Ways to Generate Outbound Leads
The mounting competition across all industries and markets has directed the global marketing economy into a new path. Marketers offer a wide range of practices and approaches that will help brands and businesses gain more leads and build brand awareness. But sometimes finding the right approach that works for you can be challenging.
For instance, one of the most effective ways to generate leads is outbound marketing. Research has proved over and over again that outbound marketing can help prospective customers navigate their way to brands and find services and products that will address their needs and interests.
While outbound leads might be at a disadvantage compared to inbound leads, you can use advanced targeting and communication methods to increase your sales and provide customers with a satisfying user experience.
In this article, we’ll explore the concept of outbound marketing and identify the top 3 ways to attract quality outbound leads. Let’s begin:
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Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing
The best way to understand outbound marketing is by comparing its potential against inbound marketing. There are several distinctions between the two approaches. Firstly, outbound marketing usually involves practices that proactively reach out to prospects and get their attention on a specific service or product.
Conversely, inbound marketing campaigns focus on content generation and distribution and driving organic traffic to the business website and social media accounts. Moreover, outbound lead generation often has a more aggressive, wide-sweeping approach while inbound marketing takes the long path to convince a particular group of prospects to convert.
And finally, most inbound marketing campaigns use targeted content (like blogs and social media posts) to set up a communication channel with customers and address their problems. Outbound marketing content (such as direct mail, online ads, etc.), on the other hand, is designed to capture their attention and sell products.
What is Outbound Lead Generation?
Outbound lead generation is a marketing method to manage and improve your outbound sales. Outbound lead generation is characterized by its proactive approach to optimizing marketing campaigns and building brand awareness more quickly than any other method of brand promotion.
Outbound lead generation involves close collaboration between sales teams and marketing teams in your business. The marketing team starts with devising a plan to approach your target audiences and provide them with content that will be of value to them. This part is all about creating or highlighting a need in your niche market that will be addressed with your offer.
Effective communication with target audiences requires a deep understanding of their online behavior and purchasing habits. Once you collected and analyzed this information, you can get your prospects interested in your brand, and show them how much you and your team know about what they need.
Finally, it’s time for your sales team to step in, qualify your outbound leads, and close the deal. This phase requires a well-crafted outbound sales strategy that is customized based on your business objectives as well as prospects’ needs.
What Are Outbound Leads?
Outbound leads are B2B prospects that have been approached by you and have shown interest in your brand, products, or services but haven’t purchased anything yet. Outbound leads are contacted through channels like cold emails or cold calls, Instagram DMs, or LinkedIn messaging.
Generally speaking, we have two types of outbound leads:
- A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a potential customer that has been reviewed by the marketing team and meets the necessary conditions to be passed along to the sales team. MQLs’ engagement levels indicate that they are likely to become customers.
- A sales-qualified lead (SQL) is a prospective customer who has been picked up by one of your sales representatives and has moved through the sales pipeline – from a marketing-qualified lead through a sales-accepted lead – and is now ready to convert into an active customer.
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Benefits of Outbound Lead Generation
Although many marketers would prefer inbound practices, outbound lead generation is still an incredibly powerful tool at your disposal. Whether you are running a small business or a huge multinational conglomerate, you can expect to see the following benefits from running an outbound marketing campaign:
#1 Get Immediate Results
Inbound marketing takes time to yield results. It requires setting up an editorial calendar, publishing relevant, original content on a regular basis, and earning quality backlinks. Moreover, building relationships through inbound marketing involves a long-term strategic plan, a clear brand guideline, and lots of resources to implement those ideas.
Many inbound marketing methods like content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization require specialized knowledge and professional experts who have the right skill sets and well-rounded understanding of the market. So, for many businesses, finding the right people and enough resources to run an inbound marketing campaign is simply impossible.
On the other, the proactive nature of outbound marketing allows you to identify your target market, know your target audience and immediately get in touch with them. Like all marketing efforts, outbound lead generation doesn’t guarantee a 100% conversion rate, but it will deliver instant results and save you a lot of time that can be allocated to more pressing issues.
#2 Build More Brand Awareness
Outbound marketing is an excellent way to build brand awareness. Keep in mind that most people do a lot of research before purchasing a product. But building a consistent, robust, and credible social image can have a determining impact on their final decision. When prospective leads recognize your brand as a leading producer in a niche, they are more likely to convert.
In cases of brand awareness, the difference between inbound and outbound leads is more clear. Inbound leads are already interested in your product. Here, it only requires allocating time and delivering good representation that will take them through the sales funnel. So, you have already gained their trust and attention.
In outbound marketing, you are working under the assumption that there are still untapped market opportunities and potential audiences that haven’t been reached by your marketing department. Therefore, building brand awareness can give you an edge over the competition and establish your services and products as more reliable solutions.
#3 Attract New Business
Collaboration is one of the most efficient ways to grow a business, regardless of its size or industry. Business networks allow you to share your knowledge, expertise, and resources to achieve a new level of success that would otherwise be beyond the scope of a single business. In short, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Outbound marketing is especially a great way to build business networks because it takes a proactive approach and allows you to communicate with new business owners with a clearly defined intention.
While in short term, some outbound marketing methods can be costly, you can save a lot of money in collaborative relationships. That’s why crowdsourcing is so popular; the benefits lie in numbers. You can create collaborative projects where you share development and marketing expenses with your new partners.
#4 Shorten the Sales Cycle
Considering all the different touch points you have with prospective clients and customers in inbound marketing, you have a good chance of establishing effective communication and convincing them to purchase. At the same time, the sales cycle will be significantly longer and you will have to spend more time and resources to maintain a relationship.
But running an outbound digital marketing campaign allows you to cut through some of the unnecessary steps and shorten the sales cycle. Research-backed outbound marketing helps you spend less time following up with prospects that would have little to no impact on your ROI and connect with those with higher chances of conversion.
A recent study by Klipfolio revealed that for 75% of B2B companies, it takes an average of at least 4 months to win a new customer. And when you add the resources spent to win that customer, you can see why outbound marketing is considered to be a highly cost-efficient method.
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Top 3 Ways to Generate Outbound Leads
Now that we’ve established the benefits of outbound marketing, let’s explore the top 3 ways you can gain more outbound leads:
#1 Linkedin Messaging
Today, LinkedIn is one of the largest social media platforms that allows entrepreneurs and business owners to network with like-minded individuals and target potential customers. According to surveys:
- 89% of B2B marketers use this platform to generate new leads
- 62% of B2B marketers on LinkedIn described their lead generation process as a success
- LinkedIn’s InMail feature has a 300% higher response rate than email
So, it is clear that LinkedIn offers an exceptional opportunity to generate outbound leads. All you need to do is follow these tips:
- Explore your target market and potential leads’ profiles and find common ground. Regardless of what you find, make sure to personalize your message so that your first touch is targeted, personal, and relevant.
- Find a mutual connection that can introduce you. Starting a conversation with a total stranger can be a little difficult. But when there’s someone else who can vouch for you, it’s easier to build connections.
- Keep it concise and avoid hard selling. Your message should sound professional and friendly, but more importantly, short and to the point. Your priority is drawing in customers, so avoid pushing your products and services.
- Keep track of your outbound leads. Sometimes, you won’t receive an immediate response from a lead. But to make the most of your outbound campaign, you should keep track of the leads you reach out to.
#2 Instagram Messaging
Instagram is another ideal platform for lead generation. Remember that each platform offers different capabilities and therefore requires a different approach. With the right objective, target audience, and communication method, you can use Instagram as an excellent tool for filling your sales funnel.
One way is to communicate with prospective leads and potential partners by sending direct messages, or DM’s, straight to their Instagram inboxes. But the most important thing is to keep your audience engagement rate up. For instance, you can respond to a follower’s story with Instagram direct messages or welcome them to your community.
To make things even easier, Instagram is now offering an auto-direct messaging service that allows you to send automatic welcome messages when you have a new follower. However, we suggest sending personalized messages to your followers. This way, you can establish trust and show your followers that there is an authentic, genuine person behind your brand.
#3 Cold Calling
Cold calling is one of the most criticized marketing methods. It is frightening, overwhelming, and simply put, the bane of existence both for consumers and companies. But the truth is, cold calling can be a powerful tool in your marketing toolbox if you know how to do it. Here are some tips to ace your cold calls:
- Carry out pre-call research on prospects and learn essential information about them. Pre-call research helps you customize your offers to keep them interested. Plus, it will prevent wasting your time and energy on hopeless leads.
- Prepare a script, containing all the necessary information about what you are about to offer along with detailed answers to frequently asked questions.
- Be polite and learn how to deal with objections. Cold calling doesn’t often end with a “yes!” So, prepare yourself to deal with a lot of rejection.
- Let the other side participate in the dialogue. Calling is a dialogue, so you should give your clients enough time to talk about their needs and ask questions. Having empathy is the most important thing that increases the chances of succeeding at cold calling.
- And finally, be patient. Almost 95% of all converted leads are reached by the 6th call attempt. So, be patient and don’t quit too soon.
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There you go, folks! Hopefully, now you have a clearer picture of outbound lead generation and effective ways to get it done. We understand that running outbound marketing campaigns can be extremely difficult. But worry not! We are here to help.
If you are a small business and you need more outbound leads, contact us now and let us help you get your brand to a new level.