• July 2, 2024
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Sales Is a Process That Constantly Needs to Evolve

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In the ever-evolving world of outbound sales, with artificial intelligence-generated content, tighter spam filters, and search marketing in decline, those who fail to adapt are being left behind. To correct that, Apollo.io, a provider of go-to-market solutions for sales and marketing teams, created "Outbound Sales: A Multichannel Approach to Growing Your Business by Building Relationships." This new book, officially released June 25, provides expert-backed methods as well as dozens of templates, anecdotes, and actionable frameworks for businesses looking to enhance their sales performance.

"In the process of writing this book, we found that the traditional outbound sales model is fundamentally broken, and those who fail to adapt are being left behind," said Josh Garrison, Apollo's vice president of content marketing and product education. "For most companies, single-channel selling doesn't work anymore. Unchecked automation will ruin your relationships and deliverability, hampering efforts to grow down the line. Misaligned incentive models create chaos instead of producing results. In short, the industry must evolve. We wrote this book to help readers migrate to the 'Full Cycle Selling' approach and lay out best practices for an outbound process that works today."

Drawing on survey findings, proprietary data from millions of active Apollo users, and extensive industry interviews, Outbound Sales highlights the importance of adapting to modern outbound processes and emphasizes the 'Full Cycle Selling' approach to help sales pros grow.

Following is a sample of what the data reveals about the state of outbound sales today and the tactical shifts sales professionals need to consider:

  • Low Conversion Rates: With 71 percent of surveyed sales professionals converting less than 10 percent of their leads to paying customers, there is room for significant improvement in lead qualification processes.
  • Time Consumed in Admin Tasks: 41 percent of surveyed sales professionals spend 1-3 hours daily on admin work, time that could be dedicated to core sales activities.
  • Multiple Touchpoints Required: 40 percent of respondents say it takes at least six touchpoints to secure a qualified meeting, reflecting the complexity of reaching and engaging today’s buyers who often require multiple interactions before they engage.
  • Concerns About Email Deliverability: With mailbox providers tightening their spam filters, 60 percent of respondents are concerned about email deliverability. This indicates a need for optimized and compliant email strategies for effective deliverability rates.
  • Effective Use of LinkedIn: Survey data shows that 58 percent of respondents using LinkedIn as an outbound channel are converting their prospects in five touch points or less. This points to the effectiveness of LinkedIn for personal branding, targeted networking, and direct outreach in sales strategies.
  • Automation in Pipeline Processes: 89 percent of surveyed sales professionals have automated parts of their pipeline generation, reflecting widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to streamline lead generation and management processes.

The book delves deeper into these issues, proposing actionable strategies and expert-backed methods that have led to threefold increases in meeting booked and driven multi-million-dollar valuations, equipping readers with the tools necessary to enhance their sales performance. Some of those insights include the following:

"I met with 20 of the greatest go-to-market minds on the planet—chief revenue officers, vice presidents of sales, chief marketing officers, chief customer officers, trainers, and talking heads—and 90 percent agreed that the sales development rep role is basically dead. Why? 1. It's been used incorrectly. 2. The economics are off in most cases. 3. It's a vestige of the zero-interest-rate-policy/grow-at-all-costs era. 4. They aren't staying with their employer. 5) Results are tanking," said Mark Kosoglow, former chief revenue officer of Catalyst Software.

"A couple of years ago you could get away with lazy pipeline generation. That just doesn't fly anymore. The core tactical work of personalizatio —high-quality human interactions, deep sequences that run long, carry across multiple channels, and reflect a deep level of engagement and research–used to be what the high-performers did. But today, that's the bar," said Stevie Case, chief revenue officer of Vanta.

"AI-generated copy is so hot. Everyone wants to use it to create messaging, but nobody wants to consume AI content. AI is only as good as the data you have. Use AI as a starting point and then take the time to actually adjust it yourself,” said Florin Tatulea, head of sales development at Common Room.

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