No one in your organization likes depending on an outbound sales strategy. It’s not that the task is inherently difficult (it’s not), but the challenge lies in seeing positive results. It’s challenging to capture a prospect’s attention when they get an onslaught of emails to their inboxes every single day. Then, once you have their attention, you must briefly and eloquently differentiate yourself from the other vendors. Plus, it feels vulnerable to pitch to prospects through cold calling, social selling, or email marketing. The success rate is low and the burnout rate is high.
Below, the experts at Winmo have outlined some of the most common outbound sales mistakes. Remember, you’re not alone — this strategy is difficult across organizations and industries. Find out what you may be doing wrong and how to make it right.
1. You’re using obsolete data
When you’re juggling time, expenses, employees, and goals, it can be easy to ignore data quality in order to put out more immediate fires. As a result, businesses often start their outbound campaigns with an inaccurate marketing list and an unorganized prospecting database. This means opening up with a round of “Who are you and do you exist?” calls which waste time on already low-quality leads.
How to improve your outbound sales: Your prospect database should be complete, fresh, and constantly updated, either with help from sales intelligence tools or through your own thorough research. Organize data through proper segmentation with properly defined fields. Even schedule department-wide cleanups on a quarterly or monthly basis.
2. You only call prospects once
This is a common problem for sales teams that haven’t developed or documented a repeatable outbound process. Or those that don’t have time to build out 7-15 touchpoints. Today, contacting prospects more than once is not only okay, but is necessary to attract and engage profitable leads. To be clear, this doesn’t mean calling the same person over and over again or bugging someone to the point that you become a stage-five clinger.
How to improve your outbound sales: Be thorough in your response… Remind of both your first call and why you’re calling. This means going back to your initial cold call and reminding them of the “pain” or the “gain” that you presented or hinted at in your previous call. Like you, your prospects are busy, they forge, or the urgency of your need does not meet there’s.
Pro tip: Utilize a system of alerts to get notified when your prospect is featured in a news article, has a new hire or gets a new round of funding – use this to fuel your touchpoints and personalize outreach that gets a response.
3. You’re not filtering leads
If collecting customer data isn’t your problem, filtering that data might be.
How to improve your outbound sales: Today’s CRM systems and sales tools include many options to filter leads based on specific factors and scoring metrics. This helps you and your team prioritize the most qualified leads and maximize profitability. Plus, digging through a huge number of prospects can be taxing. That’s why you can use filters to narrow down your list and easily find the prospects you’re looking for. Aside from being a time-saver, using filters can also help you find your prospects more accurately than doing it manually.
4. You don’t have a training program
Does your sales team know what to say to prospective clients to effectively engage them in profitable conversations? Do they know what not to say? Outbound marketing contact and lead management is often based on skill sets. If you aren’t seeing the results you need, your sales team may benefit from additional coaching. Ongoing training on consistent brand messaging and effective selling techniques is very important for maximizing productivity and profitability.
How to improve your outbound sales: Many people will have opinions on what salespeople should know and which skills they should use, but the most important stakeholders are first-level sales managers and sales executives. They manage talent acquisition and development to achieve sales targets. And managers will know firsthand which knowledge and skills their ramping and ramped reps need to be able to achieve their goals, which will involve continuous assessment, coaching, and development.
5. You aren’t monitoring your competitors
If your outbound campaign is failing, you could be playing right into your competitors’ hands.
How to improve your outbound sales: Keep a constant pulse on their sales and marketing strategies to make sure you aren’t getting outplayed when it comes to value proposition and differentiators. Also, keep in mind that discounting or undercutting the price of your own product to beat competitors is only going to hurt your company in the long run.