Future of Work

Top 10 Sales Tools to Build an Outbound Machine


This article originally published on Predictable Revenue.

Sales is becoming increasingly more automated, especially in building an outbound machine. Over the past three years things have accelerated faster than ever before. Processes that were in place in the past like the one’s made popular by Predictable Revenue are still incredibly relevant however, many parts can almost be fully automated.

Let’s take a ride through the outbound process and go over our favorite technologies that fill in the gaps for each section.

Getting company information


1. Datanyze

Datanyze fits into this part of the sales cycle by helping sales development teams find out which companies are using to which software. For example, maybe you have a product that competes with or complements Mailchimp. Their current customers are your potential customers. You ICP could be, “companies that use Mailchimp” Datanyze helps you uncover these opportunities.

2. SalesLoft

SalesLoft is great for prospecting directly from LinkedIn, which means you have a target individual in mind and grab his or her full contact information. I find this most helpful when I have a company list and job titles but I don’t know the people’s names that I’m looking for. Using LinkedIn’s new Sales Navigator, I can now easily search LinkedIn for these contacts and simply export them using the SalesLoft Chrome extension. SalesLoft will show me my lists of exports and, to their best guess, the full contact information for my exported leads. SalesLoft’s data is usually pretty accurate.

Reaching Out and Build Relationships at Scale


3. ToutApp, 4. Yesware, 5. Outreach, 6. Cadence

Outbound emailing is finally transparent. This allows salespeople to be scientific by building, testing, measuring, and optimizing their outbound campaigns.

Test things like:

  • Using the person’s name or the company name in the subject lines. This makes the e-mail look more personal before they even open it.
  • Different locations and languages for your call-to-action, using either links or attachments. Try to make sure your e-mails look like casual e-mails and not marketing e-mails when you do this.
  • The body of the message. It should be short and to the point. Don’t give too much information. Provide value for them, feel their pain, talk about them—not to yourself. If you did your research and you are reaching out individually instead of mass-e-mailing, then you should know what their initial problems might be.
  • Always go into this opening e-mail with the goal of setting up the first call. Do not aim too high or ask for too much. Be strong and lay out a certain time to speak.

Even though you are collecting information on Open, Click-through, and Response Rates the only thing that you need to worry about in your pipeline is number of meetings that you set up. You are using all of these e-mail metrics to make your e-mails better so that you set up more meetings.
The numbers will vary by who you ask and the type of business, but you’ll want to aim for numbers like these:

  • Open Rate: 30 to -50% of 100%
  • Click Through Rate: 20 to 35% of 100%
  • Response Rate: 15 to 30% of 100%
  • Meetings Setup Rate: 10 to 20% of 100%

There are many other variables at play here that could lead to skewed numbers. Some of the variables are:

  • Poor performing lists
  • Server or sending issues
  • Rep sending the e-mails
  • Time of day/date

Use software like ToutApp, 4. Yesware, 5. Outreach, or 6. Cadence to send and monitor these emails.

Lead Research


7. Refresh.io & 8. Charlie App

There are many smaller apps that provide nice little dossiers for reps that come right to the rep’s inbox or phone before a meeting.

For mobile and on-the-go options, check out Refresh.io and 8. Charlie App. Both of these apps give you fantastic prospect summaries to review before speaking to the prospect.

Things you might want to know are:

  • Location
  • Previous job history
  • College or hometown
  • Social media news
  • Company information/recent news
  • Competitors information/recent news
  • Their social links and events they attend
  • Their recent posts on their blog, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Previous conversations

Maybe you share a common interest or know the same people from a previous or current job or location. Explore anything you can uncover that you can use to bond or facilitate the meeting. Again, don’t be a stalker! Keep super personal things and accounts like Facebook and Instagram out of it. They don’t need to know you saw the picture of them and their significant other frolicking on the beach in Aruba.

These new apps pull information from hundreds of thousands of public sources. The most important feature is that your one-pager can be personalized by connecting your social networks. Once added, they will tell you all the things your prospect and you share in common: whether it’s people, sports teams, or hobbies. Each social media account you connect makes your one-pagers more personal, and helps you be more effective at building rapport.

Just connect your calendar to the app and it will automatically research the people you’re meeting. It will even send you a push notification a few minutes before your meeting reminding you to prepare; a full set of insights is then just one tap away. You can even set it to Auto Hide meetings with co-workers, so you’re only shown external events.

Before getting on a call, always make sure you’re prepared and know whom you’re speaking to.

9. Connectifier

Connectifier is also a handy Chrome plugin for getting more info off of an individual’s social profiles which you can use in your pre-call, pre-meeting, or pre-email research.

Outsourced Lean Gen


10. Carb.io

Looking for something to do a mix of the above for you? 10. Carb.io, also known as Carburetor, is the new kid on the block and is modeled after Aaron Ross’s Predictable Revenue process.

They help you fill the top of the funnel by figuring out your Ideal Customer Profile and then set out to find those leads and other low-hanging fruit across the web. They have an internal sales team that reaches out on your behalf and activates the prospect. Once the prospect replies, they introduce you. Think of it as Sales Development as a Service.

Aaron Ross, of the award-winning, bestselling book Predictable Revenue, has been teaching companies how to double or triple (or more) new sales since he helped Salesforce grow from $5m to $100m. Now he’s turned his attention to building the software platform that will power the next wave of Cold Calling 2.0 teams. Check out Aaron’s latest work on How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue.