Building Outbound Sales Strategy: Cutting Inefficiencies to Boost Your Revenue in 2024

How to Overcome In-House Inefficiencies by Leveraging Fractional SDRs

By Diane Almanzor
Expert salesperson deep in concentration while managing outbound calls to boost client engagement and drive sales.

Did you know that the process of building a traditional in-house outbound sales team often results in significant inefficiencies, with companies facing more than 30% wasted budget?

This inefficiency stems not only from a misalignment between sales efforts and market needs but also from a reliance on outdated practices that fail to leverage the advancements in sales technology.

The crux of the problem? The high turnover rates in Sales Development Representative (SDR) roles, create a "revolving door" scenario that disrupts continuity and necessitates constant retraining.

The traditional in-house outbound sales model is at the heart of this issue, struggling to keep pace with the rapid evolution of the sales landscape. This model's limitations extend beyond mere operational costs to the very alignment of Return on Investment (ROI) with the set sales targets, leading to a disconnect that undermines the effectiveness of outbound sales initiatives.

Addressing this challenge requires a shift towards more agile and technology-driven solutions. The goal is to move beyond the traditional methodologies and embrace sales automation and analytics to not only mitigate the high turnover in SDR roles but also ensure that outbound sales strategies are impactful, scalable, and fully aligned with contemporary market dynamics.

This guide will cover the following topics:

  • What is Outbound Sales
  • Building an In-House Outbound Sales Team
  • Best Outbound Sales Strategy
  • B2B Outbound Sales Strategy
  • Outbound Prospecting Strategy
  • Outbound Sales Calls
  • Outbound Sales Support
  • Measuring Outbound Sales Performance
  • Outsourcing Fractional Outbound Sales Team

What is Outbound Sales?

Outbound sales refers to a proactive approach where salespeople initiate contact and conversations with potential new customers. The goal is to identify prospects, connect with key decision-makers, promote products/services, and ultimately convert leads into sales.

In outbound sales, the salesperson reaches out cold—without any existing relationship or prior engagement with the prospect. This differs from inbound sales, where prospects have already expressed interest and sales engage with leads that come to them.

Some key characteristics of outbound sales:

  • Proactive approach - sales initiates contact vs waiting for inbound leads
  • Focuses on prospecting and lead generation
  • Uses multiple touch points like cold calling, email outreach, social selling, trade show networking
  • Aims to create new sales opportunities and accelerate pipeline growth
  • Data-driven strategies (personas, target accounts, lead lists) to identify potential customers

The outbound approach allows sales teams to drive their own pipeline rather than rely solely on inbound leads. However, it requires significant effort to research, identify, and engage the right prospects amidst a typically low response rate.

Outbound sales work best when tightly aligned with marketing and SDR teams to maximize target account penetration.

Building an In-House Outbound Sales Team

Crafting a successful in-house outbound sales team involves strategic planning and precise execution. Here are the steps to assembling a team equipped to effectively engage potential customers and drive sales growth:

1. Strategic Planning and Goal Setting

Begin with a clear definition of your sales objectives and how an in-house team can achieve them. Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your outbound sales efforts.

2. Hiring the Right Talent

Assemble a dedicated group of professionals focused on proactively reaching out to potential customers. The core team roles include:

  • Sales Ops Managers, who develop and implement ongoing sales methods and messaging architecture (call scripts, email copy, lead data and ICP profiling, analytics etc.)
  • Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and Business Development Representatives (BDRs), who are crucial for lead generation and qualification
  • Account Executives (AEs), who are responsible for closing deals with qualified leads
  • Sales Operations Specialists, who ensure the sales process is efficient and aligned with business goals

Focus on recruiting individuals with a strong potential for success in outbound sales roles. Look for candidates with resilience, excellent communication skills, and a growth mindset. Given the importance of career progression, select candidates who are not only fit for SDR/BDR roles but also have the potential to grow into Account Executive (AE) positions.

3. Comprehensive Training Program

Develop a rigorous training program that spans the necessary 3-month period to effectively prepare new hires. This program should cover product knowledge, outbound sales techniques, CRM software proficiency, and customer engagement strategies. The goal is to equip SDRs/BDRs with the skills they need to succeed in their current roles and prepare them for future advancement within the company.

4. Implementing Sales Tools and Technologies

Equip your team with the latest sales tools and technologies to enhance productivity and efficiency. This includes CRM systems, email automation tools, and data analytics platforms to track performance and optimize strategies.

5. Continuous Monitoring and Support

Establish a system for ongoing monitoring of sales activities and results. Provide regular feedback and coaching to help SDRs/BDRs improve their performance. This continuous support is crucial for keeping the team motivated and on track to achieve their targets.

While these steps lay the groundwork for a successful in-house outbound sales team, it’s essential to be aware of the inherent challenges:

High Turnover Rates

The average tenure of an SDR/BDR is only 14.2 months. This high turnover rate can disrupt sales efforts and necessitate constant recruitment and training, impacting the team’s stability and performance.

Lengthy Training Process

The 3-month training period, although crucial for preparing SDRs/BDRs for success, represents a significant upfront investment without immediate returns. During this time, the SDR/BDR is not yet fully productive, affecting the team’s overall output and delaying the realization of ROI.

Uncertain Performance Outcomes

Despite thorough training and development efforts, there’s no guarantee that an SDR/BDR will perform as expected. This unpredictability makes it challenging to reconcile the upfront costs as fixed Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC), especially when an SDR/BDR’s output may not meet initial expectations.

Best Outbound Sales Strategy

To harness the full potential of your in-house team, your outbound sales strategy must be adaptable, iterative, and aligned with both market conditions and customer preferences.

The most effective outbound sales strategy involves a combination of targeted prospecting, personalized messaging, and a data-driven approach. Here are key elements of a successful outbound sales strategy:

  • Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): Begin with detailed market research on your high-potential prospects. Topo's (now Garthutner) 2019 research highlighted that organizations leveraging a precise ICP achieve 68% higher account win rates.
  • Data-Driven Messaging: Leverage analytics to tailor your communication. Insights from data analysis ensure that your messaging resonates with the specific needs and preferences of each prospect.
  • Buyer Personas: Develop detailed buyer personas to understand the unique challenges, interests, and goals of your target audience. Personalized emails achieve an impressive open rate of 29% and an outstanding click-through rate of 41%.
  • Value Proposition: Your value proposition should clearly articulate how your product or service solves the customer's problem or improves their situation. A compelling value proposition can significantly increase the likelihood of a prospect engaging with your outreach.
  • Storytelling and Trust-Building: Storytelling weaves your product or service into a relatable narrative, enhancing its appeal. Building trust is pivotal in B2B contexts, where buyers favor sales representatives who demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of their business needs.
  • Metrics and Timelines: Establish clear metrics and timelines to guide your strategy. Defining KPIs such as outreach volume, response rates, and conversion rates is crucial for tracking the effectiveness of your efforts over time. For example, a typical benchmark for cold calling success rates hovers around 2%.
  • Automation and Scalability: Utilize tools and technology to automate repetitive tasks and scale your processes efficiently. Companies that utilize sales automation see up to a 15% increase in revenue and a 30% decrease in sales costs.
  • Performance Measurement: Continually assess the effectiveness of your strategy through KPIs, and be ready to adjust and refine your approach based on performance data. This iterative process is key to honing your strategy and achieving better outcomes.

Sales team discussing outbound sales strategy campaign with digital analytics on laptops.

B2B Outbound Sales Strategy

For business-business (B2B) companies, outbound sales involve a deeper focus on identifying and engaging high-value targets. Here’s how you can build your B2B outbound sales strategy:

Strategic Market Segmentation

Implement dynamic segmentation that adjusts criteria based on ongoing sales data and market trends. Leverage predictive analytics to identify segments based on potential customer behavior, purchasing patterns, and propensity to buy. This allows for more agile and responsive targeting, ensuring your sales efforts are always focused on the most receptive prospects.

Hyper-personalized Outreach

Develop personalized outreach at scale by integrating AI with your CRM and sales automation tools. Use deep learning algorithms to analyze prospects’ digital footprints—social media activity, content interactions, webinar attendances—and craft messages that speak directly to their current challenges or interests.

Value-driven Selling Approach

Train your sales team to conduct business value assessments during interactions with prospects. This involves a thorough understanding of the prospect's business model, their industry’s challenges, and how your offering can impact their bottom line or strategic goals. Use tools like value selling frameworks and ROI calculators in your sales process to help prospects visualize the potential impact of your solution on their operations.

Account-based Marketing (ABM) Integration

Integrate ABM with your outbound sales strategy for a focused approach to high-value accounts. Use ABM platforms that offer sales and marketing alignment tools, enabling both teams to coordinate their efforts seamlessly. Develop account-specific content and outreach campaigns, leveraging insights from both sales interactions and marketing engagement metrics.

Leveraging Social Selling

While LinkedIn remains a cornerstone for B2B social selling, expanding your strategy to include platforms where your prospects are active enhances engagement. Encourage your sales team to build a strong professional brand across other platforms, share insightful content, and engage in discussions that showcase their expertise. This positions them as thought leaders and opens up more natural conversation opportunities with potential clients.

Sales Enablement and Technology Stack Optimization

The right sales enablement tools can make a significant difference in the efficiency and effectiveness of your outbound strategy. Regularly review and update your technology stack to ensure it meets the evolving needs of your sales process and industry trends. Invest in training your team to fully leverage these tools for maximum impact.

Sales Team Skill Development and Specialization

Consider developing specialized roles within your sales team, such as industry experts, value consultants, and technical sales specialists. This allows for a more tailored approach to each prospect, with deep dives into technical discussions or value assessments as needed.

Outbound Prospecting Strategy

An effective outbound prospecting strategy involves proactiveness and leveraging a combination of tools and techniques to discover and engage leads. This includes using lead generation software to build lists, social media platforms for outreach, and cold emailing and calling to initiate contact.

The goal is to quickly qualify leads to focus efforts on those most likely to convert, using a scoring system based on predefined criteria.

Prospecting requires a disciplined approach to regularly source new leads and initiate conversations that could lead to sales opportunities. For an in-house team, aligning diverse tools and techniques for efficient lead discovery and engagement can be a challenge as it requires significant time and resource investment.

This complexity is heightened by the need for specialized training in lead generation software, social media outreach, and cold outreach methods. There is also a necessity to integrate advanced analytics and machine learning for lead scoring and prioritization, alongside content personalization efforts to enhance engagement rates.

Outbound Prospecting Techniques

When building an effective outbound sales strategy, it's crucial to leverage proven prospecting techniques to identify and engage potential new customers. Three of the most common and effective outbound prospecting methods include cold calling, email outreach, and social selling.

Cold Calling

Cold calling remains a linchpin in effective outbound sales strategies. Research from the RAIN Group underscores the effectiveness of cold calling, revealing that 82% of buyers are open to meetings initiated this way. Moreover, Crunchbase research indicates that 57% of C-level executives and VPs prefer cold calls over other outreach methods.

While cold calling is often associated with pushy sales tactics, it can be an effective strategy when done right. Best practices for effective cold calling include:

  1. Precision Research: Tailor your outreach by understanding the prospect's business landscape. Utilize digital resources to gather insights that inform personalized and relevant dialogue.
  2. Concise Scripts with Value: Develop scripts that are not rigid monologues but flexible guides, emphasizing your value proposition succinctly and sparking genuine conversation.
  3. Insightful Questions: Uncover prospects' challenges through smart, open-ended questions, demonstrating your interest in offering meaningful solutions.
  4. Value First Communication: Lead with insights and helpful information, establishing credibility before pitching, to position yourself as a consultative partner.
  5. Quality Conversations: Shift focus from the quantity of calls to the quality of engagement, ensuring each interaction has the potential to foster a meaningful connection.

Email Outreach

Email allows outbound sales reps to reach more prospects at scale. But while email remains a pivotal tool for reaching audiences at scale, its efficacy is waning under the barrage of automation. To cut through the noise, a refined approach to cold email outreach is essential. Here are concise, expert tips for revitalizing your email strategy:

  1. Personalize Relentlessly: Beyond using a prospect's name, tailor each email by leveraging insights from thorough research. Show you understand their business, their industry challenges, and how your solution aligns with their needs.
  2. Craft Compelling Subject Lines: Your subject line is your first impression. Make it count by clearly articulating the value proposition. Intrigue, specificity, and relevance are your allies here.
  3. Build Credibility Upfront: Within the first few lines, establish why you're reaching out and why you're worth listening to. Whether it's your expertise, a mutual connection, or a relevant piece of content, make the connection early.
  4. Address Their Pain Points: Center your message around how you can solve their specific problems. This shifts the focus from selling a product to offering a solution.
  5. Be Concise and Scannable: Time is precious. Ensure your email is easy to read and gets to the point quickly. Use bullet points, short paragraphs, and clear calls to action.
  6. Iterate and Optimize: Treat every email as a learning opportunity. Test different approaches, from subject lines to messaging frameworks, and refine based on what garners the best response rates.

Social Selling

Social platforms provide a new avenue for outbound prospecting. Social selling involves identifying prospects on networks like LinkedIn and engaging them with valuable content. To maximize results:

  1. Strategic Prospect Research: Initiate with in-depth research to understand the specific challenges, interests, and objectives of your prospects.
  2. Value-First Content Sharing: Prioritize sharing content that genuinely adds value—whether it’s insightful articles, actionable how-tos, or thought leadership that sparks conversation. The goal is to engage, not just inform.
  3. Authentic Engagement: Dive into discussions with meaningful contributions, advice, and insights. Authentic engagement showcases your investment in providing value, fostering trust and rapport.
  4. Build Credibility, Then Sell: Establish yourself as an industry expert before pushing sales messages. Credibility is currency in social selling; earn it with consistent, knowledgeable participation in your field.
  5. Focus on Relationships: Transition from a sales-first mindset to a relationship-first approach. Genuine connections pave the way for sales opportunities more effectively than direct pitches.

But, recent trends suggest that social selling is facing challenges similar to those encountered by email outreach. With the saturation of content and automated messaging on social platforms, the effectiveness of social selling is diminishing. Users are becoming increasingly adept at filtering out unsolicited outreach, making it harder to capture attention and engage potential customers.

Sales executive hosting a video conference call to discuss outbound sales strategies

Outbound Sales Calls

An outbound sales call involves a sales representative initiating contact with potential customers to offer products or services. The call aims to convert prospects into customers by effectively communicating the value proposition, addressing concerns, and guiding them toward making a purchase decision.

Successful outbound calls require preparation, including understanding the prospect's needs, having clear objectives, and employing persuasive communication skills to engage and convince the prospect.

Crafting Your Outbound Sales Message

An effective outbound sales message is crucial for cutting through the noise and engaging your prospects. Here are some tips for crafting compelling outbound messaging:

  • Focus on benefits, not features. Don't just list product features. Emphasize the concrete benefits and outcomes your prospect will achieve.
  • Highlight ROI. Include specifics on how your solution will save time, money, or other resources for the prospect's business. ROI stats can really capture attention.
  • Personalize the message. Use the prospect's name, company, industry, and any other details you know to tailor your pitch. This shows you did your research on them.
  • Ask questions. Posing thoughtful questions that show your understanding of their needs builds connections.
  • Convey urgency. Mention time-limited offers or discounts to motivate quicker action. But don't be overly aggressive.
  • Keep it concise. Get to the point quickly. Long blocks of text can lose people's interest.
  • Focus on value. Demonstrate how you deliver real value, not just make sales pitches. This establishes trust and credibility.
  • Practice active listening. Pay close attention when prospects speak to detect cues about their needs and tailor your message accordingly.

With strategic outbound messaging that speaks directly to your prospect's needs, you can capture their attention and drive more sales conversations. Test different approaches and continuously optimize your messages.

Outbound Sales Support

Outbound sales support involves providing the necessary resources, tools, and training to empower sales teams to effectively reach out to potential customers.

This includes equipping teams with up-to-date product information, access to customer relationship management (CRM) software for tracking leads and interactions, and strategies for handling objections.

Additionally, it entails offering ongoing training to refine sales techniques and adapt to market changes. The goal is to optimize the outbound sales process, ensuring teams can efficiently identify, engage, and convert leads into customers, thereby driving revenue growth.

Outbound Sales Tools

Outbound sales teams rely on a variety of software tools to enable and optimize their prospecting and outreach efforts. Three key categories of outbound sales tools include:

CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is essential for managing outbound sales campaigns and tracking prospect interactions. Popular CRM platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho are commonly used by outbound sales teams. Key features of a CRM for outbound sales include:

  • Contact database to store prospect records
  • Tools for importing prospect lists and cleansing data
  • Lead scoring to prioritize outbound outreach
  • Email integration and tracking for high-volume outbound email
  • Call logging to record interactions with prospects
  • Workflow automation for outbound campaigns
  • Reporting on campaign results and sales rep performance

Predictive Dialers

To maximize calls and conversations, outbound sales reps use predictive dialers which automatically dial prospects while predictive algorithms track answered calls, voicemails, busy signals etc. Key features of predictive dialers include:

  • Automated dialing of prospect lists
  • Screen pop to display CRM record when prospect answers
  • Ability to leave voice drops with pre-recorded messages
  • Power dialing to rapidly work through call lists
  • Compliance with telemarketing regulations like TCPA

Sales Intelligence and Analytics

Outbound sales teams rely on data to target relevant prospects and optimize outreach campaigns. Sales intelligence tools offer firmographic data, technographic insights, and contact profiles to help sales reps identify and research prospects.

Analytics platforms then enable outbound sales managers to analyze prospect interaction data, pinpoint effective outreach strategies, monitor team performance, and continuously refine outbound processes to boost productivity.

Leveraging the right outward sales technology stack can help outbound teams scale prospecting efforts, automate tasks, and continually optimize their approach to hit revenue goals.

Measuring Outbound Sales Performance

Measuring key metrics is crucial to gauging the success of your outbound sales strategy and identifying areas for improvement. Here are some of the most important metrics you should track:

  • Sales qualified leads (SQLs) The number of leads that meet your qualification criteria, such as fit, need, budget, etc. Tracking SQLs helps determine if your outbound tactics are generating high-quality leads.
  • Appointments set The number of meetings, demos, or calls booked from outbound prospecting. This metric indicates how well your messaging and outreach convert contacts into pipeline opportunities.
  • Contact rate - The percentage of prospects you successfully reach on the phone or via email. Low contact rates may signal ineffective targeting, outdated contact info, or overused messaging.
  • Response rate The percentage of prospects who respond to outreach attempts. Falling response rates suggest your messaging may need reworking.
  • Sales velocity - The average number of days between initial prospect outreach to closed deals. Faster sales velocity implies an effective outbound process.
  • Cost per lead/appointment Calculating your average cost per lead helps determine the ROI of outbound programs and where to allocate the budget.
  • Lead to customer conversion rates - The percentage of leads that turn into sales. This helps assess lead quality and sales execution.
  • Sales cycle length The average time from prospect qualification to close. Rising sales cycle length may indicate outbound leads are not properly qualified.
  • Win rates The percentage of qualified opportunities that turn into wins. Win rates validate if you are targeting the right buyers.

Analyzing these outbound sales metrics regularly allows you to refine targeting, messaging, and outreach channels so you can maximize the return from your outbound sales activities.

Sales executive hosting a video conference call to discuss outbound sales strategies

Outsourcing Fractional Outbound Sales Team

If the scale of putting up and running your in-house outbound sales team seems too much of a challenge and a risk for your business, outsourcing fractional outbound sales teams presents a strategic pivot from traditional in-house models.

This approach significantly alleviates operational burdens including recruitment, training, and payroll management, allowing companies access to a pool of experienced sales professionals without long-term commitments.

This model’s flexibility is its biggest advantage since it provides companies with scalability and access to top talent.

How Glencoco Can Help

Glencoco directly addresses the inefficiencies inherent in building traditional in-house outbound sales teams through innovative, flexible solutions that drastically reduce wasted budget and misalignment with outbound sales strategies. Here's what Glencoco can do for you and your business:

Lowers Operational Costs

Glencoco's model significantly cuts down on the operational costs associated with traditional in-house teams. By leveraging a marketplace for experienced fractional SDRs and sales professionals, companies avoid the expenses of recruitment and training. This model not only reduces direct costs but also minimizes the budget wastage on strategies that fail to align with market needs.

Aligns with Market Demands

Glencoco mitigates the risk of misalignment with dynamic market demands through its flexible marketplace. Companies can list their specific qualifying criteria for sales leads and adjust these criteria as market demands evolve. This ensures that the outbound sales strategies are always targeted and relevant, maximizing the effectiveness of every dollar spent on outbound sales efforts.

Leverages Modern Sales Technologies

The platform’s use of AI for training and sales strategy implementation allows companies to leverage modern sales technologies effectively. This not only enhances the efficiency of sales processes but also ensures that strategies are up-to-date with the latest trends and tools in digital marketing, reducing resource wastage on outdated practices.

Solves High Turnover Rates Issues

By outsourcing to a pool of experienced and vetted fractional sales professionals, Glencoco significantly lowers the impact of high turnover rates endemic to sales positions. This outsourcing model ensures continuity and consistency in sales efforts, as companies can quickly replace or scale their sales teams without the need for frequent retraining or the loss of institutional knowledge.

In-House vs. Fractional Team for Outbound Sales Strategy

When deciding between an in-house and a fractional team for your outbound sales strategy, it's crucial to consider how each can impact your revenue growth.

In-house teams offer full control and deep integration with your brand, potentially leading to highly tailored sales approaches. However, they come with high operational costs, including recruitment, training, and infrastructure, which can dilute your return on investment, especially if rapid market adaptation is needed.

On the other hand, access to fractional sales professionals like those provided by Glencoco introduces agility, cost efficiency, and access to a diverse talent pool without the long-term commitment of in-house staff.

This model allows for rapid scaling of sales efforts in response to market demands and integrates cutting-edge sales technologies to maintain a competitive edge. By leveraging outsourced expertise, companies can focus on strategic growth areas, ensuring that outbound sales strategies are not only more flexible but also more aligned with market opportunities to boost revenue.

Ultimately, the choice between in-house and fractional sales teams should be guided by your company’s specific needs, growth goals, and the ability to invest in and manage sales talent.

For businesses looking to maximize efficiency, reduce overheads, and capitalize on the latest sales strategies and technologies, using a platform like Glencoco offers a compelling pathway to enhancing your outbound sales strategy and driving revenue growth.

Glencoco's innovative approach to outbound sales addresses the inefficiencies of traditional in-house teams, offering solutions that reduce costs, enhance efficiency, and align with the dynamic demands of the modern sales environment.

Through its platform, Glencoco is setting a new standard for the future of sales development, offering benefits for businesses and sales professionals alike.