What to Expect with Outbound Sales

An outbound sales team lifting the world

An outbound sales program opens the door for companies to find the right buyers and influence buying decisions before their competition.

Outbound lead generation has grown massively in the B2B sales space, ranging from cold emails and cold calls to social selling and direct mail.

Despite its popularity, outbound sales is often misunderstood.

Many sellers attempt outbound as a magic bullet to grow revenue without considering the process required to create and sustain success. In reality, outbound sales prospecting is a system you need to build, maintain, and continuously optimize in order to effectively drive sales growth.

To help share perspective on what it takes to make outbound sales successful, here is a breakdown of the 3 big factors most companies miss about outbound prospecting.

Buying Stages

Outbound lead generation channels like cold email touches prospects across various stages of the buying process.

Not every sales lead will be interested or ready to buy when you connect.

In fact, B2B sales firm Vorsight found only 3% of the market is actively looking to buy at any given time.

To make the most out of your outbound prospecting, you should be aware of the different buying stages of your target buyers and have a game plan for each one.

Timing

If a buyer is qualified to be a good fit for your solution, then it’s only a matter of time before they’ll be ready to connect with your sales team.

Outbound leads don’t connect for a countless number of reasons you can’t control, including their personal life, memory, priorities, or their current workload.

Despite this reality, companies are often short-sighted about sales prospecting and neglect a majority of their outbound leads in the search for in-market buyers.

This narrow focus on the 3% of leads ready to buy makes it difficult to generate consistent results because you’re dealing with a small fraction of the overall market.

While finding buyers with a high likelihood of closing is great, you shouldn’t ignore the other 97% of sales leads that aren’t immediately ready to buy when you connect.

Sales Cycles

Even after a buyer is interested and a meeting is scheduled, you still need to guide them through your sales process so you can close the deal.

However, companies tend to expect immediate results from their outbound sales prospecting without considering the time it takes to win a customer.

If your average sales cycle is 3 – 6 months, then it doesn’t make sense to quit an outbound campaign because deals aren’t closing in the first 30 or 60 days.

Build your outbound strategy around the realistic timelines your sales team has seen and use that to frame your expectations around outbound prospecting.

Conclusion

New buyers are emerging, researching solutions, and moving in-market every day. Companies that can take advantage of outbound will get to these buyers faster.

However, an effective outbound prospecting system takes investment, continuous testing, and enough time to make it successful.

With the right mindset and expectations, you can generate massive growth within your organization with outbound sales.

[Generating outbound leads? Check out our new free video series the Cold Email Playbook to get insights from 7 cold email experts!]