Outbound prospecting can often feel frustrating. Sales people work really hard to find contacts and make calls or send emails to connect with prospects. Despite their best efforts, reaching the right people and scheduling an appointment can still be hard.
This may be the most common experience, but thankfully, there is a science to prospecting that salespeople can apply. It may not always be intuitive, but there are plenty of things that salespeople can do to be more efficient and effective with their outbound prospecting, they just need to be willing to try multiple strategies in their prospecting. Here are 5 practical tips to help you generate more leads with your outbound prospecting.
1) Leverage all mediums, including the phone
The great thing about today’s prospects is that there are multiple ways to get in touch with them. You can find them on Linkedin or other social media outlets. Prospects can be reached through email and also by the phone. Sales people tend to stick with the medium that they are most comfortable with. However, outbound prospecting is most effective when sales people use all of these mediums as part of their outreach cadence.
The medium that gets ignored the most often is the phone. While it can be daunting to pick up the phone and reach out to your prospects, it is also the most effective way of getting a hold of your potential buyers. Sellers should definitely avoid calling blindly. It’s important to do your research and pair your phone calls with emails and social media messages.
If all mediums are leveraged while reaching out to prospects, it dramatically increases the likelihood of getting in touch with a prospect. An increase in the number of conversations will also increase the number of leads entering the sales funnel.
2) Focus on personalized outreach
As mentioned in the post above, sales people should definitely avoid calling someone they know nothing about. This sort of outreach is a waste of time for both the seller and the prospect. Instead, sellers should focus on quality over quantity. A prospector is much more likely to get a response or schedule a meeting if they personalize their outreach.
Linkedin is a great way to conduct research on your prospects before reaching out to them. The company website and press releases also have a lot of valuable information about the prospect’s company and the problems they might be trying to solve.
There is a plethora of information on the internet about your prospects. Do your homework and learn about your prospects so that you can personalize your outreach to them. This will increase your response rate and generate more leads.
3) Avoid talking about yourself or your company
The messaging in your prospecting emails or calls is very important if you want to generate more leads. A lot of prospecting emails may start with something about the prospect but quickly pivot to talking about the company. This approach will leave the prospect feeling disinterested.
Whenever you are crafting your prospecting messages, keep your potential buyer at the center of all your messaging. The email or phone calls should be about the prospect’s challenges and different ways to solve them. They should not be about your company and all the amazing new features you have to offer.
The time to talk about features and the company is later down the road. In the prospecting phase of the sales cycle, the goal is to get a meeting with an interested buyer, not to sell them on something right away. Therefore, it’s important to be consultative in the prospecting phase and keep the messaging focused on challenges that the buyer is facing.
4) Practice with your team members
The phone has to be part of any successful outbound prospecting cadence. Since this is the part that scares most prospectors, it’s a good idea to practice as often as possible. Successful prospectors take time to do role plays with their colleagues. This helps build muscle memory and improve performance during a live conversation with a prospect.
Sales people should also get in the habit of listening to their own calls and also listening to good examples from other team mates. This will allow sellers to pinpoint where they are struggling and practice those moments offline with their team members.
Sellers only have 10 seconds or so at the beginning of a call to make a positive impression with a prospect. Practice will help sellers polish their phone skills and improve conversion rates.
5) Reach out to senior level executives
A common mistake people make during prospecting is reaching out to lower level executives or employees. This can often be a waste of time because they usually do not have the authority to make decisions.
Start your outreach with the highest level executive that oversees the business area your solution is trying to impact. They might be the right person and take your meeting which is great. However, even if the highest level executive is not the right person to start with, their assistant or the executive themselves will often refer you to one of their employees.
If a higher level executive is referring a seller to someone below them, that person is going to be much more likely to take that meeting. For example, if you reach out to a CFO and get referred to a Director or VP, that lower level executive will be much more inclined to meet with you. On the other hand if you reach out to a Financial Analyst or a low level person within the company, they will tell you to talk to the Director or VP. Going up the food chain is much harder than if you start at the higher level and work your way down the leadership hierarchy.
We hope that through the use of these practical tips, you will be able to increase your success in outbound prospecting, and start to see the results you want even sooner than before.
About The Author
Abin Dahal is the Sales Operations Manager at Funnel Clarity. Funnel Clarity is a sales performance training and consulting company, dedicated to producing real results in sales performance. Funnel Clarity is using the science of sales to increase revenue and profits for our clients and to change buyer culture to view salespeople as trustworthy, credible, and capable. They are dedicated to sales and the buyer journey, and provide resources and training opportunities to those in every level of the sales industry.