What are outbound sales?
Why are they so important?
How can you get better at it?
These are very important questions and we have the answers.
First things first – What is an outbound call?
Before we can define what is an outbound sale is, we need to know what an outbound call is.
An outbound call is a call made from a contact center or in some cases by one person to a contact “outside” the organization or company.
It’s also defined as a call that goes “out” of the center to a particular phone number.
People tend to think that a “contact center” is exclusively a huge call center, but that’s not the case.
Any department or area that handles phone calls and online interactions (Web Chat, SMS, Social Media messages) from customers regardless of the size (it can be 2 to +10,000 people) it’s defined as a “contact center”.
Outbound calls are made for a number of reasons. A few that we can mention are:
- To prospect a potential buyer or customer
- To sell a product or service
- Provide general information
- Conduct a survey
- Generate leads
- Update relevant customer information
- Debt collection
Ok, so what are outbound sales?
The concept is really simple.
Outbound sales are outbound calls made by a contact center agent that ends with a sale or purchase by the person receiving the call.
It sounds really easy to do but it’s not. In order to have a successful outbound sales campaign a lot of factors need to be taken into consideration.
Outbound sales campaigns can be very demanding and if it’s not done correctly, they can do more harm than good.
Outbound sales factors
The first factor to take into consideration is the list of potential customers you want to reach over the phone. This is what we call leads.
Leads are the fuel of any outbound campaign. People tend to think that the more leads they have the better and while this may be true to a certain degree, the quality of the leads is more important.
High-quality leads are easier to convert into sales. With fewer but better leads, companies are able to have a reduced but efficient sales team.
Fewer agents on the phone with a high conversion rate translates into more revenue to the company.
But how can you know right away if you have high-quality leads?
Sales Conversion Rate
Easy, with the sales conversion rate. This percentage comes from dividing the number of sales by the number of valid calls.
If you have 20 sales out of 135 valid phone calls, the conversion rate is 20 sales divided by 135 phone calls, this gives you a sales conversion of 14.81%.
Valid Phone Calls
Another great indicator is the number of valid phone calls. Anything above 120 seconds is considered a valid phone call or sales opportunity.
If the agent is able to maintain an initial conversation for more than two minutes it can only mean two things:
- A really busy prospect that can’t have a long call at the moment
- An uninterested prospect
This takes us to the next factor.
If leads are the fuel, the sales team is the engine that burns that fuel and takes the business to the next level.
You need real SALES AGENTS, not order entry agents.
The difference between the two concepts (sales agent vs order entry agent) is that a sales agent will convince the customer about the value of the product and/or service that’s being offered, will answer all the pertinent questions and most important will handle any type of rebuttal from the customer.
This is paramount for the success of any outbound campaign. Putting together an effective sales team is not an easy task but it’s one that’s worth it.
We will expand on the key features of a sales team in a later article.
Another important factor is the Outbound Script. You need a good outbound script. The script should provide the sales agent all the necessary information and parameters to conduct a sale.
A good script needs to be flexible enough to allow the sales agent to make a sale but at the same time to be compliant and provide correct information to the customer.
Achieving this balance can take time but it’s worth it.
With the list of leads and a great sales team in place, it’s time for the next element. A proven, compliant and robust dialing system. Not every dialing solution will take the business to the next level. The dialing system should provide the following features:
- Predictive dialing capabilities. The dialer can “predict” when it can reach a customer so the sales agent can handle the call.
- Lead validation. On any list of leads, you will encounter duplicate, invalid or in the worst case, DNC (Do Not Call) phone numbers. The dialing system needs to filter this as soon as possible at the start of the campaign to achieve the best results.
- Effective and ROBUST Reporting. This is one overlooked feature, especially with the robust part. It’s good to see how many leads your dialing and getting in contact, but the more information you have the better. Getting to know the specifics and little details can make the campaign more effective. It also provides valuable insights about your customers.
Getting all the proper statistics will help plan and optimize the sales and marketing strategy accordingly.
Provide value to the customer. If you’re planning on giving the same “benefits” that everybody is doing, chances are that the campaign will not have great success.
Always take into consideration what’s the unique value that you’re providing and convey that message.
The better the value, the easier to close the sale.
We hope that you enjoyed our little article about outbound sales. If you need to take your sales team to the next level, then Pipes is the perfect solution. It offers an effective and incredible fast lead validation process, a detail reporting system and much much more.
Get in contact with us today and start reaping the benefits of a state of the art dialing solution.