Old-school sales leaders - you might want to plug your ears on this one.
Data is king. In every aspect of business, in almost every industry, data is now the calculator, the calibrator, the informer. It's not smooth talking skills, a strong handshake, a big rolodex, or whatever B2B sales method that you used to land sales appointments as recently as a decade ago.
Whether you like it or not, outbound sales is now a data-driven acquisition channel. Testing, pivoting, and examining engagement from outbound campaigns can deliver so much beyond a sales appointment (though, we know that is an important metric). We're talking market insights, buyer pain points, competitor intelligence - you name it.
That being said, outbound success is no longer the old linear equation: thousands of prospects into a funnel spitting out X percentage of sales appointments to an account executive's calendar. Success is uncovering a better decision maker within your segment base that you never knew about, it's learning why multiple prospects choose one product over another to improve your own product, it's discovering that LinkedIn messages convert at a 4x higher rate than emailing or calling. All hypotheticals of course and custom to every company.
Measuring outbound success for us at Leadium is in the data. Again, we understand setting qualified appointments is a big KPI for our clients, but looking at multiple data points helps us steer the ship for success and shows us and the client indisputable truth on what is working and what isn't.
What Is an Outbound Campaign?
An outbound campaign, or outbound sales, is the process of reaching out to prospective clients and delivering sales pitches in hopes of nailing a sales appointment. Rather than waiting for a prospect to come to you (which is known as an inbound campaign), you do the work to secure your clients.
One of the most well-known outbound sales tactics is cold calling. With today’s technology, multi-channel, multi-touch campaigns are becoming the intelligent standard to engage with prospects. We're talking a strategic mix of email, calling, LinkedIn messaging, video messaging, and even gifting. An outbound campaign allows you to make personal contact with prospects and control the pace of selling. Measuring multi-channel metrics also provides you with more immediate feedback.
Now that we understand outbound sales isn't just dialing for dollars anymore, but rather a multi-channel and strategic campaign, let's take a look at just some of the data points we at Leadium use to examine to measure success.
A reminder - this is actually not an exhaustive list! While we are sharing 17 data points here, our team of experienced SDRs are analyzing way more - and delivering those insights to our clients. These should get you started though if you are just now building a framework for your internal sales development.
The 17 Data Points We Analyze
1. Number of People within Each Account Contacted
Emailing allows you to contact a larger number of people in a shorter amount of time. If you’re only reaching out to a few people, you may not be getting the sales you’re hoping for.
2. Name and Titles of Decision-Makers Spoken To
You should know who you’re pitching to. This can help you more effectively personalize emails.
3. Number of Follow-Up Emails Sent
You likely need to send more than one email. Keep in mind that while you want to accelerate the sales process, you also want to avoid coming off as impersonal. Balance is important.
4. Email Open Rate (OR)
This metric looks at the percentage of emails sent that are opened. The higher your percentage, the more of your emails are being opened. Which also usually means that you’re rocking the subject line game. Is it low? Your subject line is the first place you need to test.
5. Number of Email Bounces
The higher your percentage of bounced emails, the more likely you are to have your emails flagged by spam servers. This is not good for your domain reputation and can impact any emails coming from your domain into any inbox. At Leadium, we take domain reputation seriously.
6. Number of Positive Replies
Positive replies are exactly what you’re looking for. A prospect has either agreed to a sales appointment right then and there or they have replied with some sort of interest. Maybe they find what you have to say interesting but need a couple more weeks before connecting again. Everything that you do should optimize for this reaction.
7. Number of “No Thank You” Replies
Some people will say no. If too many are giving “no thank you” replies, though, it may be time to test different variables within your email. Look at each section as a test variable and alter one at a time. The intro line may need tweaking. Perhaps the value proposition isn’t quite hitting the mark. Maybe you want to play with trying new brand messaging.
8. Number of “Not My Role/Department” Replies
Sometimes you’ll reach people who aren’t the decision-makers. You can use these replies as an opportunity to get connected with someone who does make the decisions.
9. Number of Objection Replies
While not ideal, objection replies still provide opportunities. You may be able to work into deeper conversations that can turn into positive replies.
10. Email Click Through Rate (CTR)
Your email CTR is the number of people who have clicked on a link in your message divided by the number of emails you send. This rate can help you to assess the effectiveness of your campaign. It is also another metric that really tells you if you are providing the right content in your email. Maybe you have 2 links in your email: one to a case study and one to your demo page. If you see that the case study is getting a way higher CTR, optimize for that. You see your prospects like seeing real customer stories. Incorporate those stories in your emails or maybe link to more case studies.
11. Time Spent on Landing Page from the Email
You want those who click on a link in your email to spend some time on your landing page. I mean, you took the time to create a great landing page filled with juicy content to make conversion a no brainer for your prospects. People who spend more time here are more likely to be interested (and proof that what you included on that landing page is working.) If they are bouncing after two seconds, you might need to restructure, re-write, or re-design what you have on the page.
12. Number of LinkedIn Messages Sent
LinkedIn provides you with an additional touchpoint to reach prospects. Like with emails, you may need to reach out more than once, but you want to avoid reaching out too much. We have also found that LinkedIn messages work best when integrated as a step in a multi-touch sequence and not as a stand-alone first touch. Reach out to us to hear more about how we strategically incorporate LinkedIn messaging into our outbound funnels.
13. Number of Calls Made
Calling is a much more personal way to reach prospects. Again, you may need to make multiple calls, but you should avoid calling too much and just like LinkedIn messaging, place calling steps into a well-developed outbound funnel.
14. Number of Voicemails Left
If you’re leaving multiple voicemails and no one is calling you back, you may need to reevaluate the types of messages that you’re leaving. Kind of a no brainer.
15. Number of Appointments Set
This is the ultimate goal after all. Tracking the number of appointments we set at Leadium is one of the major performance indicators we provide to our clients. Appointment setting can give you insight into the effectiveness of your entire outbound campaign as a whole.
16. Number of Appointments Kept
While some prospects may set appointments, not all keep them. Kept appointments let you know how many prospects are truly interested and want to learn more.
17. Reasons Given for No Interest
If someone gives you a reason as to why they’re not interested, it’s important to pay attention. These reasons can help you tailor your emails more effectively. This is a step in the outbound process that is also really valuable in terms of learning your product-market fit. Listen to prospects who give legitimate “no interest” feedback. There could be opportunities for improving or changing your product or service.
The Role of CRM
A CRM like Outreach for example, plays a vital role in your outbound success. You can give your email sequences a boost with an automated platform. This gives you the ability to automate email template variables based on each prospect, which significantly speeds up the process. A CRM also enables you to collect the important data (like the 17 listed above) that you can then use to assess the success of your outbound campaign.
Evaluating your outbound sequences is essential for the success of your B2B business. The thing is that you might not have time to constantly measure the metrics of every campaign. This is where Leadium comes in. As your full-service outbound partner, we take care of analyzing all of these data points for you, leaving you to focus on other things. For more information, contact us today!