Win the best customers for your small business with these outbound sales tactics.
Winning in business is all about winning in sales. To get new opportunities, you have to constantly fill your sales pipeline with high-quality leads.
According to a recent report by Hubspot, 34% of B2B marketers say generating more leads is their top priority for 2021, while only 14% are concerned with closing more deals. This means for the majority of respondents, winning a sale is less of a challenge than finding a qualified prospect to make that sale happen.
On average, seven out of ten B2B leads in a sales pipeline aren’t ready to purchase without some form of encouragement. So the question is: How do you define that exact prospect you truly want to focus on instead of spending time pursuing potentially unqualified leads?
The answer is outbound sales. Outbound channels—specifically cold emails, calls, and social outreach—have demonstrated great efficiency at the top—as well as the bottom—of the sales funnel, delivering impressive results within a short time.
Before diving deeper into how outbound sales can help you close more deals, let’s first understand who makes the best customer for your business.
Depending on your business goals and what you want to accomplish, you can define your best customer based on expected future outcomes. In the next sections, we discuss the four aspects targeted by most companies.
This category includes those aspirational clients you’ve wanted to attract for years. Usually, these clients are industry trendsetters with well-known names and large media coverage. These are the companies you show off in your case study section or feature on the homepage of your website.
Winning a customer with a highly recognizable brand makes you more desirable to at least a dozen other companies that follow big names and famous logos.
Outbound sales enables you to target any company, so you may as well work with those that can be leveraged beyond a single deal. In addition to social proof in future marketing efforts, discriminating clients signal high quality to other similar companies.
For many businesses, winning the best customer equals aiming at those with the biggest need and/or budget. This may also correlate to the biggest companies with the highest stakes. Getting a sale with a high average contract value (ACV) means making more profit while investing less in the sales process. That’s why, for many companies, closing a big deal is the jackpot that defines their ideal customer.
Of note—it’s usually just as much work to deliver large ACV deals as small ones.
In the B2B world, the word “best” means your time is spent most efficiently, bringing equal benefits to both parties in the sales process. Therefore, winning the best customer means bagging a mutually beneficial deal with “lookalike” companies that will see the same benefits of adopting your product or service.
You’ll also likely have brand recognition with the target company, which can result in more relevancy and greater opportunity conversion, especially if company objectives are similar. This can be the best customer from a certain industry, the best customer selling a certain product, the best customer with a perfect rate fit… And each of these scenarios has a greater likelihood of relevance to other companies just like them.
Businesses fear surprises, especially in sales. That’s why for many companies, the best go-to-market plan is consistency with a regular workflow, predictable revenue, and a developed formula for opening sales conversations. A constant flow of appointments with ideal customers is the best way to hit your sales quotas.
Overall, well-run outbound programs offer the kind of regularity, consistency, and predictability that sales leaders crave.
Now that you know which client you want to win, let’s figure out how to achieve that. While most inbound tactics suggest you wait until the perfect prospect comes around organically, outbound sales is all about immediate, yet well-thought-out actions.
To apply outbound strategies successfully and get the right deal, this collaboration should be relevant not only for you but also for the other side of the business engagement. To help gain relevance and provoke interest in your services, ask yourself these five essential questions:
Do you know precisely who you’re targeting? Before having any sales interaction, make sure each prospect fits your business needs. A simple tip to avoid wasting time on unqualified leads is to build a strong customer profile and buyer persona to create the most vivid image of what your best customers look like and where to find them.
Answering questions like “Which industry do your best customers belong to?”, “Who are the decision-makers?”, and “Which business communication channels do they use the most?” will help you build a successful outbound sales strategy for the future.
Also relevant to most would-be buyers is the question, “Why me?” Answering this seemingly simple question on behalf of your prospects before you start prospecting them will help your campaigns immensely.
The very first sales message you send to your prospects might provoke more questions than answers: Why me? Why now? Why should I care? Your task at this stage is to convince your potential customers that you have contacted them for a reason and you have something unique to offer.
But remember that instead of self-involved, salesy pitches, you have to create messages that are relevant, that will resonate with the prospect’s needs and values. Add personalization to make your prospect feel special and desirable. Be honest and open for future dialogue as well as ready to overcome objections and hesitations.
Counterintuitively, objections are often great conversation starters, as they show a depth of thought and consideration of a prospect’s environment, circumstance, or current status quo.
Obviously, the question of what you offer is as relevant to your future prospects as is creating an appropriate messaging style. Your sales strategy and marketing efforts will fall flat if you don’t have a good product or service. Define and narrow the unique strengths of your product or service so you don’t miss a chance to introduce them in conversations with prospects.
You may find it surprising, but never lead your conversations with this question, as there’s a strong tendency to be selfish, to talk (endlessly) only about one’s own products or services. Instead, fight this urge and realize that the best occasion to begin talking about your offering is after leading with the prospect. This will make your offering more effective, as it won’t seem (totally) self-serving and will have a natural give-and-take sequencing toward generating interest.
At this stage, you need to figure out how to deliver your messaging to prospects. Outbound sales offers various channels to reach out to prospects: email, cold calling, pre-targeted ads, LinkedIn messages, snail mail, and more. For better outreach, we suggest you use multiple channels simultaneously.
Known as multichannel orchestrated outbound, this approach uses all available channels at the right time for the right purpose, making a stronger impact on a prospect’s vision of your product and establishing a deeper connection with you.
It’s worth noting that all channels are not created equal, nor is a prospect’s attention divided accordingly. As such, multichannel strategies diversify risk and increase the likelihood of actually engaging a prospect.
There are lots of “wheres” to answer in sales: Where will you communicate with your future client? Where should they use your product? Where can they find you if they need immediate support?
But in outbound sales, the biggest “where” to focus on starts in the mind.
Trust that in successful outbound campaigns, there is always a rhythm to generating interest. The one-call close is extraordinarily rare in B2B sales; treat it as such. The battle for attention is fought mainly through familiarity, relevance, and curiosity. Build familiarity through direct response outreach, establish relevance with your prospects, and then watch their curiosity lead them into a sales cycle with your company.
The last question we haven’t covered just yet is “When should you start?” The simple answer is, “The sooner the better!” Considering that the average B2B sales cycle takes at least three months, if you start today, you’re building sales opportunities for your business in January 2022.
In sum, you can use outbound tactics to:
- Produce better, more targeted deals
- Help your sales team consistently close more deals
- Create a strong sales pipeline and future stream of success
So, make yourself a New Year’s resolution to start filling up your sales funnel with high-quality leads immediately using outbound.