It doesn't matter if you run a SaaS business or sell financial services online. Outbound sales is an indispensable element of running a successful business. Building an outbound sales team by recruiting the right people and training them is a suitable investment towards the organization's future. However, that's not it. While you might have a precise plan for whom you want to recruit and how you want to train them, there are a few areas that you might overlook.

Your outbound sales team is helpless unless they have access to the right tools. Almost 85% of the top sales leaders have agreed that tools are a key factor in gaining sales success. The other area which often takes a backseat, in the long run, is training. Training is necessary, but if it's a one-time thing, then the lessons don't last long. 84% of the initial training gets lost within 90 days. Therefore, keep discussing the latest tips and strategies with your team so that they're in line with the current sales trend.

In this page, we will be uncovering the above two concern areas in detail. However, before we get serious, let's also discuss outbound sales and how it's different from inbound sales.

outbound sales prospecting

What is outbound sales prospecting?

Outbound sales is a continuous process of reaching out to potential customers using different mediums and tools. In simple terms, a sales representative tries multiple sales channels to create a list of prospects and communicate with them through cold calling, emails, or social media. 

Outbound sales is a challenging task as much persuasion is required to convert a prospect into a customer. However, outbound sales is still an effective way of attracting more customers and talking to them. It has been observed that 9% of the outbound calls result in a prospective client conversation. 

Outbound sales strategy might indeed have a low success rate as you target a large set of audiences. However, the proactive approach allows you to control better how you want to navigate the process. 

Difference between inbound and outbound sales prospecting

Companies cannot rely only on outbound sales to convert more prospects into customers. They need a lead generation machine so that a prospect can easily spot them, fill in a demo request form, or initiate a chat conversation. This is what we call inbound sales. Instead of your sales team making outbound calls and emails, your prospective clientele show interest in your product and express willingness towards buying your product or service. 

This was just the trailer of what inbound sales is. To get a better understanding of this concept, let's compare inbound and outbound sales and find out the three top differences between them:

outbound sales prospecting

What are the tools for Outbound Sales Prospecting?


We talked about tools getting overlooked by companies who rely on outbound sales? Now is the time to take that problem head-on, and find out what are the different tools that are most commonly used by the sales team. This comprehensive list will be a great guide about the types of tools that will be the best for your company, and your sales team. 

1. Telephony software

 

A telephony software is a modern phone system for your sales team. When it comes to outbound sales, your sales team heavily relies on phone calls to connect with prospective clients. However, with multiple conversations happening simultaneously, it's easy to lose track and miss out on vital information. 

A telephony software helps you set up a full-fledged call centre that can manage your voicemails, auto-route calls so that your sales team can immediately attend inbound calls, integrate with your CRM software, and also give you a supervisor control to monitor each conversation. 

telephony software outbound sales prospecting

Advantages of using a telephony software

  • The accessibility is high because it uses an internet connection, and not traditional phone lines
  • You can have more control over the conversations as you can monitor all of them telephony software is more cost-effective because you get access to a host of services once you pay for it

Disadvantages of using a telephony software

  • If the internet connection is broken, your entire system can come to a halt
  • There can be latency issues like lag or delay in voice response
  • Your salespeople have to juggle between your database and telephony software

2. Email automation software

 

Imagine your sales team is planning to send cold emails to a list of potential customers. The typical way of doing this is by writing the email content and then copying +pasting the content every time they email the customers. This activity is time-consuming, error-prone, and less productive. Email automation software can get this done with great simplicity. 

This tool automates sending emails to customers based on a set of rules decided by you. If you want to send an introductory email only to those prospects who have interacted not more than once, then you can create a rule in email automation software. It will automatically identify the customers and trigger the email. You don't have to sort the list manually or worry about copying + pasting the content every time. 

Email automation is a popular tool, and it's the highest adopted marketing technology by companies.

outbound sales prospecting

Advantages of using email automation software

  • Your sales team can save a lot of time
  • It's more productive as your team get enough time to focus on other tasks
  • You can have more detailed reporting which will help you gain sharp insights

Disadvantages of using email automation software

  • It can take away personalization from the emails
  • There are high chances of your email ending in the spam inbox of your prospective customers
  • Your sales and marketing teams lose important leads while shuttling between email automation software, database and other software

3. Social tools

Nowadays, almost everyone is on social media. It has become a hot market for sales teams to look out for prospects and build relationships with them. This has led to the birth of a new term called "social selling." With the growth in social media platforms, social selling has become an integral part of the outbound sales process. 

This has been very effective for B2B and B2C companies as social selling generates 38% more opportunities than traditional selling. However, social selling becomes a lot more effective when you know which social media platform your target market is predominantly using. Being present everywhere might not give you the best results as your teams' efforts will be split between different social media platforms. 

Social tools help your sales team to track and manage their social media outreach activities. They can schedule posts with social tools, and also keep an eye on how prospects are engaging with the content.

outbound sales prospecting

Advantages of using social tools

  • It helps the sales team to centralize social selling activities at one place
  • The automation part of it can help your team to become more productive
  • It saves time from juggling between different platforms to check the performance of outreach

Disadvantages of using social tools

  • It can get expensive if you have a big team
  • It will take some time for your sales team to get accustomed to the tool
  • Tracking leads can get difficult

4. Excel spreadsheet

Excel spreadsheets have a special relationship with the sales team. Long before CRM software took over the market by storm, salespersons were mostly dependent on spreadsheets to maintain, track and follow-up on their prospecting activities. Modern-day CRM software has automated many tasks, but keeping a spreadsheet-like monthly sales forecast template pinned to the working board will help the sales team track their monthly targets.

Advantages of using a spreadsheet
  • It's easy to train the staff with basic spreadsheet functionalities
  • They can be shared with the team, which means everyone can collaborate
  • As compared to CRM software, a spreadsheet is accessible on the company budget

Disadvantages of using a spreadsheet

  • It's highly manual in nature, no time left for selling
  • The authenticity of the data is questionable
  • Reporting using spreadsheets can give nightmare to the sales team
  • Leads to misalignment of teams due to scattered data

5. Screen recording tools 

Screen recording tools are an excellent resource for your sales team to create videos easily and quickly. A screen recorder tool helps the user record the screen and make a video simultaneously. This means a sales representative can record their screen to give a quick demonstration of how the product works, capture their own face with a webcam, and speak along with the recording — all at one go.

With these videos, salespersons can add more personalization to their cold emails. It's also a great way to stand out from the competition because your prospects are used to getting traditional cold emails in their inbox. As they can see the sales representative in a screen recording video, it can build more trust and encourage them to initiate a conversation with your team.

screen recording tools

Advantages of using a screen recording tool

  • It's the easiest way to create videos
  • It's cost-effective as a lot of screen recording tools provide great benefits in their free plan
  • No training required. In spite of being a video tool, you don't have to shell out extra dollars to teach your sales team how to use it

Disadvantages of using a screen recording tool

  • A few screen recording tools have limited editing options. However, this is not the case with all the tools

6. CRM software

We saved the best for the last. CRM software is like the mothership of all the tools that are frequently used by the sales team for outbound activities. Your emails, calls, social tools and even sales dashboards can be centralized using CRM software. This means it becomes a unified solution for your sales and marketing teams. 

CRM software has decluttered the whole system by streamlining the entire process. Right from the point when your sales and marketing teams identify a prospect till the time you close the deal, CRM software tracks all the activities. Instead of switching between different tools, your sales team will get a clear picture of working by just logging in to the software. Your sales team and even your marketing team can also use a unified CRM that provides 360-degree visibility into leads and customers to engage in marketing campaigns and generate top-of-the-funnel leads. 

Due to this effect of the CRM software, more than 90% of the businesses with more than 10 employees use CRM software. Therefore, it has become crucial for businesses to club their outbound sales with CRM software to stay relevant in the market.

outbound sales prospecting

Advantages of using CRM software

  • It centralizes the whole process avoiding your team from going back and forth
  • Customer information can be accessed by everyone, which makes it highly collaborative
  • Your communication and engagement with customers improve over the time
  • A single unified CRM software that becomes your customer engagement tool storing customer data and providing email, chat, phone features for sales and marketing
  • Data visibility is high, so the reporting is to the point and trustworthy
  • With automation, a higher efficiency can be achieved in outbound sales

Disadvantages of using CRM software

  • Lack of leadership in the management team can cause CRM software to fail
  • CRM adoption can be a problem if all teams do not use it uniformly

Tips for Outbound sales prospecting strategies 

 

Now that we're clear with the list of the best tools that your sales team can use for outbound sales prospecting let's now look into the other aspect of how they can use simple sales strategies to net more sales.

Personalize the message

In the current times, when every company is vying for the attention of the customers, this strategy trumps above all. A personalized message screams for attention. 72% of the customers admitted that they engage with only personalized messages. 

This means that if your team spends time understanding a prospect's behavior and then customizing the email content, there is a higher chance of getting a reply. This works even better if you use a video like a screen recording because that takes the tedium of writing long emails and relieving your customers from the pain of reading it.    

Understand the buyer

Not every buyer is the same. How a buyer will behave the first time they interact with you depends on several factors like their demographics, objectives and challenges. To handle this diverse group of customers, it is essential to create buyer personas. A buyer persona is a group of people that show similar characteristics and behavior patterns. A sales representative can use these personas to run region-specific outbound sales activities. 

But its not enough if you just have your ideal persona in mind. You need to understand your prospect behaviour to connect the dots. Using a CRM that collects and track interactions with prospects and analyzes their behavior in your product and website helps you be contextual. A CRM that ranks your leads according to their probability to engage with you will also help sharpen your outbound sales prospecting. 

Have a strong selling proposition

A selling proposition is a unique factor about your business that differentiates you from your competition. Customers have become very specific about their needs. They realize that they're at a commanding position and have the final say about which product or service they want to use. With so much information available online, an average customer spends 79 days researching before making the final call.

This is great for customers, but for businesses who already function in a very competitive environment, this calls for having a clear sales proposition. Although there is no straightforward formula to decide a sales proposition, as a thumb rule, it should be clear, concise, and tell the customer exactly how the product or service will benefit them in the long run. 

Don't lose time drafting quotes

Once your prospect starts taking an interest in your product, the next step is to start sharing documents with them. This sounds like it's easy to handle document requests; however, when you consider the fact that different customers can ask for different documents, things start getting difficult. Here's where CPQ - Configure, Price, Quote comes in the picture.

The concept of CPQ is that you maintain an inventory of the most frequently asked documents like product catalog, price quotes, invoices, onboarding documents, and more. CPQ works even better with CRM software. All you have to do is create a database of documents in the CRM software, configure a setting so that the pricing gets auto-updated and a quote gets generated automatically. This means your sales team doesn't have to run to their managers every time to approve a customer quote. They can get it done easily right within the CRM software.

 

Track performance metrics and close deals quickly

Running an email campaign, undertaking social media outreach, and having a well-established cold calling strategy is great, but if you don't have a strategy on how to track performance, then all your activities can turn out to be a fool's errand. Your reporting standards have to be high so that it's easy to monitor if things are going as planned. 

It can get overwhelming looking at all the numbers and analyzing them for decision-making. With Freshworks CRM’s robust analytics functionality, make data-driven decisions effortlessly, and improve your sales teams’ success rate. Right from monitoring leads’ website behavior to gauging the success of your marketing campaigns, deal insights, sales activities, etc., stay on top of your teams’ performance with visual reports and dashboards. Loaded with ready-to-use report templates, creating a sales report has never been simpler.

Wrapping Up

Alright, so that was it - the top tools and strategies that you can follow to add spark to your outbound sales prospecting. However, before you plan to invest on a new tool or implement any of the above strategies, make sure that you have a clear understanding of the difference between inbound and outbound sales. If you’re starting new this is where you need to spend some time understanding the concept.

Once you’re through with the above, you can start figuring out different tools that your sales team can use to make their outbound sales process smoother. And, while you’re at it, use your hands on different strategies that will help you to make the process sharper.

Using different tools and experiments will go a long way in developing a rock-hard outbound sales strategy for your business.