Outbound lead generation describes the process of using outbound marketing strategies to push out their messages to prospective customers or a specific target audience.
It often involves such strategies as trade shows, email blasts, and cold phone calls.
Outbound lead generation, in essence, involves pushing out marketing messages via different platforms to a target audience without them asking for it or expressing interest in your offer.
Unlike inbound lead generation campaigns, outbound lead generation requires a great deal of effort and perseverance. A lead, on the other hand, is someone who has expressed interest in what you're selling but is yet to make any purchase.
If you want to make your outbound efforts count in 2022, you must be willing to engage the right outbound lead generation tactics in your marketing campaigns. In this post, I'll show you why your marketing and sales team needs to build effective outbound lead generation strategies.
Difference Between Inbound Lead Generation and Outbound Lead Generation
The significant difference between inbound and outbound lead gen strategies is that outbound marketing generates leads by focusing on reaching potential customers where they are with awareness campaigns. Inbound marketing strategies use an organic approach to attract leads.
This is the most popular marketing strategy today. It focuses on putting out great content related to customer needs and waiting for the customers to reach out.
With outbound strategies, you target the customer first, but inbound lead generation brings the prospects to search you out.
Outbound lead generation gives you complete control over the lead generation process, but with inbound lead gen, you wait for the prospects to trickle in.
You create the ideal customer profile for outbound lead strategies and target them instead of attracting just any inbound leads.
Outbound leads are generated by cold calling, direct emails, targeted ads, etc. Inbound leads are generated using SEO, content marketing, blogs, Marketing qualified lead (MQL), etc.
Why Outbound Lead Generation Is Important for Your Business
Build Brand Awareness Quickly
Inbound marketing tactics focus on organic growth, and that approach can be very practical, provided you keep at it until the results begin to show. However, they may not always be the best marketing or lead generation strategies for businesses looking to convert leads immediately.
With the right outbound strategy, you don't have to wait for organic growth or for leads to come to you. You can go out there and meet them where they are. That's why it is called "interruption marketing." We have billboard ads still running today because outbound lead gen still works.
Businesses can also focus on generating leads through social media, PPC advertising, cold calling, email newsletters with valuable content, tradeshows and important industry events, email blasts with irresistible offers or discounts, running promotional campaigns, etc. These tactics can help you generate quality leads and grow your outbound sales number.
Collapses the Length of Your Sales Cycle
Inbound leads take anywhere between 4-10 months before they start coming in. If you want instant results, where your sales funnel has qualified leads, you need to pick up the phone and make those cold calls, compose and send those emails and make them really salesy, and get more resilient with your outbound lead generation campaigns.
Instead of waiting for months, you combine your inbound lead generation efforts with your outbound strategies to win over more potential customers in a short time. But it would help if you were strategic about who you target so you don't waste your efforts. Inbound and outbound strategies can always be run side by side to make the sales process faster.
Test and Reach New Markets
Outbound marketing also allows businesses to get their brand in front of new markets that might not have heard about their services and products.
The sales process in outbound lead generation can be more demanding than inbound marketing, but it allows you to reach a broader range of prospects.
For example, your sales team might have to make hundreds of cold calls daily before closing a few deals. You might need to supercharge your email and social marketing campaign with automation tools.
Your marketing team might be doing great work putting out great content for your audience, but that content might not produce leads if the right people are not seeing them.
Have you considered that there might be people who need your product or service but do not have the time or habit of reading online content?
Your content marketing effort can help you reach more of your target audience when combined with the right outbound tactics. Also, with real-time analytics, your team can track which methods work and which ones aren't working.
Actively Build Exposure With a Personal Touch
Just because inbound marketing is the rave of the moment and effective does not mean that the outbound lead generation process is now outdated and ineffective.
Your outbound lead generation efforts are directed towards actively building exposure, which drives more new leads through your sales pipeline instead of waiting for prospects to come to find you.
But as you do this, you'll realize that it is also an interactive approach since the outbound sales team typically seeks a one-on-one engagement with each new lead.
When people are looking for human interactions with sales and marketing teams, you can be sure that a lot of people will appreciate cold calls and emails.
A study conducted by Discover Org showed that 75% of executives are willing to make an appointment or attend an event based on a cold call or cold email alone.
Inbound and Outbound Lead Generation Strategies Combined
According to the Act-On study on Inbound vs. Outbound Campaign, most marketers use a combination of both tactics. Inbound and outbound lead generation tactics are like two halves of a whole.
The study showed that about 85% of respondents use a combination of inbound and outbound marketing methods for generating leads, regardless of which gives them the best results.
Nobody was all-in on either inbound marketing or outbound campaigns.
From all indications, outbound lead generation works best together with inbound marketing. Operating as two parts of a whole, each lead generation approach can complement the other where it might be lacking.
This also gives you a chance to A/B test your outbound lead gen strategies and stick to the ones that drive the best results. The same applies to your inbound strategy.
How Marketing and Sales Teams Drive the Outbound Lead Generation Strategy
While the sales and marketing teams work hand-in-hand to improve the result of your outbound campaign, the two groups have different functions.
The outbound marketing team facilitates the outbound marketing process using various outbound marketing strategies designed to generate new leads. The team typically includes:
Campaign marketers: They run campaigns through various channels, such as direct mail, print, TV, radio, email newsletter, discovery phone call, catalogs, etc.
On the other hand, the outbound sales team uses effective outbound sales strategies to close outbound leads and improve customer retention rates.
The outbound sales reps connect with potential customers using outbound lead gen strategies, such as direct mail, product demos, and cold calling to guide the potential customers through the sales process until they purchase.
The sales team's goal is to get new leads to become paying customers.
Effective Outbound Lead Generation Strategies
Lead generation is the process of reaching out and attracting people who have shown interest in your business and can be nurtured into potential customers instead of waiting for them to reach out to you.
No doubt, this does not come easy. But there are many effective strategies for outbound lead generation that will bring you more clients than inbound lead generation—one thing to keep in mind is that you only want qualified leads.
A qualified lead is a lead that is more likely to become a customer than other leads. Here are eleven proven strategies to help you generate outbound leads.
#1 LinkedIn Messaging
LinkedIn is a powerful platform with over 575 million users, making it a goldmine for outbound lead generation.
You can use LinkedIn to connect with potential leads and customers in your target market by sending them personal messages.
The key to success with LinkedIn messaging is ensuring your message comes across as human and not like a sales pitch.
An excellent way to do this is to start the conversation by complimenting something on their profile or recent blog post and then asking a question that will begin a conversation.
For example, you can say something like, "I read your blog post on XYZ, and I found it very interesting. I have a question about XYZ. I'd love to hear your thoughts."
When you reach out to someone on LinkedIn, it's crucial to understand what you want to achieve from the conversation.
Do you want to set up a meeting? Get an introduction to someone else in their network?
Whatever it is, make sure you state your intention upfront, so there are no misunderstandings further down the road.
Lastly, it is imperative to have a quality profile that is built to convert your ideal client. More on how to write a great LinkedIn summary.
#2 Personalized Email Outreach
Email outreach is another effective outbound lead generation method.
The key to success with email outreach is personalization. It would help if you showed that you've done your research and understand your target client's needs.
An excellent way to do this is to mention something that they've recently achieved, such as launching a new product or winning an award, and then show how you can help them with their next goal.
For example, if they've just launched a new product, you could say something like, "Congratulations on launching your new product. I've been following your company closely, and I'm excited about your recent launch.
I'd love to help you promote your new product and get it in front of as many people as possible. I have a lot of experience with XYZ, and I think I could be a valuable asset to your team."
Email outreach can be a very effective outbound lead generation tool, but it's important to remember that you need to personalize your emails to get results.
#3 Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is a form of advertising that allows you to promote your content on someone else's website or blog.
This is a great way to get your content in front of a new audience and generate leads from people who might not have otherwise found you.
When you sponsor content, you usually pay the website or blog owner a fee to have your content featured on their site.
The fee can be a one-time or recurring payment, depending on your agreement with the site owner.
Sponsored content is a great way to generate leads because you're able to target your content to a specific audience.
For example, if you know that your target market is small businesses, you can look for websites and blogs that cater to that market and sponsor content on those sites.
This will ensure that your content is seen by people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to say.
Webinars are a great way to generate leads because they allow you to showcase your expertise and build trust with potential leads.
People are more likely to buy from someone they know, like, and trust, so if you can build that relationship with potential leads before you try to sell them something, you're more likely to be successful.
Webinars also allow you to collect leads by requiring people to register for the webinar before they can attend.
This gives you a list of people who are interested in what you have to say and are more likely to buy from you in the future.
If you're thinking about using webinars as an outbound lead generation approach, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, you must understand what you want to achieve with your webinar.
Are you trying to generate leads? Sell a product? Build brand awareness? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can create a plan for your webinar that will help you achieve your goal.
Second, you need to promote your webinar.
You can't just create a webinar and expect people to find it. It would be best to let people know that it exists and why they should care.
You can promote your webinar through your website, social media platforms, email, and other marketing channels.
Finally, you need to make sure your webinar is high quality.
People are more likely to buy from someone they know, like, and trust, so if you want to generate leads with your webinar, you need to make sure that it's something people will want to watch.
Creating a high-quality webinar takes time and effort, but it's worth it if you want to generate leads with this outbound lead generation strategy.
#5 Cold Calling
Let's say you need 100 new leads this week.
Can your inbound lead gen efforts (SEO, content marketing, etc.) produce that result? Even if they do, will they be attracting the best leads?
In this case, it's simple. You go to them with your offers.
You've got to pick up the phone and make intentional, highly-targeted phone calls. Cold calling is far from dead.
Although it works more for some niches, it remains one of the oldest and most effective outbound lead generation methods.
Your digital marketing campaign (inbound strategies) can always complement strategic cold calling.
It should be strategic and backed by automation and CRM solutions that will help you target prospects likely to convert to paying customers.
When you make a cold call, you're essentially interrupting someone's day to try to sell them something.
That's why it's essential to ensure that your calls are relevant and targeted.
It would help if you had a clear idea of who you're calling and what you're trying to sell them before making the call.
If you do, you'll likely generate leads with each conversation.
Then if you can do that, you need to keep a few things in mind if you want to make sure your time calling is effectual.
First, you need to have a quality script.
A script will help you stay on track and ensure you say everything you need.
Second, you need to be prepared for objections.
People will object to what you're trying to sell them, so you need to be prepared with a response that will overcome their objection.
Finally, it would help if you were persistent.
Cold calling is a numbers game, so the more calls you make, the more leads you're likely to generate.
Don't give up if you don't get a lead on the first call.
Keep going, and eventually, you'll find someone who's interested in what you have to offer.
Cold calling can be an effective outbound lead generation strategy, but only if done correctly.
Make sure you target your calls, have a script, and are prepared for objections.
If you do that, you'll be more likely to generate leads with your cold calls.
Referral marketing is one of the most effective outbound lead generation strategies.
It's also one of the most underrated.
When you ask your customers for referrals, you're essentially asking them to promote your business to their friends and family.
And because they trust you, they're more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Referral marketing is a great way to produce leads because it's a win-win for you and your customers.
Your customers get to help their friends and family, and you get more leads.
It's a great way to generate word-of-mouth marketing for your business.
#7 LinkedIn Ads
The choice of LinkedIn is no surprise considering that it is the only platform where you will find the top-ranking C-Suite business leaders and executives of fortune 500 companies.
LinkedIn gives you direct access to people with decision-making power when it comes to acquiring and making purchases.
With LinkedIn Ads, businesses can target qualified leads and drive more traffic to their sites in a short time. It is one of the most effective outbound tactics for B2B lead generation in the marketing world.
However, LinkedIn marketing in general also works for B2C marketing. Many marketers now include LinkedIn Ads as part of their outbound campaigns.
When using LinkedIn Ads for your outbound lead generation, make sure you use different ad formats such as Sponsored InMail, Sponsored Content, and Text Ads.
You can also use LinkedIn's advanced targeting options to laser-target your audience and get the most out of your campaigns.
#8 Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads is another effective lead generation tactic for B2B marketers.
If you're looking to maximize the power of social media in attracting qualified leads, a great place to start is Facebook.
With Facebook ads, businesses can also reach audiences with their messages on Instagram ads that can generate quality leads fast.
You can optimize using different options when setting up your campaign.
For outbound lead generation, the "Lead Generation" or "Conversion" type ads work best. Regardless of your kind of business, Facebook ads can go a long way to complement other outbound lead gen efforts.
#9 Direct Mail
You're most likely wondering how direct mail beats automated email marketing and drip campaign marketing.
But when you look at it, direct mail guarantees higher chances of grabbing the prospects' attention and much less competition (especially as the average individual's inbox is bombarded with multiple emails every day).
Direct mail has a similar effect as cold calling, but unlike regular electronic mail, you must deliver it by hand to the target recipients.
You'll probably spend more delivering direct mail through postal services. This is why you want to be deliberate and strategic about using direct mail for outbound lead generation.
When using direct email, it is vital to provide irresistible offers to the recipient. This increases your chances of grabbing their attention. If successful, sales reps can close high-profile deals one at a time.
#10 Events and Trade Shows
Events and trade shows are viewed mainly as traditional marketing methods, unlike the current digitized alternative. But that does not mean that they are any less effective today.
The good thing about live shows and events is that you have an audience you are addressing directly. Chances are, someone in the audience is very much interested in what you have to offer.
Trade fairs and industry events provide an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses to showcase their brands, products, or services to industry professionals.
But a significant point here is to ensure that these events are directly related to your industry to increase the chances of meeting like minds and prospects.
That way, sales reps can avoid engaging in irrelevant and time-wasting conversations.
#11 Google Ads
Both outbound and inbound lead generation work well with Google ads. Google ads help you reach prospects that are ready to buy (people who are already searching for your services or products).
Using related keywords while setting up your ads increases your chances of landing the right customers.
Many marketers use Google ads to generate outbound leads mainly because it allows for specific targeting of warm or ready-to-buy prospects.
Google ads are a powerful tool as you can use them to target prospects based on their location, search history, and interests.
You can also create different types of ads depending on the stage of your buyer's journey that they are in. For example, awareness stage ads should be educational, while conversion stage ads should have a solid call to action.
This will allow you to work effectively with your campaign marketing budget such that you pay for the results you're getting. You can also hire a professional to help with this.
Top Benefits of Outbound B2B Sales Approaches
#1 Speed of acquisition
The primary benefit of outbound selling is that it helps you close deals quickly. Prospecting and generating leads through methods like cold emailing can help speed up the acquisition process.
This is especially so if you have a great offer or solution for your target market.
For example, if you get in touch with the right decision-maker in an organization that is in dire need of your solution, you can quickly seal the deal and get them on board as paying customers.
#2 Greater chances of success
With outbound selling, you have greater control over the entire process, from prospecting to closing the deal.
This means you can easily track your progress and measure your success rate.
What's more, you can also make necessary adjustments along the way to improve your chances of success.
For instance, if you realize that a particular type of outbound lead generation tactic is not working well for you, you can quickly change tack and try something else.
Another significant advantage of outbound selling is that it is generally more cost-effective than inbound selling.
This is because you are not relying on organic traffic or free methods of lead generation.
With outbound selling, you can easily invest in paid methods of lead generation, such as Google Ads, and be sure of getting a good return on investment.
Drawbacks of Outbound Selling
There are a few drawbacks of outbound selling that you should be aware of:
#1 It can be pretty disruptive
Some people may view your outbound selling attempts as disruptive, especially if they are not interested in your offer.
For example, if you are making a sales call to someone who is not expecting it, they may find the call unwanted and intrusive.
#2 It can be pretty expensive
Another drawback of outbound selling is that it can be expensive, primarily if you rely on paid methods of lead generation or high-cost sales professionals.
For example, if you are using Google Ads to generate opportunities, you will need to pay for every click your ad receives.
#3 It takes a lot of time and effort
Finally, outbound selling can be time-consuming and require a lot of effort. This is because you will need to invest time in prospecting for leads and then following up with them.
In conclusion, outbound selling can be a great way to get leads and close deals quickly.
However, it is crucial to be aware of the drawbacks before using this method.
#4 The success rate can be low
One final disadvantage of outbound selling is that the success rate can be quite low.
This is because you will be contacting a lot of people who may not be interested in your offer.
As a result, you will need to make a large number of sales calls to generate a few leads that you can eventually close.
What to do next? Reach out to us if you need help figuring out how to pull everything together. Here at the Mission, we focus on helping our clients with outbound selling so they can get the leads they need.
We have a team of specialists who can help you create an effective outbound sales strategy and implement it successfully. Book a call with us today, and let's see how we can help you take your business to the next level.