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What is Outbound Sales?

Outbound sales involves reaching out to potential buyers proactively through email, phone, social media or another channel. The primary purpose is to contact people with the aim of generating sales, as opposed to waiting for them to take action. This is different from inbound sales, where the potential buyer begins the conversation (i.e. filling out a demo request form).

Outbound sales sometimes includes cold calling leads on a list, though often reps call leads that have previously demonstrated demand by engaging with a brand’s content, registering for an event, emailing a business, or making a previous call. Many sellers agree that outbound sales can be difficult, with 40% of reps saying that prospecting is the most challenging part of their job.

Types of Outbound Sales Reps

Sales Development Reps

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

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 in response to buyer engagement. Like sales development reps, they are in charge of creating opportunities for account executives.

B2B Vs. B2C Outbound Sales

Outbound Sales for B2B Companies

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 have been 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.

Outbound Sales for B2C Companies

Inside sales reps working for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies usually sell items directly to consumers, 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 focused on a smaller number of accounts.

Best Practices for Outbound Sales

Success in outbound sales comes from implementing the right strategies and tactics. The following best practices are essential for reps looking to increase pipeline and stay ahead of the competition.

First and foremost, effective communication skills are essential in outbound sales. As a rep, you need to be able to clearly and persuasively communicate the value of your product or service, while also listening to the needs and concerns of your prospects. Building trust and rapport through communication is key to closing deals.

Time management is a key component of fruitful outbound sales. You need to be able to prioritize your tasks and focus on sales-generating activities. This means setting specific goals and metrics, such as number of dials or meetings booked, and tracking progress towards those goals. Successful sales reps are able to maximize their productivity by using their time efficiently and effectively.

Personalization and customization of outreach are also crucial in cold prospecting. Generic or template-based messaging just won’t cut it. Prospects receive a large volume of outreach, so it’s important to stand out with personalized messages that address their specific needs and concerns. Tailoring your approach to each individual prospect can lead to greater success in closing deals.

Of course, reps should always be focused on continuous learning. Outbound sales is constantly evolving, so staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices is critical. Ongoing training and professional development can help you stay ahead of the curve and achieve greater success.

Outbound Sales Tools for Reps

Communications Hub

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 teams adopt call software with important features such as Local Presence and Voicemail Drop that can maximize their connection rates and help them dial more prospects each day. RingDNA by Revenue.io is a communications hub that provides data about prospects within the context of calls to help assure that calls aren’t cold.

Click-to-Dial from CRMs

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.

Local Presence Dialers

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.

Voicemail Automation

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.

Guided Selling

A multichannel sales cadence solution can show reps who to reach out to, how to reach out and what to say. This ensures outbound sales reps always know the best way to engage with prospects and makes them as efficient as possible. Guided Selling by Revenue.io creates a prioritized sequence of leads to contact based on how well they fit your target buyer profile, how often they have been contacted and any other relevant criteria in your sales playbook.