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Is Outbound Sales Dead?

Inbound vs. Outbound:

While inbound leads have high conversion rates and low acquisition costs, they typically have a smaller average deal size, come from the SMB (small medium) segment, and often are within the same industry. Therefore, companies that focus purely on the inbound motion will find themselves behind the competition once their targeted SMB segment dries up - usually within 12-18 months.

In contrary, outbound sales allows a company to go after recognizable logos, most profitable customers, and to diversify its customer portfolio (industry, segment, geography). Most large companies are already entrenched with legacy solutions. They are not spending time looking to try new products or services but this doesn't mean they would not benefit from using your product/services. Outbound sales is your opportunity to make a case of why your product can bring value and improve their metrics. 

Simply speaking, if you’re not doing outbound, you’re leaving so much money on the table.


How to get a prospect's attention:

  • Phone calls are not dead: We find voicemails to be very effective precisely because no one calls anymore. When's the last time you got a phone call or a voice mail? I bet it's not as frequent as receiving emails. That's why people do listen to voicemail, and that's your chance to have your prospect's full attention for 10 seconds - more than any ads on Facebook or LinkedIn, or email.
  • Customized outreach, at scale: Our first email touch to prospects is highly customized (i.e. we let them know if one of their champions has joined a new company, and that they should reach out and sell to her/him again)
  • The follow-up email should be a simple one-liner, such as: “Any thoughts?”, so the prospect still sees the customization of the first email.
  • Include product GIF in emails if you’re reaching out to technical buyers who are interested in seeing how the product actually works
  • Write like you talk: Don’t copy and paste formal languages from your marketing/product teams. Those are good for press releases, white papers, etc. but you need to make them more personable for your emails.
  • Don’t give up early: Good outreach sequences have up to 15 steps consisting of emails, LinkedIn, calls and SMS.


What are the metrics to look at:

  • Number of dials & voicemails per rep per week
  • Open and response rates per rep (to compare the quality of customization between reps), and per sequence template (to improve sequences for the whole team)
  • Sequence actions per rep per week 
  • Opportunities created per rep per month
  • Closed Won per rep per month/per quarter


How to find the right sales people:

  • Hire the hungry ones: For example: the best reps from second-tier companies - companies whose products are clearly inferior to their competition and yet the reps still made her/his quota. Conversely, ask for specificity when interviewing reps from companies that are known to have mostly inbound or are clearly industry leaders, so that you can find out if they truly have the drive and grit when things get tough.
  • Reps from non-SaaS industries that require daily cold calls and outreach, for example: alumni donation, door-to-door sales.
  • Hire reps who can talk but also listen - to the customers for pain points and to you for advice.


What are useful outbound tools to consider:

Examples of some of the software I've used

  • Tools to identify and research potential buyers: UserGems (to track customers who have changed jobs), LinkedIn Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo, Crunchbase (usually for funding round alerts)
  • Tools to reach out to and follow up with prospects: Outreach.io or SalesLoft, LinkedIn InMails (only if I can't get to them via email)
  • Tools to make dials (including local caller ID, voicemail drop, etc.): RingDNA
  • Sales' utility tools: Zoom or RingCentral for teleconferences, Chorus.ai or Gong.io for call recording and sales training, Calendly for scheduling

What is UserGems?

UserGems helps outbound teams drive bigger pipeline and faster sales cycle by delivering leads that are most likely to convert.  

Whenever your customers change their jobs, UserGems automatically surfaces them as new leads/new contacts to your sales reps. This allows reps to be in front of the buyers at the right time, and before the competitors are.