Welcome to outbound sales 101!
For a true outbound sales 101 article, we need to start with a definition:
Outbound sales is the process of having sales representatives make phone calls to solicit business. Even with the rise in popularity of other marketing methods, outbound sales continues to be an effective approach. Modern technology has provided a variety of methods to automate and enhance the process.
Predictive dialers improve efficiency by only delivering live calls to telemarketing staff. The software identifies unanswered calls, calls sent to voice mail and busy signals and continues to make calls until a line is answered. Predictive dialers keep outbound sales representatives focused on making sales rather than dialing numbers, thereby helping to improve selling skills and keep staff focused.
Contact Management Software
Outbound sales efforts are enhanced by the use of software that keeps records of each prospect’s contact information. This includes address, phone number and any relevant details pertaining to activity such as product purchases, past conversations and scheduled calls. The contact management software works in conjunction with predictive dialing: as the predictive dialer makes calls, contact information is displayed. Automated call logging software such as Tenfold can be used as well to add further efficiency to the process. Tenfold records call activity without the need for manual logging of each call by a sales representative.
Selecting a database of prospects to be called plays a big part in outbound sales success. When deciding on a database, factors such as past results, demographic details and other such data should be taken into account. Performing sample runs with a portion of a list before purchasing the whole database is one way to improve the cost efficacy of the process.
Scripts outlining their pitch to prospective customers should be provided to sales representatives. A variety of scripts should be tested before deciding on which one is most effective. One way to improve scripts over time is by getting feedback from sales reps to identify improvements that can be made to particular scripts.
Performance Metrics and Enhancement
The performance of outbound sales staff can be gauged using metrics calculating the amount of sales closed in relation to calls made. Other metrics such as callbacks scheduled and time spent per call can be evaluated as well. Training should be conducted to identify areas of improvement for outbound sales staff as a whole. Underperforming representatives can be given extra training to help improve results.
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