In order for a prospect to become a customer, they have to go through a sales funnel, which can be an inbound or an outbound funnel. In this post, I will only discuss the outbound process as the first half of the funnel is very different when compared to inbound. More importantly, I will focus on the type of tools to deploy to improve the ROI and efficiency of the various stages.
Companies have to use technology to aid them in acquiring new customers. The average amount of tools that a company deploys is between 5-7 for sales alone.
Research is often required to identify and trial the best software in the market to check if it fits with the company. At hubsell I have had to go through the same experience. So today, I would like to share with you my favourite types of tools and some examples belonging to those categories.
An outbound sales funnel is divided into three main sections:
TOFU (top of the funnel)
- define a customer profile
- find companies based on criteria
- identify stakeholders relevant to the sales process
- build a list of decision-making prospects
- reach out to prospects until dialogues is established
MOFU (middle of the funnel)
- follow up with replies to set up a discovery call
- assess needs and handle objections
- set up a demo call
- demo the product/solution
BOFU (bottom of the funnel)
- consulting the client
- negotiating the offer
- creating the offer
- closing the deal
Let’s now breakdown each section and explain the ideal tools.
TOFU – top of the funnel
The main goal of the TOFU is to identify relevant decision makers and stakeholders, and generate early stage interest. That way sales teams can have fresh sales qualified leads coming in, to nurture and convert. This initial process is also known as lead generation. Typically, it converts at a rate of 15-30%, so for every 1000 emails sent 150-300 will be positive or neutral replies.
The type of tools in TOFU need to facilitate the components of lead acquisition. These are data and outreach, lead identification, social selling and ads. Here is a list of recommended software that you could use to solve these demands:
data suppliers – providing quality data on prospects (e.g.: hubsell, datanyze, data.com)
outreach – allowing reach out to prospects automatically (e.g.: hubsell, outreach.io, pardot)
reverse IP lookups – enabling the identification of website visitors (e.g.: leadfeeder, leady, albacross, salespanel)
social selling – allowing search and outreach capabilities in professional social networks (e.g.: hubsell, XING premium, LinkedIn Sales Navigator)
impression based ads – supporting the sharing of helpful content across platforms (e.g.: Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, Quora ads)
MOFU – middle of the funnel
In the MOFU, the goal of the salesperson is to do a discovery call and qualify the sales leads (SQLs). The prospects that are sales-qualified progress to the next stage of setting up a demo/consultation appointment. There the needs and product fit are explored.
The middle of the funnel requires tools that help move the leads to the subsequent stages of the funnel. These consist of a CRM, email intelligence, a software to share content safely, a calling system, and a scheduling and demo software. There are many options and combinations out there that you can use, but here are some examples:
CRMs – the organization of qualified leads through a funnel (e.g.: pipedrive, Salesforce, Hubspot)
email intelligence – tagging software enabling different routes based on subscribers’ actions (e.g.: activecampaign, drift, fullcontact)
content sharing – enables nurturing of the prospect with helpful blogs and resources (e.g.: docsend, clearslide, newscred)
calling – dialling management system that integrates with CRMs (e.g.: tenfold, ringio, connectandsell)
scheduling – enables seamless scheduling of calls (e.g.: google calendar, calendly)
In this post, I looked at the main factors impacting the focus of a company, whether it is outbound or inbound. Here are the main takeaways:
Type of tools you need for each stage of the funnel:
TOFU – data suppliers, outreach, reverse IP lookups, social selling, impression based ads
MOFU – CRMs, email intelligence, content sharing, calling, scheduling
BOFU – conferencing, e-signatures, billing
Choose your stack of tools wisely to complement your outbound sales funnel. Beware that some tools have redundant features. The fewer tools you have to manage the better.