Outbound Lead Generation Strategies

Written by The Valve+Meter Team / March 5, 2023 / 13 Minute Read
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Master the dynamics of outbound vs. inbound lead generation. Understand how they shape the sales funnel, and optimize your strategy for quality conversions.

Outbound Lead Generation

Make Outbound Lead Generation Work For You

To execute the best outbound lead generation tactics, sales teams must understand the differences between outbound and inbound lead generation marketing. Both are effective marketing strategies to gain more qualified leads and drive sales and growth within your business. Inbound marketing refers to engaging prospects or existing customers who respond to your branded content.

Examples are website blogs, social media posts, and video content on 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 calls, 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 to research industries and market trends and even learn about individual prospects before performing any outreach. The ultimate outbound lead generation strategies are pretty 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 the rate of return, and acquire better-qualified leads across many industries. Our strategies are not complex; building your internal business development team is the preferred solution for some businesses.

Learning the best outbound lead generation strategies for many small to medium-sized businesses will enlighten how to 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 prospects, but more importantly, business development representatives work to qualify prospects and convert the best matches into outbound leads.

Inbound lead generation is a more straightforward 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. 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 engaged to the consideration phase of the sales process. Inbound marketing tactics should include specific lead generation strategies, including qualifying questions, follow-up 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 significant quantity of poorly qualified prospects.

The most concise definition of outbound lead generation is that prospects who respond positively to outbound strategies are converted into leads during outbound marketing campaigns. For most small to medium-sized businesses, outbound lead generation marketing consists of two overarching steps:

  1. 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 before contacting prospects.
  2. Outbound lead generation professionals execute various marketing strategies to find the strongest prospects 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.

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Effective Outbound Lead Generation Process Strategies

Businesses must practice an effective strategy when building an outbound lead gen team. When you partner with an outside marketing agency such as Valve+Meter, we will develop an effective strategy and work 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. Outbound lead generation is a collaborative process that strengthens your marketing efforts. So whether you are building your outbound marketing team or considering outsourcing your efforts, these tactics are the building blocks of all lead generation campaigns.

Identify Your Target Audience

When 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 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 correct prospects is one of 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.

Personalize 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 positively impact and lead to more conversions.

More outbound leads respond to brand marketing, focusing on their unique pain points. Like inbound strategies, outbound channels clearly state why your product or service solves a problem for your potential customers.

Leverage Marketing Automation

While it’s essential 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.

Use Multi-Channel Outreach

Consider adding more channels if your business only leverages one or two outbound lead generation tactics, such as cold calling and email marketing. Social media, video conferencing, trade shows, networking, and other event marketing capture the attention of potential leads.

The more often your brand and unique solution appear 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.

Utilize Data

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 can repeat successful efforts and scale your marketing and sales teams.

Track 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 essential 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 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. Compared to prior marketing efforts, lead generation 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.

Qualify Leads

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

There are opportunities to execute lead generation techniques within the standard outbound sales techniques. Knowing how to blend lead generation into your marketing distinguishes great BDRs from conventional sales representatives.

Cold Calling

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. Cold calling aims 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 calling BDR

Cold callers must exhibit specific 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 introduce your company’s products and services as the solution to roadblocks and pain points.

Email Marketing

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, meaning 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 higher return on investment than other marketing strategies because you can scale your efforts quickly and at a far lower expense.

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%. 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

Social Media

Your company may have the best thing since sliced bread, but it’s worthless if nobody knows. Organic and paid social media are excellent avenues to promote your business’ products and services, improve your business’s 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

Direct mail is similar to email marketing, except you send physical mail in 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

Direct mail pieces can be intricate and captivate your target when used as a second or third tactic. Instead of blindly sending thousands of cheap, disposable content, direct mail can be high quality and stand out.

Trade Shows

Trade show marketing is highly effective because you meet with potential customers, allowing you to promote your business to a large target audience at a single location. Trade show marketing lets you 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 support trade shows, 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 allow companies 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 post your authority and credibility quickly. 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 significantly improve your brand’s visibility.

A person utilizing outbound lead generation strategies while typing on a laptop with email icons around it.

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.

Reduced Costs

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 add up. Valve+Meter provides flexible solutions tailored to your company’s specific needs.

Access to the Latest Technology

Utilizing the most advanced technology gives your company a leg up on the competition. However, 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.

Improved Efficiencies

Outside lead generation marketing firms can help improve efficiencies across your 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.

Quicker Results

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, as well as a network and technology to generate leads quickly.

Improved Lead Quality

Professional outbound lead generation specialists don’t just blindly call everyone. They have the expertise, training, and experience to target audiences that need your products and services to help generate more quality leads that your sales reps are more likely to convert into customers.

Increased Scalability

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.


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