There are two sides to a sales lead generation process: inbound and outbound. Both are equally important, and both will be a part of B2B sales efforts in this decade and those later to come.
Although, there still seems to be a fight against outbound: Marketers say it’s old, it’s dead, it’s not necessary.
If that were true, CIENCE would not exist. However, we do. We’ve successfully implemented outbound lead generation campaigns for more than 1100 clients, and while you’re reading these words, we will be filling more and more business funnels with leads.
In this article, we’ll name all the reasons behind outbound’s success and give you an insight into five effective outbound lead gen strategies that will upgrade your sales efforts in 2021.
What Is Outbound Lead Generation?
Outbound lead generation is a sales process of finding and actively engaging leads that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP). Simply put, inbound attracts leads in, outbound goes out to find them.
For instance, company A provides team-building activities for big enterprises in California. Company B searches for these services and finds you through engine search, LinkedIn, or ads. With some help, this lead may go down through the sales funnel and become a client. That’s an inbound lead generation.
Since the leads need to keep flowing, company A finds one hundred leads that match their ICP and may be interested in this service. Then, sales reps reach out to them by phone, email, pre-targeting ads, or social media. Ten leads are interested and are ready to meet with the sales executives. That’s an outbound lead generation.
Outbound vs. Inbound Lead Generation
Inbound is cost-effective and more of a long-run strategy. It brings you leads that are more nurtured and more qualified to go down the sales funnel, yet it takes more time.
Outbound lead generation actively reaches a broader group of people and therefore brings you more sales opportunities in a shorter period. It gives you control of the leads you target and is great to get ahead of your competitors.
So we say, try both. Add outbound to your inbound to get a perfect equation.
Outbound Lead Generation Strategies to Try in 2021
Outbound is undeniably needed in the times we live in. Growing competition, changing sales environment, and of course, global shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These five outbound lead generation techniques will help to grow your sales funnel no matter what.
In order to: optimize workflow.
The number of times people searched for “marketing automation” has tripled over the past five years, and that’s not a surprise. Marketing automation software or a CRM tool is now an essential part of an outbound lead generation process.
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a tool that stores and tracks every interaction that happens between a B2B company and a lead.
- Saves time
- Cuts down on manual tasks
- Provides analytics on various KPIs
Marketing automation is crucial for your outbound lead generation campaigns. The multichannel outreach becomes much clearer: Every interaction with the leads is monitored live. Therefore, your sales reps have more time for a quick reaction. And that matters because of the demand we face now where leads are 9x more likely to convert when businesses follow-up within five minutes.
CRM software is a tool worth having. If you need help choosing, check our article on the top 5 CRM tools for 2021. Or, if you consider upgrading your marketing automation software to a new one, check our CRM migration checklist.
In order to: create a bond between a buyer and a seller.
Again and again. This strategy was useful yesterday and will be tomorrow. Not to overdramatize, but we think it will stay here and into the near future as well.
The more information you have on your leads, the more ways you have to establish a trustworthy relationship with them. According to Smarter HQ, 72% of consumers say that they only engage with personalized content.
You can personalize almost anything in the outbound lead generation efforts: calling scripts, emails, landing pages, and even sales objections. Emails receive higher open rates, CTAs perform better, and pre-targeting ads cannot exist without personalization.
If you need some insights into email personalization, check our 10 Email Personalization Hacks article to grab a prospect’s attention.
Use multichannel outreach
In order to: reach a wider audience.
All is fair in love and outbound lead generation. Of course, you can still have a primary channel for your outreach, but you shouldn’t disregard the other resources.
- Increases customer retention rates
- Spreads company awareness
- Creates a full customer journey
Outbound lead generation channels include cold calling, cold emailing, social media connections, landing pages, pre-targeting ads, content syndication, direct mail, and much more.
82% of buyers say they have accepted meetings with salespeople after a series of contacts beginning with sales cold calls, proving that cold calling isn’t going to die any time soon.
Personalized cold emails can double your reply rates. Social media outreach is cheap and can reach a target demographic fairly quickly. Direct mail is much more tricky to master, although there is almost no competition in the lead’s post box.
Use content syndication
In order to: reach the target audience via content.
Content syndication is a process of distributing your content in multiple ways to reach your target audience. At least 65% of marketers use content syndication as a core part of their lead generation efforts.
- Boosts content ROI
- Creates brand awareness
- Gains content credibility
For instance, in the inbound, you use guest blogging and social media to send your content into the world. With content syndication as an outbound lead gen strategy, you get to choose who and when someone reads your content. You can distribute it through telemarketing (cold calling) or email marketing (cold emails). The top four most commonly used content types for that are whitepapers, presentations, infographics, and articles.
Optimize for mobile devices
In order to: catch up with modern buyers.
Digital generation takes over sales, with 80% of B2B buyers using mobile devices at home. And according to various sources, this number is about to multiply.
- Reduces purchasing time
- Heightens customer loyalty
- Increases queries, traffic, and lead flow
Mobile optimization can be used to enhance both inbound and outbound lead generation. Your website must load fast and look good on mobile devices. However, don’t forget about landing pages, whitepapers, and any other possible links you may include in your outreach. Everything moves fast, and so should your outbound.
To optimize your customer’s mobile experience, fasten the load of pages, use app integrations (an homage to B2C), limit the data entry (make it simpler), or replace it with interactive content.
If you want a deeper dive into mobile optimization, check out what B2B marketers really think about it.
Bonus Outbound Lead Generation Techniques:
- Use interactive content: It increases engagement, grabs attention, and entertains. So use quizzes, questionnaires, surveys, and contests to generate more leads.
- Adjust to remote activities: Work from home reality doesn’t mean we have to quit events, do we? We can go online.
Upgrade Your B2B Sales with Outbound
Outbound lead generation is a complicated science; it takes time to get everything right. Whether you need assistance with lead gen itself or implementing new outbound strategies, we are always here for you.