Common Mistakes Salespeople Make With Outbound Sales

Outbound sales is still being widely practiced, especially in the B2B space. However, many reps make common mistakes that can hinder success. Find out what these mistakes are and if you’re making them!
Reading time: 6 minutes

Despite what many think, outbound sales is not dead, especially in the B2B space. 

Many sales teams still continue to practice outbound sales techniques to generate leads. It takes a tremendous amount of patience and professionalism to be a successful outbound salesperson. 

Unfortunately, many professionals in this field make common mistakes that can hinder their success. Let’s take a look at the 11 most common mistakes salespeople make with outbound sales.


1. Failing to adapt to changing market conditions

As technology and society evolve, so do consumer behavior and buying habits

To remain competitive in today’s business landscape, salespeople need to keep up with these changes by monitoring sales industry trends closely. Failing to do so could severely hinder the success of an outbound campaign.

The problem is that many salespeople fail to keep up with the latest news, industry trends, and advancements in technology. They are then forced to rely on methods that quickly become outdated as information continues to circulate on the internet. Before you make a cold call or send a cold email, make sure you’re up to date with the latest industry news and technology.

2. Ignoring the value of personal relationships

When salespeople are new to their respective organizations or industries, they often underestimate the value of building relationships with business contacts. They need to prioritize this activity when they are either trying to get their foot in the door or starting a new company.

However, some experienced salespeople underestimate the value of networking too. Salespeople may feel that it takes time away from other activities or that establishing personal relationships is unnecessary because industry contacts will eventually find their way.

The fact is that building rapport with business professionals is invaluable, as it affords salespeople quicker access to decision-makers and greater exposure within their given industries. Successful outbound campaigns rely on this factor as it allows new leads to be discovered faster.

3. Using outdated messaging as part of sales campaigns

One of the salespeople’s most significant challenges when executing outbound campaigns is staying relevant to their target prospects. 

The content in their marketing messages and emails must be interesting enough to convince people to open them and compelling enough to persuade them to respond. Optimizing your emails for mobile and using compelling subject lines can increase the email open rate. 

To avoid this situation, one of the most effective ways for companies to approach their outbound lead generation campaign is by hiring a marketing firm specializing in customer insights. These experts can help identify decision-makers and connect with them through personalized conversations that seamlessly blend into the rest of the organization’s outbound campaign.

Adding a professional email signature can also help. 

4. Spamming people with calls and emails

In recent years, many businesses have become wary about telemarketers because of all the calls they receive from salespeople on a daily basis. 

Because of this, they are hesitant to pick up the phone when they see that it is coming from an unidentified number or caller ID.

This has caused many organizations to resort to spamming customers with email marketing messages in hopes that some of them might convert into clients at some point. 

Doing this requires a lot of resources and is beyond the budget of most small business owners. While the logic behind this approach may seem sound, it fails to account for many factors that can cause an outbound campaign to flop.

5. Targeting too many prospects

One of the biggest mistakes that salespeople make regarding outbound lead generation is focusing on too many people at once. This approach does not allow them to prioritize their targets effectively, making it challenging to achieve predictable results.

For example, if a sales team is only given the names of five companies to call, they should focus on these prospects by zeroing in on what each company does, trying to understand who the decision-maker is, and how their technology works. 

If they try to juggle more than five companies simultaneously, it becomes far too easy for these prospects to slip through their fingers.

6. Failing to follow-up

If you think automation will only help you improve the sales process, that’s not where it ends. In 2021, nearly 61% of companies that used automation exceeded their revenue targets — demonstrating the potential of sales automation.

Let’s take a look at some of the other advantages that sales automation can provide for your company.

3. Using outdated messaging as part of sales campaigns

Another mistake salespeople make with outbound campaigns is failing to follow up when they encounter a wall of silence from prospects. Instead of getting more people on the phone or sending them more emails, they become too complacent and move on to other targets.

According to outbound call statistics, over 30% of the leads are never followed back after being rejected the first time because 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up call. However, most deals are closed after the 5th follow-up, hence, by being more persistent, sales reps can increase the conversion rate by up to 70%.

Persistence helps increase conversion rates by up to 70%

The truth is that there are many reasons why a prospect may not answer their calls or respond to an email the first time around. Sometimes they may be busy and need additional time to review the information provided. Or, they might feel overwhelmed by the number of requests from different sources.

Whatever the reason may be, a sales rep should always follow up with a prospect. Instead of hamstringing their efforts completely, following up through social media channels would be more effective. By being flexible and taking advantage of other opportunities, salespeople can significantly improve their response rate.

7. Post-contact abandonment

Many organizations depend on their sales teams to close the deal and make a sale within a reasonable time. If they fail to do this, it can become very costly for the business. 

As a result, once they have established contact with a prospect, it becomes imperative for them to do whatever is necessary to turn them into an actual customer. 

This can mean following up several times over six months or more for the sales team to maintain a relationship with their targets and become more familiar with what they want.

8. Uncommitted prospects that lack passion

Another common mistake that salespeople make regarding outbound lead generation is going after prospects who have no interest in what they are offering. 

If the salesperson who recommends the product or service does not tailor their pitch to show how it can benefit the prospect, the prospect will lack enthusiasm. Ultimately, this means that targets cannot connect with them on a personal level, sometimes leading to a complete lack of interest on their part.

9. Not asking for the sale

One of the biggest mistakes that salespeople make when it comes to outbound lead generation is not staying in touch with their prospects enough for them to become aware of what they can offer and how it will benefit them. Because they lack the motivation to follow through, targets rarely become customers in the end.

However, when salespeople are genuinely dedicated to finding customers, they act in a way that will lead them to buy. 

They follow up with their prospects regularly, asking for their input on how they can improve their product or service and demonstrating why it is better than what competitors have to offer.

10. Over-promising and under-delivering

Yet another mistake that salespeople make is creating unrealistic expectations for their prospects. 

This typically happens when they are not forthcoming about the challenges associated with what they are offering while overselling themselves in the process.

This creates a sense of disappointment among prospects, which can harm the business’s reputation when they are unable to deliver on what was promised. As a result, closing deals becomes increasingly difficult for the sales team since every prospect they talk to has already been burned by someone else in their company.

11. Not listening to their targets

Typically, prospects do not answer the telephone or respond to emails when salespeople reach out to them. While this might be perceived as rude, it may mean that something is wrong with the communication message.

When they are presented with an offer or their questions are not answered effectively, many prospects simply hang up the phone or mark the email as spam without bothering to respond at all.

As a result, they miss out on excellent opportunities and valuable information that could have been used to improve their product or service.

For salespeople to overcome this mistake, they need to take the time to research their prospects adequately. This can be done by collecting information about them online and asking for referrals to determine their level of interest in what is being offered.

Only then can they adjust their pitch accordingly and find out why prospects are not buying.

What’s next?

Often, prospects do not buy simply because they are not interested in what is being offered, and salespeople should never take it personally. 

By avoiding the mistakes discussed above and tailoring their pitch to show how their product or service can benefit each prospect, sales teams can drastically increase conversion rates for outbound lead generation campaigns.


Amrapali is a digital marketing consultant who blogs about business and marketing at Bazaar Expert.

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