Our top tips to boost your outbound lead generation in 2021
The strategy you choose (who to call, what product/service to promote, which benefits to focus on and what outcomes you are seeking) can make or break the success of your outbound lead generation programme in the months and potentially years ahead. Success will depend on expertise and numbers: your team need to speak with as many relevant prospects as possible and expertly communicate your products and services to them. If successful, they’ll build a sales pipeline that will keep you well ahead of your competitors and will result in solid growth in 2021 and beyond.
Research conducted in 2019 highlighted that 41.2% of respondents found the humble telephone to be the most effective sales tool at their disposal. Outbound sales drove a huge 55% of the sales leads in companies who used this as a specific strategy, compared with just 27% generated by inbound. That sounds like a great reason to get an outbound sales campaign up and running, but where should you begin?
Here are our top 10 tips to boost your outbound lead generation in the coming year:
- Is your CRM holding you back? This is a common stumbling block for clients. Often, we discover that a client’s sales team struggles to work with their chosen CRM. It often isn’t particularly user friendly, or it lacks capability, or struggles to deliver the data insights they need to manage their prospects or track their campaign’s progress. If your team finds your CRM difficult or cumbersome to use, they just won’t use it. And without proper database management, they won’t easily know who to call or when and it becomes difficult to manage a pipeline of valuable leads or access meaningful reporting. If you can’t report effectively, you can’t track success or make the changes you need to improve. Where our client’s CRM lacks performance, we offer our custom-built CRM, which in conjunction with our client portal, gives them a clear view of their data, their leads, prospects, and their entire campaign.
- Competitor analysis – Analysing your competitors’ strengths, helps you contextualise your own value proposition, strengths and weaknesses. This is absolute gold in terms of defining your own USP and value propositions, so that you can tailor the messaging to include the most relevant points for your prospects. To get started, invest a couple of hours to put together your insights, even something high-level can provide a useful document, but make sure you use it to drive your campaign strategy.
- Data fuels improvement – Ideally, you will have an individual within your team who can analyse, process and make recommendations based on campaign data. In the old days, salespeople could pick up the yellow pages and call from that – but it was never a very targeted approach. In today’s market you can buy accurate data from list brokers, but just because it’s accurate doesn’t mean it is the ‘right’ data, any more than the data in yellow pages was the ‘right’ data. You want to be ‘fishing in the right pond’, so it’s important to keep refining the data (the companies and the decision makers in those companies) that you give to your team to call, so you optimise results.
- Scripts that support the conversation flow – In our experience, scripts are necessary, but they need to be rigid enough to effectively communicate your brand and pitch your product or service, but not so rigid that they restrict the flow of the conversation. Try to be professional but conversational in tone. If it sounds stilted rather than natural, don’t put it in your script – and remember that a script doesn’t have to “read” well. It is meant to be spoken not read, so read it aloud to decide if it is right. Prospects respond far better to a thought-provoking exchange than being bombarded with questions.
- Objection handling – It’s rare for a prospect to say “yes” without first expressing reservations or objections, so it is important to know how to turn these into opportunities using a well-written objection handling process. If you’ve never tackled objection handling before, make a list of the typical challenges and questions and listen to actual calls that your team are making to further uncover the common themes. From here, you can create responses and identify any opportunities to pivot to. Then make sure everyone in the team understands and uses the process, for a consistent company-wide approach.
- Call backs – Having an agreed process for how call backs are handled and logged makes for a smooth experience for your prospect and helps ensure continuity internally. One of the weakest links in lead generation is follow up, so you need to know that follow up calls are being created and logged and that all call backs are being made so that nothing slips through the cracks. It makes sense to map out your call back process with your team. A good CRM will help this process.
- Learning and Development – Regular and ongoing training is key to developing a high performing lead generation team, increasing their productivity and confidence in their roles. If you haven’t already created a training plan for your team, we highly recommend doing so. Research shows that learning and development significantly boosts sales team performance and staff retention, with sales training improving the win-rate by 15.4%.
- Listen to the calls – We spend a lot of time working with our clients to understand their brand and to create messaging and scripts that will really land with their audiences. Listening to calls (either live or listening to call recordings) is a great way to see how your team’s approach works. Listening also helps you get a sense of the flow of typical conversations, how prospects are engaging with your messaging, and whether or not you need to change your script or approach.
- Reporting is key – You want to be able to see how the campaign is performing in as close to real-time view as possible, so you know what’s working and what needs to change. Without this information, you can’t track success. When using our bespoke CRM, we provide detailed reporting to our clients through our client portal where it’s easy for us and them to view key metrics, which we can then use to refine and change our approach if needed.
QA (Quality Assurance) matters – A quality prospect experience increases conversions. High standards of quality assurance and well-developed processes ensure every conversation is professionally handled. During this process you can also monitor consistency of brand representation and tone of voice to ensure that every prospect gets a clear understanding of your brand and your USPs.
Getting outbound sales right requires a consistent and well-thought-through approach, backed up by the expertise, resources, data insights and processes to really make your campaign fly. If you are keen to explore this powerful sales channel in 2021 but don’t want to have to run it in house, get in touch today by calling 1300 396 888 or drop us an email to email@example.com.