Mastering the basics of Outbound Prospecting

Monika Jahnavi

By 

Monika Jahnavi

Published 

July 8, 2022

Mastering the basics of Outbound Prospecting
  • Increase year-over-year revenue by 30%.
  • Reduce customer churn rate by less than 1% in 2022.
  • Boost quarterly win rates by 15%.
  • Increase the number of leads qualified per month by 22%.

Do these look similar to your sales goals? And also remind you of the times you couldn’t hit them? 

Well, sales is tough!

Whether you are a sales rookie or have been around for a while, making a mark in the sales world is no easy feat. It takes more than just reading numerous sales books and attending conferences. 

You need to put in years of commitment and specialize in various areas to truly thrive. But just like any other field, you really can’t ace it unless you have a strong base. 

Lucky for you, you’re in the right place. We have identified that amongst the many things that will contribute to this goal, outbound prospecting is one of the most crucial levers you can exercise. Because the truth is, high-value opportunities don’t always come through inbound signups and in order to hit your larger-than-life revenue goals, outbound sales prospecting is a must-have.

Even data shows that 55% of leads generated by businesses are from outbound prospecting. It is thus a no-brainer why this way of sales prospecting plays such an important role in sales development structure and processes for teams focusing primarily on enterprise accounts.

And hence, in this post, you’ll find a simple guide to outbound prospecting using which you’ll not only hit your sales targets but also overachieve them.

So, what is outbound prospecting after all?

Sales prospecting is usually done in two ways viz. outbound and inbound. 

Outbound prospecting begins with identifying potential customers, contacting them via cold calls and emails, and pitching your product/ service. You then carefully nurture them over time and keep them engaged through a series of touchpoints such as demos, evaluations, negotiations, and contracting until they become a customer. 

Inbound on the other hand focuses on creating brand awareness through - search engine optimization (SEO), social media, events, content marketing, and blogs amongst others. In short, by focusing on visibility and engagement, the inbound method generates leads helping potential customers discover your company.

Although sales prospecting is categorized into these two types, please note that you cannot succeed merely by employing one of the above. You must efficiently use both to see the desired results. 

For the scope of this article we’ll be focusing on a simple outbound prospecting framework you can deploy with the current resources you have and scale organically as you start seeing results.

The Three-Pronged Outbound Prospecting Framework 

As an SDR, your most important goal is to consistently build pipelines by creating high-value opportunities for your AEs to close. Here’s a three-pronged approach that can take off in no time helping you change your demand generation game for the good.

  1. Targeting
  2. Prospecting 
  3. Outreach

1. Targeting

There is a popular quote by Jeroen De Flander, that goes, “You cannot be everything to everyone. If you decide to go north, you cannot go south at the same time”. This is especially true when it comes to outbound sales targeting. Because although you have a great product that you believe in, it can’t be a great fit for the entire market. It can only cater to some parts of the market that are most likely to buy and that’s what you must chase.

As someone who is trying to make it big in sales, you must understand that targeting is where the whole game begins. It helps you align your focus and run behind what is known in the business world as the Total Addressable Market (TAM). In simple words, TAM is the demand your product or service has in the market as a whole. It is calculated in three ways namely the top-down, bottom-up, and value theory. 

The first method requires you to gather data via market research and identify the businesses you should target. The bottom-up method is where you multiply the average contract value (by multiplying your average sales price by the number of your current customers) and the total number of customers. The final method is where you estimate the value your potential customers can receive from your product and what amount they’d be willing to pay.

Knowing the TAM helps you focus on the right customer profile in an effective, efficient, and affordable fashion. You can also estimate the revenue you will possibly generate by selling your product to potential clients.

Once you identify the TAM, the next step is to pick the top accounts also known as ‘named accounts’ (specific company or organization) whose interest you need to garner, in order to generate a high-value pipeline and then turn them into opportunities and customers. These are usually known as Tier 1 and Tier 2 accounts as they have a very high ticket size and disproportionately increase your revenue. 

2. Prospecting

Today there are countless businesses launching their ‘perfect products and solutions’ in the market. Owing to which consumer skepticism is at an all-time high! The all-accepting, gullible consumers have now evolved into critical and self-aware buyers equipped with information gathered through individual research.

No wonder, it takes 6-10 people within an organization to make one B2B buying decision. With so many people involved, as a sales rep, you are no longer selling just to the one lead but to multiple stakeholders. And picking named accounts gives you the opportunity to engage multiple people within an organization and get group consensus. 

In a sales process multiple stakeholders wear multiple hats and what prospecting essentially does is helps you find the right customers for your product. Simply put you identify who the buyers, gatekeepers, influencers, blockers, decision-makers, and champions are. 

But how do you get in touch with these other people? Well, you first contact the initial lead and get to others through them. Another way is to dig deeper using social media platforms such as LinkedIn or using popular platforms such as ZoomInfo and reaching out to relevant contacts. This way you can cut your losses fast by avoiding the powerless tire-kickers and reach the decision-makers faster.

Once you are hundred percent certain whom to reach, you can start moving to the third and most important step of outbound prospecting which is outreach.

3. Outreach

Outreach means reaching out. It essentially shows your ability to deliver your product or service details to your prospective customer so that they find value and get interested in evaluating it. Outreach begins when you first make contact with your potential clients and continues till you successfully close the deal.

The most important skill that will help you sell is when you can solve the customer's pain point with your product. Hence when you contact various people within the named accounts you must remember that not everyone’s needs are the same. You must customize your pitch as you move from one contact to the other and help them understand how the product is a right fit for them.

Here are some statistics to help you understand how customers want to be engaged during various buying stages. 19% of buyers want to talk to you in the awareness stage, 60% want to connect during the consideration stage and finally, 20% prefer talking to you during the decision-making stage. These statistics indicate the amount of scope you have to engage the prospects. You should make good use of the various sales channels at your disposal and get engaging. 

But, we understand how difficult the sales job is, and while you have the remaining things under outbound prospecting to master, leave the outreach to us. Outplay is a new-age sales engagement platform and we automate sales like never before. Opt for a 14-day free trial now and see how much more time you’ll have to focus on what you are good at.

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