Outbound prospecting is not for everyone, but it’s a good tactic to implement an outbound prospecting strategy in your lead generation plan. Today’s consumers are bombarded with sales messages, both online and offline.
This means every message you send must be irresistible — especially the first time around and must follow some pre-defined and measured strategies that are further perfected using design thinking methodologies.
In this article, I’ll be sharing how sales experts have actually perfected their outbound prospecting strategies and how you can use their best practices and experiments for your business too!
So, let’s get started!
Side Note: This is a very long guide. As such you can download a copy free of cost here.
#1. Personalizing Your Outreach
“Outbound prospecting involves identifying potential customers and then reaching out to them in an effort to create a sales opportunity. Here are some of the strategies that I use:
- Research potential customers and compile a list of key decision makers.
- Identify the best way to reach these decision makers (phone, email, social media, etc.).
- Draft customized messages that appeal to the needs of each individual prospect.
- Reach out to potential customers and follow up until you have an opportunity to speak with them or they unsubscribe from your communications.
- Track the results of your outbound prospecting efforts and refine your approach based on what works best.”
Taylor Murchison, SEO Growth Director of On The Map Marketing shares –
“Personalization should be your main priority whether reaching out to prospects via email, LinkedIn, or a sales prospecting tool. Do not send your prospects the same email, glossing over how you got in touch with them, and why your offer is perfect for them.
Mention all of this in your email. Aside from that, nothing annoys me more than an email that starts with “Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss”. It reduces your prospects to a revenue column.
Image personalization is a fantastic technique to enhance this strategy. So you may surprise your prospects with your outreach activities. Instead of ignoring your communication, they’ll be intrigued and check out your offer.”
“Employ email finders. Using an email finding tool will save you a lot of time. Assume you accumulated Facebook connections, but just a few had email addresses. Your search will be by name and domain.
Many of your emails may be ignored if you do nothing to stand out. Using innovative subject lines might help you stand out and increase open rates.”
Kavin also suggests using of event-based emails. “Most email automation services allow you to set up events, or specific user actions. When they do this, they get an email. As an example, you could send an email to customers who abandon their carts. Make emails respond.
Mail on phones is increasing. Remember this and try to mobile-optimise your emails. Try to use simple CTAs and concise subject lines.”
- Recommended Read: Check Out Our Recommended Best B2B Sales Outreach Tools
#2. Get Creative with Lead Hunting
“Finding high-quality leads is the first step in improving your outbound prospecting skills. It’s all about getting the message to the appropriate people, not as many people as possible. Stop wasting time on leads who don’t want to hear about your offer and instead concentrate on those who are more likely to convert.
You’ll not only receive greater outcomes, but you’ll also appear more credible and won’t jeopardize your brand’s reputation. You can find fantastic leads on LinkedIn in a few simple steps, just like I do.
You can, for example, search for connections of your existing clients with a few clicks. Simply type something in the search area (for example, “social media manager”) and pick “people.” Then, if you select “all filters,” you’ll see an option to “add connections of.” If you have pleased clientele from specialized industries whose relationships you’d like to tap into, this is a terrific way to go.
Simply select “add a connection” and begin typing the name of the person to whom you want to add connections. You can also add multiple connections here, giving you access to hundreds of potential leads – the majority of whom will be in the same industry as you and will be more interested in your offer than the average person.
The next step is to collect connections from LinkedIn and Facebook groups. You can join a group from your industry and scrape contacts from it using an automation tool like TexAu.
These are usually highly dedicated communities to specific fields, so you can join a group from your industry and scrape contacts from it using an automation tool like TexAu.
When you’ve compiled a decent list of leads, use LinkedIn prospecting tools to contact them.”
- Lead Generation for B2B – All You Need to Know
- 8 Content Amplification Tips to Maximize Lead Generation
#3. Know Who You’re Reaching Out to
It’s critical for your approach to understand what you’re aiming to accomplish. Sure, you want to earn sales, but you need to be more precise before you start sending out all those cold emails you’ve prepared. Here’s how you get started with outbound prospecting and keep it going: Use statistics to figure out who your ideal consumer is.
Your outbound prospecting efforts will be entirely dependent on your potential customer’s accuracy. If you want to create accurate, productive leads, you’ll need a well-defined consumer profile.
And for that, a comprehensive market research is key.
Filter Out the Spam
Himanshu Agarwal, SVP of Solutions for WorkBoard advises –
“Finding ways to make your prospecting process more efficient and worthwhile can lead to a better and more valuable list of prospects for your company.
Before qualifying outbound prospects, we automatically remove any that have a domain authority below 20, as higher-DA websites often have higher rankings which are sites we will want to work with.
We have another formula set up in our prospecting sheet that will remove any website that has a spammy or “bad” top-level domain, such as .cn, .work, or .gq. Once these processes are completed, we can begin qualifying from the new list of prospects that we have.
We are working on setting up automated processes to help us find the best point of contact, as well as keywords or phrases that we are looking to be linked to. Not all strategies will work for your outbound prospecting but consider continually testing ideas to see what works best for our specific outreach efforts.”
#4. Make use of referrals.
For your outbound prospecting efforts, referrals are a significant asset. Even if they are, no one likes feeling like they are being marketed to.
Referrals eliminate this component by allowing someone else to handle the most difficult element of the process: introducing your organisation.
#5. Slug Through and Reach Out to Prospects
Ravi Davda, CEO of Rockstar Marketing, a digital marketing agency based in the UK shares –
“For me personally, there’s nothing better than fast-tracking the outbound prospecting process than picking up the phone. Yes, it’s old school. And yes, it’s scary. But you can gauge so much about where a prospect lies by picking up the phone and having an honest conversation with them.
It helps when you have some kind of mutual ground, such as a mutual connection or that you’re connected on LinkedIn. I’m always up for saving time and I genuinely believe that picking up the phone is better than endless emails and DM’s. It really works.”
#6. Introduce Yourself Properly and Boldly
James Angel, Co-Founder of DYL suggests that in a cold outreach, you should use your complete name as well as your company’s name. This simple yet effective method works by acting as if your prospect has heard of you and your organization.
You’ve probably noticed that big shots frequently introduce themselves in full. So, take a cue from them and elevate your prospecting.
This way, you may command respect and evoke respect in your future clientele. Remember that timing is everything when calling someone for the first time, so make the most of those initial 15 seconds.
#7. Use a Video in Your Email Outreach
He shares – “An introductory email containing video increases click-through rate by 96%. 72% prefer videos to text marketing. Humanizing your cold emails will set you apart from the crowd, especially because the globe is currently living in a socially disconnected normalcy.
Making movies and sending them to cold emails is the best method to do this. Putting a face to a name not only improves communication, but also builds trust and authenticity.”
We also talked about this more in our guide to email outreach.
#8. Get Straight to the Point
“Make sure to express the aim of your outreach right away, whether you’re cold calling or cold emailing potential prospects. Because your prospects are busy and won’t have time to listen to/read your monologue, don’t waste time.
Because building credibility is crucial to the success of your outbound prospecting, you must find a means to persuade potential prospects that you are a trustworthy and dependable partner.”
#9. Automate Your Outbound Prospecting
Farhan, CEO at Stream Digitally shares “You can speed up your prospecting process by automating it, which allows you to work faster. By mapping out the steps in a sales funnel and then turning those into automated processes that do not need any human interaction whatsoever, this is how you make your life easier.
This way of doing things also reduces stress because there are less conversations to have with different people involved in the business than when employees handle various tasks manually.”
Sean Nguyen, Director of Internet Advisor also informs “a great way to speed up the prospecting process is to automate emails which are sent to sales-ready leads.
In other words, once your leads complete a certain action, there should be an email which is sent to them which further encourages them to make a purchase, use your services, or whatever it is you want them to do.
Automating this process can save you a lot of time when it comes to reaching out to leads, as well as can convert leads closer to the time that they’re interacting your site (essentially helping you to convert more leads).”
Jessica Kats, E-commerce and retail expert at Soxy shares how she automates her prospecting campaigns –
“A number of various softwares have helped automate outbound prospects making it less time-consuming. Leadmine is an example of software that narrows down leads by eliminating fake email addresses. By doing so, my team has an improved and reliable database to lock potential leads.”
In his words – “Overloop is my organization’s ideal choice to automate the outbound prospecting process. I no longer have to manually enter prospective clients’ emails through this automation technology. Overloop enables me to categorize my target audience according to different filters such as age, location and buying habits.
Once I have this information, I can send out personalized emails, which helps boost my conversion rate.”
“During the pandemic, the automation process has been a saving grace for our business. Our sales officers no longer have to manually enter data or go through piles of paperwork to track progress on a potential lead.
With the massive data logging removed, our productivity has skyrocketed.”
But Cake’s trying to take this further so as to prevent employees lose time conducting mundane activities.
“We plan to improve the process by making it employee-exclusive. All employees would need to do would be to enter the client’s name into the portal to find relevant information. This measure would help keep our staff members on their toes and save time performing redundant tasks.”
#10. Make decisions based on data
Alex Baker, Founder & CEO of Survey Examiner suggests – “You need to track your success using analytics to ensure everything is going well. So you may alter your strategy as needed and maximise your outreach efforts.
For example, one lead group may constantly outperform others. Analyzing your data may reveal that your target demographic isn’t as interested in your offer as you imagined. You may also discover that the messages you believed would perform best don’t. So you can write better messages in the future. Observe, learn, and adjust.”
Cindy Corpis, CEO of SearchPeopleFree, a people lookup site also abides by this principles.
In her words –
“I have one group of leads, which thoroughly executes better than other groups. Therefore, upon investigating my analytics, I have learned my thinking for my primary audience, who’re interested in my offer.
My motto for seamless outbound prospecting is observing, learning, and adjusting things. Therefore, I have kept my eyes on the conversion rate, bounce rate, and open and response rate.”
#11. Incorporating Social Proof in Your Outreach is a Great Strategy to Boost Sales
“As a CEO, I would assert that establishing trust is critical to the success of outbound prospecting, you must persuade your prospects that you are a credible and reliable partner. Remember that this may be your prospect’s first exposure to your firm, so they will need to research you online, read reviews, and learn about other people’s experiences.
Of course, this happens later in the process. When your prospect reads your cold email (if it gets to their inbox!) you’ll be one of many trying to sell them something.
And it’s unlikely they’ll dig deeper to discover how you stack up. But you may help yourself (and your prospects) by including social proof, which shows how you helped a similar company reach a goal.”
#12. Make Use of Predictive Analysis to Formulate Your Outbound Prospecting Strategy
Palkita Gautam, Marketing Associate at DataToBiz claims that using predictive data analysis aids in lead interpretation.
She shares – “Predictive analytics uses data correlation to determine how to target a prospect, what channel that prospect prefers, the best time to call, and so on. If you’re trying to answer a business question and have a lot of data to process through, predictive analytics gets you to the observations that matter in a way that produces consistent results.
Predictive analytics has the potential to address three major issues:
- Choosing which account prospects to pursue first
- Identifying the most effective communication channels
- Trying to figure out what to say”
#13. Expedite the Prospecting Process
All outbound prospecting strategies are a numbers’ game. You won’t be to fine-tune your strategy without collecting a ton of data. As such when you are emailing or calling your potential customers, speed is a necessity.
To expedite the prospecting process, the following points should be addressed:
- Using market segmentation, identify your most appealing markets.
- Create a set of clear, value-based hypotheses to guide the segmentation.
- Create customer insights and data.
- Analyze data to classify customers into Ideal Customer Profiles or ICPs.
- Evaluate the appeal of each segment.
- Look for leads in each micro-segment.
There are numerous tools available to aid in the speeding up of processes, data analysis, and automation. Some of them are listed below:
Sales Intelligence Tools
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Contact information tool
#14. Focus on Your Client Needs
Seth Price, Founding Partner of Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers shares “One of the most beneficial things we’ve done for our prospecting process (both improving the speed of the process and the success rate) is focusing on client needs. When you focus on your clients’ needs, you avoid falling into the not-so-great marketing method of telling your customers “how great” your brand is.
Instead, you’ll see what they want out of a brand like yours and will focus on sending out more valuable content that meets their needs. This is a key aspect of creating successful marketing campaigns and improving the prospecting process altogether. It’ll allow you to view your brand from your clients’ perspectives and therefore create a process, which actually appeals to them.”
#15. Use Various Channels for Formulating Your Outbound Prospecting Strategy
Ryan Yount, founder of LuckLuckGo, a software company for GPS protection tools had faced one of his biggest misgivings of outbound prospecting by using the wrong communication channel. He advises that understanding what channel or medium best works for your prospect is key for any outbound prospecting strategy as it creates room for improvement and customization.
It also helps you in personalizing your outreach in your prospecting strategy to a much deeper level and can get you more sales at much more valued price levels.
Ryan shares – “No two customers are the same. Know the specific needs and values of an individual customer. It helps you come up with a pitch tailored for them.
Collect the information through social media platforms and their websites.”
#16. Show the value of your Product or Service.
After you are done making the initial contact, providing value to your customers and personalizing your outreach, you can now go for the sale.
But, to do a sales outreach, you need to first show value of your product or service.
“A prospect listens to whoever will solve their problem. It is essential to go straight to the point. Sell what the service or product will achieve and not the product’s features. They will always want something that works for them.”.
#17. Use the Consultative Selling Methodology
Cake Loken (check section #9) also uses the consultative selling methodology when prospecting or engaging in sales.
The consultative selling methodology puts the focus back onto the potential customer wherein your main goal is always to ensure that the customer gets the most value possible.
He first identifies the issues that his product can help solve for his respective target audience. He makes curated content to create a sense of trust with his target audience.
Then, he opts for consultative selling methodology, which allows him to solve a problem through the product. Consumers are much more likely to choose a brand that they can relate to before making the purchase decision as it allows them to feel comfortable.
Side Note: Ahrefs also uses this process in most of their marketing material.
#18. Emails Work Best in Outbound Prospecting
Calls are just too obtrusive nowadays. Of course, emails have a lesser attention catching potential but with a call, you just attract negative attention.
No one, and I repeat, no one likes being sold to via a call. While I am not advocating for completely switching out phone prospecting but you might offer email a greater play in your outreach strategy.
Cindy Corpis also feels the same way. She says –
“Email is the best-in-class channel to engage all the qualified leads you gathered. 31% of marketers [feel] it’s the one-stop channel to foster leads.
Therefore, to write an attractive email for nurturing leads, I have started using email-finding emails, which have been assisting me in building a great email list. In brief, it helps save my plethora of time.”
I know what you are thinking – LinkedIn’s a great alternative too. Yes, it is, but it works best when used with everemail marketing and not as an alternative to it.
That’s why as soon as you start a business, you must focus on building a list.
#19. Using a Script is a Must-Have Strategy When Conducting Outbound Prospecting
Jaya Aiyar, Founder & CEO at Créatif and Créatif Franchise suggests a strategy of using a script for your outbound prospecting campaigns.
In her words – “This may sound negative, but it is not because you will be using the script with not every prospect. You will use the script as a guide, so you will not have to create a brand new script from scratch every time.”
#20. Be Consistent in Your Prospecting
Jaya also advises – “It may not be easy, but it is the most important part of sales because it is where everything starts.
Devote at least 2 hours per day for prospecting from 2 pm to 4 pm until it becomes a routine.”
#21. Do not Sell
This may be contradicting because the main reason for prospecting is making a sale. Do not strip it off of its goal but focus on creating a good impression and do whatever you can to make your lead feel like a good match.
Most of your potential prospects do not know they need a product. Without selling the product, emphasize on their needs, make the need stronger until they realize it’s a potent issue and they need to do something about it.
Then just offer several products / services but ensure that you enable them to understand how your product or service is superior.
#22. Outbound and Inbound Must Work Together
Let’s be clear outbound prospecting is one side of the puzzle. But, it does not operate in vacuum.
You need to patch it up with consistent inbound marketing efforts.
“Digital marketing has helped my business grow and has allowed me to expand my product catalog. To improve prospecting, my business is working on a consistent brand image that is audience-centered. Customers buy things they can relate to, so we highlight our products’ cultural significance through social media.”
“Digital marketing is the easiest way to automate prospecting. However, maintaining a brand image on digital media is essential for automating customer acquisition and retention. After identifying your target market, you can reach the customers through social media ads, influencers, and promotional emails.”
Sam Cohen, the CMO at myfreeOCR.com also attests to this –
“We use a mix of outbound prospecting and inbound prospecting. Inbound is more like traditional marketing where we pull people in via marketing. Outbound is the more tedious and time-consuming stuff. People don’t know that you exist so it’s your job to get their attention. We do this by sending out personalized emails to our prospects every day.
We try to build a relationship with them and show them how our service will be helpful to them. Then we have a team that contacts these prospects on the phone.
We have different ways of contacting, but we have a large database of prospects all over the country that we are contacting.”
Resources on Inbound Marketing:
- What is Domain Authority and How to Increase it
- An Introduction to Link Building: The Beginner’s Guide
- Link Building Advanced Guide: How to Build Backlinks at Scale
- Guest Posting: The Complete Guide
- How to Use HARO to Build Links and Your Brand
#2. Social Media Marketing
- How to Improve Your Twitter Follower Count and Monetize It
- How to 10x Your Instagram Follower Count and Engagement Rates
- Instagram Reels for Small Businesses: Why It’s a Must Use?
- How to Get More Views on Your Instagram Reels
#3. List Building
#4. Other forms of Inbound Marketing
- 5 PPC Ad Fundamentals Every Business Must Use
- 7 Influencer Marketing Campaigns You Can Learn From
- How to Create an Infographic that People Actually Want to Share
#23. Don’t Just Use the Same Template Again and Again
Please don’t fixate on some template that you get on the Internet. If you see it and use it, be sure that there are others using it too.
And, it doesn’t take long for your prospective customers to see through these common templates that land in their inbox.
You can use templates however. Just be sure to A/B test them every week and change them if they perform poorly.
Wrapping It Up
Prospecting is important for any and all business. But, since it is so common, it is important that your outreach doesn’t come across as spam.
Ensure you provide an option for your recipients to unsubscribe from your emails, so as to be compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. Ensure that the data you collect from your customers is compliant with GDPR or if your business is in India, then with the IT Act and its regulations.
And finally, for a next read, feel free to check out our guide on legalities affecting marketers in the US.
If you have any questions, let it down in the comments. We’ll get back to them.
Also, share this post around in your organization so that your team can also improve their outbound prospecting strategy.