Top outbound reps don’t reach the #1 spot by waiting in line.
They skip everything that doesn’t move real deals forward. That includes the pointless check-ins, the moonshot deals, and the customers who are happy to talk but will never buy. Their success has nothing to do with callousness, luck, or speed, and everything to do with prioritization.
If you want to ascend to outbound royalty too, here is how to be crowned.
1. Have a system
Sales can be an emotional rollercoaster. Cold-calling your entire list may sound totally reasonable (fun, even) after hitting quota, but after losing a deal it can feel like pulling teeth. To keep yourself consistent, develop a system that allows you to:
Silo your activities
Silos speed up your outbound because there is no such thing as multitasking—there is only doing multiple things poorly at once. And while many people claim to be the exception, neuroscience researchers at MIT insist that multitasking makes us 40 percent less efficient.
That means if you try to John Nash-it by jumping between building lists, adding contacts, and reaching out, you’ll only get about half as much done.
Segment your tasks and perform them on different days, or at least at different times.
Make the most of every conversation
Qualify every conversation heavily before taking it. No matter how excited you or your SDR are about the logo, push back politely and insist that they’re qualified to the right standard. Do they have budget, authority, need, and a timeline?
If so, prep heavily. Focus your conversations by anticipating their questions and concerns so you’re ready with solid answers and probing questions of your own. Encourage your prospect to prepare too. If they have a true need, they’ll be happy to engage in your pre-call diligence. If they don’t, this might upset them, and that’s a red flag that’s equally valuable.
Record your outreach (it’ll help you)
Whether chatting via phone or video conferencing, the ability to review interactions offers big learning opportunities: What questions do prospects ask most often? Which objections are common? How have you succeeded or failed at overcoming them?
Once you’re treating these conversations as what they are—tests—it’ll become easier to spot your shortcomings and improve your results.
2. Spend your time like it’s your money (because it is)
The more administrative tasks you can hand off to automation, the better. Calendar everything—including those siloed blocks for prospecting—and set reminders to do pre-call prep, follow-up, and deal diligence. And tighten up all meetings by changing your default calendar meeting length from 60 minutes to 25 minutes. Defaults are powerful and you’ll be forced to work more efficiently. When it all works properly, you should feel like these notifications are guiding you through your busy day like a personal assistant.
You should also take advantage of every automated insight. This is great news if your sales strategy includes video: Most next-generation video platforms allow you to set alerts for when a prospect watches a certain percentage so you can strike at the best time—while they’re thinking of you and have seen enough to be qualified—without wasting time on leads who’ve gone cold.
Salespeople who follow up with leads in under one hour are 7x more likely to have a meaningful conversation with a decision maker.
3. Make your outreach count
B2B buyers are more immune to outreach than ever, unfortunately. They’re bombarded with endless requests to chat and are fed up with salespeople who disrespect their time by “just wanting to touch base.”
Here are two ways you can command attention:
Did you know that 70 percent of B2B buyers watch a video sometime during their buying process? Use this to your advantage and create your own personalized videos. They’re attention-grabbing and deliver your message in a way that’s far more exciting than just another text or email with a value-proposition followed by three bullet points.
If you’re spending your time wisely and only reaching out to high-fit accounts, you should have plenty of time to personalize these videos for maximum impact.
Want more video sales tips? Read 7 Ways to Use Video to Close More Business.
Build immunity to rejection
As a salesperson, routine rejection is an occupational hazard. But the better you get at eliminating bad options, that is, those prospects who were going to say no anyway, the more time you’ll have to spend on your best accounts.
Do as Marketo recommends and immunize yourself to the ‘rejection flu.’ Test your messaging constantly, practice getting rejected in low-risk environments, and take improv classes. And above all, use your system to outbound consistently. Whenever you take a long break, you’ll regress and rejections will start to sting again.
Keep it up
The most important part of having a system is sticking to it. Whether you’re on a post-deal high or breakup call low, knowing precisely where and how to spend your time keeps you consistent and helps you avoid the feast or famine of outbound sales.
And when you consistently deliver the results, month after month and quarter after quarter, you’ll earn yourself the title of king or queen of outbound—a sweet prize—and almost as satisfying as having crushed your quota on the way there.