Outbound Prospecting Best Practices: How to Prospect Leads

How to Prospect For Sales Leads

People often ask us: “what does outbound prospecting actually look like on a day-to-day basis?” Our outbound prospecting process involves a lot of phone calls and listening, with B2B lead prospecting specialists constantly collaborating and generating new ideas on how to connect with leads over the phone.

Getting in the right doors is arguably the most difficult part of the sales process. As an award-winning sales effectiveness firm that helps B2B sales teams generate more opportunities with qualified decision makers at target accounts, we are experts in getting in those doors. Thousands of sales reps and marketing & sales leaders validate that the Vorsight approach is completely unique and effective. With that in mind, here is what the Vorsight outbound prospecting approach looks like on a day-to-day basis:

Outbound Prospecting Best Practices: A Day in the Life of a Vorsight Rep

Outbound Prospecting: Call Through Hot List (8:00 am—10:00 am)

By hitting the phones first thing in the morning, Vorsight representatives capitalize on the morning call window before administrative assistants arrive and executives head to back-to-back meetings. Outbound prospecting success during this phone stalking period depends on having a very high percentage of direct lines to prospects (90-95%)on the hot list. Calling direct lines eliminates time wasted dealing with switchboards and assistants. This dramatically increases the probability of live conversations with decision makers, thus improving the outbound prospecting process.

A Vorsight rep makes at least 30 dials to prospects in the first half hour of the day. By having an outbound prospecting strategy for when to block and when to unblock caller ID, the rep speaks to 3 to 5 B2B lead prospects during this time and converts 50% of these conversations into qualified meetings. Utilizing dialers with rotating caller ID technology allows reps to improve the dial-to-answer ratio.

By using several Vorsight Flavors of Pitch in conversations with prospects, Vorsight reps are able to deliver a clear, concise, and compelling value proposition that tells a story about the offering and engages the prospect in a two-way conversation quickly.

Prospects do not object to the offering, they object to the experience of being cold called. Using Verbal Judo to handle objections, Vorsight reps empathize with prospect objections, cite peers using client voice, and apply the objection handling toolkit to overcome the prospect’s initial knee-jerk reaction to taking a meeting.

How to Prospect New Sales Leads (10:00 am—12:00 pm, 1:00 — 2:00 pm)

Using both primary sales prospecting tools (speaking with assistants, switchboards, IT help desks, other executives, etc.) and secondary sales prospecting tools (online databases like LinkedIn, Jigsaw, Hoovers, etc.), Vorsight reps find new B2B lead prospects, understand where the prospect fits in the organization, and gathers their direct contact information. Shortcuts in LinkedIn and Jigsaw reveal private information that helps the rep get to the right executive more quickly.

Our outbound prospecting strategy involves reps doing 3x3 Research (they research three key pieces of information on the targeted company and contact in three minutes) in order to warm up and customize the cold call to start the conversation. This approach to calling is more effective than a generic pitch.

As prospects are either converted into meetings or “no’s,” they come off of the hot list. Vorsight reps constantly treasure hunt, looking for new prospects to replenish the hot list. Utilizing this outbound prospecting strategy, Vorsight reps remain far more organized and efficient in the first part of the sales cycle. Ad-hoc outbound prospecting processes are not efficient.

Ad hoc outbound prospecting processes like logging a call and creating a follow up task at some arbitrary future date are less efficient than using a hot list to make attempts to connect to all solid prospects every day. Not every call results in a voicemail or email; more consistent outreach ensures far more conversations and more successful B2B lead prospecting in general.

Vorsight reps add 6 to 10 new prospects with direct contact information and 3x3 Research during this time frame. A new prospect converts to a qualified meeting at twice the rate of a prospect that has been sitting on the hot list for more than a week.

Outbound Prospecting with: Customized Emails & Voicemails (2:00 pm— 3:00 pm)

Vorsight reps use the best sales prospecting tools to find details about the executive and their company to add a layer of customization to emails and voicemails. This cuts through vendor static. Speed is key when it comes to outbound prospecting efficiency. A little bit of customization (a quote from an article, company news, etc.) can go a long way.

Vorsight reps utilize non-commercial emails and creative subject lines to further stand out from the other vendors attempting to meet with the same executive. During this time, Vorsight reps send out 15 quickly customized emails. Modifying and delaying the send time of the email allows the rep to deliver the messages after hours and around gatekeepers.

One-on-One with Team Manager (3:00 pm— 4:00 pm)

Managers meet with Vorsight reps once a week to review outbound prospecting process metrics and diagnose areas for improvement. The numbers paint a clear picture of the reps’ activities and challenges.

Vorsight managers track both leading indicators (number of contacts added, number of dials per day, number of pitches to prospects, etc.) and lagging indicators (meetings scheduled) to get a clear picture of how the Vorsight rep has performed in the past and forecast performance for the next week and month. Managers and associates also discuss short-term and long-term goals as part of professional development.

Call Through Hot List (4:00 pm— 6:00 pm)

With outbound prospecting, timing of calls is very important. After assistants have left for the day and executive meetings are ending, Vorsight reps call through their hot lists again. The goal is similar to the first call window in the morning: get prospects on the phone, begin the conversation, ask qualification questions, and schedule as many quality meetings as possible. The goal is an additional 3 to 5 conversations with prospects.

Vorsight reps use this after-hours call window to leave voicemails when gatekeepers are not around to intercept them. During this time, the prospects may also receive the delayed send emails. Utilizing the double call technique, Vorsight reps further increase the probability of their prospects actually answering their phones. Of all meetings scheduled by Vorsight reps, 76% are the result of live conversations and not email. Live conversations with prospects are key.

When the rep does have a live conversation, he uses one of the lead-in mechanisms to overcome any resistance that the prospect feels to a call from an unknown person. Because the rep has previously invested time identifying the correct prospects and direct lines, he is able to dial through

his hot list quickly, have conversations with more prospects, and schedule more quality meetings.

Outbound prospecting averages based on the above schedule:

  • 100 - 150 dials through the day (treasure hunting and phone stalking)

  • 6 to 10 new prospects added (with direct contact information)

  • 6 to 10 conversations with executives on the hot list

  • 10-15 personalized emails sent/35 standard emails sent

  • 3 to 5 new meetings scheduled

  • Prospects not reached by phone receive email and/or voicemail touch as appropriate

  • Previous week’s process metrics discussed and diagnosed for actionable improvement

A Proven Outbound Prospecting Strategy

Typical sales training companies teach tired methods that quickly become obsolete. Vorsight takes a different approach, borrowing best practices from our meetings business and grafting them onto other sales effectiveness programs like sales prospecting training, management

training, and even building a client lead generation team from scratch. Ongoing coaching, reinforcement, and management support ensure that Vorsight’s DNA thrives in your organization for years to come.

Everything we do centers around live calling on speakerphone into your target accounts. Demonstrating tools, tactics, and techniques with real accounts, in real time, gets sales reps to buy in immediately. Clients love this “let’s stop talking about it and let’s pick up the phone” mentality. Workshops are incredibly interactive with no PowerPoint slides. It’s all about practical application of skill in the real world. In some cases clients see instantaneous ROI when live calls to decision makers in the workshops result in identified opportunities that quickly close.

If you need to fill the top of your sales funnel with more qualified meetings or build your pipeline of high probability opportunities that you generate from calling activity, then we are your company! We’re passionate about sales and confident in our ability to arm you with the tools, tactics, and techniques necessary to be successful. Contact us today and we can get started on planning an outbound prospecting strategy for your business!

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