What is outbound sales?

The definition of outbound sales refers to the process of sales reps making outbound sales calls to prospects. Outbound sales sometimes involves making cold calls to leads on a list, though often reps call leads that have previously demonstrated demand for a product by engaging with a brand’s content, filling out a form, emailing a business or making a previous call to a business.

Types of Outbound Sales Reps

Sales Development Reps

Sales development reps are reps that are tasked with outbound prospecting. They are frequently given a list of leads to call. While they sometimes cold call these leads, they often reach out via email or social media first in order to make a connection. Rather than closing deals, sales development reps are tasked with creating opportunities for account executives (also called closers or salespeople). This saves top closers the trouble of having to prospect for their own leads. By only selling to qualified sales leads, account executives can maximize the amount of revenue they close per quarter.

Lead Response Reps

Lead response reps often make outbound calls to leads that have demonstrated demand by filling out a form, attending a webinar, reading a blog or downloading a video. Even though they are tasked with following up with inbound leads, much of what lead response reps do is actually making outbound sales calls. Like sales development reps, they are in charge of creating opportunities for account executives.

B2B Vs. B2C Outbound Sales

Outbound Sales for B2B Companies

In business-to-business (B2B) sales, reps sell to members of prospective companies. In B2B sales, sales cycles are often longer and closing a deal often involves multiple touches. Following up with prospects is a key role for B2B outbound sales reps. B2B reps will customarily call leads that either they or another rep have dialed before. That’s why it’s so vital for B2B sales reps to log activities in CRM tools like Salesforce, so that every member of a sales team can know a lead’s status in real time.

Outbound Sales for B2C Companies

Inside sales reps working for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies usually sell lower ticket items and sales are often more transnational. Some examples of B2C companies are companies that sell insurance policies, stocks, or time shares. B2C sales reps typically have to dial larger amounts of leads each day than reps at B2B companies, since B2B prospecting tends to be more strategic and less emotional.

Tools for Outbound Sales Reps

Auto Dialers

Outbound sales reps are sometimes given quotas of how many outbound calls must be made in a particular day or week. In order to dial as many leads as possible, many outbound sales reps adopt tools like predictive dialers and refractive dialers that can maximize the amount of leads that they can dial in a particular day. The most intelligent dialers provide data about prospects within the context of calls to help assure that calls aren’t cold. This data can be from CRM tools like Salesforce, social media sites and more.

Click-to-Dial from CRMs

Outbound sales reps using CRM tools like Salesforce sometimes adopt click-to-dial solutions that let them dial reps directly from their CRM tool by clicking on a lead’s contact information. This can be especially helpful when reps are using lead list views in their CRM.

Local Presence Dialers

Leads have been proven to answer calls from local area codes far more often than toll-free or long distance numbers. A local presence dialer can radically improve connection rates by enabling outbound reps to always dial leads from numbers with local area codes.

Voicemail Automation

Leaving voicemail messages during outbound sales prospecting can often be a time-consuming task. Voicemail automatin solutions can help maximize reps’ sales time by enabling them to leave prospects prerecorded voicemail messages with a single click.