Reaching Your Highest Potential Customers – Outbound Prospecting




As most of my readers know, I am a big fan of Inbound Marketing. However there are times when inbound leads aren’t either enough, or the right kinds of leads needed to reach your best potential customers. In those situations, one tool worth considering is the use of a dedicated sales team to do outbound prospecting (Cold Calling 2.0). I prepared the following presentation for a New York city CRO conference, with the goal of showing how this technique works, and discussing how it can be made to fit in with Inbound Marketing principles, where the customer gets value from the interaction.


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David Skok

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  • Nice presentation David (and thanks for mentioning TOPO). Outbound is becoming a lot more machine-like. Sure feels a lot like the inbound movement circa a few years back.

    Scott Albro

  • Great presentation – Slide 40 was my favorite 🙂

    Scott Albro, Outbound selling (especially inside sales teams) is becoming more “machine-like” — and almost scientific.

    There is still a lot of art in closing deals, but activity around the top portion of the sales funnel can always be measured, monitored, and improved

    Here are a few additional articles on the subject:

    Let me know your thoughts if you decide to read them!

    Turner @ Rivalry

  • Thanks for the additional links!

  • David,

    Fantastic post. A month or two before you come out with the post on Training, Coaching, and Recognition, I’d love to share some of our studies and findings. Rivalry believes the future of sales organization greatness revolves around those areas.

    Thanks for being such a thought leader and gospel-spreader of inside sales best practices.

    The Atlanta Tech Village community is reading every word you put out to help the hundreds of SaaS businesses scale efficiently.

    Heck, we need to get you down to Atlanta!

    Jon Birdsong

  • Hi Jon, thanks for the kind comments. I will send you and email and would love to schedule a phone call to discuss your studies and findings.
    Best, David

  • Chris Orlob

    As you said, inbound marketing is extremely important. Marketing makes selling easy, especially if the sales department is highly specialized into SDRs, MRRs, AE’s, etc. etc. as you said.

    But outbound sales and prospecting campaigns will always be important. The reason for that is you can’t 100% control what kind of inbound leads you generate. But with outbound prospecting, you can target your “ideal customer profile.” It will be a bit more difficult to acquire the customer, but it will be a better “fit” for your comapany.

    If anyone wants more information on how to define your idea customer profile, I have a report for technology sales leaders I am currently giving away for free:

  • FMCG The Power of FMCG

    Great ideas! More captivating stories about the world’s leading companies in FMCG: The Future of Fast Moving Consumer Goods.

    “Henkel is run by triumvirate. With the family’s continuing possession of around 80% of the voting shares, this creates a structure that balances the needs and inputs of all the key stakeholders group.”

  • aharrell2000

    Nice post David! Glad I came across your website! Another key to your efforts is “Key Account Planning” as you discover new business as well as maintaining your outbound business.

    Thanks so much!

  • Guest

    Some great insight here. Love the prospecting tips here. Not sure if you’re familiar with Tout App’s blog but I did a guest post for them called “How SDRs Can Team with Marketing to Close the Gap and Prospect Better” That I thought I’d share.

    Bottomline: Offload and Centralize

  • Thanks for adding Kyle.

  • I concur as have long thought there is an optimal balance between the approach Hubspot takes and the approach my firm Act-On Software subscribes to which is more outbound oriented. Inbound leads are the best leads but the development of content can be too time consuming and expensive with a longer time horizon required to achieve ROI for some firms. In those cases the outbound approach likely is a better fit. Thank you David for your insights and providing me with a sanity check.

    All the best,

    Adam Young @ad_young1

  • There is a lot to be said about the direct co-relation between product complexity(lack of focus) and sales process complexity. Good products (prosumer facing or not) should be simple to sell.

  • Dzianis Zhynko

    Where there is a lack of sales force’s motivation or focus, CRM automation can help greatly. It works particularly well at outbound prospecting, including long-term lead nurturing and personalized emails, and it can be enabled with just some customizations made within the scope of common out-of-the-box features. Here is this approach in action:

  • Sarah Shelby

    Great prospecting tips. Has anyone heard of or looked into when it comes to creating a prospecting list?

  • Dan Rinn

    Well done David, and thank you for the effort that you put into this piece! We’re considering this approach, would you please share your deck with me?

  • Thanks. I have sent it to your email address. Best of luck with it!

  • Great post David.

  • Elsa Bedkin

    David, as they say Content is King, I would say that its a never ending debate, but even we at believe more on inbound as that how you convert strangers into customers and promoters of your business.

  • Joe Lee

    Hi David. I got a lot out of looking through this presentation. Thanks for posting it! Question. On slide 29, where does the figure of 40% overhead come from? Thanks again.

  • It’s just a rough guess as to the overhead cost, given tax, real estate, etc. Best, David

  • I really like the way you write the blog . I want to discuss you what’s the way to reach your niche coustmer and how we find them?

    Website –

  • Thanks David for this amazing information. I also have one suggestion for those who want to grow in the business and get quickly leads Here are the link please check it out. this must be helpful for you.

  • Lindsey Anderson

    Great presentation! Prospecting can be so important in getting qualified leads. You do an awesome job of explaining how to make it work. Hope you don’t mind if I share something that might be valuable to your audience—I recently did a podcast episode on cold market prospecting. You can check it out here:

  • emilywoods

    Nice presentation David (and thanks for mentioning TOPO). Outbound is becoming a lot more machine-like. Sure feels a lot like the inbound movement circa a few years back. Thank you David for your insights and providing me with a sanity check.Cheers,emily. Visit:

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