Lead Generation: Outbound Marketing Best Practices (PART 1)
Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
The practice of outbound marketing has been used by many organizations and companies. For most firms and entrepreneurs, it is considered a key business element to bring in potential clients. This marketing strategy involves the company, its business owner or representatives reaching out to customers or consumers to generate a lead. Successful leads typically results to an influx of new clients who will avail the company’s products or services. Some may have considered it as simple cold-calling, however, outbound marketing has evolved over the years.
In Silicon Valley companies and other industries, certain aspects of outbound marketing has been adapted to ensure quality lead generation. Some companies even underwent restructuring programs to introduce a more robust team to handle the different steps in the process. Lead generation strategies and best practices for outbound marketing point to building a well-defined Sales Development framework and highly adept team.
How do companies create a Sales Development team?
- Understanding and knowledge. A critical step is gaining better understanding of the role and benefits that a Sales Development Team can bring to the organization. It also involves knowing the difference between what an ordinary sales representative would do, as well as that of a marketing professional, versus a sales development representative.
Company-wise, this step involves data gathering, organization review, metrics formation, as well as a little bit of number crunching. Most entrepreneurs may know that building a business, including running the sales function, has been considered a numbers game. From identifying targets, managing company costs and meeting revenue requirements, knowing the ideal number, percentage or metrics will help the company in the long run.
Sales development representatives or professionals would also require extensive company research on potential customers, client profile understanding, robust product or service knowledge, lead assessment and establishing that first contact or a follow-through connection. Having a good database and access to a system will help the whole process.
Another tip for outbound marketing is knowing that what the company can provide, be it a service or product, is something that will be relevant to the potential buyer. This will raise the lead conversion percentage to a higher level. In the IT industry, knowing the latest products and service enhancements would be critical given its fast-paced environment.
- Design and framework. A detailed or step-by-step process and a well-established framework will be advantageous for any company. A specific model on how clients are targeted and assessed as a qualified lead, customer engagement and steps leading to closing a business opportunity should be established.
There is also a need to establish clear roles between marketing, sales and sales development teams. Each person belonging to any of the three teams should know when and where their job should start and end. Marketing professionals usually design the promotional concepts and activations. Some marketing organization models also include consumer and shopper insights. On the other hand, sales representatives connect with clients and ensures market movement of company products or services. They also serve as a point of contact between two businesses.
For sales development teams, they help bridge the gap between marketing and sales. How? Marketing professionals may come up with potential leads gained from shopper or consumer insights. Sales development representatives can pick up said leads and do further assessment. Qualified leads can then be passed on to sales representatives for engagement and potential lead conversion.
- Review and constant training. Once the parameters, metrics and framework has been set up, it is highly important for an organization to conduct periodic review of its processes and practices. Change is something inevitable in the world. Market conditions may change, better systems or processes may become available, or there may be a shift in the company’s focus. These may affect the end-to-end business process.
Training is another critical ingredient to a successful sales development team. Given that sales development serve as the first contact for new leads, representatives that belong to this team should be highly adept and knowledgeable.
In this article, we have discussed the best practices in outbound marketing by giving you some effective methods companies use in creating an effective sales team. In the follow-up discussion of this two part topic, which will be released next week, we’ll dig deeper and give you proven methods and tips that many a successful company does and which can be applicable to your business setup.