The Outbound Sales Process: 3 Key Components
Everything that we do in business starts with a philosophy. This rings true for sales as well – you must have a philosophy to build the right outbound sales process for your organization. The sales philosophy should follow a specific method or approach to successfully execute the outbound sales process. The method or approach should be systematic in nature and include components that align to the sales philosophy.
For the outbound sales process, there are 3 key components:
- Build a sales contact list
- Create the email message format
- Distribute the emails
As mentioned in a previous article, this is not rocket science. But, you do need to know how to effectively complete each component so that they are successful as individual parts of the process and work well with the other components. There are many ways to go about it and some approaches work better than others. The key is to use the right mix of experience, skill and automation. You must take control of the process and make sure each component is executed properly. Let’s look at each component to see how things should work.
Build a sales contact list
There are 2 key ways to reach out to sales prospects – phone or email. We will focus on the latter in this article. Obviously, to reach someone via email, you need their email address. But how do you get their email address? Some companies will buy email lists. Other companies will rely on their salespeople to build the lists manually. Many companies will do a combination of both – start by buying a list and then have their salespeople add to the list by searching for contacts on sites like LinkedIn. This does lead to quickly having a lot of contacts loaded into your CRM and can help jump start the outbound sales process.
Another way to go about it is to build the sales contact list by hand. This helps eliminate unwanted emails or contacts that you would find in a prebuilt paid list. It also allows you to build a list with the right contacts so that you can initially focus on quality rather than quantity. This can also help with sales conversion rates and reduce email bounce rate. You can also speed this process up by using various automated tools to extract contacts from websites. This process takes a bit more time to build the list, but the results in the long run far outweigh the quick fix of buying an email list.
Create the email message format
There is a long-standing debate on how to format the email sales message. You will find every imaginable format coming from salespeople. You have the friendly sales message that looks like the salesperson has known the prospect forever. You have the endless paragraph message that goes on and on, with no clear direction or point. You have the brief, to the point message that tries to catch the prospect’s attention before they lose interest. Each of these examples can work for companies with varied results. You can test these formats to see what drives the best results in the market.
However, when you use these formats, you might find the results to be underwhelming. You need a solid email message format that can get the job done without turning away prospects before they even read the email.
Here are some simple rules to follow when creating the email format:
- Not too long
- Not too salesy
- Not too friendly (they don’t know you)
- Basic subject line
- Exit line that leaves with a question
Distribute the emails
This is obviously the easiest component – you would think! But to optimize your email process, you must not send out emails manually. You must automate the email distribution process. Automating the email process will save valuable time to do other things – like finding more contacts.
There are many email automation systems out there and most will do the job just fine. Find a good email automation tool, load up your contacts and start automating your outbound email process ASAP! Emails that are distributed should come from the salespeople and not from the marketing team. To generate sales opportunities, prospects need to see real people sending the emails – not mass marketing emails.
Some features to look for in an email automation tool:
- Easy campaign/sequence set-up
- Auto follow-ups
- Email validation
- Email deduplication
- Email lookup
- CRM sync
Bottomline: You need to follow an outbound sales process philosophy to be successful and the philosophy should align with an organized component structure.
Now that we have outlined the 3 key components, we will spend the next 3 articles looking at each component in detail.
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The Oppaday system provides the knowledge and foundation to build an ongoing successful outbound sales process.