Outbound Prospecting: How to be Successful | Funnel Clarity

Crafting a distinct approach to each scenario and facet of your sales process helps set an exceptional sales team apart from a great one. In today's competitive market, prospects have become increasingly knowledgeable and adept in navigating their options, necessitating a more personalized and detailed cadence. Outbound prospecting encompasses a sequence of touchpoints or interactions designed to forge connections, build trust, and ultimately convert prospects into customers.

The importance of an outbound prospecting cadence in sales is rooted in its ability to optimize and amplify the chances of success. By adhering to a structured cadence, sales teams can ensure that they are connecting with prospects at the right time, with the right message, through the right channel. It also helps to establish a consistent and repeatable process that can be refined over time based on data and results. In this post, we’ll outline relevant details and examples of outbound prospecting cadence to help your team see success.

What is Outbound Prospecting?

Outbound prospecting is defined as prospecting that targets brand new accounts that have no prior relationship with your company.

  • A well-designed outbound prospecting cadence can empower sales teams to:
  • Enhance efficiency and productivity
  • Elevate engagement and response rates
  • Cultivate relationships and trust
  • Gather valuable data and insights
Overall, an effective outbound prospecting cadence is an essential component of successful sales strategies, as it enables sales teams to operate with greater efficiency, efficacy, and customer-centricity.

Comparing Inbound and Outbound Prospecting

In contrast to outbound prospecting, inbound prospecting involves targeting companies that are already demonstrating 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.

How to Create an Effective Outbound Prospecting Campaign?

To devise an outbound campaign that caters to your unique requirements and effectively generates leads, ultimately boosting sales, consider the following steps:

  1. Define your target audience: Determine the characteristics of your ideal customers, including details like their industry, company size, job titles, and location.

  2. Build a high-quality prospect list: Use various tools, such as LinkedIn, to build a list of potential leads that align with your target audience.

  3. Craft a compelling message: Create an email and voicemail templates that communicate the value of your product or service to your prospects. The message should be personalized, relevant, and concise. The email and voicemails should also be dissimilar in that if you leave a message and send an email, they aren’t identical.

  4. Employ multiple channels: Engage with your prospects through diverse channels such as email, phone, social media, and direct mail. This will increase your chances of getting a response.
    Follow up consistently: Send follow-up emails or make phone calls to keep your product or service at the forefront of your prospects' minds. Persistence is key in outbound prospecting.

  5. Assess your results: Track your campaign's performance by monitoring key metrics such as response rates, open rates, and conversion rates. Use this data to refine your strategy and optimize your campaign.

  6. Continuously improve: Regularly analyze the results of your outbound prospecting campaign and make adjustments based on your findings. Experiment with varying messaging, channels, and timing to improve your results.
Keep in mind that outbound prospecting is a long-term endeavour, and it may necessitate several touchpoints before you can convert a prospect into a customer. It’s vital for your team to remain persistent, focus on delivering value, and continuously refines its approach.

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. You may want to consider this compilation of statistics from Hubspot when crafting your campaign to ensure your team is focusing their efforts on areas that get results.

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 do your prospects sit and are they geographically different?
  • What size of company do you typically target – SMB, mid-market or Enterprise?
  • What industries 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

Once you have determined the preferred channels for your prospects, the next step is to construct a formal outbound prospecting cadence. Based on the factors mentioned earlier, your outbound prospecting cadence may include these prospecting channels:

  • Social media messages
  • Phone calls
  • Voicemails
  • Emails

Break down the outbound prospecting cadence into daily activities, which may include a combination of different sales actions in one day. You should also specify the exact number of times each method should be employed. For example, email prospects 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. Your initial outreach message should be concise, personalized, and focused on the prospect's pain points and needs. Refrain from using generic or overtly sales-driven language.

Step 3: Refine Sales Messaging

As you move closer to closing the deal, tailor your messaging to the prospect's specific needs and pain points. Highlight the benefits and outcomes of your solution, instead of solely focusing on the features. Whenever possible, incorporate customer testimonials and case studies to demonstrate the success of your solution and foster trust with the prospect. It’s essential to offer a clear next step or call-to-action for the prospect, such as a demo or trial, and facilitate the process of moving forward with your product or service.

Step 4: Closing the Deal

Prior to securing the prospect's commitment, attempt to anticipate any objections or concerns they may have. Be prepared to address them in the same manner you have created cadence, with a personalized and trustworthy approach. Depending on the industry, you may use urgency by highlighting the consequences of not taking action or by offering a time-sensitive discount or bonus. Once the deal is closed, follow up promptly with the prospect to ensure a smooth transition and maintain a robust relationship.

Overall, an effective outbound prospecting strategy requires a systematic and consistent approach that's tailored to the specific needs and pain points of your target audience. By adhering to the best practices outlined above, you can optimize your outreach initiatives and increase your chances of success.

The example below illustrates a well-crafted outbound prospecting cadence. Note that the frequency of calls and messages, as well as the utilization of tools like local presence during calls, will be contingent upon the industry and persona to which you sell to.

Outbound Sales Cadence Example

Week 1:

Day 1: Give your prospect 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 a LinkedIn message and request

Day 4: Call and leave a voicemail

Week 3:

Day 2: Call and send messages on social media like Twitter if they are present there

Day 4: Call 

Week 4:

Day 1: Leave a voicemail

Day 3: Send another follow-up email with more in-depth content on your product or service

Day 5: Call

Email Cadence Example

Day 1: Introduction Email

Subject line: Introduction and a Question

Body: Briefly introduce yourself and your company, and ask a question related to the prospect's pain point. Keep the email short and sweet.

Day 3: Follow-up Email

Subject line: Quick Follow-Up

Body: Mention the previous email and ask if the prospect had a chance to think about the question. Provide additional information or resources related to the pain point.

Day 7: Value-Added Email

Subject line: Value-Added Email

Body: Provide valuable information or a resource related to the prospect's pain point. This could be a blog post, a case study, or a whitepaper.

Day 10: Personalized Video Email

Subject line: Personalized Video Message

Body: Record a personalized video message addressing the prospect's pain point and offering a solution. Keep the video short and to the point.

Day 14: Closing Email

Subject line: Final Follow-Up

Body: Mention the previous emails and ask if the prospect is ready to take the next step. Provide a clear call-to-action and offer to schedule a call or meeting.

If you execute an outbound prospecting cadence similar to either of these examples, 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.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Outbound Prospecting Campaign

These campaigns take time to perfect and can certainly have some learning curves involved along the way. Learning from mistakes enables you to identify what works and what needs refinement. If you encounter any of the obstacles listed below, take the time to reevaluate your strategy.

Lack of Preparation and Research

Salespeople may make the mistake of jumping straight into outreach without sufficient preparation and research. This can result in a generic or irrelevant message that fails to resonate with the prospect. Allocate time to research and tailor your message to address each prospect’s specific needs and pain points. 

Using a One-size-fits-all Approach

Another common mistake is using a generic approach to outreach. This can come across as impersonal and unengaging, leading to poor response rates. So, personalize your outreach as much as possible, using the prospect's name, company, and other relevant details.

Overemphasis on the Sale

Outreach messages that appear pushy or aggressive can deter prospects and damage  potential relationships. Instead, focus on building a connection first, and provide value in your outreach messages with resources, insights, or other beneficial information.

Neglecting Follow-ups

Following up with prospects is a critical component of outbound prospecting, and failing to do so means missed opportunities and lost deals. So, use a consistent follow-up cadence that's persistent but not pushy. Provide additional value to keep the prospect engaged and interested.

Failing to Track and Analyze Data

Finally, neglecting to monitor and analyze data can hinder sales reps from optimizing their outreach strategy and improving their results over time. As a solution, use a tracking tool to monitor your outreach efforts and gather data on response rates, conversion rates, and other key metrics. Use this data to refine your strategy and improve your results.

Individualize Your Cadence

When developing your outbound prospecting team, start with learning about your prospect and your 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 the business environment and industry. To continuously improve outbound prospecting, test your assumptions often, track your metrics, and adjust accordingly based on the numbers.

How Funnel Clarity Can Help

Throughout this blog, we’ve highlighted the guidelines for creating an outbound sales cadence strategy and how you can ensure your team is successful. A well-structured process is key when considering how to implement this process, and so is dedicating time to get to know your prospects, and the ways your products or services fit into their needs. Finally, diligent follow-ups play a critical role in keeping your brand at the forefront of prospects' mind. Perseverance during this process cannot be overstated. 

Interested in training your team on how and when to contact prospects? Explore our comprehensive guide to sales prospecting based on an analysis of 100,000 sales calls. We also offer a dedicated Sales Prospecting course designed to modernize traditional techniques, enhance your outbound sales cadence skills, and drive positive results for your team.