Outbound lead generation is often thought of as the more intrusive, less likely to get results sister of inbound lead generation. Whilst it’s true that, if done badly, outbound lead gen can do more harm than good for your brand in the long run, a good outbound strategy often leads to a more targeted sales approach and better lifetime value from consumers.
Now you’ve learnt how to identify your ideal customer profile, find relevant leads, and qualify your prospects, we’ll discuss proven strategies that our clients use to prioritise leads and implement successful outreach campaigns.
What’s the difference between inbound vs outbound lead generation?
An outbound strategy involves sales teams reaching out to prospective clients, whereas an inbound strategy involves preparing resources to attract potential clients to the business. An example of this difference would be reaching out to customers by purchasing a mailing list, versus using your CRM of contacts who had previously signed up to a newsletter.
There are many blurred lines between these two situations but one big factor to consider when differentiating between outbound and inbound is permission: if consent is clearly given then, in 99% of cases, this would fall under inbound marketing.
The benefits of outbound lead generation campaigns
That said, if done right, outbound should never feel like an invasion of privacy. The best outbound campaigns are those that make the prospect feel like they’re being reached out to with a personalised solution to one of their problems, rather than a blanket campaign.
Indeed, an outbound lead gen approach has numerous benefits:
1. Outbound campaigns allow you to be more proactive
We often hear complaints from clients that focus their marketing solely on inbound lead generation about the volatility of prospects, which makes it hard for them to plan their sales strategies. If you’re only ever waiting for leads to come your way, it’s particularly difficult to predict monthly revenue and how sales time is allocated.
By adopting an outbound sales strategy, you’re now in charge of how many leads are approached. Crucially, inbound and outbound marketing should go hand in hand so that, in periods of low inbound volume, using an outbound lead generation tool such as Beauhurst can make up for this spare capacity.
Any salesperson will tell you that they only want to have around 40% of their leads driven by marketing, but particularly in B2B lead generation. The most effective B2B salespeople will do their own outbound sales, because it means they have direct control over their pipeline.
2. You can be more selective with your lead quality
Another benefit that ties in with having a more proactive approach to lead sourcing is that you can be more selective with your outbound leads. Inbound marketing can only take you so far in reaching your ideal customer profile (ICP).
Directly reaching out to leads that interest you ensures you can focus on those with the highest lead score, and thus the potential for bringing in most long-term revenue. Outbound lead sourcing is more cost-effective, as it means you can dedicate more resources to the best quality leads, rather than compromising on quality just because they happen to come your way through inbound channels.
3. You can directly reach the most relevant people
ABM (account-based marketing) marketing strategies are helpful in targeting the best-suited leads for your company, but there’s no guarantee that the message will get across to the right people.
A well-timed and personalised email can pique someone’s interest more effectively than a display ad that’s likely to be scrolled past. On Beauhurst, we have verified email addresses for the key people on our tracked company profiles, so that you can ensure your message reaches the right people, who will end up buying your product or service.
4. Outbound communication leads to faster conversions
A more direct outbound approach is also more likely to get a quick response than inbound marketing campaigns. When a potential customer feels like they’re directly spoken to, they’ll feel more obliged and willing to give a response, either negative or positive. On the one hand, this makes it harder to nurture prospects in the same way as through inbound marketing but, on the other hand, it means less time is wasted on leads that will probably never buy your product.
Outbound sales tactics are a great fit for time-poor leads that are unlikely to respond to blanket advertising campaigns or mass emails. Getting in touch with them directly and explaining why a product will improve their day to day life cuts right to the chase, and gives them the information they need in an easily digestible way.
5. It’s great for companies without a big enough base to market to
Any new company will need to do outbound sales as their first port of call. Without established brands and marketing teams, startups generally adopt an outbound approach to begin with. This helps get across their brand messaging quickly and directly, as well as allowing them to gather constant feedback from leads.
3 proven ways to improve your outbound lead generation strategies
The best advice we’ve come across regarding an outbound lead gen strategy is to keep it personal and keep it relevant. In today’s fast-paced business environment, it’s not surprising that people are reluctant to engage, unless they feel like it would benefit them directly. Here’s three ways in which traditional outbound tactics can be improved for a more tailored approach to lead gen, including some tips from our own clients.
1. Cold emails
Email marketing campaigns are a great way to reach out to outbound leads directly. A strong email could be even more successful at capturing a lead’s attention than phone calls.
Firstly, a good cold email should be well-timed. There’s no point in reaching out to prospects during a national holiday, or at a time when they’re unlikely to spend money on a new service, regardless of its valuable content. Among other indicators of financial health, Beauhurst’s Advanced Search feature can be used to narrow down your lead list to companies that have recently secured fundraisings. You can even set up alerts to inform you when a target company receives a grant or appears in the news, so that you don’t miss out on these opportunities.
As with all outbound lead generation channels, cold emails should be as targeted as possible: the more relevant to the person you’re reaching out to, the higher the likelihood that they will actually read it rather than mark it as spam straightaway. We’ve verified all key person emails on the Beauhurst database, so that you can rest assured your sales pitch is reaching the right people.
2. Turn social media connections into warm introductions
Social media is another great way of finding warm introductions to prospects. Not only is it easy to quickly verify people’s job functions, you’re also able to curate your profile to increase brand awareness–which may be harder to convey over the phone. Many of our clients use LinkedIn alongside Beauhurst as part of their lead generation efforts.
Once B2B marketers identify companies they’d like to pitch to, it’s just as important to find the right decision makers to approach. The Networks function on the Beauhurst platform finds the best path for sales reps to follow in order to reach the right lead. You simply upload your contacts directly to the platform, and our algorithm will do the rest.
Based on your uploaded contacts, you’ll be able to find 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections at your target companies. Using this referrals network, you can then follow up on LinkedIn for warm introductions that are more likely to convert.
“Before we started using Beauhurst, it was much harder to identify warm introduction opportunities.”
Ben Cole | Investment Manager | FPE Capital
3. Cold calling
Cold calling is probably one of the trickiest sales tactics to get right. Whilst it’s the most direct way to speak to qualified leads, it’s traditionally thought of as having one of the lowest conversion rates. We believe that forward planning goes a long way when it comes to cold calling.
Scripts can be useful, particularly for those starting off their sales career, though care is needed. While a poorly written script can evoke Alec Baldwin’s “Always Be Closing” stereotype of the unempathetic salesperson, a tailored one that gets you past the first few sentences can act as a confidence booster. It can also help prospects better understand the potential value of your product or service, as quickly as possible.
Approaching the wrong leads, with the wrong cold calling strategy is ultimately a waste of time for both you and the prospect. Before you even dial, it’s important to think about these questions:
- Why am I calling?
- Who am I calling? (i.e. is their job relevant, do they fit under any buyer personas?)
- How will my solution benefit their business (and job function) more directly?
These questions might seem obvious, but framing a call around these conversation points is a good starting point that recognises you’re pitching to a real person, and offering them a real solution. This is a much more engaging approach that will result in a back and forth conversation rather than a rehearsed sales pitch monologue.
Tools like Beauhurst are great at identifying leads that fit your ICP but it’s important to keep this focus throughout the sales process. Marketing tactics that make prospects realise you’ve done your research and aren’t just spamming are most effective.
“Beauhurst helps drive efficiency within my team, steering us towards the right businesses to approach. Once we’ve identified the companies, we can quickly get a really comprehensive overview of the business; all the info we need is readily available on the platform.“
Jonny Day | Head of Sales Operations | Crowdcube
At Beauhurst, we manually verify all data, meaning that you can adopt a targeted approach without the underlying worry that you’ve included the wrong information. Why not book a free demo to find out how your next outbound lead generation strategy can look like using a data driven approach?
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