A 2020 research piece completed by Sales Insights Lab, found 41.2% of respondents said the telephone was their most effective sales tool. The same research also discovered that an average 55% of all leads in the sales pipeline were primarily outbound ones. Compare that to primarily inbound ones, 27%, and it will come as no surprise outbound sales remains a vital component for any company’s sales strategy.
Which brings the question, can you supercharge your outbound sales results further? Long story short, yes. One of the best ways of doing this is to get all your sales and marketing elements working harmoniously together, as this will ensure a consistent quality and quantity of new leads.
As an Inside Sales and Telemarketing agency, Bollin Green is very well versed in how to improve the performance of sales engines. We have been helping our clients do exactly that for the past 20 years. Our experience has taught us quite a few things. The most important of which is this, to get your sales engine firing on all cylinders, you will need an initial time-investment, a consistent approach and most importantly, the expertise.
Here is our quick overview as to how you can optimise your outbound sales strategy to maximise growth:
Get your CRM working for objectives
In today’s world, managing and maintaining your data is crucial. And there are no and’s, if’s or but’s about it. There are certain legal and security requirements every business needs to follow; however, those same requirements do not bottleneck how you can segment and structure your data. Both of which are key for getting your CRM working for you, and not the other way around.
It is a very common challenge for companies to spend a lot of time trying to get their current CRM working effectively. Sometimes that is just not possible. So, you really need to ask yourself the tough questions:
- Is your CRM fit for purpose?
- Does it allow your sales team to manage their pipeline effectively? Can your sales team work quickly within the CRM?
- Can Marketing track prospects throughout the full customer journey?
- Does the CRM deliver the data insight you need?
And these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to figuring out if your current CRM solution is the right fit. You will want to dig a little deeper and figure out what your team thinks about it. For example, poor UX (User Experience) which makes the CRM clunky to use, will often lead to your team not using it to its full potential.
If your team is not using your current CRM to its full potential and manging your database properly, it will become extremely difficult to optimise campaigns, and impossible to build a pipeline of valuable leads which can turn into legitimate business growth.
Leading on from our previous point, do you have the insights, access, and the visibility you need to optimise your sales engine? Your reports should be providing a near real-time view of your active campaigns. This will help you to quickly pin-point what is working, and what is not. If you cannot see the overview that you need when you need it, how do you know if a campaign is performing well?
Read the Data Story
This is our third point on data and CRMs. I hope that drives home just how important it is.
You will often find in the database’s patterns. Patterns for success, patterns for failure and so on. To optimise your sale engine, you will want to identify and follow the successful patterns. You need to use reports and your structured database to figure out the approach that works for your business.
It is quite common for people to presume what is and is not working. But gut feelings will only get you so far. Leverage the real data you have access to, as it will either verify those gut feelings or lead you to a new avenue which will boost your business growth going forward.
Pick up the phone
People buy from people.
It is a phrase that is often thrown around. Because it true.
Yes, in the digital age, consumers are using more e-commerce solutions to make small purchases. But when it comes to something large, or anything in the B2B world, people like to know who they are dealing with.
Would you sign off a £100,000 contract without speaking to someone first? Probably not. Because people buy from people. People view their issues and challenges as being unique to them, and they want a personalised solution. It might not be personalised, or even tailored to their needs, it is simply the act of spending the time to discover their problems, that makes it feel like it is.
In the high-value B2B market, spending time with your prospects to discover their real needs and challenges is vital. Giving your prospects the time to explain their challenges, and have an open conversation with you about them, shows that you respect them. And that goes a long way.
As we mentioned at the start of this post, 41.5% of sales reps see the phone as being the most valuable tool in their toolbox. Not because it is a tool to churn through data, but because it is a tool that lets them have a real open dialogue with their prospects. Something, no other medium can truly offer.
Review, Analysis, Learn
Like anything to do with business, you always need to keep an eye on what is and is not working. Reviewing current and previous campaigns is key here. You will want to analysis and review those campaigns to identify the patterns which work for your business.
That is just the beginning. You should take the knowledge you learn from reviewing and analysing these campaigns and use it to train and develop your team.
Continuous training and development are key to enabling your sales team to reach their full potential. So, when you next sit down and wonder why your sales are falling or underperforming, it is worth thinking about when the last time was your sales team received any training.
2020 reminded us all that the world can be shaken without notice. We never know what tomorrow is going to bring. Staying adaptable and scalable are key things all sales reps, and teams, need to do going forward. It is worth planning out training around how your team can be great at doing exactly that.
Watch your QA
Quality Assurance (QA) matters. A quality prospect experience will lead to a much smoother path to conversion. The smoother the path and easier it will be for contacts to move through your funnel.
Developing and optimise your customer journey, prospect onboarding and branding are all keyways to improve the prospect experience going forward. Make sure you are keeping a high level of quality and consistency through-out the full marketing mix. It does not matter where your prospects choose to engage with your business, whether that be on the phone, via social media, live chat or even email, they should always have a quality experience.
It is a fine art to create a call script that effectively communicates your brand and pitch without stemming the flow of a natural conversation.
Any scripting you do create needs to be professional and open enough to spark a conversation. If you would not naturally talk that way, do not put it into your script. Your prospect will better respond to thought-provoking and engaging chat, than a list of question. The prospects you are targeting are people. The moment they feel like you are just ticking off a list is the moment they will hang up.
Analyse what your competition does
Looking at what your competition does well is like finding a gold mine. It enables you to contextualise your strength, weakness, and value proposition. This information is gold for any business. It is a great place to start when you are looking to improve your sales engine.
If you have not done a competitor analysis in a while, we cover how to complete in our Back to Basics: Set Up guide, which you can download here.
There is no plain sailing. There is always going to be rough winds. And how you handle those is a valuable brand-building activity. Overcoming objections is not simple, it takes a lot of training and experience to handle them effectively. If you have never tackled it before, think about the common reasons you heard “no, not interested” from a prospect. Once you find the key objections, you can create a plan of action as to how you can handle these. Think about how to respond to each situation. And then get your sales team on the same page. This will help to boost your sales engines effectiveness and reduce the number of lost opportunities going forward.
Developing and honing your sales engine is an ongoing battle. There is no silver bullet, and it is going to take time. And when you are focused on managing and developing your business, time is often a luxury we do not have much to spare of. It can be a challenge to find the time needed, along with the right people in-house to make sure your sales efforts are consistent, optimised and coordinated for results.
This is where we can help you to bridge the gap. We are specialist in outsourced sales. We do everything we talked about above, and then some, every single day of the week.
If you are looking to boost your outbound strategy for future-focused sales success, get in touch today.