What is Outbound Prospecting? Outbound prospecting is a direct marketing channel, whereby you identify your target customers and then directly reach out to them and introduce them to your company, its products, and its services.
Outbound prospecting is a vital part of most B2B companies. It is a must-have strategy for most SDR’s who aspire to find success in their fields. This article will share more details on the information regarding what process you can follow to power up your outbound prospecting performance via email.
Why Email? Today, email is the most effective and overlooked communication channel in the world. Think of it, every internet consumer will have a higher chance of having an email address than a social media account. 7 out of 10 mobile users have their notifications switched on. You get to market directly in front of the prospect if you know how to email.
I work as a Partner Manager with JustCall.io, a cloud phone system. I have closed sales of more than $250k in a year. I have grown the program from 0 to 400% by using only a couple of simple techniques. This channel also attracts multiple outbound leads for the company. A few weeks ago, my performance was also noted by lemlist and I got recognition as a ‘lemlister of the week’ for receiving the best open rates on my outbound email campaigns. You can check out that article here.
I am going to share the same strategies with the SDRev community today.
1. Identify your target audience
Your first step before even starting your journey should be to define your ideal customer. Some common questions you can ask yourself are (complete list here):
- How can I add value to their business?
- Where can I find them?
- What’s the size of their organization?
- What industries to target?
Once done, shortlist a list of companies you can reach out to who match your requirements. This step will help you become targeted in your pitch with the relevant audience. The more niche your approach, the more chances of engagement.
For example: If you are selling software in an open market, pick up a relevant industry (probably from where your first customers came in, like Real Estate), and compile a database of all the potential companies that fit in the market for a particular region.
2. Find the right key decision makers
Once you have identified your target audience, reaching out to the right decision makers is crucial. Decision makers are usually on the managerial levels who can implement your solutions within the organisation.
These people will be your closest demo seekers or potential buyers. I usually use Linkedin to connect with these decision-makers and add my intent in the ‘add note’ section. Here’s the link to LinkedIn Chrome Extension (Sales Navigator subscription required).
P.S.: Looking up names is actually free on Linkedin.
3. Prepare email templates and a sending schedule
Prepare at least 5 email templates for your audience. Most people reply to the last break up email. Here’s the roadmap I use:
Email 1 & 2 (Day 1-3): Inform the prospect about the product you are selling. You may include relevant case studies proving your product’s market use for the industry you are targeting.
Email 3 (Day 7): This is a reminder email. Ask questions regarding whether or not you are at the wrong end and if they can point you towards the right person. This may lead to a gentle introduction directly to the person in charge.
Email 4 (Day 11): Follow up with a quick call (or maybe drop in at the office requesting a meeting when appropriate). If the phone number is available don’t fear calling them, if not search up their company number from the website and request to connect with the concerned person.
Email 5 (Day 14): Send a break-up or goodbye email, allowing you to focus on the next campaign.
4. Research before engagement with any prospect
Note: This is the most important step, and this is where I think I stand out.
Before you turn up on a booked call, take at least 15-20 minutes to educate yourself on the following topics:
- The person you are talking to (use LinkedIn)
- The company, it’s values, and their business model
- Some relevant industry news.
This will allow you to build up some serious conversations on every call and the other person will think of you as a highly aware person.
5. Follow up on missed leads
In reality, following up is more important than trying to get new prospects.
Following up should be the core at the beginning of any outbound strategy. Following up is not only about reminders but also about staying in touch with your existing contacts. It will help you get more referrals in the longer run.
Take out one day every 2 weeks to revisit every conversation you had over that time and send follow-ups. It’s crucial to not feel bad about sending a follow-up message to any missed lead.
Some common tips to remember
1. Ignore and avoid the naysayers
Of course, in sales, outbound is the hardest role.
The difference between outbound and inbound sales is that outbound sales are like going to the market to buy fruits every day, while inbound sales are like getting them home delivered. Going out every day is mentally tiring and harder than sitting at home and getting it delivered. You probably end up visiting multiple shops looking for the things that you need but you have higher odds of getting a better deal if you are in the market yourself. (At least I do :P)
There will be rejection, lots of it. Many people will shut the phone on your face, but don’t be shattered by rejection. One win is all you should seek when you start out. That one win will overshadow all rejections and clear the path for you. Also, people earn more in sales commissions than in most other fields.
2. It is far better to engage with one interested candidate than trying to connect with 3 newer prospects.
Don’t try to spray paint your win in the market. Focus on building a better relationship with the pre-engaged lead rather than trying to get everything you think is available.
3. Avoid spammy salesy content in your email and don’t forget to include unsubscribe links
The biggest mistake most SDR’s will continue to make is trying to sell too hard. Selling aggressively is a standard in many sales teams but it should be balanced with adequate research work. Your emails should be based on the notion that the receiver is an expert and you’ll help them achieve their goal (or at least a part of it). Also, putting an unsubscribe link is important in GDPR protected countries. Failing to do so may invite legal trouble.
4. Never reply on emails which replied with a rejection
One final common blunder is replying to emails with rejections. Never do that, because it will decrease your domain quality and increase chances of ending up in spam inbox for future campaigns.
Want my favorite cold email template? Drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org