So, you’ve started outbound prospecting and are seeing some results. Great!
You have spent a lot of time but still feel that not enough output has been achieved?
Now you’re wondering: how do I scale my outbound prospecting to generate more prospects, leads and close more deals?
We all know that reaching out to prospects can be like pulling teeth. The number of scripts, emails, and follow-ups can seem endless – not to mention the fear of rejection after all this hard work.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are three major ways to scale your outbound prospecting: work more efficiently, automate some tasks, and add more resources to the process.
In this post, we’ll discuss all these ways in a little more detail to help you save time and scale outbound prospecting.
What is Outbound Prospecting?
Outbound prospecting is a sales process that involves reaching out to contacts and businesses in your area who may be interested in your company’s products or services.
It’s a way of expanding your network with people who are yet to learn about you but could be interested in what you have to offer.
You can use outbound prospecting for various purposes:
- To find new leads for your sales team (and help them close deals faster)
- To keep up with existing leads and ensure they don’t slip through the cracks (for example, someone who hasn’t responded within a certain amount of time)
- To keep up with current customers by checking in with them periodically
Prepare Your Outbound Prospecting For Scale
You need first to prepare your database to scale outbound prospecting. Here’s how you can do it:
Get the most accurate B2B data
Outbound prospecting is valuable for B2B sales, but you can’t scale it without accurate and up-to-date data.
Achieving scale with outbound prospecting requires access to the most accurate B2B data possible.
There are three main ways to do this:
Searching manually on Linkedin
LinkedIn’s search function is great for B2B sales and marketing. You can use it to find specific people in your target accounts, whether you know their email addresses or not.
The search tool also allows you to filter results by location, industry, job title, and seniority level. If you’re looking for someone in a specific role, this is an excellent way to narrow down your search results.
Once you’ve found your potential prospects, then find their contact data with tools like ContactOut.
Search B2B data
Another way is to search a B2B database for suitable prospects. ContactOut’s search portal also enables you to build a list of prospects in seconds and even discover candidates that are not on LinkedIn. The platform allows you to search on 20+ fields, filter results by location, industry, title, and more — then export the data into CSV format so you can use it however you want.
Lead scoring is a way of ranking your existing leads based on their likelihood of becoming customers. Lead scoring allows you to identify which leads you should reach out to first and which ones you can ignore.
Segment your prospects by Personas
For the uninitiated, a Persona is a fictional representation of a customer who shares common traits, behaviors, and needs as part of an audience you are trying to reach with your marketing efforts.
Segmenting your prospects will allow you to do two things:
- Improve the quality of prospects that you qualify
- Reduce the time spent talking with people who are unlikely to become customers.
- Clustering of communication for recipients responding to the same or similar communication for a personalized mass outreach approach
The first step in creating personas is identifying your ideal customer.
You can do this by looking at the current customers in your database and seeing how they differ from one another based on their data.
Then describe your target audience based on their buying and behavior patterns — what kind of people buy from you? What kind of questions do they ask? What type of language do they use when communicating with sales reps?
Once you’ve identified these traits, make them into personas so everyone on your team can understand who these people are and how they can help them succeed with their sales process.
Here’s an example buyer persona of a staff accountant that includes insights into his income, career struggles, and more.
Reach out in batches by Personas
Segment your B2B prospects by personas, and communicate with them in batches. That way, you can refer to similarities between the people you’re reaching out to when you’re communicating with them.
It also helps you reach out to multiple people at once and still keep things personalized enough that it feels like you’re talking just to them.
For example, if you are selling B2B software, your prospects might fall into one of several groups based on company size, industry vertical, position within their company, and other factors. You can target each group with a different email sequence based on their stage in the buying cycle and needs at that time.
Personalize at Scale
If you want to build relationships with potential customers, then it makes sense that they should feel like they know you before they even speak on the phone.
A personalized message sets the tone for a more meaningful interaction ahead — which increases your chances of having an impactful conversation during your follow-up call.
And if you look at the statistics, 72% of customers claim that they reply to customized marketing messages tailored specifically for them –– while 97% of marketers saw improvement in business outcomes because of personalization.
The most basic form of personalization is knowing and using a prospect’s name in your email. But targeted personalization goes much further – beyond the mention of the first name.
Personalization is about understanding what’s important to your prospect and tailoring your entire message to address those needs and interests.”
Here are some personalization tips to help you get that ball rolling:
Personalization based on your segmentations
Personalize your B2B prospecting campaigns by segmenting your database and targeting different groups of prospects with content that is relevant to them.
To segment your database, you can use:
- Behavioral data (what they’ve bought in the past and how often)
- Psychographic data (personality traits)
- Geographic data (location).
- Company size
- Industry vertical
- Position within their company
- Growth trends
- The channels prospects visit you through
- The content prospects interact with
- The technology they use (competitors or complimentary)
- The way customers interact with your product or solution
This means you can group prospects together according to similar attributes they share in common.
For example, if you offer SaaS solutions for HR departments in the U.S., you can segment your audience by company size (small companies vs. large companies), industry vertical (retailers/restaurants vs. manufacturing), and location (urban vs. rural). Then send personalized messages that are specific for each segment or for multiple segments at once!
Personalize your intro line
The first line of your email should be personal and relatable so that the person you’re contacting feels like they’re in good hands – which is exactly what a good intro line does!
Make sure that you’re using information that’s specific to them—something they told you in an earlier conversation or something they’ve written on social media, their LinkedIn profile or their website. This will help them remember who you are!
However, if you are a small business owner struggling with personalizing your emails, consider outsourcing this task to someone who can create tailored intro lines for each contact.
You may need more time to focus on the activities that take you the furthest in your outbound campaign.
And that’s where outsourcing comes into the picture. Outsourcing your tasks can be a very effective way to scale your outbound prospecting efforts.
Here are some of the tasks you can outsource:
- Data gathering — Find companies that fit your ideal customer profile and build a list of them.
- Research — Research specific companies to know where they are in their sales cycle and what kind of messaging will resonate with them.
- Call scripts — Write scripts personalized to each company on your list.
- Email templates — Create email templates you can send out as needed (based on time of day, time since the last contact, etc.)
- Email outreach — Hiring a company that will send emails for you—but not just any company! You want one that specializes in B2B sales, has worked with companies in your industry before, and understands how your prospects would react to different messages. They’ll be able to craft personalized emails that get responses.
- Linkedin outreach — Find prospects who fit your criteria and devise an appropriate message for each prospect based on their profile information
- Cold calling — If you need help getting through to people on the phone, consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA) or outsourcing firm that can call on your behalf. But make sure you are doing things right, especially while hiring during a recession.
Automation lets you scale your outbound prospecting efforts across multiple channels.
Here are two significant examples of how you can use automation to scale your outbound prospecting:
- Email outreach: You can create email templates based on a prospect’s profile and automate sending emails to prospects that match those criteria.
- LinkedIn outreach: You can use LinkedIn’s advanced search features to find prospects who meet specific criteria, then send them messages based on their profile information and activity on LinkedIn. That said, ensure you’re using LinkedIn automation tools that mimic human behavior to avoid getting your Linkedin account restricted or your LinkedIn account getting restricted.
And since LinkedIn limits to 100 contact requests weekly, you can extend your campaign with emails to reach more prospects.
With email automation, you can create an automated sequence of emails to send on a schedule or in response to events, though you may type out each email individually.
For instance, with automated tools like Contact Out, you can create an outbound email sequence while browsing LinkedIn using their reusable templates.
You don’t have to worry about follow-up, either. It is taken care of.
It’s your turn to dial it up a notch!
That’s it. You’ve got the tools, you’ve got the networking; get in there and do it.
Don’t forget to dig deep into your database before calling. Always be ready to ask for the sale and then give graciously. Get connections when you can.
Just don’t hold yourself to any arbitrary rules. Remember: If a different tactic works better than one that has failed you in the past, then use it!
This post was originally posted on Contact Out.