Sales Prospecting Perspectives

Why Outbound Prospecting Still Matters -- Now More Than Ever

Posted by Megan Tonzi on Wed, Oct 8, 2023 @ 09:30 AM

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Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a guest post from Gareth Goh, Content Marketing Manager of InsightSquared.

Inbound, inbound, inbound.

Inbound sales, inbound marketing - it seems like that’s the only strategy that sales leaders depend on these days to generate leads and grow pipeline. And they should be focused on inbound! After all, the concept of inbound - aligning sales and marketing with the buyer’s intent and process, attracting them to you rather than pushing yourself on them - works. HubSpot pioneered the concept of Inbound Marketing and they have now built an entire industry around it. Buyers are becoming smarter and more sophisticated - they don’t need aggressive sales reps pushing products that they don’t want on them.

But wait! What about outbound prospecting?

The truth is that outbound prospecting is still critical to sales success today, even amid the increasingly inbound-crowded landscape. Here’s why.

The Benefits of Outbound Prospecting

Aaron Ross, the best-selling author of Predictable Revenue, believes that for companies looking to grow and scale, lead generation is “your gasoline for growth.” He also believes that this should be done on a three-pronged plan: seeds, nets and spears.

Seeds are word-of-mouth referrals -- the best leads, but also the most difficult ones to come by. Nets are marketing leads; the same way a fish swims into a net, inbound marketing is supposed to attract “fish” to swim into it, hence the categorization of them as nets. Spears are outbound prospecting leads. Aaron stresses that companies need all three, including spears.

Essentially, there are three big advantages to having “spears,” or a good outbound prospecting program:

  1. Prospecting teams add pipeline quickly, much faster than inbound marketing or partnerships. Marketing leads require nurturing; prospecting leads are much more brute force and while it might take a higher volume of attempts to find them, when you do, you know they’ll be interested buyers.

  2. They help you efficiently break into new markets. Additionally, prospecting teams have the liberty to experiment with new messaging techniques, allowing them to gather more data about talk tracks, value propositions and buyer personas. That type of data will improve the overall efficiency of the sales team.

  3. Outbound prospecting adds layers to your sales team, as you outsource “low value” and arduous work from your more expensive inside sales reps. These entry-level prospecting reps are also a great bench or farm system for your next crop of great sales reps.

But outbound prospecting is not easy! Cold-calling requires tremendous discipline, commitment, persistence and resilience. To make outbound prospecting really work for you, you have to ensure that:

  • Your reps are specialized. Closers close, sales development reps qualify inbound leads, and outbound prospecting or teleprospecting reps do nothing but prospect.

  • Your outbound prospecting reps have structure. To combat the rigors of the position, as a sales manager you must give your reps structure in their day. This means breaking down their call quotas into palatable chunks, implementing other value-add tasks and lots and lots of coaching.

  • You’re measuring them for success. Sales metrics are just as critical for outbound prospecting as they are for any other part of the sales team. Measure their activity metrics - not just in raw totals, but in conversion efficiency - to benchmark them and see where there is room for improvement.

With the right support and the right metrics behind it, outbound prospecting is not only necessary, but can really make a difference to your sales pipeline and your overall sales success. Don’t be seduced in the age of inbound; outbound still matters, perhaps now more than ever.

Going to Dreamforce 14? Want to be going to Dreamforce 14? Check out the Dreamforce 2014 Sales Hub for everything from live coverage, breaking news, and daily updates. Tweet about it at #DF14Sales.

Gareth Goh is the Content Marketing Manager atInsightSquared, writing about sales analytics and Salesforce best practices on their blog. He is a two-time graduate from Boston University, with a strong background in journalism and digital marketing. Gareth is an avid sports fan, especially in basketball, soccer and the NFL (Go Patriots!), and enjoys playing board games and poker. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. 

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Tags: Teleprospecting, Sales Prospecting, B2B Inside Sales, B2B Marketing, Outbound Prospecting

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