in 2011, i published Predictable Revenue to help reignite outbound prospecting and popularize specializing. since then, outbound problems keep evolving. in this “From Impossible…” excerpt, i talk about what else there is to learn around outbound since Predictable Revenue came out.

Outbound Now

  1. Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 1.57.56 PMHuman error is growing. Email and call automation has increased human error, because more activity equals more errors in response handling, following up, updating sales systems, and territory/account conflicts.
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  2. Data is a never-ending problem: New data sources are constantly being created, but most prospectors still spend two to three hours a day building and fixing lists.
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  3. A new knee-jerk reaction to problems is “send more email!” replacing the old reaction of “make more calls!” Doing more of what’s not working isn’t a solution.
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  4. Over-dependence on a single technique, whether it’s researching, or cold calling, or templates, or…—rather than ensuring prospectors are experts in two to four complementary techniques, and understand the pros and cons of each. No one technique will work all the time, efficiently.
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  5. Obsessing over simplistic metrics like email open and response rates at the expense of understanding how the entire funnel works.
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  6. Task, tool & app overwhelm. Higher-volume prospecting means more to-do lists, more follow-up tasks and more apps, overloading prospectors.
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  7. Phone calls aren’t obsolete: Don’t let reps succumb to “phone fear.” Pick up the damn phone! Prospectors should be having live conversations every day.
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  8. Dashboard problems: With human error, misconceptions about how outbound should work, and common sales force app configuration errors, it’s surprisingly hard for executives to get accurate and complete outbound funnel metrics.

We’ve built a Pipeline Automation software platform called Carburetor (or Carb.io) to solve these outbound problems.

 

(I wish I’d had it back at Salesforce.com.) For example, an early customer, Agility Recovery, saw:

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  • Higher quantity: Initial calls (called AWAF, or “Are We A Fit” calls), grew from 16 a month per prospector to 15 a week per prospector, approximately a 400% increase. Usually the prospector holds the first AWAF with a prospect, confirms a possible fit, then schedules a longer Demo or Discovery call for them with a senior salesperson, who qualifies and accepts or rejects the opportunity.
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  • Higher quality: They raised their AWAF “call-to-close” rate from 4.6% to 12%. So out of 100 initial calls, they about tripled how many deals they closed, with better data and targeting, vastly fewer tasks and to-do’s, fewer human errors, and accurate tracking and reporting.

Read more: What Acme Learned From Failing At Outbound LeadGen

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