Outbound lead generation is very much alive and well, and it’s still a valuable part of any marketing strategy. Just because inbound is new and effective doesn’t mean everything about outbound is old and ineffective. But which will help you generate more leads?
It depends …
Outbound Lead Generation vs. Inbound Lead Generation
Outbound lead generation is the process of sending your messages to a target audience regardless of whether they have expressed interest in the content or not. This refers to marketing tactics that disrupt our daily routines — messages on signs, buses, billboards, TV shows, as well as cold calls and emails, to name a few.
With inbound, growing a following can take a long time. It requires you to publish relevant and valuable content on a regular basis while earning quality backlinks and building relationships with influencers. It’s difficult to do even with a roadmap, and it takes a lot of resources to get right.
Why Do You Need Outbound Lead Gen — Why Does It Matter?
For the strongest B2B growth, a mix of outbound and inbound in your business strategy is vital. Outbound lead generation can help you with a few things:
Build Awareness Quickly
Tools from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google allow businesses to target potential customers with pinpoint accuracy. Reach prospects based on the sites they visit, the behaviors they exhibit, and even their life events.
Attract New Business With Prospect Profiling
The trick to succeeding with cold outreach is that it can’t be truly cold. Prospect profiling is key for both inbound and outbound lead generation strategies — to make a sale, you need to have an understanding of who you are selling to. This allows you to create more specific and tailored content to attract the right people to your site.
Outbound lead generation can provide clarity on:
- The existing interest for your product or service
- The information about your product or service that resonates most clearly
- Feedback from prospects to shape your brand profile and personality
- Will give an idea of the usability and quality of your product, service, or offering
5-Step Guide to Building Your Outbound Lead Generation Strategy
Step 1: Identify or Develop Your Sales Team
- Select passionate, motivated, and talented individuals with proven business development experience who can grow with the team and company
- Establish key performance indicators — these will keep the team focused on delivering results
Step 2: Document Your Sales Process
- Create a document on your company’s sales process that gives your sales professionals everything they need to be successful
- Develop sales processes to streamline your workflow and ensure every sales rep is providing a consistent experience to customers
Step 3: Determine Your Target Audiences
- Develop a list of demographic and psychographic traits shared by a business’s typical customers
- Determine your target audience by performing research on the competition and examining historical data and trends
- Create a breakdown of demographics and behaviors shared by your usual clientele
Step 4: Create Sales Scripts and SOPs
- Scripts keep the messaging focused and concise
- Test variations of sales scripts in parallel to see which one delivers results
- Scripts and SOPs make training and onboarding much easier
Step 5: Follow Outbound Lead Generation Tactics
Our sales team here at Uhuru uses LinkedIn outreach by implementing an account-based sales approach. Here is an example of a LinkedIn workflow we have used:
- Touch 1: Intro Email or InMail
- Explain your intent — to explore ways the target can exceed sales KPIs or productivity goals
- Touch 2: Follow-Up InMail
- Remind them of your intro email or InMail
- Touch 3: Email
- Send an infographic about the causes of a sales performance slump
- Touch 4: Follow-Up Email
- Send a whitepaper about the ideal CRM setup
- Touch 5: Phone
- Discovery call
- Touch 6: Social Media
- Share an article and tag the prospect
- Touch 7: Video Email
- Benefits of cloud-based CRM
- Touch 8: Social Media
- Engage with prospects on LinkedIn
- Touch 9: Voice Mail
- Check in to see if the prospect has questions about the resources
- Touch 10: Email
- Have your director send an email: this can improve response rates by 45%
- Touch 11: Phone or Email
- Book a meeting
Outbound Lead Generation Best Practices
Use the Right Tools
If you don’t have a good contact or customer relationship management system, you’ll struggle to scale your outreach and sales processes.
Documented Sales Processes and Scripts
Sales processes and scripts streamline your workflow and ensure every sales rep is providing a consistent experience to customers.
Review and Measure the Data
You have to see what’s working and what’s not; you can only do this by reviewing and measuring your data. Go back and review your email open rates, click rates, booked call rates, or any other metrics tied to your marketing plan.
Cold Calling Isn’t Dead …
… just make sure it’s not completely cold. Do your research before calling.
Use Personalized Cold Emails
Write with a particular person in mind. Your email list should be highly relevant to your offer and your emails must have personalized, relevant, and genuine messaging.
Content syndication is all about getting your best content in front of the right people. Provide value and start a conversation with the prospect.
LinkedIn is a great place for B2B marketers to generate leads. It’s the most popular place for B2B decision-makers to spend their time.
The Power of Referrals
Put your following to work for you. Referrals from existing customers can be a huge source of new business.
Outbound lead generation may not be the be-all-end-all that it was before the internet, but it is still a critical part of any well-developed marketing strategy. It can be a valuable source of information, prospects, and new business for your company.
If you’re a healthcare company that is considering working with a dedicated marketing agency, we recommend downloading our free e-book Seven Questions To Ask When You’re Evaluating a Healthcare Marketing Agency to help you navigate the conversation and know what to look for in a partnership.