Outbound Lead Generation Fundamentals

Why are so many B2B companies turning to outbound lead generation?

How can it improve your business?

In this article, we’ll explore why you should consider adding a prospecting team by looking at the following fundamentals:

  • What is outbound lead generation?
  • Is an outbound prospecting team right for your company?
  • What questions should you ask before creating a team?

What is Outbound Lead Generation?

You know there are customers out there for your product or service – the question is how to find them.

A marketing team is great for attracting people to your business, but it is not ideal for going out and proactively targeting new prospects.

If your goal is to quickly generate pipeline and proactively reach out to new potential customers, an outbound lead generation team may be your best bet.

These teams are designed to dive deep into your target market and connect with some of your most likely potential customers.

Outbound lead generation is a way to reach out to targets, educate them about your product, gauge their interest and, hopefully, turn them over to your sales team to convert into paying customers.

The Benefits of Outbound Prospecting

The success of your sales team relies heavily on a growing pipeline. Other factors matter, of course – how the team is configured and managed, how valuable your product is and how skilled your Sales Development Reps are – but without a healthy pipeline full of top-of-funnel leads, you stand no chance of reaching your growth goals.

Luckily, this problem has a straightforward solution: fill your pipeline with leads.

Growing your company means finding new customers, and prospecting teams are one of the best ways to do this.

Your first question is probably: “Why invest in an outbound lead gen team instead of one of the alternatives?”

This is a fair question – outbound lead gen teams require a significant upfront investment and do rarely offer immediate results.

However, many companies find that this investment is well worth it once they start seeing the fundamental benefits of an outbound prospecting team.

What are those benefits?

Essentially, the advantages of adding a prospecting team fall into three categories:

  1. Prospecting teams allow your company to add pipeline at a much faster pace than alternative methods such as inbound marketing or partnerships.
  2. They help efficiently explore new markets, experiment with new messaging techniques, and gather a great deal of data about sales tracks, value propositions, and buyer personas.
  3. The add more depth and versatility to your sales team by allowing you to outsource low value work from your more expensive Inside Sales Reps and provide you with a bench of talent for your next Account Executives.

Once you understand the benefits of outbound led gen teams, you will agree that they are one of the most reliable ways to grow your pipeline and that they often have a very high ROI – especially if your company exhibits one or more of the following signs.

Is an Outbound Prospecting Team right for you?

Before you consider building an outbound lead gen team, you must make sure you would actually benefit from one, which typically means your company exhibits one or more of the following five signs:

  1. You want to grow sales but you don;t have enough opportunities in your pipeline.
  2. Your sales are complex and require extensive legwork from your Sales Development Reps to navigate elaborate businesses or bypass numerous gatekeepers, which leaves them little time to do their own prospecting.
  3. You are trying to expand and you need more information about new markets.
  4. Your sales process needs re-calibration and could benefit from more interactions with, and feedback from, a wide range of prospects.
  5. You want to experiment with market segments and new messaging.

Questions to ask before building a Prospecting Team

If you are one of the many companies that meets one or more of the above criteria, it is time to start designing your outbound lead gen team.

This doesn’t mean you should immediately go out and hire a stable of new Sales Development Reps, though – first you need to answer these questions that will help you bet design and position your new prospecting team.

“Who am I selling to?” 

Not all leads are the same, so it is important to carefully identify your target markets and accounts before you design your prospecting team. Work with the sales team and key stakeholders to create an ideal customer profile (or several) so you an tailor your lead gen team to the right prospects.

“What do I want my prospecting team to accomplish?”

Do you want to expand into new markets? Do you want to breathe new life into your sales process? Do you want to build brand awareness? Outbound SDRs can accomplish many things in addition to growing your pipeline, so make sure you know what you want to achieve before you begin building your team.

“What is the Team’s Reporting Structure – in Marketing or in Sales?”

Prospecting teams are great at fine-tuning your messaging and generating leads, so they are natural fits for a marketing department. However, SDRs also work closely with your Account Executives, and must therefore be closely aligned with Sales. Decide where your new team will be situated, who it will report to, and how it will be overseen.

“When do I need more sales?”

Like any team, a prospecting team will not contribute results immediately – it typically takes a few months for a new team to supply a steady stream of leads – so it is important to plan ahead if you want to maximize your results.

More here on planning your prospecting team.