Outbound Lead Generation Process
In a crowded marketplace, your business needs to find innovative and powerful methods of reaching new audiences. A steady stream of high-quality leads releases the potential within your business. When your sales team continually pitches to qualified prospects, conversion rates increase, operations expand, revenue grows, and marketing becomes the engine that drives your growth.
How do you innovate outbound marketing?
At Valve+Meter Performance Marketing, we practice math before marketing. In this model, we place a priority on tracking every effort from inbound and outbound marketing campaigns. When data is tracked, you can test and measure the results. The analysis informs what efforts are most impactful and, more importantly, what strategies need to be adapted or ended. For instance, if inbound lead generation tactics like dynamic social media or content marketing are effective, you should spend more effort on these strategies. If blogs are not increasing traffic and lead generation, then you should adapt your strategy or move resources to the most effective strategies. In short, when you assess your inbound and outbound tactics, return on marketing can be attributable, repeatable, and scalable.
Successful Outbound Lead Generation Campaigns
In terms of the outbound lead generation process, there is a distinct difference between conventional marketing and performance marketing. Proven outbound tactics merge with innovative and data-driven strategies in performance marketing. The primary steps are research, learning, and execution. In research, you will examine your existing clients, former clients, and other internal data. Outbound lead gen specialists will also research your competitors and the marketplace. In learning, outbound strategies are planned and tested. Finally, the execution phase of the outbound lead generation strategy runs the campaign.
Data guides each element of outbound lead generation campaigns in performance marketing. This means your initial hypothesis is based on research, and the results of your efforts are measured. The success of your outbound campaigns can be analyzed. When efforts generate outbound leads, you can repeat these strategies. If outbound lead generation tactics are not successful, your lead generation efforts can be modified.
How to Build Outbound Lead Generation Campaigns
At Valve+Meter, we believe in building relationships with all of our clients and partners. In order for our team to build the best inbound and outbound marketing campaigns, we must first understand who you are. This same concept applies whether you are outsourcing outbound lead generation or planning your own strategies.
First, examine all the strategies you are using to market your business. Inbound lead generation refers to any marketing that prompts a prospective client to contact your brand. Common inbound marketing includes websites, social media profiles, referrals, and other content that results in an inbound lead. Outbound lead generation refers to all advertising, paid media, networking, and other efforts where your representatives make initial contact with a prospect. In short, inbound marketing is when a lead finds your brand and contacts you; outbound marketing is when your direct efforts reach a prospect that has yet to show interest in your products or services.
Once you form a comprehensive list of all of the strategies you are currently utilizing to generate leads, you can build outbound lead generation campaigns in 3 steps.
The most powerful lead generation tools already exist with your current data. The most likely potential customers typically resemble your existing clients. Gathering data from your customer relationship management (CRM) platform helps to build the ideal target audience for your lead generation strategies.
Defining your target audience
You should consider a number of factors, including demographics, pain points, and needs. Here are some tips to help you define your target audience:
- Create an Ideal Buyer Persona (IDP): By examining your current clients, you will gain insights into the industry, company size, job title, and geographic location to target.
- Market Research: Data and analytics tools provide insight into similar industries and prospects.
- Networking: Solicit feedback from your existing contacts including industry peers and customers. Your primary focus in this step is to understand the pain points of your target market.
Identifying potential leads
With your IDP in mind, the next stage of research requires tools and software to find potential leads. Accurate and thorough research reduces the capital and effort needed for your outbound lead generation campaign.
There are several lead generation tools to find potential leads based on specific criteria. These tools automate the lead generation process. Industry events and social media can also access 1:1 and face-to-face network opportunities.
This phase gathers and analyzes information about your competitors. In understanding your competitors’ strategies, you gain tactics that are proven to work. You will also target weaknesses in their strategy.
This is especially powerful for startups, smaller companies, and when you are targeting a new market. In competitive marketing environments, research gives your lead generation efforts a greater chance of success.
In the learning stage, you are applying your research to your outbound lead generation specialist. Business development representatives use research to customize brand messaging, build a value proposition, and create detailed scripts for your out lead generation campaigns. It is important to track every outbound tactic so the results of your campaign can be measured. This is vital to continuous improvement throughout all your marketing.
Building a Value Proposition
A customized value proposition is based on the pain points of your target audience and clearly communicates in their vernacular. Every outbound lead generation campaign begins with a concise statement that communicates the unique value your product or service provides to potential customers. Your value proposition should speak directly to your customer. If you speak directly to their problem and then demonstrate your solution, you have built an effective value proposition.
Customize your value proposition for every type of lead. Although your solution remains the same, the pain point of your audience may vary. Consider how to tailor your message to each pain point especially if you are targeting multiple industries, job titles, or other demographic variables.
Scripting and Rehearsal
Planning requires a strong script. While your emails, phone calls, social media messages, and other outbound lead generation efforts will change, the primary message should be clear, concise, and simple. Crafting a script helps business development representatives stay on point in any situation.
A script also informs your data. You should know what you are saying so you know the most effective messages. Scripts should be concise, focusing on the core points. This allows BDRs to commit the script to memory so any distractions and objections do not disrupt your value proposition.
Plan for Objection Handling
Always plan for objections from your prospects. In outbound lead generation, you are always going to experience a large volume of rejection. No matter how powerful your value proposition and script are, outreach meets prospects where they are. Planning for objection handling is a critical aspect of successful outbound lead generation because overcoming common objections keeps leads engaged.
When you can respond promptly to objections, leads feel listened to and may be more likely to consider your entire message. Anticipate objections and rehearse your responses along with your script. Here are some tips to help you plan for objection handling:
- Identify Common Objections: Review objections from prior marketing campaigns. Since you know the pain point, you can anticipate objections in advance.
- Develop Responses: Just like your script, you should develop quick responses that are clear to the common objections you anticipate.
- Rehearse Responses: If you execute a cold call via email or social media, you should test responses prior to outreach. If you plan to perform traditional phone outreach, make sure you’re ready to deliver responses in a natural and friendly way.
- Listen Carefully: Just because you plan for common objections, listening helps to identify nuance and variety within objections. Asking follow-up questions also demonstrates you are engaged with the prospect.
By planning and rehearsing scripts, you can be better prepared to handle objections during outbound lead generation calls. When your outbound lead generation research, learning and planning are precise, you are prepared to execute and accurately analyze the effort.
Executing your outbound lead generation process applies state-of-the-art technology to time-tested strategies. Outbound lead generation strategies will always rely on demonstrating the pain point of your target audience, clearly stating your value proposition and distinguishing yourself with a brand message. For some businesses, including transaction businesses, all outbound efforts may occur in rapid succession. For longer sales cycles, an initial cold calling campaign may take weeks or months then followed by appointment setting, lead qualifying, and sales prospecting.
Incorporating a blend of email, phone calls, and social media has transformed cold calling. There are key strategies to help you execute the best cold calling campaign using different mediums.
- Use Email as an Initial Introduction Follow-up Tool: In B2B outbound lead generation, email can introduce your solution and brand to a lead prior to making direct phone outreach. After making a cold call, consider following up with an email that summarizes your value proposition and includes a call to action. This can help to reinforce your message and increase the chances of a successful outcome.
- Leverage Social Media: Depending on the industry, social media platforms are powerful to reach potential leads. When you have a strong social media account, potential leads take note of comments, and messages and share relevant content.
- Plan Your Campaign Intentionally: When making cold calls, plan your approach in advance so your email outreach, phone calls, and follow-up follow an intentional schedule.
- Use a CRM: Track all data in your customer relationship management (CRM). Every result should be recorded so you can analyze the entire campaign accurately. This can help you to stay organized and ensure that you are maximizing your lead generation efforts.
By incorporating a blend of different channels in your cold calling campaign, you can improve your success rate and build stronger relationships with potential customers. This can help you to differentiate yourself in a crowded market, identify new opportunities for lead generation, and ultimately achieve greater success in your sales and marketing efforts.
Sales Appointment Setting
Outbound lead generation is intentional. For some processes, the structure of your campaign may need appointment setters. This stage is a more in-depth presentation of your value proposition and key to the lead qualification stage. Here are some tips to help you effectively set sales appointments:
- Prepare Your Message: If the goal of a cold call is to set an appointment, guide the message to this goal. Within a sales appointment, your message should clearly guide a prospect from their pain points of your solution.
- Focus on the Benefits: Keep the appointment simple. Focus on the benefits of your product or service, rather than just its features. Do not add extraneous information about your brand or statistics. Prospects will ask you these questions when they move from the engagement stage to consideration.
- Build Rapport: During the call, ask targeted questions to determine if the potential lead is a good fit for your product or service. Consider their industry, company size, budget, and other relevant criteria and determine if they meet your ideal customer profile.
At the end of the sales appointment, you should have a plan for the next steps. As you build rapport with the prospect, the lead generation process includes tactics for every type of lead including unqualified prospects and potential leads at all stages of the sales funnel.
Lead qualifying helps you transition toward the next steps. The most successful lead generation campaigns include tactics for unqualified leads, leads at the top of the sales funnel, middle of the sales funnel, and a clear next step for well-qualified decision-makers.
- Develop a Lead Qualification Framework: This is a series of questions or criteria that potential leads must meet in order to be considered qualified. This may include their budget, company size, industry, pain points, and other relevant criteria.
- Keep Your Questions Natural: Conversational lead qualification asks open-ended questions and allows potential leads to share information about their business and needs. They will reveal the answers to your lead qualification while you build rapport.
- Prioritize Qualified Leads: Once you have qualified potential leads, prioritize them and present clear next steps to transfer to closing sales reps.
- Plan for Leads Higher in the Sales Funnel: One of the most common cracks in the sales pipeline occurs when businesses do not have a process for high-quality leads at the top or middle of the sales funnel. An effective lead generation campaign holds onto these leads with additional follow-up, more sales appointments, and sales prospecting actions.
By effectively qualifying leads, you can focus your outbound lead generation efforts on the most promising opportunities and achieve greater success. As always, you will want to record all data in your CRM for later analysis. This is especially true of ToFu and MoFu prospects.
Sales prospecting is another phase of lead generation that applies to certain industries. BDRs who specialize in sales prospecting as part of the sales process are often a natural fit for ToFu and MoFu leads. These campaigns can use inbound marketing such as content marketing, email outreach, and networking events to continue to build rapport. Sales reps can also help nurture leads for your marketing team once your lead generation has fully qualified the prospect.
The Results of Outbound Lead Generation Campaigns
Marketing strategies fill your sales pipeline and help your sales teams improve the sales process. This is only possible when you use tools and technologies to analyze your outbound marketing. The most dangerous outbound campaigns generate leads and increase revenue but fail to track data. If you do not know what you did to earn highly qualified leads, then you cannot repeat the strategy.
One of the primary reasons businesses hire Valve+Meter Performance Marketing is our expertise in data gathering, outbound lead generation services, and analyzing results. After every cycle, our team examines and reports the findings of the data to your team. This helps to recreate the most efficient outbound lead generation strategies and lower marketing expenses. If you are interested in learning how our outbound lead generation tools can improve your business, request a free analysis.