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Getting Started with Outbound Sales? (Let’s Start with Strategy)

Getting Started With Outbound Sales
Selling & Closing

Trying to get started with outbound sales? You need a solid outbound sales strategy in place.

Because honestly, when it comes to outbound sales, if you haven’t done the footwork and created the infrastructure needed for success, it can get messy. On the other hand, if you lay the groundwork and develop a smart strategy, you’ll start seeing the results within short order.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at what it takes to develop your outbound sales strategy.

In this article, I’m going to give you 4 basic requirements for getting started:

4 Elements of a Successful Outbound Sales Strategy

1. You Know Your ICP

We hear it time and again: “We serve every industry, and our product can appeal to multiple job titles and departments.” 

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that. 

RELATED: The Data Points You Need for an Effective Account Targeting Strategy

If you aren’t able to specifically target your messaging to an Ideal Customer Profile, or an ICP, your outbound outreach will be set up for disaster. An ICP is a quantifiable and qualifiable description of the perfect company in need of the solutions you offer. 

To build an ICP profile, start by analyzing your customers or the customers of your competition in need of your services. In detail, this means:

Getting specific in identifying the company size and location, technology, and service requirements. Also track the number of employees, their pain points, the age of the company, and their typical customer.

Go to the data. ICPs are different than buyer personas, which are semi-fictional. 

➔ Look at your 10 best customers and identify characteristics that work and what you’d like to improve. If you currently have no customers, don’t worry—you can create your ICP by ensuring your product appeals to a very specific business audience. 

2. You’ve Got Content to Support Sales

When prospecting, your team may be introducing your company for the first time to prospects that are unfamiliar with your work. You have to presume they’ll be doing their own research on your product or service. If you don’t have the goods, you won’t land the sale.

What type of content do you need for this? 

It can vary, based on what your ICP is most interested in. Your content could include case studies, sales decks, pricing sheets, blog posts, and even a strong social media presence. 

The point here is to provide content that builds credibility and answers the ICP’s questions. The more effort you put into this content, the more credibility your company and your product will have.

Be aware, you need more than just a Features page. When connecting with leads through outbound sales, your business must be savvy. Consider implementing videos or other unique techniques throughout your website and digital channels to stand out in a crowded market.

RELATED: Sales Enablement Content: How to Give Reps What They Truly Need [Infographic]

3. You Have a Value Proposition 

Fill up your website and target all you want, but it won’t do much good if you haven’t taken the time to research, test, and perfect your current product or service. 

You must be solving a problem for your customers, and the only way you can do that is if you are fitting your market with a strong value proposition.

Scratching your head as to what a value proposition even is? This is simply a statement designed to convince a potential customer that your specific service or product will add value to their business. You have to prove your worth over similar offerings. This is more than an exercise: a value proposition is to-the-point, free of jargon, and compelling.

Strong value propositions have a powerful headline, followed by a sub-heading that explains the value and offers an example of what your product is best at. It should be no more than three sentences long and can include bullet points.

For example, here’s how Outreach does it:

And here’s how we do it at Leadium:

The value proposition can then be used as a foundation for great email messaging or call scripts that you will write heading into the outbound sales process.

Not sure where to start? An outbound campaign can actually help. Ask for feedback from your prospects, and really listen to constructive criticism. If your messaging isn’t reaching them, change it.

4. You Have the Right Engagement Tools 

No, you don’t need every SaaS product on the market. But in order to track and analyze the reaction of your prospects, a customer engagement platform (SEP) can help. This tool — we recommend Outreach.io — is crucial for organizing sales teams. 

With it, you’re able to create a series of touchpoints, a timeline for engagement, and track customer insights, all in one place. 

Getting organized also helps you get hyper-personalized in your messaging.

RELATED: In Search of the Perfect Sales Tech Stack (Here’s What’s Working Today)

So Are You Really Ready for Outbound Sales?

Did you check all the boxes? While this list isn’t the end-all, be-all of outbound sales preparedness, these are some of the basics. 

If you know your ICP, have great content to support your sales development team, have a value proposition ready to go, and can rely on modern engagement tools, you’re ready to take your outbound sales to the next level.

Does your org do outbound sales? What do you see as the biggest challenge to getting started and/or doing it right?

Kevin is the Co-founder & CEO of Leadium, the industry leader in outbound sales and lead generation. He is focused on driving affordable growth at startups and small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs). Prior to Leadium, Kevin held several sales strategy, product marketing, and customer success positions in leading enterprise companies and startups. He was a part of the founding team that led MOKO Social Media’s NASDAQ listing and worked with Wayup as they participated in YCombinator and obtained $15m in funding.