Recession-Proof Your Business With These 4 Outbound Sales Techniques

Recession-Proof Your Business With These 4 Outbound Sales Techniques

Want to explore strategies for making outbound sales work? In this guide, we’re going to cover the different types of outbound sales techniques, starting with more traditional ones such as event marketing, to digital methods such as cold calling and cold emailing.


Discover each technique’s advantages and disadvantages and decide which approach can reap optimal results, and best support your existing inbound sales effort.


What is Outbound Sales?

Outbound sales is a powerful marketing technique that relies on outbound approaches such as social media outreach, event marketing, cold calling and cold emailing.


What makes it different from inbound marketing is that the marketer does not passively wait for the inquiries. Instead, they take control of the process and proactively reach out to prospects to generate leads and close deals.


Some of the advantages that come with inbound marketing are the following:

  • Cost-Effective - Some outbound sales techniques don't require investing thousands on ads and billboards.


  • Easier to Implement - Most outbound sales approach include engaging in a quick call, or dropping a message that can easily be outsourced or automated.


  • Faster Results - Unlike time-consuming inbound activities, outbound sales enable you to take control of the selling process and get instant results.


Because outbound sales techniques are often cost-effective and give immediate results, it’s a great approach for surviving and thriving in downturns.


Nothing damages a business quite more than when deals slow down during a recession. When inbound sales dry up, it's time to take charge of the sales process and implement outbound sales techniques. Here are four of them.


4 Outbound Sales Techniques to Survive a Downturn


Below are the different types of outbound sales techniques from traditional ones to digital methods. Read further to learn more about their advantages and disadvantages, and to assess how fit they are to your company’s current situation and growth.


Social media outreach

Social media outreach involves leveraging social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to acquire new leads, create new relationships, start new partnerships, and to sell your product or service. Identifying which platform to use highly depends on your target market and where they usually hang-out online.


The fact that 84% of C-level or vice-president level executives still use social media to make purchasing decisions shows how effective social selling can be. As forecasted by Gartner, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers are going to occur in digital channels by 2025.


Pros

Here are the advantages of social media outreach:


Easy to Outsource

With LinkedIn having 65 million decision-makers and 10 million C-level executives, it’s no doubt that social media is a prominent marketing platform for B2B lead generation. However, it can still be difficult to find the time to create content, maintain online presence, and build strong relationships.


With many founders and CEOs failing to meet business goals within their available time, the only solution seems to be outsourcing. Fortunately, there is no shortage of skilled social media experts, and there are many advantages to outsourcing.


With social media outreach outsourcing, you can:


  • Leverage premium marketing tools at no additional costs.

  • Piggyback an agency’s analytics and reporting to provide valuable insights to your social presence.

  • Prevent missing out on valuable customer interactions through an increased social media response time.

  • Take advantage of platform-specific knowledge and expertise

  • Focus on other critical areas of your business while the agency takes care of your social media outreach strategy

Can Be Done Via Mobile

Unlike other marketing efforts that require wide monitors and high-specs from your computers, social media outreach can be done via mobile. This means, even if you’re not in your office, as long as your phone has access to the internet or mobile data, you can reach out to more potential customers or respond to new leads.


In fact, using mobile to do social media outreach is highly-encouraged due to the fact that among social media users, 80% access their accounts with a mobile device.


Thus by using a mobile device, you can:


  • Easily simulate how content looks like upon social media publication.

  • Format texts and outreach messages to be more suitable for mobile.

  • Further understand their behavior on social media.

Cons

Here are some of the disadvantages of social media outreach:


Manual Process

According to LinkedIn’s State of Sales Report 2019 Pocket Guide, sales technology helps nearly three-quarters of sales personnel to close more deals. Unfortunately, for most social media platforms, there are little to no option to send messages to multiple people, create automated responses, track replies, and generate insightful analytics. Most social media platforms don’t allow you to automate your messages, sending you to their ads platform instead.


Restrictive

Because most social media platforms prefer you to do ads, they have a very restrictive outreach policies. Send too many messages, especially within an hour or two, and you could get blocked or banned from using the site. Your account can get disabled for an indefinite amount of time, which can directly translate to loss of productive hours, months of efforts down the drain, and loss of potential profit.


Some accounts can even become “invisible,” or what is commonly known as “shadowbanned.” This means despite not receiving a notification for an official ban, posts or activities will not be viewable to other users. A survey conducted by Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) shows that 1 in 10 U.S. social media users believe they have been shadowbanned with the largest percentage being on Facebook (8.1%).


Potential Investment Range

Here are some of the potential investments when implementing a social media outreach strategy.

​Tools

Description

Price Range

​LinkedIn Sales Navigator


  • Advanced company and lead search

  • Track engagements

  • Alerts on saved leads


$99 - $149/month

Twitter Outreach Tools


  • Schedule posts

  • Bulk messaging

  • Track replies

$10 - $150+/month depending on the features available and the scale of the outreach campaign

Social Media Management Automation Tool

  • Manage most social media accounts including Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

  • Smart auto-replies

  • Schedule posts and track engagements

$5 - $600+/month depending on the features available and the scale of the outreach campaign

Event Marketing

In event marketing, live events, themed exhibits, or presentations are used to promote a brand, product, or service. Companies can get involved as hosts, sponsors, or participants. Either way, this type of marketing enables targeted in-person sales and live demos of products or services. Because it requires careful planning and large investments, less people are doing this approach. However, because of the human-touch involved in this technique, it typically leads to closed sales or new partnerships.


This approach uses in-person engagement to give potential customers a unique first hand interaction with the company. As study shows 34% of them are more open to communicating with sellers at industry events as opposed to via LinkedIn (21%), voicemail (21%), text (21%), and social media (18%), event marketing positions itself as a great opportunity to effectively engage with prospects.


Pros

Here are some of the advantages of event marketing:


Face-to-Face Interaction

With total digital ad spending being expected to reach nearly $585 billion in 2023, people are continuously being exposed to thousands of ads per day. With face-to-face interaction, you can separate your brand from all the digital noise. Face-to-face communications continue to be more effective in building personal relationships and demonstrating value.


Being physically present can also help you interpret and adapt to the prospect’s reactions. As 93% of communication is nonverbal, event marketing gives you the opportunity to gauge the prospect’s understanding and interest in your presentation by observing their gestures and facial expressions.


Cons

Here are some of the disadvantages of event marketing:


Difficult to Automate or Scale

Companies invest significant amounts of money in exhibiting at and attending events. However, a strong return on investment can be hard to measure and requires attendance at multiple events over time.


In fact, according to senior vice president of a $200 million industrial company, trade shows are “terriby expensive and of limited value” for their business compared to the dollars spent.


Event marketing also requires a close collaboration between sales, marketing, and leadership teams. It requires in-depth planning, designing invitations, setting up venues and catering expenses, making it both time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to scale.


Needs Significant Training to Outsource

The majority of businesses do not have a team of experts who specialize in event marketing. Unfortunately, for an event management program to succeed, a certain skill set is required along with a sufficient budget.


Thus, hiring a skilled event marketing expert is the key to a successful professional gathering. The challenge comes with making sure the partner you engage with is reliable and qualified. Furthermore, it make take some time and training before an event specialist can get to know your brand and present it well through an event.


Potential Investment Range

It’s evident that hosting your own event is not cheap due to factors such as advertising costs, catering, venue, and more. Brand experiences often account for up to 50 percent of a company's budget, with events accounting for its majority.


But even if you’re only planning to join an event instead of hosting your own, individual tickets to these events are usually not cheap. On average, they can range between $800 and $2,100. Flights, rental cars, and accommodations are also additional costs to consider, depending on how long the conference lasts. Excluding meals, you could pay around $1–3K per person.


Cold Calling

The process of cold calling is a way for businesses to solicit sales from customers who have never spoken with the salesperson making the call. Generally, cold calling refers to phone-based conversations, but it can also include in-person door-to-door interactions.


A marketing or sales professional typically collects contact information for cold calling by searching for and piecing together information online. Another option is to purchase contact lists from list brokers.


Pros


Less Touchpoints

While the typical selling process could takes weeks and months before reaching fruition, cold-calling can direct and track all actions using one touchpoint. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call prospects that fit your typical customer profile.


The good news is, 82% of buyers agree to meetings with sellers who proactively reach out. With this quick call, you can immediately gauge interest, qualify/disqualify a prospect, respond to the prospect in real-time, and find the decision-maker which all leads you one step closer to the sale. It can also help you gain instant feedback from prospects which can help you optimize your products or services according to their needs.


Cons


High-Stress Approach

As the call is unsolicited, it's hard to predict how the prospect will react. Most people view unexpected calls as both intrusive and irritating.


Most likely, they won't want to listen to the sales pitch and will hang up right away. Since the call is unscheduled, it’s also possible to reach the person at an inconvenient time or get directed to their voicemail.


These negative responses can have a negative effect on the well-being of the callers. In fact, 63% of sellers reported that cold calling is the “worst” part of their job.


Requires More Training to Outsource

Cold calling requires you to respond to the prospect’s concerns in real-time. There’s no time to flip through the company manuals or ask a supervisor.


Because these personal one-on-one calls can influence how your brand is perceived, people you’ll be outsourcing this to must have sufficient knowledge about your business and your products or services. Otherwise, there’s a risk of creating a bad experience or tarnishing your company’s reputation.


Potential Investment Range

Here are some of the potential investments when implementing a cold calling outbound strategy.

​Costs

​Telemarketing company based in the U.S.

Offshore telemarketing service

$12 - $20 / hr

Telemarketing company charging per lead

$35 - $60 / lead

Working on a script and training employees

$300 - $500

List of Prospects

$3000 / 1000 names

Cold Email

Cold emails are initial emails you send to potential customers without prior engagement. They may seem similar to cold calls, but in reality they are much less intrusive.


In fact, one of the reasons it’s so popular for B2B lead generation is that 80% of buyers prefer to be contacted via email. Furthermore, unlike SPAM, cold emails are more targeted, highly-personalized, and sent from professional accounts.


Pros

Here are some of the advantages of using cold email:


Cost-Effective

Due to its simplicity, emailing is an easy technology to leverage when getting leads. Once the emails are set up, you can contact someone indefinitely until they opt out or until the sale is closed.


Accordingly, 90% of marketers report that email is their primary lead generation channel. As opposed to running ads, you can send thousands of emails for free or for a really cheap price.


Easily Automated or Outsourced

It’s easy to automate cold emails due to the availability of various tools that can help:


  • Personalize messaging

  • Provide templates

  • Schedule emails

  • Set up automatic replies

  • Integrate with another software


There are also options to track clicks, replies, and other ways people engage with your email. These behavioral insights can help you improve your messaging, and optimize further emails.


Aside from automating the process, you can also hire specialists who have sent hundreds of thousands of effective cold emails. They know the words to avoid and ways to make people open and respond to the messages. Partnering up with these specialists can help you convert more leads without the costly trial and error of learning the cold-emailing process.


Can Be Scaled Easily

Once you create a series of cold email templates and automate them, it’s easy to assign leads to specific stages of the automation.


As new prospects come in, you can slot them into various buckets of your email campaigns, depending on their needs, roles, industry, traffic source, and so on.


Cold email can help your company scale more cost-effectively by gathering data and validating your offer using the least resources. And if you’re already using other lead generation strategies, cold emails can also help improve their conversion rates by making sure leads are already “warmed up” before you contact them via call, or face-to-face marketing, thereby increasing conversion rates.


Cons


Easier to Ignore

Cold emailing is easier to ignore in comparison to cold-calling. It is common for people to bulk-send large portions of their email to spam, and your message could also get buried under thousands of other emails in the prospect’s inbox.


To increase your response rate, you need to continually test and optimize your cold emails, and add elements that’ll make it convert better. Study shows that only 5% of sellers report that bulk emails is effective. In contrast, 31% of sellers report that sending 1-to-1 emails manually after intensive research and customization is an effective approach. Thus, personalization should be a key part of your cold emailing strategy.


Potential Investment Range

Here are some of the potential costs when implementing cold-emailing as your outbound sales strategy.

Expenses

​Description

Cost Range

List-Building Tool

Helps you create a database of email addresses

$9 - $60/month

Drip-Campaign Tool

Helps you track performance like open rates and bounce rates

$9 - $200/month

Email Warmer

Shows Email Service Providers (ESP) that you have a real, non-spammy email address that people want to reply to

$9 - $200/month

Email Verification

Verifies your target list to reduce bounce rates

$40/month

Deliverability Tools

Notifies you if you’re landing in SPAM and ensures that your DMARC settings are stable

$25/month

If you notice a huge gap between the starting price and the highest price, it’s because the availability of certain features and plan choice also influence the tool’s cost.

These costs exclude variable costs such as how many people you reach out to, time spent extracting and verifying emails, and time spent writing the emails. One way to lower variable costs and to piggyback on other people’s tools is by outsourcing the cold-emailing process to an established professional.


Choosing Your Ideal Outbound Sales Technique


Businesses benefit most from outbound sales during downturns because it’s a more proactive approach. Instead of the lengthy time spent waiting for prospects to find you, outbound sales techniques enables you to take charge of the buying process and engage with them first.


Here are some of the outbound sales techniques you can implement:


  1. Social Media Outreach

  2. Event Marketing

  3. Cold Calling

  4. Cold Emailing


Each approach offers their own strengths and weaknesses. But the key to choosing the most suitable technique lies in identifying which offers the highest amount of leverage using the least amount of resources.


Once you’ve identified the best B2B approach, you can leverage established agencies that are just as skilled, but more cost-efficient. The Scale Lab can help fill your pipeline with warm leads so you can spend less time prospecting and more time closing deals. Reach us at hello@thescalelab.io



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