platforms. Thus, you need to carefully analyse the data before you get on to contacting people.
Incorrect data reports can lead to loss of potential leads and customers. Moreover, due to lack of proper research, if people not fit for your product make it into the list, then it is a waste of time and effort, both of which are very important for a salesman. For example, if you contact an old man while trying to sell a bicycle or skateboard, then your effort is pretty much is vain.
5. Attend as many trade shows as you can
A trade show is a great way to meet potential clients and collaborators. It is a place where people will listen to your pitch with an open mind and pay close attention to what you have to say. It is the place where people come with expectations of the best and latest products in the market.
That being said, some businesses are more suited for particular types of trade shows. For example, if you have come up with an all natural, healthy version of a favourite food, then it would do well at a stand in a farmers’ market.
The key is to target the right trade show and pitch to the right audience. To make a difference, you could even hit local trade shows. It will give you tons of exposure and open new doors for your business. People prefer to see and believe a person in the flesh, demonstrating a new technology before their very own eyes, rather than listening to an anonymous person on the phone or on the internet.
Many businesses do not go down this route and get a chance to explore the possibilities that it brings. I agree, it does involve a certain amount of hard work and effort when it comes to setting up a booth that attracts people and then manning the booth and explaining your product to people. However, if it increases your sales and grows your business, then I feel that it is definitely worth it!
Statistics have proven that if done correctly, outbound sales can tremendously improve your company’s sales. Use the above techniques to increase the efficiency of your sales team and generate more number of leads for your business.