Though there are endless aspects to consider and fine-tune within an outbound process in order to succeed, this post will summarize some key elements that constitute a successful outbound process. Below we will cover everything from framing the process with goal setting, deciding on sales tools and daily workflow, to the reporting strategy.
Having a successful outbound campaign is crucial to not only support a sustainable source of income, but also securing your organization's growth. Outbound activities in the form of a repeatable and measurable process are many times what drives continuous revenue, but unfortunately having a structured outbound process is often looked past.
Setting goals & outreach model
Before connecting with the target audience, a company needs to define a viable sales budget connected to the overall business goals and preferably, if possible, break it down into monthly sub budgets. The natural next step would be to further break this budget down into weekly and daily activity budgets. However, this is highly dependent on what type of outreach the sales reps are expected to do. For example, achieving high activity rates with phone calls makes more sense than high attendance on networking events and naturally yields a different hit rate. Thus, understanding how a sales rep will go about connecting with prospects is fundamental, before deciding what a decent daily and weekly activity rate looks like.
Finding smart tools
When the company has an overall idea of which tools or channels a sales rep will use, as well as having established a bottom line activity rate needed to hit their budget, the next step is to review their tools at hand in more detail. Are there any smart tools or functionalities available that can automate the work while both increasing the quality and quantity? Such tools could be automatic calling from the CRM system, sales automation or video recording.
Planning your day
When the daily activity goals, outreach model and tools are defined, the rep should start planning their day in the most streamlined manner possible. This entails organizing and finding a balance between how they carry out their activities smoothly while also retaining a high hit rate. For example, there might be specific hours during the day when phone calls work better and thus should be prioritized.
Depending on the outreach model chosen, there could be a different need for prospecting and this should also be taken into account when planning and prioritizing the daily activities. The amount of prospecting and qualification that needs to be done is often directly tied to the ability to reach the daily targets and should therefore also be considered to be part of the activity budget. This reduces the risk of interrupting the outreach flow due to lack of activities in the task list.
A qualifying framework
The qualification of prospects early on in the outbound process is crucial in order to spend time on the right opportunities and increase the hit rate, but it is equally important to understand that the qualification continues all throughout the sales process. A common way to do this is to create a qualifying framework or a checklist for phone calls and meetings that is well connected to the sales process and deal stages. On a simple level, this could mean predefined questions that need to be answered in order to create or move the deal forward.
Reporting progress and improving
The last and perhaps the most important element of the outbound process should be the reporting strategy. This step will be key in order to continuously develop and improve the outcome of all sales efforts. Depending on the availability and frequency of meetings between the sales reps and management, this could look differently. Having daily check-in meetings where the reps display yesterday's numbers will foster accountability and let the team know about any progress or blockers and let the rest know if there is any immediate help needed. A more robust meeting by the end or beginning of the week could be a good chance to have a thorough discussion about any deviations and find ways to improve all sales efforts. Having a structured reporting strategy will help the sales team stay on track towards their goals and enables better forecasting for the whole organization.