Outbound Lead Generation Strategies
To execute the best outbound lead generation tactics, sales teams must understand the distinct differences between outbound lead generation and inbound lead generation marketing. Both serve as effective marketing strategies to gain more qualified leads and ultimately drive sales and growth within your business. Inbound marketing refers to engaging prospects or existing customers who respond to your branded content. A few examples are website blogs, social media posts, and video content posted to third party platforms. Outbound marketing initiates the contact between your brand and potential leads. Common forms of outbound lead generation include networking, email, social media, phone call, and direct mail.
The most effective outbound lead generation strategies must optimize efficiency and reduce wasted effort. While sales development representatives specializing in inbound marketing strategies can qualify leads, wasted effort in an outbound campaign can be expensive and even damage your brand in the marketplace. Outbound lead generation specialists also known as business development representatives work hard prior to research industries, market trends, and even learn about individual prospects prior to performing any outreach. The ultimate outbound lead generation strategies are quite simple in ambition-deliver your brand message to people who will benefit from your products or services.
Valve+Meter Performance Marketing specializes in helping businesses outsource their marketing efforts. We design processes and systems to reduce costs, improve rate of return, and acquire better qualified leads across many industries. Our strategies are not complex and for some businesses building your own internal business development team is the preferred solution. For many small to medium sized businesses, learning the best outbound lead generation strategies will enlighten how you can acquire leads.
What Is Outbound Lead Generation?
Outbound strategies attract prospects. These are people who respond to outbound sales and content marketing. Outbound lead generation may describe the tactics that attract the prospects but more importantly, business development representatives work to qualify prospects and convert the best matches into an outbound lead.
Inbound lead generation is a simpler concept to define. When someone shows interest in your brand and contacts you through the website, sales development representatives or in some cases sales reps will greet these people. Just because someone shows interest in your brand, their transition from prospect to lead is key to controlling the sales funnel and filling your pipeline. Lead generation describes the strategies that convert a prospect from simply engaged to the consideration phase of the sales process. Inbound marketing tactics should include specific lead generation strategies including qualifying questions, followup marketing materials, and eventually sales appointments with your closing sales reps.
The outbound lead generation process begins far sooner in the campaign. Technically, business development representatives (BDRs) begin outbound lead generation strategies during research and campaign development. When a BDR determines a specific industry or market to target, this is a qualifying act. Inexperienced or overworked in-house sales teams can struggle to develop the right strategies to target the relevant leads. The strongest outbound lead generation techniques excel by reducing efforts. The goal is to earn quality outbound leads not a great quantity of poorly qualified prospects.
The most concise definition of outbound lead generation is: During outbound marketing campaigns, prospects who respond positively to outbound strategies are converted into leads. For most small to medium-sized businesses, outbound lead generation marketing consists of two overarching steps:
- Identifying your target audience and creating an ideal customer profile (ICP) with a list of potential customers. As previously noted this outbound lead generation strategy is performed through customer data, market research or a lead database prior to any contact with prospects.
- Outbound lead generation professionals execute various marketing strategies to find the strongest prospects possible to filter into the sales process. A BDR’s goal is to schedule a conversation or book a sales appointment for your closing sales representatives to complete the sales process.
Effective Outbound Lead Generation Process Strategies
In the case of building an outbound lead gen team, businesses will need to practice an effective strategy.When you partner with an outside marketing agency such as Valve+Meter, we will develop an effective strategy and work in tandem with your sales team to generate new leads and properly qualify the best candidates to grow your business. You can view our lead generation team as an extension of your sales team. We believe outbound lead generation is a collaborative process that strengthens all of your marketing efforts. So whether you are building your own outbound marketing team or considering outsourcing your efforts, these tactics are the building blocks of all lead generation campaigns.
Identifying Your Target Audience
With hiring a marketing firm to perform outside lead generation, many companies envision hundreds of lead generation specialists sitting in a large phone bank blindly making cold calls. Digital marketing has advanced far beyond generalized sales scripts. Lead generation campaigns begin with state of the art research tools. Lead generation methods based on data and metrics provide your marketing and sales teams with qualified leads to add to the sales pipeline.
Before our lead generation specialists perform any outbound marketing activities – whether it’s picking up the phone or clicking send on an email – we thoroughly research your industry, business, and products and services. Through data mining, market research, and lead prospecting tools, BDRs uncover valuable insights into the target demographics to find qualified prospects. Once we identify your target audience, we create an ideal customer profile (ICP) with a list of potential customers to reach out to. Failing to target the right prospects is one the most common reasons in-house outbound marketing teams struggle to find leads.
By building out your target audience you can reach out via email, phone, and even social media platforms to generate interest and optimize your outbound campaigns.
Personalizing Your Message
Prospects can spot a generic message a mile away and are less likely to respond to an email, direct mail or paid media campaign if it’s not directed toward them. Personalizing your lead generation efforts can help your business stand out in a crowded marketplace. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming, either. Simply adding their name to an email will have a positive impact that can lead to more conversions.
More outbound leads respond to brand marketing that focuses on their unique pain points. Just like inbound strategies, outbound channels to clearly state why your product or service solves a problem for your potential customers.
Leverage Marketing Automation
While it’s important to personalize your outbound marketing efforts, it’s wise to automate as many repetitive tasks as possible to streamline and improve workflows. This includes software that takes on the tactical work of scheduling ideal dates and times for email campaigns, follow-up phone calls, and even sending content marketing materials to your prospects. Outbound lead gen strategies for many industries require weeks and sometimes months from initial cold calls to the final sales appointment setting process. Marketing automation helps to keep your team organized so BDRs connect with the key decision makers at the ideal times.
Using Multi-Channel Outreach
If your business is only leveraging one or two outbound lead generation tactics such as cold calling and email marketing, consider adding more channels. Social media, video conferencing, trade shows, networking, and other event marketing captures the attention of potential leads. The more often your brand and your unique solution appears in front of decision makers, the more likely you are to generate interest. With multichannel outreach, you have a far better chance of reaching potential customers and generating sales success.
If it is not already clear, Valve+Meter is purely data driven. Our outbound and inbound lead generation strategies are deeply rooted in math. When you measure every action, test every theory, and evaluate the results, you are able to repeat successful efforts and scale your marketing and sales teams.
Tracking Your Efforts
If you’re struggling to generate outbound leads with your current outbound tactics, it doesn’t make much sense to continue to repeat a failing strategy. It’s important to adjust your strategy to find new, effective ways to prospect for leads. By tracking your outbound lead generation efforts and their effectiveness, you’ll know when it’s time to pivot to a new strategy.
All outbound sales understand that nimble, multichannel outreach will always win out over stagnant tactics. When sales reps connect with leads, the outcome must be recorded. Lead generation compared to prior marketing efforts should improve the sales process. At Valve+Meter, we place an onus on lead generation campaigns that focus on the sales funnel to increase efficiency for our clients.
After you connect with potential customers, lead qualification determines whether they are a good fit for your product or service. More importantly, BDRs are highly skilled at pinpointing where each lead is within the sales funnel. This is incredibly important within lead generation. A bottom of the funnel lead should be delivered to your outbound sales reps as soon as they are qualified. Middle of the funnel and top of the funnel leads require a different strategy.
Often leads that are still in the learning and consideration phase can be lost by your outbound sales team. An outbound sales representative can also spend a lot of effort trying to close a lead that is not ready. This can damage relationships, reduce revenue, and even damage your brand. A high quality lead at the top or middle of the sales funnel must be nurtured and tactfully monitored.
Common Outbound Lead Generation Techniques
Within the common outbound sales techniques, there are opportunities to execute lead generation techniques. Knowing how to blend lead generation into your marketing distinguishes great BDRs from conventional sales representatives.
Cold calling is hard work and isn’t a marketing tactic for some reps. Whether you have a team of cold calling professionals or outsource these services to an outside agency such as Valve+Meter, the process must consist of lead generation specialists. Cold calling emails, phone calls, and social media efforts should include tactics to vet interested prospects.
Cold calling is an effective strategy to find and attract potential leads. The goal of cold calling is to find key decision-makers within companies so you can introduce them to your company, products, and services in hopes of eventually making a sale. Talking to the wrong person can get you nowhere very fast.
Cold callers must exhibit certain skills to be successful at generating new leads. They require great communication and listening skills; should be well prepared before every call; and have a well rehearsed script committed to memory. When BDRs have thought through objection handling, you can focus on the relevant questions to access the best candidates for your brand.
Although it’s impossible for lead generation specialists to know everything about a company they’re reaching out to, they can significantly increase their lead generation efforts by having a strong understanding of the prospect’s industry, needs, and pain points. At the end of the day, lead generation professionals should be introducing your company’s products and services as the solution to roadblocks and pain points.
Email marketing is a highly effective marketing tool and perhaps more relevant than in years past. A 2-5% email marketing conversion rate is common which means every opportunity to make a first impression is crucially planned and meticulously executed.
Email marketing can drive impressive results by increasing sales and yielding a high return on investment compared to other marketing strategies because you can scale your efforts quickly and at far lower expense than other tactics.
Although more time-consuming and daunting for faint hearted sales reps, BDRs create personalized content within emails. According to research, using a prospect’s first name on an email can increase open rates by 26%. More importantly, email can help build relationships, establish trust, and nurture top of the funnel and middle of the funnel prospects.
When you outsource your outbound lead gen efforts to an outside agency such as Valve+Meter, we can build email subscription forms and use advanced email automation tactics including:
- Welcome emails
- Drip campaigns
- Email newsletters
- Triggered emails
- Re-engagement emails
- Loyalty emails
Your company may have the best thing since sliced bread, but it’s worthless if nobody knows about it. Organic and paid social media are excellent avenues to promote your business’ products and services, improve your business’ overall brand awareness, and increase the number of qualified leads.
Outbound marketing and sales teams go beyond your profile, though. When you research targets, connecting with decision makers on their grounds is important. BDRs become proficient in all mediums including messaging, commenting, and following your ideal buyers.
Direct mail is similar to email marketing except you’re sending physical mail in the form of flyers, brochures and one-sheeters directly to a prospect’s mailbox. Direct mail has traditionally been a first step but in lead generation, direct mail helps to build trust and brand recognition. Some of the benefits of using direct mail as part of your overall outbound lead generation strategy include:
- Excellent targeting capabilities
- Ease of use
- Less competition compared to email or online advertising
- Building brand awareness, trust, and loyalty
- Increasing opportunities for creativity
When used as a second or third tactic, direct mail pieces can be intricate and captivate your target. Instead of blindly sending thousands of cheap, disposable content, direct mail can be high quality and stand out from the crowd.
Trade show marketing is highly effective because you come face to face with potential customers, allowing you to promote your business to a large target audience at a single location. Trade show marketing allows you to introduce your products and services and receive instant feedback.
Trade shows can also raise brand awareness, forge business relationships, and earn highly targeted leads. Valve+Meter can provide trade show support including booth design, event planning, and more.
Webinars are another effective outbound marketing strategy. Having subject matter experts within your company host webinars is an excellent opportunity to educate prospects about your company’s line of products and services and generate additional leads. Because registrants are typically required to fill out a form to attend the webinar, you can capture essential details about them without coming on too strong. Webinars also provide companies with the opportunity to directly engage with prospects and convey a large amount of information about your company and its products and services in one sitting.
Social media provides an ideal platform to quickly post your authority and credibility. Even simple videos can capture the attention of prospects. More and more, cutting long form content like webinars, white papers, and case studies into smaller and easily digestible videos can greatly improve visibility of your brand.
Why Outsource Your Lead Generation Efforts?
When you partner with a reputable marketing firm such as Valve+Meter, our lead generation professionals design an effective outbound marketing campaign to generate leads that will help your company meet and exceed its goals. The benefits of outsourcing lead generation efforts to a third-party marketing company include:
Access to Experts
Leveraging an outside marketing agency that specializes in outbound lead generation means you have seasoned professionals prospecting for qualified prospects and delivering high-quality leads for your outbound sales team to close on. Outside lead generation specialists have the experience and expertise to develop effective outbound lead gen strategies using the latest technologies, techniques, and data.
The cost of hiring a dedicated team of in-house lead generation specialists is expensive. Hiring an outside agency can be more cost-effective since you won’t have the costs associated with the hiring process, payroll, health benefits and buying the latest technology and software they require. All of these costs really add up. Valve+Meter provides flexible solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of your company.
Access to the Latest Technology
Utilizing the most advanced technology gives your company a leg up on the competition. But upgrading to advanced technology and software is expensive, and your in-house sales and marketing teams will need time to train on how to use it. We already have all of that technology at our fingertips! Advanced outbound lead generation tools and technologies used by Valve+Meter include customer relationship management (CRM) systems and automation platforms that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of lead generation efforts.
Outside lead generation marketing firms can help improve efficiencies across your entire organization by allowing your in-house employees to focus on strategic initiatives to help your business grow and thrive. Let Valve+Meter do the heavy lifting of attracting leads for your sales representatives to close.
It takes time to develop an in-house lead generation process, train new employees and develop pitches that work. Reputable outbound marketing firms including Valve+Meter already have an established process and strategy in place, as well as a network and technology to generate leads quicker.
Improved Lead Quality
Professional outbound lead generation specialists don’t just blindly call everyone under the sun. They have the expertise, training, and experience to target audiences that have a need for your products and services to help generate more quality leads that your sales reps are more likely to convert into customers.
As your business changes, you may need to scale up or down the volume of leads. Valve+Meters offers scalable solutions to adjust to your business’ needs. This will help cut costs because you won’t have to pay for supporting an in-house team of lead generation specialists when they’re not required.
Contact Valve+Meter for Outbound Lead Generation
If you’re struggling to attract leads for your business and sales are drying up, reach out to the marketing professionals at Valve+Meter. Our team of experienced lead generation professionals can develop an ICP to attract more qualified leads for your sales team. Valve+Meter can provide your business with transformational growth and lay a successful foundation for years to come. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.