You have created a great product that you know your customers are going to love. You spent hours on end for months, ideating, prototyping, creating, and refining your product, and it has finally taken the shape that you always wanted it to take. All that remains now is getting the product in the hands of the customer and checking how much they like it.
But, how do you do that?
There is a reason that the sales department can often be the backbone of a company. Once all of the R&D work has been done and the product is refined to a marketable form, it is the sales department that helps you get your first customers.
In the sales department itself, inbound and outbound sales are two tactics that are frequently used. The inbound vs outbound sales argument is not new to anybody. Here, we shall talk about outbound sales and attempt to answer the question - what is outbound sales, and how do you get started?
What Is Outbound Sales?
Simply put, outbound sales is a type of sales activity in which the sales approach originates from the vendor's end. In this, the sales representatives of your company make calls to prospective leads to pitch your product and convert them into prospective buyers.
In modern times, making calls has turned into sending emails or even sending messages through instant messaging apps. The 'outbound' feature of outbound sales prospecting techniques represents the idea of you going to the lead instead of vice versa. This is the mean feature of outbound sales that differentiates it from inbound sales.
The Advantages Of Outbound Sales
Companies generally don't opt for just one among inbound and outbound sales. Their sales strategy is a combination of both these methods. However, outbound sales does provide several advantages over its inbound counterpart. The following is a list of a few of them.
- Outreach using outbound sales techniques is highly targetted toward prospective leads and has a greater chance of success.
- Outbound sales agents receive immediate feedback on their approach, and the lead time between the outreach and the result is generally small.
- Outbound sales agents can possibly create a positive rapport with customers due to personal outreach, increasing the chances of conversion.
- The pace of marketing is controlled completely by the company and its sales agents.
Getting Started With Outbound Sales
The outbound sales process can suffer from some teething issues if you are just getting started with it. Here are some outbound sales tips for your initial days in the process.
1. Identify Your Market
Even before you make your first call, you need to spend some time identifying who your prospective customers are. What type of company do they belong to? Is it a small or a large company? What field is your client a part of? Only once you have made these determinations can you proceed with the rest of the process. Defining your client allows you to restrict yourself to a group of prospective customers that have a high chance of conversion. Previous studies have shown that sales teams that restrict themselves to a few industries have a significantly higher conversion rate than those that look to diversify.
2. Establish A Hypothesis
A hypothesis isn't to be restricted to statistical analyses and research studies. Hypotheses in sales teams allow you to determine the prospective reasons that a client might want to use your services. You can list out all the positive points of the service or product you are offering for your reference. Once you have defined a prospective client, try to determine why your product can benefit this client. Do this for clients from different industries and backgrounds. This will help you in pitching your product to different types of clients during outbound sales calls.
3. Generate Customer Data
Before you start making calls, it is important to collect all the customer data you have. Try and analyze this data to answer different questions. What is the average customer profile? What is the profile of a return customer? What are the reasons that a customer returns? Conduct a detailed data analysis of your database and form insights out of it. These insights will allow you to score prospective leads and determine which lead has a greater chance of conversion.
4. Segment Your Market
Make a list of the different markets that you are targeting. Now, segment each of these markets based on certain criteria. The most common criteria for market segmentation are needs-based, value-based, and firmographic. However, you can create your own criteria for segmentation. Segmentation allows you to create a separate marketing and sales strategy for different types of customers in the same domain.
5. Score Your Segments
After you have segmented your market, you must look at the size of each segment. Which of these segments is more lucrative? What is the quality of each segment, and the best way of outreach to prospective clients in it? How much is this segment likely to grow in the future? Depending on the answers to these questions, you can prioritize these segments, which will eventually aid you during the outbound sales process.
6. Focus Your Messaging
Once you have segmented your markets and generated your leads, it is time to focus on messaging. Customize your message for each segment or micro-segment to the greatest extent possible. An important part of sales prospecting techniques is making the prospective client feel special, and that the mail or call is meant specifically for them and is not cold.
Outbound sales is no magic wand - it works well only if your product is great, your marketing effective, and your sales team competent. If done well, the outbound sales process can increase your lead generation capabilities significantly. The above information can help you in understanding the nitty-gritty of outbound sales. The strategies mentioned are bound to help you in ensuring an effective outbound sales experience and result in higher lead generation.
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