Efficiency and timing are a top priority for Sales Operations in B2B organizations. Studies have found that sales reps are 100 times more likely to connect with an inbound lead if they connect with them within 5 minutes after a lead fills out a form. The proper use of sales technology can help teams take care of that connection. These outreach best practices will help your team optimize and automate portions of their follow-up.
At a time when many sales leaders and representatives are under tremendous strain to meet quotas and keep sales funnels flowing, having the right tech and understanding how to best use it are critical to success.
We highly recommend the sales engagement platform (SEP) Outreach.io, which we use internally, and implement for our clients. Outreach.io manages and optimizes every interaction, across email, calls, and social throughout a prospect’s sequence.
The platform also leverages machine learning to guide reps to take the right actions. When connected with marketing automation and your CRM, this SEP leads to greater transparency, efficiency, and information about your buyers.
In this article, we’ll dive into a few Outreach best practices that sound simple but can make a huge impact for your team. And there is no one better to lead the way than Molly Mitchell, the Sales Operations Manager/Guru here at Skaled.
She works closely with the Outreach platform day-to-day doing implementations and trainings with clients. Follow here on LinkedIn where she shares her in-depth expertise regularly!
In the 3 outreach best practice video recordings below, Molly walks through her pro tip for SDRs, Managers, and Admins. These pro tips should be applied to any SEP you work with, but Molly uses Outreach.io as an example to give you a look inside the system and how to set up your pro tips.
*Note on terminology
In this post and videos, a Prospect = Lead or Contact in your SEP.
We refer to “outreach” in two different ways. Outreach with a lowercase “o” signifying outreach or outbound in general, and Outreach with an uppercase “O” signifying Outreach or Outreach.io the platform.
Outreach Best Practice #1 – Call your prospects at appropriate hours!
Pro Tip for SDRs.
This is a tip for when you’re working through your tasks in the Outreach platform or any other SEP.
It’s more important than ever to be mindful of the prospects you’re reaching out to, and one way to ensure you’re being respectful is by calling the prospect at an appropriate hour.
By clicking on Call Tasks in the Outreach platform, you can drill down and select the Local Time feature. You can then find tasks for a specific time range. Setting this parameter will ensure that you avoid calling a prospect at an inappropriate hour.
In this video, Molly walks through how to select the Local Time feature and set her call range between noon and 3pm in a prospect’s timezone.
Outreach Best Practice #2 – Tracking Tasks & Insights
Pro Tip for Managers
With everyone shifting to remote work, tracking tasks and efficiency of reps is a top concern for sales managers and leaders.
In this video, Molly encourages all managers to track two different data points within Outreach to drive overall efficiency and use this information to keep teams accountable.
1 – Overdue tasks
If you go to the main Reports page of the Outreach platform, the first data point she covers is the Overdue Tasks column. Overdue tasks hinder prospects from moving along to the next step in the sales sequence. It’s important to avoid rep’s overdue tasks from piling up in the platform at all costs.
2 – Call & Email Heat Maps
In the Insights tab, you can create heat maps at the call and email insights level to analyze what the best time of day to connect with a prospect is. There are tons of articles and research telling us what the best times and days are, but every company’s buyers are different.
These heat maps are a primary source of data about your prospects that you can trust over secondary research.
Outreach Best Practice #3 – The more triggers the better
Pro Tip for Admins
You won’t find a better moment than right now to take the time and organize and optimize your sales tech. The Triggers feature is a great place to start.
There are a few ways you can build triggers at the Prospect, Opportunity, and Account levels as well as emails being delivered, bounced calls being logged, or meetings being booked.
To get started, ask yourself what type of event will I be utilizing to base this Trigger off of?
Taking the time to set up triggers in great detail is a great way to optimize for speed from an end-user standpoint.
Molly uses the example of a call trigger to automatically update a stage field and walks through the bones of setting up a trigger.
*One quick tip: If you have any additional pieces of sales tech integrated with your SEP, such as the sending platform Sendoso, triggers are a great way to build automation for those as well.
*Another quick tip: Think about all of the call dispositions your team is using today and think of any stages that go hand in hand and automate them to make your reps lives a little easier.
That’s it! Those are Molly’s 3 outreach best practices that are small tweaks to your process but can make a huge impact on efficiency and results.
If you have another 25 minutes to listen to Molly, we’d also like to share the insights from her recent panel during the Sales Engagement Masters. Molly covered the topic of “Syncing Marketing & Sales Tech” and used Outreach.io as the SEP of choice for tactical tips in setting up automation between systems.
Some more best practices from a Sales Engagement Master
Molly talked about triggers in the last pro tip and goes deeper on a few in this session. She makes triggers look simple, but building them out properly and purposefully are critical and require consistency and granularity – even in your naming conventions – to make sure prospects are routed correctly.
Whether it’s assigning a level of priority or learning how to filter and save priorities in a Smart View, Molly provides guidance for sales tech operations teams (or especially if you don’t have your own internal sales ops team) to be best-in-class in this business environment.
You can watch the presentation here.
Download the handout: 2020 Sales & Marketing Technology Overview
Don’t forget to set up these outreach best practices, but if you need help…
We certainly hope these tips can help you in streamlining your sales sequences and process.
If you have more technical and tactical questions on how best to use Outreach or your SEP, send us a note and we can perform an audit of your system or your entire tech stack. Then we’ll call in the guru Molly to implement or increase your team’s efficiency.