As the old saying goes, “time is money,” and this couldn’t be true when it comes to generating leads for your business. The longer it takes to find potential customers, the more revenue you’re leaving on the table. Fortunately, there is a solution that can help you generate leads faster and more efficiently: a proven outbound workflow.
Outbound marketing may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be an effective way to reach your target audience and generate leads quickly. Companies that use outbound marketing techniques are three times more likely to see a higher return on investment (ROI) than those that rely solely on inbound marketing. So, if you’re ready to take your B2B lead generation efforts to the next level, it’s time to start developing your outbound workflow.
In this article, we’ll show you how to create a killer outbound lead generation strategy to generate more leads. These strategies will help you identify your target audience, craft compelling messaging, choose the right channels, and measure your results.
Before we start, here’s a content outline for this article:
- Why Outbound Lead Generation Matters
- What You Need for Successful Outbound Lead Generation
- How to Generate Leads: Emails + Calls + LinkedIn
Let’s dive in!
Why Outbound Lead Generation Matters More Than Ever
Here’s a little tidbit of marketing history for you. About a decade ago, when inbound marketing first emerged, many websites and blogs are predicting the demise of outbound marketing. But the naysayers at that time had overlooked one crucial detail about where marketing was headed.
B2B Marketers Will Always Need Outbound
In today’s fast-paced business world, generating leads is essential for the success of any company. However, the competition for leads has become increasingly fierce, with more businesses going digital and new companies entering the market each day. That’s why outbound lead generation has become more critical than ever before.
While inbound marketing is still an effective way to attract leads, it’s no longer enough on its own. Many companies found out that they need to incorporate outbound marketing tactics into their lead generation strategies to stay competitive.
Ironically speaking, those very same sources that trumpeted outbound marketing’s end are now advocating using emails, phone, multi-channel marketing, and other outbound tactics alongside inbound channels. That’s because outbound complements inbound marketing strategies in many ways. Inbound works well at creating broad awareness, while outbound is ideal for activities that need precise touches.
Simply speaking, inbound efforts generate leads, and outbound efforts communicate with potential leads.
Let’s say a site visitor downloads your latest whitepaper. Without connecting with the hand-raiser via email or phone (to suggest other relevant content and acquire additional prospect info), turning this lead into an opportunity can take longer (or will never take place at all), since you have to passively wait for the prospect’s next move.
What if a competitor reaches out to this prospect before you do? Then, you just lost a potential customer, because 50% of B2B buyers will end up choosing the vendor that responds first. With a solid outbound follow-up plan, you’ll be ready and able to promptly engage every prospect that comes your way.
But how can outbound lead generation impact your business results?
Ways Outbound Lead Generation Impacts Results
Finding new and effective ways to generate leads is essential to achieving growth and success. Here are some key ways that outbound lead generation can help you achieve your sales and marketing goals:
- Expanded reach and visibility: By using tactics like cold calling, email marketing, and direct mail, you can cast a wider net and make your brand more visible to potential customers.
- More precise targeting: Outbound lead generation helps you focus on your ideal customer profile (ICP) and tailor your messaging to their specific needs, using data-driven approaches like account-based marketing (ABM)
- Greater control over the sales process: By targeting promising leads and focusing on the most effective channels, you can maximize your resources and achieve better results with less waste.
- Increased sales velocity: Outbound lead generation helps you close deals faster and keep them moving forward.
- Better ROI: By targeting promising leads and focusing on the most effective channels, you can maximize your resources and achieve better results with less waste.
- Gaining richer prospect profiles and sharper marketing intelligence: Much of the information you’ll need to engage and convert leads later can be acquired and verified in real-time using outbound channels earlier in the funnel.
- Distributing relevant content to the right audience: Outbound marketing helps your content cut through the noise by putting it in front of the right decision-makers at the right time. Today’s prospects continue to drown in an ocean of published materials, and traditional distribution channels (online and social media) remain highly saturated.
- Accelerating conversions and streamlining the sales funnel: Nothing beats Targeted, one-on-one touches at starting and completing the lead conversion process, especially now that sales cycles have gotten longer and more complicated.
Now that you knew the ways how outbound lead generation impacts results, let us now discuss the right tools, strategies, and mindset you need to have to successfully grow your business and increase sales.
The Ultimate Lead Generation Kit!
Jumpstart your business using the best and latest techniques in Lead Generation.
What You Need for Successful Outbound Lead Generation
Here are some factors you need to consider for successful outbound lead generation. These factors will help you set an effective outbound campaign apart from poor-performing lead generation services:
- Target Audience: Clear Customer Profiles and Buyer Personas
- Database: Accurate and Up-to-Date Prospect Lists
- Messaging Strategy: Targeted Messaging and Content
- Seamless Experience Across Different Channels
- Data-driven lead nurturing workflow
- Robust tools for carrying out and managing the campaign
Target Audience: Clear customer profiles and buyer personas
One of the biggest reasons why outbound lead generation campaigns fail to deliver the right results is that they’re not being clear and specific enough about who they’re trying to target. This is why effective outbound lead generation strategies start with identifying your ideal customer and buyer personas.
- Who are they?
- What are their pain points?
- What solutions can you offer them?
Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can create messaging that resonates with them.
Database: Accurate and up-to-date prospect lists
You need a database of potential leads to contact. As they say, having the right list is already winning half the battle in outbound lead generation. This can come from a variety of sources, including your customer list, purchased lists, or public data sources. Make sure the database is up-to-date and accurate, so you’re not wasting time on invalid leads.
Your emails, phone calls, direct mail, remarketing, live events, and other outbound tactics all require clean and actionable leads lists. Keep in mind that your data quality makes or breaks outbound campaigns. That’s why you need a thorough action plan for acquiring or profiling leads data and managing your marketing database:
- Implement strict validation rules on lead capture forms
- Double-check your team’s data entry process
- Follow a regular update schedule
- Make sure to handle all types of data errors: duplicates, missing values, invalid entries, etc.
- Plan for every stage of the data life cycle: from data collection to removal
Messaging Strategy: Targeted Messaging and Content
Try opening a few messages in your spam folder. How do they read? They probably sound like they were meant for someone else. That’s another problem that most outbound strategies face; they follow a one-size-fits-all approach.
Effective outbound lead generation relies on sending out messages that are relevant to what a specific buyer persona expects at a particular point in the purchase journey. In short, your messaging strategy should be tailored to your target audience.
- What channels will you use to reach them?
- What kind of message will resonate with them?
You need to create messaging that is clear, concise, and compelling.
There are typically four types of buyer personas involved in B2B purchases: end-users, influencers, technical buyers, and economic buyers. These decision-makers have different priorities and pain points that they look for and respond to.
Plus, as these buyers move along the purchase journey, their needs and preferences change—and so should your messaging strategy.
Seamless Experience Across Different Channels
Practically speaking, all outbound lead generation strategies now follow a multi-channel approach. But if you ask B2B marketers what is multi-channel marketing, you’ll most likely get a ton of different answers.
Multi-channel marketing is more than just using two or more channels to interact with leads. It’s actually about ensuring that prospects and leads have a consistent and continuous experience wherever you reach them.
The key to a consistent multi-channel experience is to make sure that the conversation flows uninterrupted across the different channels in the campaign.
Get your FREE Cold Calling Scripts for Key Buyer Personas in Managed IT.
Data-driven lead nurturing workflow
In one of my articles for The Savvy Marketer blog, I talked about the importance of having a clear lead nurturing cadence or workflow. That’s because, with different channels involved and multiple touches, a lead nurturing workflow serves as a roadmap for engaging prospects.
When creating an effective lead nurture cadence, you need to make sure it meets all the following:
- Maintains consistency by providing a set of specific and unified procedures for your team to follow.
- Keeps everything easy to monitor and measure.
- Speeds up conversions by removing potential bottlenecks or leakages.
- Allows you to quickly scale things up or refocus in a different direction.
As we’ll soon see, the outbound lead generation workflow we’ll dissect below meets all these requirements.
Robust tools for carrying out and managing the campaign
The last piece of the outbound lead generation puzzle is the set of tools that power the campaign. There are thousands of marketing tools available for outbound lead generation. The important thing is to understand the technologies that serve as the building blocks of an outbound marketing stack:
- Direct outreach tools: Enable and enhance targeted, one-on-one interactions (email automation tool, call management/tracking, direct mail automation, etc.)
- Customer relationship management (CRM) platform: Serves as the main hub of campaign activities since it’s where prospect data lives
- Marketing automation platform (MAP): Orchestrates outreach activities and allows you to effectively manage the campaign
The Outbound Ways to Generate Leads: Emails + Phone Calls + LinkedIn
Although there are many marketing channels available for outbound lead generation, focusing on the right combination of multi-channel marketing can yield decent results. These channels are emails, phone calls, and LinkedIn. This outbound strategy is straightforward yet highly effective, making it an excellent starting point for B2B marketers looking to refine their outbound lead generation process.
In this section, we’ll explore each channel in detail and provide insights on how to leverage them effectively. We’ll then conclude with an actual outbound lead generation workflow that leverages the three tactics.
Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach potential customers and build relationships. By sending targeted emails with compelling subject lines and valuable content, you can capture the attention of potential customers and encourage them to take action.
For a very long time now, emails continue to be the most widely-used and most effective outbound lead generation channel. Email’s precision, scalability, and versatility make it an ideal tactic for outbound activities such as:
- Initiating contact with cold prospects
- Warming up and nurturing leads from other channels
- Following up and keeping the conversation going
- Distributing content and marketing collaterals
- Responding to prospect queries and requests
- Ensuring that booked sales appointments show up
An average expected ROI is $40 for every $1 you spend on email marketing. But emails only produce solid results if proper email marketing best practices are applied:
- Find the best schedule and sending frequency
- Make sure emails stand out with an irresistible subject line
- Balance content and design in the email body
- End the email with a strong closing line
- Build a case for action with a compelling CTA
n addition, outbound email marketing works better when executed with the right email marketing platform and with the help of a reputable email service provider.
Although many people are hesitant to pick up the phone these days, phone calls can still be a highly effective way to generate leads. By engaging with potential customers in a more personal and direct way, you can build trust and establish a rapport that can lead to long-term relationships.
Recent research shows that B2B decision makers still prefer to hear from potential vendors over the phone: 57% of C-level executives and nearly 50% of directors/managers respond to sales calls.
But the role of phone calls in lead generation has changed; the old spray-and-pray tactics of long ago no longer work. Instead, phone calls are now most effective in outbound activities such as:
- Continuing and reinforcing contacts made in other channels
- Responding promptly to prospects
- Collecting and verifying information in real-time
- Qualifying and probing prospects for fit and interest
- Understanding pain points and expectations
- Promoting content and collaterals to a targeted audience
To take full advantage of outbound telemarketing’s new role, you first need to follow a few smart calling strategies:
- Make calls a seamless part of a lead nurture path by keeping messaging consistent
- Set the stage for the next step or a follow-up
- Leverage data on past prospect activity to schedule outbound calls
- Consider each call as a chance to provide value
- Track performance with a full set of KPIs and metrics
When calling a prospect, whether in conjunction with an email or not, you can follow this basic structure for the call:
With over 700 million users, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for B2B marketers looking to generate leads. By creating a strong profile and engaging with potential customers through targeted messaging and content, you can build a network of connections that can help you reach new audiences and generate leads.
LinkedIn is the ideal social network for doing outbound activities like:
- Finding and engaging new contacts through LinkedIn connections
- Mapping out target accounts and prospects using LinkedIn profiles and activity
- Expanding the pool of relevant prospects by joining and participating in LinkedIn Groups
- Pinpointing specific market segments with LinkedIn’s search function
- Reaching out directly to prospects through InMails, Introductions, and Messages
All these activities require you to beef up your LinkedIn presence and improve your potential for engagement and conversions on the platform. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Start by optimizing your LinkedIn profile to cover the right details, keywords, summary, visuals, and UVP
- Work to constantly grow your network by leveraging LinkedIn connections and profile views
- Stay active in relevant industry groups and make sure to contribute to the community
- Make the most of LinkedIn mutual connections and common interests when exploring potential prospects
Multi-Channel Process for Outbound Lead Generation Workflow
Multi-channel marketing is like having a superhero team at your fingertips. It involves using a combination of different marketing channels to reach potential customers and increase your brand visibility. Think of it as the Avengers of marketing strategies.
But how do you assemble your marketing dream team? First, identify the channels your target audience is most likely to use.
- Are they active on social media?
- Do they prefer to read emails on the go?
Then, tailor your message to each channel. Use email marketing to send valuable content to busy professionals, or connect with decision-makers on LinkedIn to build strong relationships.
By using multiple channels, you can create a personalized experience for potential customers. Follow up a phone call with an email, or target those who have visited your website with retargeted ads on social media. It’s like having a team of personal assistants working around the clock to keep your leads engaged.
Overall, multi-channel marketing is a powerful strategy for generating leads and increasing your brand’s reach. But like any superhero team, it’s important to monitor and analyze each channel’s performance to ensure you’re getting the best ROI. So put on your cape, assemble your team, and get ready to save the day (and your lead generation strategy) with multi-channel marketing!
Do you want to learn the different types of marketing channels and how they can work together to boost your business? Check out our comprehensive guide to understanding multi-channel, cross-channel, and omnichannel marketing.
Example Outbound Lead Generation Workflow
Here’s an actual outbound lead generation workflow that makes use of emails, phone calls, and LinkedIn in an integrated way:
- Touch 1 – Intro Email or InMail (relay intent to explore ways for exceeding sales KPIs/productivity goals)
- Touch 2 – Follow-up InMail (refresh them about Intro Email/InMail)
- Touch 3 – Email (send an infographic about causes of sales performance slump)
- Touch 4 – Follow-up Email (send a whitepaper about ideal CRM setup)
- Touch 5 – Phone (discovery call)
What if your prospects don’t respond? Don’t give up just yet, find other ways to grab their attention. For example:
- Touch 6 – Social Media (share an article and tag the prospect)
- Touch 7 – Video Email (benefits of cloud-based CRM)
- Touch 8 – Social Media (engage prospect on LinkedIn – tag them in a post, answer a question they’ve posted, respond to their comment in a group, etc.)
- Touch 9 – Voice Mail (check in if prospect has questions about resources sent)
- Touch 10 – Email (Have your director send an email – this can improve response rates by 45%)
- Touch 11 – Phone or Email (book a face-to-face meeting)
This workflow can be modified to suit your requirements (such as the length of your outbound lead generation cycle as well as the content and collaterals you want to send to prospects). The key idea is to combine these three channels to provide a consistent multi-touch, multi-channel experience for your target prospects.
Email Course: 6-Day Lead Management Bootcamp
Master lead management in 6 easy lessons delivered straight to your inbox!
Email, phone, and LinkedIn touches are the three main multi-channels that make up an effective outbound lead generation workflow. When used in combination, these three outbound approaches can create a powerful lead generation strategy that reaches potential customers through multiple channels. By tailoring your approach to each channel and tracking your results, you can optimize your efforts and achieve even greater success.
You might also like: