The definition of outbound sales refers to the process through which sales reps make outbound sales calls or utilize other sales channels to reach prospects. Outbound sales are where a seller, which is typically a sales rep, initiates engagement with a potential buyer. This is opposed to inbound sales, where the potential buyer begins the conversation.
Outbound sales sometimes involves cold calling leads on a list, though often reps call leads that have previously demonstrated demand by engaging with a brand’s content, filling out a form, emailing a business, or making a previous call to a business.
Sales development reps are reps that are tasked with outbound prospecting. They are frequently given a list of leads to call. While they sometimes cold call these leads, they often reach out via email or social media first in order to make a connection. Rather than closing deals, sales development reps are tasked with creating opportunities for account executives (also called closers or salespeople). This saves top closers the trouble of having to prospect for their own leads. By only selling to qualified sales leads, account executives can maximize the amount of revenue they close per quarter.
Lead response reps often make outbound calls to leads that have demonstrated demand by filling out a form, attending a webinar, reading a blog or downloading a video. Even though they are tasked with following up with inbound leads, much of what lead response reps do is actually making outbound sales calls. Like sales development reps, they are in charge of creating opportunities for account executives.
In business-to-business (B2B) sales, reps sell to members of prospective companies. In B2B sales, sales cycles are often longer and closing a deal often involves multiple touches. Following up with prospects is a key role for B2B outbound sales reps. B2B reps will customarily call leads that either they or another rep have dialed before. That’s why it’s so vital for B2B sales reps to log activities in CRM tools like Salesforce, so that every member of a sales team can know a lead’s status in real time.
Inside sales reps working for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies usually sell lower ticket items and sales are often more transnational. Some examples of B2C companies are companies that sell insurance policies, stocks, or time shares. B2C sales reps typically have to dial larger amounts of leads each day than reps at B2B companies, since B2B prospecting tends to be more strategic and less emotional.
Outbound sales reps are sometimes given quotas of how many outbound calls must be made in a particular day or week. In order to dial as many leads as possible, many outbound sales reps adopt tools like predictive dialers and refractive dialers that can maximize the number of leads that they can dial in a particular day. The most intelligent dialers provide data about prospects within the context of calls to help assure that calls aren’t cold. A Salesforce dialer has the added advantage of pulling data directly from Salesforce.
Outbound sales reps using CRM tools like Salesforce sometimes adopt click-to-dial solutions that let them dial reps directly from their CRM tool by clicking on a lead’s contact information. This can be especially helpful when reps are using lead list views in their CRM.
Leads have been proven to answer calls from local area codes far more often than toll-free or long distance numbers. A local presence dialer can radically improve connection rates by enabling outbound reps to always dial leads from numbers with local area codes.
Leaving voicemail messages during outbound sales prospecting can often be a time-consuming task. Voicemail automation solutions can help maximize reps’ sales time by enabling them to leave prospects prerecorded voicemail messages with a single click.
Outbound reps for both B2B and B2C companies can benefit from learning from the experts. Check out the best sales books of all time for sales tips that have stood the test of time.