Table of contents
- What is outbound lead generation?
- Outbound vs. Inbound Lead Generation: Which should you choose?
- What are the main outbound channels?
- Why is outbound lead generation important for your business?
- How to build a great outbound process?
- Step 1: Prospecting for the right leads
- Step 2: Choose the right channels
- Step 3: Creating personalized messages
- Step 4: Follow Up with your Leads
- Top outbound lead generation strategies
- Strategy 1: Cold emailing
- Strategy 2: Cold Calling
- Strategy 3: Social Selling
- Final Thoughts
Generating leads through outbound methods is still a valuable part of any B2B growth marketer’s toolkit. Even in today’s age of inbound marketing, outbound lead generation strategies is an effective way to find new leads and develop your sales pipeline.
There are quite a lot of different outbound lead generation tactics you can use to do so, each with its own pros and cons.
What is outbound lead generation? Why should you invest in these marketing strategies? How to build a great outbound strategy for generating leads?
In order to improve your outbound lead generation, we’re going to explain what it is and its main benefits. Then, we’ll give your tips, methods, and examples to help you set up your strategies.
What is outbound lead generation?
By definition, outbound lead generation is the process of identifying and outreach to marketing leads proactively, rather than waiting for them to come to you – which would be inbound lead generation.
The goal is to reach out to as many leads as possible to generate more and more leads for your business. It’s a numbers game: the more people you’ll outreach to, the more marketing leads you’ll get.
It’s important to make the difference between outbound sales and outbound lead generation:
Outbound sales consist in selling something to leads who have already been identified, while outbound lead generation is the process of identifying these leads.
Outbound lead generation is run by marketing people and corresponds to the first step of the funnel. Outbound sales are run by salespeople and correspond to the last step of the funnel.
Outbound vs. Inbound Lead Generation: Which should you choose?
Outbound and inbound lead generation are two sides of the same coin. They both aim to attract and convert potential customers, but they do it in different ways.
On the one hand, outbound is more proactive and it relies on human contact, cold emails or phone calls. Outbound lead generation is like fishing with a net: you cast a wide net and hope to catch some fish.
On the other hand, inbound focuses more on creating content and making it accessible to potential customers. Inbound lead generation is more like using bait: you attract potential customers to your content and hope they convert.
As with the different fishing methods, both approaches have their own pros and cons. The key is to use a combination of both strategies in order to maximize your lead generation efforts.
For instance, we at LaGrowthMachine use a combination of both depending on the stage of the buyer journey, the type of product or service, and the level of competition.
We use outbound lead generation to reach out to prospects who may not be aware of our solutions or who may be looking for alternatives.
We proactively seek these people out and contact them, say, with a simple comparison page: LGM vs. Walaaxy for example
We also use inbound lead generation to attract prospects who are actively searching for information or solutions related to our niche.
We create blog posts (Just like this one! Hello there 👋), landing pages, and other types of content that answers their questions and positions our solution as the best option for them.
Notice how both of these strategies require:
- Thorough research and knowledge into your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)
- Studying of said ICP’s pain points and how your product resolves them
- Detailed competitor analysis to differentiate you from the competition
- Creating tailored campaigns and messages for each ICP, each touch-point in your lead gen funnel, and each step of the sales pipeline
Regardless of which approach you end up choosing- and we recommend you go with a combination of both- you must have an understanding of who your ICPs and personae are, what their pain points are, and how your product offers a resolution.
That said, this is a guide to outbound lead generation, so let’s check out which channels and tactics you can use to generate leads.
What are the main outbound channels?
Whether you’re talking about outbound sales or outbound lead generation, you are going to generate your outbound leads through different channels. Some of these channels will be exclusively used for sales or marketing purposes, or both.
Sales outbound channels
As a B2B salesperson, your goal is to close more deals from leads that have already been identified with marketing.
To do so, you can use the following sales channels:
You’ll need to pick one of these channels and outreach to your B2B lead through it. It is a bit time-consuming but you’ll probably get some results with this method.
Also, there’s another – much more efficient – way to do it. Instead of doing it manually through only one different channel each time, you can use LaGrowthMachine to improve your sales process.
This way, you’ll be able to automatically outreach to thousands of your B2B leads through all of these channels at the same time!
Outbound Lead Generation channels
As a marketing person, your goal is to identify more leads that salespeople will outreach to.
To do so, you can use the following outbound marketing channels:
- Google Ads;
- Facebook Ads;
- LinkedIn Ads;
- Newsletters & other email marketing campaigns;
- Display Ads;
- Affiliate program;
Once again, you can pick one of these but we strongly recommend you combine many marketing channels to test them all and see where your best results belong.
Why is outbound lead generation important for your business?
While inbound marketing is a way to pull leads to you, outbound marketing aims to go out and push your message to as many people as possible.
The goal of outbound lead generation is to reach a large audience and cast a larger net to attract more leads. By being proactive and reaching out to new marketing leads, you are increasing the volume of potential business in your sales pipeline.
Therefore, there are many advantages to building up an outbound strategy:
- Increased brand awareness: outbound lead generation allows you to reach a very large audience, which will eventually increase brand awareness.
- Get results faster: by being proactive and reaching out to new marketing leads, you’re increasing the volume of potential business in your sales pipeline faster than if you were waiting for them to come – the inbound way.
- A larger volume of leads: as we said before, the goal is to cast a larger net and generate more B2B leads. By doing so, you are increasing the chances that some of these leads will turn into customers.
- Better qualified leads: by doing proper outbound lead generation, you are also increasing the chances of reaching people who are really interested in what you’re selling.
- Improved sales pipeline: as a result of the previous point, you are also improving your sales pipeline by adding more qualified leads to it.
- Increased ROI: because you are targeting a larger audience and generating more leads, you are also increasing your ROI.
As you can see, outbound lead generation is a very effective way to get more B2B leads. But you should definitely develop your inbound lead generation efforts aside from this.
Why is that?
Well, because in the long run, inbound lead generation will be more sustainable and it will generate leads that cost less to convert.
Quick Tip 💡
To sum up, remember that there are many quantitative advantages in using outbound techniques, but it needs to be done in a qualitative way to maximize your KPIs such as conversion rates!
In the next part of this post, we’ll learn how to build great outbound lead generation campaigns.
How to build a great outbound process?
Different methodologies exist to build outbound campaigns.
At LaGrowthMachine, we’re observing many clients building up their sales outbound strategies. From this knowledge, we’ve built our very own method, and that’s what we want to talk to you about right now.
To us, it goes from these 4 main steps:
1) Prospecting for the right leads;
2) Choosing your channels;
3) Creating personalized messages;
4) Following up with your leads.
Let’s take a more detailed look at each one of these steps.
Step 1: Prospecting for the right leads
This is probably the most important step in your outbound process. Why? Because if you don’t target the right leads, all of your efforts, time, and money you invested will be in vain.
To find the right potential leads, you need to ask yourself about your main targets.
Who are you trying to reach? What are their main characteristics? What are their needs and pain points?
You need to be as specific as possible when answering these questions. The more precise you are, the easier it will be for you to find them.
For example, if you’re trying to sell new CRM software to small businesses, your ideal target would be the decision-makers of these businesses.
These could be the CEOs, the COOs, the sales directors, etc… Next, you should pick the right channel to push your outbound marketing message.
That’s what we’re going to see now.
Step 2: Choose the right channels
As we saw earlier, they’re several existing channels for effective outbound lead generation processes. As an outbound marketing team, you’ll need to focus on the ones that best match your target audience.
For example, as we said, if you’re targeting decision-makers of small businesses, the best channels for your outbound message will be LinkedIn and Emails (good news: you can get your leads’ email directly from LinkedIn).
These are two very effective channels to reach your B2B target audience, as it is probably very active on it.
Once you’ve picked one channel or more, you shall find the best approach to generate leads through them.
For LinkedIn outbound tactics, for example, you can generate outbound leads by:
- creating LinkedIn Ads;
- send LinkedIn prospecting messages;
- LinkedIn Groups;
Step 3: Creating personalized messages
In B2B, customer relationship is much finer and more elaborate than it is in B2C.
This means that you need to invest a lot of time in creating the right message including great copywriting, a well-built message structure, and personalization.
To ensure you’re doing it the right way, the best way to do it is manually.
If we take our previous example, you’ll need to:
- Find the right contact information for your leads (full name, job title, company, etc.);
- Make research about them;
- Write a great copy that speaks to them directly;
- Do this for each one of your leads.
But if you’re doing it using LaGrowthMachine, you’ll save much more time while keeping the copywriting, structure, and personalization at their best, adding the multichannel experience. All of this automatically!
Our client manages to increase their outbound lead generation efforts by 3.5X with our tool!
Step 4: Follow Up with your Leads
Whether you’re doing ads or you choose to outreach to people by message, the first approach isn’t the only difficulty in this process.
If you want to qualify your leads, you’ll need to take care of following them up.
When talking about the outbound sales process, this would mean follow-up by emails, phone calls, LinkedIn messages, etc…
When talking about outbound lead generation in the marketing purpose of identifying your leads, this means ensuring that as soon as a lead has been detected, it can be integrated into the sales pipeline so your sales team can outreach to them!
If you’re using LaGrowthMachine, no worries: we’re keeping live data at each step of the sales process so you can follow up with your leads directly in our tool. You can even plug our outbound lead generation tools into your favorite CRM for better vision, lead management, and nurturing!
Top outbound lead generation strategies
Now that you know how to build a good outbound process, here are 5 strategies you can use to generate more leads:
Strategy 1: Cold emailing
We all know and/or have been the target of cold emails. Whether it’s a bad or good one, cold emails are still very effective in B2B lead generation.
For the two people reading this who don’t know what cold emailing is: it involves sending targeted and relevant emails to prospects who have not expressed interest in your solution yet.
The goal is to capture their attention, demonstrate your value, and initiate a conversation. To succeed with cold emailing, you need to follow these best practices:
- Research your prospects: Before you send any email, you need to know who you are emailing, what their pain points are, and how your solution can help them. Use tools like UpLead or Cognism to find and verify email addresses, and gather insights about your prospects.
- Segment your audience: Not all prospects are the same, so you need to group them based on criteria like industry, company size, job title, location, etc. This will help you tailor your message and offer to each segment, and increase your response rate.
- Personalize your message: No one likes to receive generic or spammy emails, so you need to make your message relevant and personal to each prospect. Use their name, company name, and other details to show that you have done your homework. Also, use a friendly and conversational tone, and avoid jargon or fluff.
- Follow up consistently: Most prospects won’t reply to your first email, so you need to follow up with them until they do. A good rule of thumb is to send 4-6 follow-up emails over 2-3 weeks, spaced 2-3 days apart. Each follow-up email should add value, address objections, and include a clear call to action.
- Track and measure your results: You can’t improve what you don’t measure, so you need to track and analyze your cold emailing performance. Use tools like Mailchimp or HubSpot to monitor metrics like open rate, click rate, reply rate, bounce rate, etc. Based on these data, you can optimize your subject lines, content, timing, and frequency of your emails.
You can also use LaGrowthMachine to scale your cold emailing and generate more leads faster and easier as you can:
- Create customized templates
- Automate follow-ups
- Automatically track & measure results
- Connect with your favorite CRM and more
Strategy 2: Cold Calling
This is one of the most classic and challenging outbound lead generation tactics in B2B sales. Mainly because it’s considered more and more outdated since it involves calling your prospects on the phone, which is considered quite the invasion of privacy nowadays.
So why is it still used? Because, if done the right way, cold calling can be very effective and help you quickly generate leads.
How does it work? 🤔
The idea here is to identify the right groups of people, make sure you’re calling them at the right time, and have a good script that will help you capture their attention and get a conversation going.
The same rules as for cold emailing applies to cold calling: research, segmentation, personalization, follow up, and tracking/measuring your results.
Additionally, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the right tools for it: a reliable phone system with call tracking and reporting features, automated dialers, etc.
Here are a couple of best practices and tips you should keep in mind when cold calling:
- Prepare your script: Before you make any call, you need to have a script. No one is above it, it’s simply the best way to ensure that you deliver your message clearly and confidently. Cover the main points of your pitch, the benefits of your solution, and the common objections and responses.
- Warm up your prospects: Like we said earlier, calling is quite an aggressive prospecting activity, so people won’t feel too good about it if they don’t know who you are. Try to find a way to warm up your prospects by using social media, email, or even referrals from mutual connections.
- Practice your tone: The way you sound on the phone can make or break your cold call. You need to practice your tone, pace, volume, and inflection to sound confident, friendly, but professional.
- Handle rejection: One of the hardest parts of cold calling is dealing with rejection. And I’m going to be honest with you, you’re getting a lot of them! So you need to practice your rejection-handling skills and be ready for anything.
Generating leads in outbound is not an easy task, and it requires a combination of approaches to get the best results. Be sure to use all available channels and tactics, and don’t forget to measure your results.
Remember, success in outbound lead generation is all about persistence. Stay consistent, keep trying different approaches and strategies to find the right fit for your business, and don’t give up!
Happy (outbound) lead-generating! 🙌