A methodical approach to outbound sales is the best way to produce predictable and scalable results.
Before you attempt to scale your outbound volume, fix your conversion rates. Try contacting 100 new prospects. If you don’t like your results, check out our post about doubling your warm leads. When you scale your outbound volume without optimizing your warm lead conversion rate, the only difference is that you will get a lot of unsatisfactory results instead of just a few. By doing this, you run the risk of exhausting your lead database without having much to show for it.
If you like the results of your campaign and are achieving a high conversion rate, it is time to scale your outbound volume and really start profiting from it. Of course, that is easier said than done.
Let’s say your team can convert a decent number out of the 400 accounts (5% maybe) they are able to handle every month. Despite this, the overall outcome of those efforts is too small to reach your revenue goals. So you have a dilemma.
On the one hand, you want to scale your outbound volume by having your team do more cold outreach. On the other hand, you don’t want to sacrifice your conversion rate by running a lot of generic email blasts. The question is: how do you scale your outbound volume without sacrificing the quality of the communications you and your team already have?
Think about the time wasted during your average sales person’s day
A typical sales rep is able to work on about 50 to 100 accounts a month. But what are they doing on a regular basis to service those accounts? They are emailing, calling, even stalking potential decision makers on LinkedIn. Basically, your sales rep is doing everything they can do to put their foot in the door.
And what’s the outcome of all of these efforts? About 9 sales qualified opportunities a month. If you think about how much you are paying each sales rep, you will probably agree that these numbers aren’t that high. Why is it like that?
I’ll let you in on a secret. Your sales reps waste their time on practices that prevent you from scaling your outbound. Not only do these practices not scale but they often hurt your conversion rate as well.
Fighting with gatekeepers
Have you ever tried to reach a fortune 500 director by cold calling their reception desk? If you have, you would understand how futile an activity it is. Most executives have specifically hired people to prevent the ones like you from bothering them at work. Even if you can find a direct phone number of the executive (which is rare), he or she is probably already bombarded with cold calls, so will not be receptive to another person calling them with a sales pitch.
Reaching out to people who have no interest in what your reps have to say
You have probably hired somebody you think is hungry to make sales. They diligently write cold emails and regularly leave voicemails to their prospects. It would be one thing if they were converting half of their prospects but the thing is, despite their best efforts, they still come across as impersonal and are not seeing good ROI on the time they spend pursuing their prospect.
How could that be? Because they are trying to pack a ton of touch points into the finite number of hours they work each day, they keep writing emails (Hey Mark, I’ve just invited you on LinkedIn – would love to connect with you and talk about potential partnership… ) and voicemails (Hey Mark, It’s John from XXXXX, I’ve just left you a voicemail at 341-213-3123. Could you get back to me?) which are rather generic.
Getting a call from one of these guys is like seeing a boring uncle on your caller ID. The difference is of course that with a sales rep, you have no familial obligation to pick up the phone or respond to their voicemail.
Despite all that, your sales reps probably think that they are being super personal since they are making touches with their prospects across 3 or 4 channels. The reality is that they not only sound the same as everybody else but they are doing the same thing as everybody else. They don’t stand out and this approach doesn’t scale.
Even if you can pump your conversion rate up to a decent level by working overtime contacting people, there are still a finite number of potential customers in the world who will respond to the generic messages your reps are constantly sending.
At Growbots, we have decided to flip the outbound process on its head
Instead of wasting time calling people out of the blue and hoping that they’ll be interested, we have decided to only talk to people who have registered some interest. We engage prospects solely by email. This made our process easy to replicate and scale while keeping our messages personal. In other words, we were able to automate the whole process of gaining interest.
The result of automating the process of initial outreach is that we now have a lot more time to convert our prospects. We effectively doubled our conversion rate.
If you want to scale your outbound activities, engage cold prospects through email exclusively.
A short, personalized email is the best way to pique someone’s interest.
This is especially true for somebody who is constantly busy. And let’s face it, if somebody is senior enough to make a purchasing decision about your product, they probably have a lot of work to do.
Your prospect doesn’t have time to listen to a 2-3 minute pitch from you or anybody else but they do have a long enough attention span to read a 3-4 sentence email. It takes them only a few seconds to shoot off a “tell me more” message and from there the ball starts rolling.
Email is the only sales channel that scales your outbound channel infinitely
Unlike phone calls, email can be automated while maintaining the personal nature of the message. And thanks to various sales automation tools, one person can send out hundreds of personal emails per day. The result? Many more personal conversations with potential buyers than you would ever be able to achieve with calling.
By automating emails, you give your rep more time to talk with clients
Since all of the busy work associated with reaching out to prospects using email is automated, it means that your reps can spend their time speaking directly to interested customers. This makes your sales rep extremely efficient. They end up spending most of their time on activities where their presence makes the difference between qualifying the lead or not.
At Growbots, that meant going from spending the whole day prospecting and managing campaigns to just 30 minutes, leaving the rest of the day to talk to interested customers.
In short: When you get a tool which automates the process of making initial contact with your buyer, it will make your team 3 times more efficient than before. They will have more direct conversations which will qualify more leads to be sold to.
Let’s do the math of scaling your outbound
As we said in the beginning, your typical sales rep is able to work on 50-100 companies to source 9 SQLs per month, using a mashup of different automation tools. But when you compare that with our experience at Growbots, those numbers start to sound extremely low, even pitiful. Since our solution automates initial contact with our prospects, it lets our reps up contact 600 to 700 companies every month.
And since those messages are still personalized, our conversion rates are the same as they would be if we were using personalized manual outreach (you can check out this guide to learn how to send personal emails at scale), prospecting with a mix of different channels. The result? Each of our reps is able to generate around 60 sales qualified leads a month. Just think what you would do if you scaled your outbound volume from 10 to 60 leads a month! You would finally be able to hit your targets without having to hire anybody new.
If you want to see the impact you could have using automatic prospecting, check out our outbound calculator to find out what a difference email outbound can make to your revenue goals.
One more thing. to make automation work for you, you need to make sure you keep your sales stack in line. Learn how you can do that here.