Outbound Prospecting: How to be Successful | Funnel Clarity

Outbound prospecting is defined as prospecting that targets brand new accounts that your company has no preexisting relationship with. Inbound prospecting is when you target companies that are already showing an interest in you through marketing.

Outbound prospecting and inbound prospecting share a lot of best practices in common. In this blog, we will focus on what you need for a successful outbound prospecting campaign. Inbound lead generation however, is still vital to a company’s success so your team should still have an omnichannel marketing strategy to attract prospects across multiple marketing channels.

Outbound Prospecting Campaign

Whether you are building an outbound prospecting campaign for a new team or refining the processes for an existing outbound team, there are a few different types of sales activities to consider. It is also important to remember that the optimal number and type of activities for outbound prospecting campaigns will be unique for your team.

Step 1: Analyze Your Buyers

The first step in outbound prospecting is to create a profile for your typical prospect and customer. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What time zone does your prospects sit and are they geographically different?
  • What size of company do you typically target – SMB, mid-market or Enterprise?
  • What industry are your target accounts in?
  • What job level does your typical prospect have – C-level, VP, director, manager, etc.?
  • What job title/responsibilities does your typical prospect hold – Sales, marketing, IT, operations, HR, etc.?
  • How many attempts do you have to make on each outbound channel to get a response from a prospect?

Answers to these questions will help you determine the cadence for your outbound prospecting campaigns. Outbound prospecting cadence is defined by the types of prospecting channels you use and the frequency with which you reach out to your prospects using those channels.

Prospects in some industries might be less likely to have a social media presence. Some might be less likely to answer the phone but are very responsive to email and vice versa. Use those questions above to figure out how your prospects like to be reached.

Step 2: Build Your Outbound Prospecting Cadence

After understanding what channels your prospects prefer, the second step is to develop a formal outbound prospecting cadence. Based on the factors above, your outbound prospecting cadence may include these prospecting channels:

  • social media messages
  • phone calls
  • voicemails
  • emails

The outbound prospecting cadence should be broken down to daily activity and can have a combination of different sales activities in one day. You should also specify the exact number of times to use each of the methods listed above. For example, send them an email and leave a voicemail on the same day. It is important to diversify your outreach channels and not rely on one type of channel in your outbound prospecting cadence.

The following is an example of what a good outbound prospecting cadence might look like. It’s important to note that the frequency of calls and messages, and whether or not you use tools like local presence while calling, will depend on the industry and persona you sell to.

Outbound Sales Cadence Example

Week 1:

Day 1: Give a call and if they don’t pick up send an email

Day 3: Call and if they don’t pick up leave a voicemail

Week 2:

Day 1: Send LI message and request

Day 4: Call and leave VM

Week 3:

Day 2: Call and send messages in SM like twitter if they are present there

Day 4: Call 

Week 4:

Day 1: Leave Voicemail

Day 3: Send another follow up email with content

Day 5: Call

If you execute an outbound prospecting cadence similar to this but you are unsuccessful in scheduling a meeting with a prospect, the next step is to pass the contact back to marketing. Allow those prospects to be nurtured via marketing touches. When the time is right, a marketing email may resonate with the prospect, at which point it makes sense to pursue them with an outbound prospecting cadence again.

Individualize Your Cadence

When developing your outbound prospecting team, start with learning about your prospect and prospect’s industry. This will help you develop the unique outbound prospecting cadence needed to be successful.

The optimal outbound prospecting cadence can always change based on business environment and industry. To continuously improve outbound prospecting, test your assumptions often, track your metrics and adjust accordingly based on the numbers.

Want to train your team on how and when to contact prospects? Check out our comprehensive guide to sales prospecting, based on an analysis of 100,000 sales calls.