How to Really Do Outbound Sales

Posted in: SaaStr Panel Summaries, sales

Kathy Lord, VP of sales and customer success at Intact, and Kyle Porter, CEO of SalesLoft, chat with moderator John Barrows (@johnmbarrows) about outbound sales - when to start, how to drive big deals, and how to iterate and source new ideas.

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In a nutshell:

  • It's never too early to implement an outbound sales process.
  • Make sure outbound is a priority - if an SDR is tasked with both in- and outbound, the latter will always be deprioritized.
  • Personalization is key. You can't email blast your way into a good outbound sales strategy.

When should you start doing outbound sales?

According to Porter, you should start doing outbound sales immediately. Inbound sales drives the “seed-and-grow” approach, but if you can build an outbound infrastructure right out of the gate, you’re set up to bring in big deals.

Lord agrees to an extent. If you don’t know your target customer profile, outbound sales lets you quickly test a number of sizes and types. However, she suggests that you manage the transition from inbound to outbound carefully, since it may take a different kind of sales rep.

Systematizing and strategizing

Porter says there’s a lot of opportunity to “outbound the inbounds” - a junior person may download a white paper, but that might be a chance to contact a director-level. He recommends breaking roles into distinct inbound and outbound - if a single rep has to do both, outbound is inevitably deprioritized. He also mentioned the importance of list-building (and mentioned DataFox!) in identifying key targets to reach out to.

Barrows recommends setting aside an hour a day for reps to try a new message targeting a different persona. Aggregating their efforts provides hundreds of datapoints on messaging, and helps refine messaging overall.

Personalization is key

All three panelists agreed: personalization is essential in outbound sales. The best way to do outbound is to pick your top targets, then connect with them as humans - personalized emails and calls, a clear understanding of the customer profile, and dedicated outreach.

“What’s the sales app for 2016? The phone.” -Porter

It’s easy to get lost in the noise of sales and marketing automation. Personalization is what makes you stand out.

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