The Winning Outbound 2.0 Standard Operating Procedure
Outbound sales is a science and an art, as sales in general is. The easy part is to set up all processes, the really hard part is to execute the defined processes and to communicate to the whole team a single Standard Operating Procedure.
I have started doing outbound with just looking at the pure numbers:
- Emails sent
- Calls done
- Meetings generated
- Opportunities generated
- Deals closed
But, this is not enough. Seeing and measuring these numbers is easy. Coaching every one on the team to the next level and to increase the success of all outbound efforts is really hard. And to coach the team effectively, there has to be a specific outbound process in place. Furthermore, if there is no outbound process in place, you can't scale outbound sales effectively.
In this blog post, I want to line out the Outbound Standard Operating Procedure which we suggest to do and implement. It's a clearly defined 7-step process that every Business Development Representative as well as Outbound Sales Development Representative can follow.
Define your Goal
Generating Sales Accepted Opportunities (SAO) for Sales Team
Setting up meetings together with AE/SD
Signing up people for trials
Any other goal
Define your Campaign
How can we group certain people best? This can be via industry, product usage, country, persona, ... there are hundred different ways to do this and you have to try for your business what works best and is the easiest to execute.
You should also think about how you can find specific companies and people for your grouping.
Target Audience Definition
As specific as possible and focus on your Ideal Customer Profile
via events, via certain groups, via websites, via research, via certain industries, via certain countries, …)
100-300 accounts per bucket
Account selection via Sales Navigator search function (important search variables are: geography, industry, company headcount, the technology used)
Also use the keyword search to specify your research (f.e.: “ocr”, “IT platform”, "technical head")
Cluster your accounts by company headcount (big accounts: 5K-10K+ employees; SMEs: 1K-5K)
Minimum 3-4 contacts per account, maximum 12-15!
Individual messaging for every persona and outbound campaign
Also, read the job description of the personas and see if they fit
Take your time while prospecting (quality before quantity)
Tools to identify contact data: Zoominfo, Wiza, Anymailfinder, ...
Exclude always existing customers as listed in your CRM, like Salesforce
Emails correct (bounce rate? opt-out rate? Opening rate?)
LinkedIn Correct (LinkedIn is most of the time correct)
Template and Sequence writing The goal is to execute the email as well as LinkedIn sequence automatically in the background. You can for example customize the first step, everything else should be automated to focus really on calling people. Calling is important and leas definitely to business, even in the 2021 age.
One Sequence per persona, use the Agoge Sequence as a best practice or something customized to your specific needs.
1) Email Sequence 1-2 per week, keep the templates really short (you only get 14 seconds of people's attention while screening your email, and with the 14 seconds you are actually lucky). Rather send more emails, but shorter ones and to the point with a clear call to action.
2) LinkedIn Sequence Connection Request + Message: 300 characters only; most important message to activate prospect; This message can be personalised. If you have enough information about your target persona and you feel confident that every SDR Leader, every Engineering Manager, every IT Manager has the same problems and that resonates also a highly customized and targeted template could be enough. No more than 3-4 steps on LinkedIn => people get annoyed easily when you start spamming them. If they are not responding after step 3-4 it's likely they are not interested which means your target group or your message is not right.
3) Calling Script For every campaign, create a specific call script
via Email sequence with PersistIQ
via LinkedIn sequence with LeadConnect
Additional tools like www.swapcard.com
Trade show tools
WhatsApp, Text, etc.
Measure and Improve Measure every campaign you have executed to further improve. This is super helpful to share results and outcomes with the broader group and the broader team to get some learnings out of the execution.
Measure: What was the outcome of the campaign in terms of opportunities generated and meetings scheduled but also what was necessary to get certain opportunities and meetings.
Improve: Take some learnings for your next campaigns.