Executing Basic Outbound Lead Generation Strategy

Follow this 6-step guide to implement a basic outbound lead gen program for your business and ramp up your sales pipeline.


As business owners, we’re constantly looking for fresh leads. Without them, our business struggles to grow and expand or justify its existence at all. That’s why strategies like outbound lead generation are essential for us to master.

It ensures new leads find our business. While inbound lead gen builds brand awareness and brings passive visitors to you, an outbound strategy focuses on actively identifying and engaging potential new customers.

However, many companies struggle to execute effective outbound programs because of inefficient targeting, poor messaging, lack of persistence, or lack of knowledge on how to do it. 

To ensure your outbound lead gen success, we’ll discuss the essentials of effective execution. Whether you're looking to get started with outbound or optimize existing efforts, follow along for steps to outbound success.

What Is Outbound Lead Generation?

Executing Basic Outbound Lead Generation Strategy, What’s Outbound Lead Generation?

Like inbound lead generation, outbound aims to capture the attention and interest of potential customers with whom you have no prior relationship. 

However, unlike inbound lead generation, where prospects come to you organically, outbound focuses on reaching out to new prospects. Common outbound tactics include cold-calling and email campaigns. 

Here are more ways it differs from inbound:

  • Outbound is proactive; inbound is passive.
  • Outbound initiates brand awareness; inbound builds on existing awareness.
  • Outbound requires persistent outreach, and inbound relies on organic visibility.

7 Steps to Execute Basic Outbound Lead Generation

Our last blog discussed the basics of setting up your outbound lead generation. It starts with identifying your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and understanding each lead’s stage in the sales cycle. 

Then, you build and segment your lead list and write your first cadences until you finally execute your strategy, usually through automation. The question is, what do you do after that?

Your flawless set-up should be followed by flawless execution to ensure success. Your lead generation team should be on task and productive. 

Here are seven steps to smoothly implement basic outbound lead gen:

Step 1: Prioritize Leads 

When starting out with outbound, it can be tempting to blast your messaging to every lead list you have. But that scattershot approach won't be very effective. Don't treat all leads equally — prioritize so your efforts focus on where they'll have the most impact.

Sit down with your team. Usually, it involves your sales development reps (SDRs) and account executives (AEs). Then, rank your leads into tiers. Come up with criteria for segmentation based on factors like:

  • Lead Source - Prioritize referrals, inbound inquiries, and trade show leads above cold lists
  • Profile Traits - Ideal titles, seniority levels, company size, etc.
  • Engagement Metrics - Website visitors, gated content downloads
  • Potential Value - Target bigger companies with larger deal sizes first

Before broad cold outreach, you want to pursue your dream accounts and hyper-targeted, high-intent prospects. Think 80/20 — the top 20% of your leads represent 80% of your potential business. Focus on nailing your messaging to the high-priority leads.

Step 2: Write or Tailor Sequences per Segment

Executing Basic Outbound Lead Generation Strategy, Write or Tailor Sequences per Segment

Once you've segmented your leads, the next step is for your SDRs to write or tailor outreach sequences for each group.

Map each lead segment to a tailored nurture track based on their profile. For example, sales inquiries receive a product demo nurture track, while cold outbound contacts get an awareness-building, educational sequence

The messaging in each track should align with the segment's needs and context. Make sequences as relevant as possible through:

  • Dynamic personalization with merge fields
  • Reference their specific company/role pain points
  • Send from a named persona instead of a general info@ email
  • Promote an offer/asset that appeals to their profile

The goal is to make outreach hyper-targeted to each profile instead of generic blasts. Personalized sequences demonstrate you understand their needs and earn better engagement.

Step 3: Organize Leads & Sequences in Tool

Next, set up your workflow automation to align with your lead segments. Start by loading your tiered lead lists into a CRM like Salesforce. 

Then, map out the ideal sequences for outreach cadences, objections, scheduled calls, etc. Make sure branding and messaging speak directly to each tier.

Personalizing sequences is all about relevant, value-driven messaging. For example, if you have one sequence targeting IT Directors, focus the copy on security and scalability pain points.

Here are more tips to ensure your sequences engage your target leads:

  • Make sure contact info is formatted consistently.  Incorrect first names, last names, or email addresses can prevent you from engaging leads. Take the time upfront to clean up your lists — it pays off later. 
  • For more relevancy, use dynamic fields to insert their name, company, and role into each email.
  • You want to demonstrate you understand each person's role and goals. Lean on what motivates them, not generic blasts.

Step 4: Track Results 

Once your sequences are set up and running, it's time to closely track engagement and optimize based on results.

Monitor key metrics like:

  • Open Rates - This tells you whether your subject lines are compelling people to open.
  • Click Rates - Are people clicking on links and CTAs in your emails? High click rates signal relevancy.
  • Reply Rates - If very few respond, your copy may not resonate.
  • Unsubscribe Rate - Lots of unsubscribes can indicate spammy messaging.

Essentially, you want to identify any consistently underperforming emails in your sequences.  If a subject line, sender name, or email copy isn't working — try new variations until you see better engagement. 

Don't get discouraged if open rates are low at first. It takes testing various sequences before you find what resonates. Track each change you make to see what moves the needle. Remember, optimization is an ongoing process.

Step 5: Respond to Inbox

Executing Basic Outbound Lead Generation Strategy, Respond to Inbox

Getting a prospect to respond and engage is a big win! But your SDRs should handle the conversation properly to advance them further.

When replies come in, your goals should be addressing concerns, overcoming objections, and ultimately transitioning them to a meeting or qualified lead. Avoid over-relying on templates —- take the time to provide thoughtful, personalized responses.

If they ask a question, answer it fully to showcase your expertise. If they have an objection like pricing or timing, address the concern in a helpful, consultative way.

Resist the urge to over-automate. Even if you start from a pre-written template, customize each reply. Use prospects’ names, reflect their specifics, and have a 1:1 conversation. 

Ultimately, you want the prospect to think, "Hey, these are helpful insights. I should hop on a call with them."

Step 6: Transition SQL to AE

When an SDR graduates a lead to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) status, that prospect is ready for account executive follow-up. 

Before executing outbound, align sales and marketing on the criteria for an SQL. This clarity ensures you aren't handing off leads prematurely before they are ready for AE contact.

Once the prospect exhibits your criteria, it’s time for handoff. But the handoff process is delicate — you want to set the AE up for success.

Here are three sub-steps to follow:

  1. First, notify the AE that you have a qualified lead ready for them. Give them full context on the prospect — how they engaged, what questions they had, and why they are interested.
  2. Next, enter all lead details into your shared CRM so there’s a record of the sales conversation so far. Include any insights you gleaned on pain points, budget status, authority level, etc.
  3. Finally, use the AE's calendar to schedule the discovery call with the prospect immediately. Put the meeting invite on their calendar using the AE's name as the organizer.

You don't want the prospect to lose momentum by getting passed around. Maintain continuity by having the AE directly pick up the conversation in a prompt, personalized manner.

Step 7: Ongoing Refinement


Executing Basic Outbound Lead Generation Strategy, Ongoing Refinement

Outbound lead gen is never finished. It requires ongoing refinement as you collect more data and feedback.

Ensure you regularly check in with SDRs and AEs to review what messaging, offers, and targeting resonate best with prospects. Identify any common objections that need new response templates.

Especially in account-based outreach, where you target high-value accounts, your reps will spend extra time researching leads and tailoring emails to your goals. 

Look for opportunities to test innovations like:

  • New lead list sources like trade show attendees
  • Different outreach channels like LinkedIn messaging
  • Creative subject lines and email copy
  • Personalized sequences for additional buyer personas
  • New lead nurturing tracks and sales plays

Don't get stuck doing the same thing without seeing results. Review metrics frequently and brainstorm fresh approaches to try.

Also, stay current on marketing trends, buyer changes, and any new contact data sources. Outbound requires constant creativity and innovation to keep prospects engaged.

Be persistent. Not every test will work, and that's okay. But over time, the knowledge you gain pays off through higher open rates, more qualified leads, and new revenue.


Executing an effective outbound program requires strategy and rigor to make an impact. You need research, planning, and consistent testing. But it can significantly expand your sales pipeline and accelerate revenue growth.

Following the seven steps outlined, you can set up the essentials of a basic outbound lead generation program tailored to your goals. Focus on value-driven messaging, optimization, collaboration, and persistence.

Combine outbound prospecting with your inbound efforts for a balanced lead generation engine. Done right, it becomes a predictable source of qualified leads.

Get the Outbound Basics Cheat Sheet

Want a helpful resource to get started with outbound execution? Download our free Outbound Lead Gen Execution Basics Cheat Sheet.

This cheat sheet summarizes this blog's seven steps to help you capture more sales-ready leads. Keep it on hand as you build and refine your outbound program.

With the proper framework, outbound can transform cold prospects into profitable customers. Get the cheat sheet now to unlock growth!

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