Build a Winning Outbound Sales Team: 5 Steps & Best Practices
By Matt Mesar
| 30. June 2024 |
Call Center, Sales
By M. MesarMatt Mesar
| 30 Jun 2024 |
Call Center, Sales
    By M. MesarMatt Mesar
    | 30 Jun 2024
    Call Center, Sales

    How to Build a Winning Outbound Sales Team

    Despite all the effort companies put into their outbound sales, only 16% of experts say this results in consistently high-quality sales leads.

    This article will look at a common source of this problem – your outbound sales team and strategy. Continue reading to find out what outbound sales are, how to build an effective sales team, and how to improve your team’s performance.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Outbound sales are proactively reaching out to leads across multiple channels to convert them into customers.
    • Outbound sales have many benefits, including higher conversion rates, improved customer lifetime value, and better sales team efficiency.
    • The key to creating a successful outbound sales team is to be intentional with your composition, choose the right tools and metrics, and continue improving.

    What Is Outbound Sales?

    SMS compliance refers to the laws and regulations businesses must follow when sending text messages to their customers. These rules are put in place by regulators such as the TCPA and CTIA to protect end users from spam and privacy breaches.

    We’ll cover the SMS compliance requirements later in this article. For now, you should know that an opt-in and the availability of an opt-out – in other words, explicitly agreeing to receive messages and the ability to “unsubscribe” – are cornerstones of good SMS compliance and trustworthy VoIP providers.

    Why Is SMS Compliance Important?

    Outbound sales refers to proactively reaching out to prospects with no prior interest in your company’s products or services. However, this is a multi-faceted process. So, a better question is – what are outbound sales processes? They include:

    • Cold Calls: Making unsolicited phone calls to potential customers to introduce the company’s products or services and generate interest.
    • Email outreach involves sending targeted emails to potential customers to inform them about the company’s offerings and encourage them to engage.
    • Social Selling: Using social media platforms to connect with prospects, build relationships, and promote products or services.
    • Direct Mail: Sending physical mail such as brochures, catalogs, or promotional materials to potential customers.
    • Networking Events: Attending industry events, trade shows, and conferences to meet potential customers and build business relationships.
    • Presentations & Demos: Conducting presentations or demonstrations to showcase the company’s products or services and highlight their benefits.

    Empower your outbound sales team for 14 days free!

    What Are the Benefits of Building an Outbound Sales Team?

    Numerous companies have recently prioritized inbound sales. This switch has been primarily driven by clearer customer intent, higher conversion rates, and improved customer lifetime value. However, outbound sales are still important.

    Without outbound sales, companies run the risk of slow sales pipelines and dwindling market share values. Although the “perfect” inbound/outbound ratio varies from industry to industry, the importance of proactive sales outreach is undeniable.

    The same can be said for building an effective outbound sales team – regardless of size. However, below, you’ll find some of the biggest advantages of building an outbound sales team to motivate you a little more. These include:

    #1: Grow & Optimize Lead Generation

    Even though outbound sales rarely excel in quality, their value lies in quantity. After all, it’s difficult to sell to a client who doesn’t even know your company exists. Therefore, outbound sales introduce your business to many potential customers.

    #2: Boost Your Sales Team’s Efficiency

    A dedicated outbound sales team can improve overall sales efficiency. By optimizing your ideal prospect profiles, discovering effective ways to overcome objections, and creating tested sales scripts, you can convert more prospects faster.

    #3: Monitor Market Trends

    Your outbound sales team is on the front lines, constantly interacting with the market. This gives them unique insights into emerging trends, customer pain points, and competitor strategies, allowing your business to adapt and stay ahead.

    #4: Generate More Revenue

    Ultimately, the goal of an outbound sales team is to drive revenue. By actively seeking out and converting new customers, your business can see a significant boost in sales and overall growth, even if they’re just one-time customers.

    5 Steps to Building a Winning Outbound Sales Team

    As is the case with any business activity, the process can only be as good as the people and tools involved in it. This incentivizes companies to invest time, effort, and money into their outbound sales teams, as that’s the best way of scaling their ROI.

    #1: Determine Your Team Structure & Composition

    There’s no such thing as just a “salesperson”. Teams tend to consist of managers in charge of managing agents, Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) who focus on lead generation, and Account Executives (AEs) who close deals.

    Depending on your sales strategy and brand niche, you should consider which aspect of the outbound process you want to prioritize and hire talent accordingly. Typically, you’ll want to have more SDRs to streamline prospecting, but that’s not always the case.

    If you work in a particularly involved sphere like SaaS or healthcare, where you have to contend with specific customer requests and long-term contracts, you may want to prioritize AEs instead to win over prospects and keep them happy.

    #2: Set Your Goals & Strategy

    An effective sales strategy requires clear goals with well defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics. The purpose behind these is to align team members and give managers a way of establishing what success looks like, and tracking performance.

    Here are some that you may want to consider:

    • Conversion Rate: The percentage of outbound calls that result in a desired outcome, such as a sale, appointment booking, or lead generation. It measures the effectiveness of outbound sales efforts in converting prospects into customers or qualified leads.

      Global Benchmark: 2.35%
    • Average Call Duration: The average length of time spent on outbound sales calls. This metric provides insights into the efficiency of sales conversations and helps identify opportunities to streamline interactions and improve productivity.

      Global Benchmark: 5 minutes and 2 seconds (302 seconds)
    • Call Disposition: A classification of the outcome or result of each outbound sales call, such as “no answer,” “interested,” “not interested,” or “callback requested.” Analyzing call dispositions helps sales teams track progress, prioritize follow-ups, and tailor future interactions based on prospect responses.

      Global Benchmark: Cannot be determined.
    • Lead Response Time: The time elapsed between receiving a lead and making the first outbound sales call. Rapid response times are crucial for engaging prospects while their interest is high and increasing the likelihood of conversion.

      Global Benchmark:Vary between industries.
      • Healthcare: 2 hours and 5 minutes.
      • Telecommunications: 16 minutes.
      • Small Business: 48 minutes
      • Mid-Size Business: 1 hour and 38 minutes.
      • Enterprise: 1 hour and 28 minutes.

    #3: Choose a Suite of Tools

    Sales teams rely on a significant number of dedicated tools and software to optimize their performance. These most commonly include Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI), and call center platforms.

    Understandably, navigating such a complex tech stack can often be difficult and tends to cost agents a lot of time. However, you can remove this obstacle by centralizing 3rd party tools into your VoIP call center platform via existing integrations or an Open API.

    It’s one thing to hand-pick a good selection of tools that are able to meet your teams’ unique needs. However, it’s entirely another to streamline their workflows by leveraging automatic 2-way synchronization, cross-platform capabilities, and more.

    #4: Empower & Train Your Team

    42% of sales agents feel that they lack the necessary information to make a call, and 55% actually lack the skills to succeed in sales. However, more than a personal issue, this is an operational problem in terms of agent training.

    Outbound sales teams require extensive training to succeed. This includes creating effective call scripts, developing frameworks for overcoming objections, offering comprehensive product explanations, and more.

    In the long run, this not only increases the effectiveness of your outbound sales and boosts conversion rates, but it also helps improve employee satisfaction, drive motivation, and prevent frequent agent churn.

    #5: Monitor Sales Performance

    Monitoring call center performance is crucial for various reasons. Chief among them are better customer experience, improved agent performance, ensured compliance, increased first-call resolution, and effective employee training.

    With both KPIs and metrics established and the correct tools chosen, the process is simple. All you need to do is analyze and report your performance on a regular, rolling basis and provide feedback and coaching based on data.

    Outbound Sales Teams Best Practices

    Want to start improving your outbound sales team performance almost immediately in just a few simple steps? Look no further than the ones below.

    Look Internally Before Outsourcing

    Consider leveraging internal resources before outsourcing sales functions. Existing employees may have valuable insights and connections that can benefit your outbound sales efforts. Plus, it fosters a sense of ownership and commitment within your team.

    Hire More Than One SDR

    Hiring multiple Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) creates a collaborative environment where team members can share insights and strategies. It also ensures that lead generation efforts continue uninterrupted, even if one SDR is unavailable.

    Encourage Open Communication

    Foster an environment of open communication within your team. Regular meetings and transparent discussions about goals, challenges, and successes can improve collaboration and morale. Encouraging open communication ensures everyone is aligned and working towards common objectives.

    Listen to Feedback

    Actively seek and listen to feedback from your outbound sales team. They are directly interacting with prospects and can provide valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not. Use their feedback to make informed decisions and adjustments to your sales strategy.

    Take Your Outbound Sales Team from Scratch to Success

    Building a successful outbound sales team requires a strategic approach, ongoing training, and the right tools. 

    By understanding the benefits, following the essential steps, and implementing best practices, you can create an outbound sales team that drives growth, increases revenue, and strengthens your market presence. 

    With dedication and continuous improvement, your outbound sales team can take your business from scratch to success.

    Discover what CloudTalk can do for your Outbound Sales Success


    What is Outbound Sales?

    Outbound sales refer to the proactive approach of reaching out to potential customers to generate new business. This method involves sales representatives actively contacting prospects through various channels, such as cold calls, emails, social media messages, and direct mail. 

    Unlike inbound sales, where customers initiate contact with the company, outbound sales require sales teams to identify, engage, and convert prospects into customers. The primary goal is to generate leads, build relationships, and ultimately close sales by persuading potential customers of the value of the company’s products or services.

    How Do I Know If I Need an Outbound Sales Team?

    Determining whether you need an outbound sales team depends on several factors:

    Target Market: If your business targets a specific audience or market segment that is not easily reachable through inbound marketing efforts alone, an outbound sales team can help directly reach and engage these prospects.

    Sales Cycle: For businesses with longer or more complex sales cycles, outbound sales can be crucial in nurturing leads and guiding them through the buying process.

    Revenue Goals: If your company has aggressive revenue targets, outbound sales can accelerate lead generation and conversion rates, providing a more immediate impact on sales numbers.

    Product Type: High-value or B2B products often require personalized outreach and direct interaction to build trust and demonstrate value, making outbound sales teams essential.

    Market Saturation: In highly competitive markets, outbound sales can help differentiate your business by establishing direct, personal connections with potential customers.

    How Do I Improve Outbound Sales Team Performance?

    Improving the performance of your outbound sales team involves several strategies:

    Training and Development: Provide ongoing training to ensure your sales team is equipped with the latest sales techniques, product knowledge, and industry insights. Role-playing and sales simulations can be particularly effective.

    Effective Prospecting: Ensure your team is targeting the right prospects. Use data analytics and customer profiling to identify high-potential leads. Quality over quantity is key in prospecting.

    Personalization: Encourage your team to personalize their outreach efforts. Tailored messages that address the specific needs and pain points of prospects are more likely to resonate and elicit a response.

    Sales Tools and Technology: Equip your team with the best tools for customer relationship management (CRM), lead generation, and sales automation. These tools can streamline processes and provide valuable insights.

    Performance Metrics: Establish clear, measurable goals and track performance using key metrics such as call volume, conversion rates, and deal size. Regularly review these metrics to identify areas for improvement.

    Incentives and Motivation: Implement incentive programs to motivate your team. Recognize and reward top performers to foster a competitive and productive environment.

    Feedback and Coaching: Provide regular feedback and coaching to help your sales reps improve their techniques and overcome challenges. One-on-one sessions can be highly beneficial.

    Collaboration and Communication: Foster a collaborative environment where team members share insights, strategies, and success stories. Regular team meetings and open communication channels can enhance overall performance.