5 Proven Outbound Sales Strategies Backed by Research

In this episode, Luigi and Dave discuss the importance of outbound sales and how to effectively execute an outbound strategy.

They emphasize the need to understand your target audience and their pain points, and to create personalized and relevant messaging.

They also discuss the tools they use at Growth Forum, such as Lavender and Lusha, to help with email writing and lead generation.

They also address the topic of cold calling and how it can still be a valuable part of the sales process when done correctly.

Key Takeaways:

  • Outbound sales is a fast way to drive qualified leads into your pipeline.
  • Understand your target audience's pain points and create personalized messaging.
  • Use tools like Lavender and Lucia to help with email writing and lead generation.
  • Cold calling can still be effective when done with research and relevance.
  • Track and measure the success of outbound campaigns to improve.


  • "People don't buy what you do, they buy the outcome you help them achieve."
  • "Creating value in the conversation is key to successful outreach."
  • "Cold calling can be effective when you have done your research and have a relevant point of view."
  • "Track the success of your campaigns to continuously improve."

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Luigi Prestinenzi [00:00:00]:

In this episode, you're gonna learn the right outbound sales techniques that we are using to close deals, the software stack to run outbound that won't break your budget, and cold calling, should you or should you not do it? This podcast is designed for people selling in the b to b space who are looking to create more ops and close more deals. I'm Luigi Prestonenzi, and this is the how to sell podcast. And together with my co host, Dave Stuka, we break down the strategies that are helping b to b sellers create 1,000,000 in new deals and counting. Make sure you stick around until the end of this episode as we role play and show you how you can apply what we teach to help you get more leads and close more deals. Welcome back to another episode of the How to Sell podcast. My name is Luigi, and I'm excited that you are joining us this week for what is another week

David Fastuca [00:00:53]:

where my cohost, Dave, has to deal with the fact that his beloved Chelsea Football Club have lost again. At least they are consistently losing every week. This is getting quite bad right now.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:01:09]:

Mate, they need a new start they need a new Salesforce admin person there, Dave, because it's just not working.

David Fastuca [00:01:15]:

I think their their outbound, recruiting for their place needs a bit of a revamp. What do you think, Willy? How good of a start is that for,

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:01:23]:

and and and and thank you to our long time listeners that are that are joining us this week or watching us. We are very grateful that you are part of our community. And for our new listeners, no. This is not a football podcast as much as we love football, but welcome. We hope you take away some actionable insights that'll help you sell more, but we do like a bit of banter. And poor Dave, he he does go for a football club called the Chelsea Football Club, and I think the only thing that they would win is if they got relegated into the championship. Actually, they they wouldn't even probably win there, but, again, this is not an episode about football. Well, let's get into it.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:02:03]:

So, Dave, it's it's getting close. We're getting close to that time of year where we all kind of start to relax, Christmas is upon us. The festive season started for many of us. I know we had we enjoyed a nice meal last week, getting close to Christmas, but there is still a lot of activity that needs to happen for sellers to get ready for 2024. Right?

David Fastuca [00:02:26]:

Yeah. It's a great point. And, look, we're this is where the planning time comes in as well with people who haven't already planned the twenty 24, and it was a good point that we that we actually spoke about. Then I think it's worth, raising here is that if you await too long in the January window to do certain things. You you almost can be a month behind. Before you know it, you're a quarter behind. So you need those quick wins on the board. You need to start building that pipeline quickly, which brings us to today's episode about outbound sales.

David Fastuca [00:02:56]:

Yep. Right? Because outbound sales is the fastest way, you know, that we believe that you can drive Qualified deals into your pipeline. Yeah. So break it down, Louis. You're a bit of a master here. You taught me, right, to sell Business travel, some some background context before we started GrowForum. You taught me to sell business travel during COVID, you know, so if we Yeah. And it worked well.

David Fastuca [00:03:20]:

It was a messaging frame and and how to position it, but the outbound sales, no one was searching for that. Right? That's the point I wanna get to. No one was googling Business travel during COVID. So any ad spend was just gonna be a waste. So let's talk about how what you taught me and how during that time I was able to amass a $1,000,000,000 pipeline in under 18 months. So let's break it down.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:03:42]:

Alright. So, Dave, yeah, let's get into it. I think, you're absolutely right. With outbound and there is always there's always a bit of debate around, you know, outbound is an is an is an old selling technique. Yeah. It's an old way of going to market. And there is only a certain portion of the market that's ever searching for what you sell. You know, there's some data that says 3%.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:04:04]:

There's some data that says 5% of the the market that you serve is at a point where they're researching and they're in that stage of looking to buy what you sell. Right? But the reality is that doesn't mean there's a portion of others that probably have a need, but it's not at the top of their priority at the moment. But a conversation could get them thinking differently. Yeah? And we're one of the first thing we wanna cover today on this episode, it's it's, again, it's not about saying, is the outbound a strategy that you should execute or not? In 2024, it has to be part of your go to market strategy. Right? Just like you can't just rely on outbound. You've gotta have inbound. You can't just rely on outbound and inbound. You gotta have networking.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:04:53]:

Right? You've gotta be in communities. You've gotta be out there there are multiple channels, especially if you're an individual contributor, right, if you're somebody that is responsible for driving your own pipeline and you're responsible for closing your own deals, you've gotta have multiple ways in which you engage with your target audience. And that's why it's not just 1 or the other. It's a multiple. You gotta have multiple strategies on at any given time, yeah. But let's talk a bit about the right sales techniques. And, you know, for list people that have been listening to me on this podcast and listening to us, Dave, are sometimes sound like a broken record because, you know, the 1st key thing we must do and, again, I think it's a great opportunity for us to start to revisit, our personas. But we've actually gotta get very, very clear as part of our outbound pros process.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:05:48]:

We've got to get very clear on who we're serving. Right? And we've gotta be we've gotta really understand our personas and say, hey. What's changed for them in the last 6 12 months, you know, what could their KPIs be, or what what are their KPIs in the next 12 months, and what are the challenges that that that's impacting them and their ability to achieve those outcomes. Because people don't buy what you do, they buy the outcome you help them achieve. Right? They're not buying your product or service because I just wanna buy your product or service. They're looking to improve something. They're looking to derisk. They're looking to achieve an outcome.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:06:23]:

And most of the time, the outcome is aligned to their job description and the KPIs within their job description. So we really must know that if we don't know that. And it's alarming for me, Dave. And as you know, I've trained thousands of people, across the globe in sales and and, one of the things that often I find quite quite surprising is how many of the sellers that I've engaged with and I talk to who don't really know their persona, they don't know the KPIs that are important to them. So, therefore, for that has a lot of downstream impact, not just the outbound, but also discovery, not asking the right questions. Maybe when they're proposing a solution, they're not aligning it to what's important to them. So, you know, by by going back a step and really reviewing your personas and reviewing your your accounts that you're talking to and what's happening in their industry, etcetera, it'll it'll that's that's the basis of your outbound strategy. Right?

David Fastuca [00:07:21]:

Perfect. Perfect. Well, that's a great segue to, you know, Setting up the right sort of tools in the business in order for you to understand their issues. Right? So some of the tools that we use within GrowForum, you know, we've got our Lavender that helps us write our emails in really in a consensus way, in a great one. We got, Lucia as well to, you you know, get the details of those Yeah. You know, get that rich data. They also have, an intent platform, similar to Apollo. So what we're talking about here is that these tools so let's talk about Lucia and Apollo.

David Fastuca [00:07:58]:

They can help you decide, you know, who in your target market, your ICP, are searching for what you sell based on the keywords that you input. So then when you're making that outreach, and you talk about this quite a lot, when you're making your outreach, you're leading with intent. You're saying, hey, Luigi. Notice that you're doing some searching for sales training and coaching, and then x y zed. Right? So you don't wanna do that hard sell in that thing. One thing that we always talk about is providing a bit of insights some way or leading them to a piece of content. You know, one thing that we do that works well is that we say, hey. Notice you're looking for sales coaching.

David Fastuca [00:08:35]:

You're in b two b health tech, for example. Here's a piece of content that you might find relevant. Now it might be one of our podcasts. It might be something completely different. How do you used to, tech to help you in your role. Yeah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:08:48]:

So just and you know what? This is really important because you've gotta you know, before we look at the tech, you've gotta go back a step because you're you're absolutely right. Before reaching out, you've gotta have some form of point of view. If you're purely reaching out, if your outreach process is reaching out to say, hey. I wanna talk about something that I sell. It's a feature based outreach. You you meet a lot of resistance. And the reason why you use tools like Lucia and polo and other intent data platforms, it just gives you an understanding of, you know, who within your target market is active at the moment around what you sell. But that doesn't mean you just start spamming the account and saying, hey, I know you're looking for what we sell.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:09:29]:

This is what we sell. You've still gotta be asking the question, how can I create value in the conversation? Right? How can I start the conversation by saying, hey? Based on what I'm seeing, and you look for some attributes. You might look at maybe some changes in the company, look for some triggers, you might look for some environmental changes or industry changes that are happening, and you say, hey, based on certain research, this is what I'm thinking is happening to you, or this is what I'm thinking, is relevant to you. And here is some insight, and here is some information that I think could help you tackle x problem. And this is the key thing with an insight, let out rich approach. You're not leading with what I do. You're leading with saying, hey. This is how others are tackling this problem.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:10:15]:

I'd love to share how others are tackling this problem. I'd love to create value first before we even embark on the process of looking at what we sell. Right? That gets your prospect thinking, because that's what you wanna do. You wanna provoke a little bit of thought. And even if they say to you, Dave, this is not the right time. No matter what people say, yeah, you can handle that objection, blah blah blah, you move them from you move them into your relationship funnel, which is just allow me to kind of nurture and give and educate until a point where potentially you'll go, you know what? I'm actually ready to chat. Yeah? So creating that point of view, thinking about what value you can create in that process is really, really important. And, again, that's why you'll leverage tools like Lucia and Apollo.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:11:03]:

Right? Because it'll allow you to kinda go, let me start to spend my time on people that have a higher propensity to engage with me based on certain things that happening in their world. Right? This is where you'll also need to think about you might have to and this is a term that some call it a new term, multi threading. Mate, it's not a new term, reaching out to ages. Yeah. Reaching out to an account and reaching out to multiple people in an account, is a strategy most people that are really successful selling into, you know, big deals, b to b sell sellers, have adopted for for decades. Right? I know when I started in this space, I had I had a a a great relationship with a guy who's, ended up running SAP Ariba up in China. And that was a practice that he did when he was an individual contributor, you know, over 15 years ago. Right? So

David Fastuca [00:12:04]:

How do you find those that that counter with that, and they say, I feel this is spamming. I feel like if I'm going after, for example, you know, the COO within the business and then I'll multithread and hit the CEO, does that make the COO feel like I'm going over his or her head?

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:12:23]:

Yesterday, calls them awful, Dave. So it's not just about going, I'm gonna send the

David Fastuca [00:12:27]:

same You're not sending the same message.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:12:28]:

You can't you can't be sending this because So think about it. If you're heading if you're talking to the operations person and you're talking to the marketing person, right, or you're talking to finance because you know that the CFO needs to get involved. And just depending on what you sell, the same message won't resonate for them all. You've gotta contextualize it based on the person that you're talking to. Right? And also what you're trying to do is you're trying to say, potentially, 1 will engage and 1 won't. And if 1 engages, then then you've just gotta ask yourself. And there is there is no right or wrong here. Yeah? So you might you might get one of the stakeholders engaged and you might not have been able to get a response from the other.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:13:10]:

Now you depending on what your acquisition strategy is, you might think to yourself, do I run it isolated, have that meeting, and then try to go wider or say, hey. Great. I've also reached out to x. Would it make sense for for us to get them into on the next call as well? Yeah? There is no right or wrong. It just depends what your pursuit pan plan looks like. Right? So for me, yes, did I engage with the c level? And do I engage with the c level? Yes. But are there moments where I go meet up? Absolutely. I get sponsored in.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:13:43]:

In fact, you know, when I find somebody internally that has a strong need or strong desire for what I'm talking to them about, but I know they're not the decision maker and they need to get executive sponsor, I'll work with them. We'll build that relationship. We'll actually we start to think about, well, how do we get that executive sponsorship across the line and you work with them, right, and you go wider and deeper. There is no right or wrong here. But the key thing is and just going back to our our you know, the purpose of this episode, get your messaging framework right. Think about the personas that influence the buying process, that that that that buying hierarchy. And then once you've got your messaging, you know, built around them, using tools like Lucia and Apollo so that you can isolate which accounts you should be spending your time on, and this is where I love Mike Weinberg's comment on return on effort. You've only got a certain amount of time in the day, so allocate that effort accordingly.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:14:39]:

And then that's where your stack comes into it. Right? So you spoke about it. Lavender, will help you craft emails. Right? You you'll need a tool like that if you can, and and we don't have to overcomplicate it. Lucia slash Apollo. I'm a massive Lucia fan as as my audience knows. Right? I don't use outreach sequencing tools. Never have and I've never really needed them.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:15:01]:

Right? I've used them for inbound because inbound's a little bit different, when you're building your sequences. But outbound, I've never really used it for outbound, and I've always look. I've got a campaign right now that's going, and the conversion to meeting and now meeting to qualified is performing incredible. And I I

David Fastuca [00:15:20]:

just said confirm that. Right? But when you say you're not using any, outbound automation, you're still creating your cadence, but it's not running automated. You're not sending a smentering crappy message to everyone.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:15:31]:

My my cadence, I've still got the cadence. Yeah. But it's because because I'm doing more research at the front end and, I'm spending more time creating personalization and relevance. I don't need to hit 500 people in my my TAM and then go, I'm gonna get a few meetings. I'm doing a shorter or a smaller size from a list perspective, and I'm able to convert higher. Yeah? So that's the key here. Right? That's another key part of the outbound strategy, these outbound technique tactics. You need to know who you're talking to.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:16:09]:

You need to get the message, and you need to have your list. Your list will probably come before your message because once you've got your list, you'll then contextualize your message. You might have multiple people in in each account, then you have your message, and then you have your little your little tech stack. And we are very transparent here. We're an open book. We use Lavender. We use Lucia, and we use HubSpot. Right? They're probably the 3 key tools.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:16:34]:

And Do you need any more? Like yeah. Oh, and and sorry. Almost forgot. LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. That's probably it. That's it. Those tools are alone for us to close millions in pipeline.

David Fastuca [00:16:48]:

Yeah. And that and that's enough of a base. You then can get a whole There's a 1,000 other tools out there that we can drive through in a in another time. But I think the one thing the one tool that you haven't mentioned, Louis, which I'm very surprised, is that the main tool that you preach, which is the handy phone. Yep. Right? And this is a subject that's you either love it or hate it Slash shit shit scared of it Yeah. Is cold calling. Right? So Yeah.

David Fastuca [00:17:16]:

Talk to us no. In 2024, Do you think cold calling still has a place? How do you manage it in your cadence? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the the dreaded call.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:17:29]:

So I think the the best way to approach this this this topic, right, this subject, Dave, is A lot of people fear cold calling because it's like I'm calling somebody. It's unsolicited. They're gonna reject me and I'm I fear rejection. Right? And they're valid. That's a valid feeling that people have. But we we we can absolutely disconnect cold calling from the type of outreach that we propose because if you are just calling a phone book I don't even know if they've got phone books today. But if you're but if you're calling, like if you're just calling a list of people and you've done no research, you're not creating any relevance, right, there should be a little bit of fear. Yeah? I I know there's some gurus out there.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:18:11]:

They they well, you can kinda do it this way and can I catch 30 seconds or can I tell you why I've called and all that stuff? But I can tell you what, Dave, when I've done a bit of research, I I've got a really good point of view, not afraid of calling. Right? Because it's I'm creating relevance and I'm contextualizing it for that individual. And in most cases, people are open to hearing because they know this is not a call that's a generic call where I'm using the same message for a 1000 people. Yeah? That's the first thing. Your relationship with this type of activity, it should be different because it is and and, you know, we are all on the receiving end on real cold calls, which is the you can hear the drop, and, you know, it's a call center. Yeah.

David Fastuca [00:18:58]:

Yeah. I guess it's a great point that you mentioned there. Something I haven't thought about is, like, it's almost like any sort of preparation, like you're preparing for a football game. If you put in the effort and you've trained, in this case, that you've done the research on the prospect, you've got something super valuable, then you're confident to make that phone call. You wanna make that phone call versus if you're unprepared, then you're scared because you know that you're just gonna be another one of those people that are calling with no point of view and are gonna planned.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:19:24]:

Absa and I'm doing it right now. Like, you know, the calls that I made last week for a particular pro product. Right? Even the ones that said no, they are open to the conversation and we're having a conversation. And it's not no completely. It's you know what? Yeah. Keep I actually wanna keep updated. Keep me updated on your progress. Yeah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:19:44]:

So the conversations we're having I think I had 1 person was, like, brutal. Hung up. No problems. But out of all the calls that I've made and out of all the meetings that I've booked and I'm sitting there, I'm actually much higher. I I usually look at a 15 to 25% conversion to booked meeting. Right? This is much higher. Like, we're sitting above 40% at the moment. We've only got, you know, 60 people on the list that I'm working through.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:20:11]:

And I'm sure as I continue to go, it might get lower, but because it's it's a very, you know, specific sort of framework or script, that's why I'm yielding the return that I'm yielding from that campaign. Yeah? Yeah. So but it's a phone lit approach. Am I sending email? Am I sending LinkedIn? Yes. I am. Right? But it's a phone lit approach. If they don't answer, I'm dropping a voice mail. I'm sending an email.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:20:39]:

I'm sending a text and even LinkedIn. And if they connect on LinkedIn, I'll drop them a voice note. It's making the the ability to engage in them a lot easier.

David Fastuca [00:20:49]:

Pardon the interruption, but is your sales team not performing? You have leads, but your team struggles to close them. Well, we'll train you or your team on how to fill their own sales pipeline we're ready to buy opportunities in under 60 days guaranteed. Now you're probably thinking, how does this work? Well, Luigi and I own a business called Growforum dot I o. We're the fastest growing sales and coaching and training company in the b to b space. We work with b to b businesses that sell products or services, for example, Stripe, HubSpot, Grand Thornton, and BlueRock are just a few of our clients. We work with your team, train them to self generate their own qualified deals, and keep them accountable with weekly sales coaching. Then we help you systemize your sales management so it runs on semi autopilot. Keep in mind, we're not one of those outsourced sales agencies.

David Fastuca [00:21:44]:

We're helping your team in your business so that you have total control. Visit GrowForum dot a o forward slash apply and schedule your free sales strategy review with us today. Now back to the show. Alright. Well, let me summarize this and wrap it up in a nice bow for the Christmas tree, right, and that could be this week's, episode. So you you've covered, you know, unleashing the power of outbound sales and the techniques there. It's critical. We covered the right tools that we use, within Growave Forum, to leverage our outbound strategy.

David Fastuca [00:22:20]:

And we spoke about the importance of cold calling, Right. And why it's gonna be there. It's gonna be in our arsenal forever, because it's just a real valid way of building that rapport quickly. And then one thing to tie it all up is to make sure you're tracking. Track the success of these campaigns. Track your cadences to see what's working. Recalled these calls with consent, of course, so you can get coached on them, so you can see what's resonating versus what's not, so you can become bet better. You know, there's that old saying that what gets measured gets improved, and then once you've got those measurements in place and you can actually track what's working versus what not, you could become better and better And better.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:22:59]:

And don't be afraid, as what Dave said, seek feedback. You know? Like, last week, I was in Sydney and I made a couple of calls in front of, you know, I mean, you one of our mutual mates, Mark. And, it was great for him to give me his perspective. And it got me and it got me thinking. Like, the minute he said something, I'm like, you what? I didn't even think about that. So this is one of the challenges working remotely in that you're not exposed to the sales environment. That's what I loved about when I first started in selling. There were other people I could hear on their talk tracks.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:23:30]:

Get it get your skip get yourself exposed to other people. Let them hear you make calls because getting that feedback is incredible. Right?

David Fastuca [00:23:37]:

And you listen to other people's calls as well.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:23:39]:

Absolutely. 100%. So, you know, great summary, Dave. And, you know, especially as we embark into 2024, we're gonna do we're gonna we're gonna really break some of these, these tactical the tactical elements of Outreach, and we will have continued data that we can show because we're doing this stuff every single day, and we'll

David Fastuca [00:24:00]:

be able to package it up for our audience. Until then, we'll see you on next week's How to Sell podcast.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:24:06]:

Don't forget to subscribe wherever you're listening to, and send Dave a message if you listen to this episode that Chelsea is rubbish.

David Fastuca [00:24:16]:

If you message me, I will block you. Goodbye.