1. Focus only on those prospects that fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Take the time to define what your sweet spot looks like and build a target list of companies that fit those parameters. Don’t assume that just because a company is in your database that they fit your ICP!
2. Execute a Process That Includes (at minimum) 4 touches in 10 Business Days
Call, call, email, call. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming an inside sales rep that communicates primarily via email. Yes, I know people generally respond more to emails, but that’s because they can blow you off easier that way. You can’t control the sales process if you don’t have the ability to ask relevant questions, handle objections and position yourself against the competition. You don’t need a pen pal, you need a qualified prospect.
3. Always Leave Compelling Voice Mail Messages of Less than 90 Words
4. Emails Should be Text Only, Contain Only 1 Link, and be as Short as Possible
This allows your prospects to easily read your emails on a BlackBerry, smartphone or personal digital assistant (PDA). Emails also must contain a call to action and should not include attachments.
5. Let the Prospect Know When it is Your Final Call
Bear in mind that even if a prospect does not respond immediately, it doesn’t mean your message was not absorbed. If they fit your ICP, put them through this process again in six months.
A properly executed outbound lead qualification effort adds measurable value, but as with any practice, it takes time and resources to get the practice off the ground, make adjustments, get it running smoothly, and produce the results you want. In addition, it will be essential that your marketing, sales, and product management teams are all involved with the effort; these departments will need to interact with the business development team and help implement ongoing improvements in order to ensure the program’s medium- and long-term success.
Given the length of time and cross-functional nature of the practice, the CEO and the rest of the executive team must buy-in to the value of the program, determine the long-term strategic goals and shorter-term goals for the practice, communicate its importance to employees, and dedicate the proper resources to the effort. In addition, participating employees should be given goals and the right measurements to track performance.
YOUR OUTBOUND PROSPECTING STRATEGY AND PRACTICE AT THE EXECUTIVE LEVEL INCLUDES:
- Setting the right long-term goals and shorter-term goals/milestones
- Assigning senior sponsorship
- Appointing a person (an outbound prospecting manager) to be responsible for the effort
- Approving an approach and plan that is right for your situation
- Properly resourcing the effort
- Constantly communicating the importance of the effort to everyone involved
- Reviewing results and making adjustments over time