4-Step Outbound SDR Strategy For Winning More Leads

By: Jack Reamer |
 February 4, 2022 |
Looking for a winning SDR outbound strategy that will get you at least 1 lead a day?

Here is our step-by-step guide that will help you get in those qualified leads. 

(And if setting up an SDR team is not your thing, don’t worry, let’s get on a free 15-minute consultation call for our done-for-you lead generation service.

Step 1: Analyze your current customers.

The first thing you want to do is build a list of perfect prospects based on which businesses have been paying for your services.

(This is the first thing we ask new clients when we are busy with their onboarding process.)

How do you do this?

By looking at the last 6 months of paying customers, and the critical thing to do is find patterns.

Once you find recurring patterns, it’s easier to hit the right target market and find your ideal buyer persona.

For example, ask yourself:

  • What similarities do these customers have?
  • What is your ideal customer profile?
  • What kind of buyers are these? 
  • Are they all located in a similar area? 
  • Are they all in a specific industry?
  • Are they all serving similar kinds of clients? 
  • Are they all funded? 
  • Are most of them using a particular technology?
  • Are most of them at a certain growth point?
  • Are most of them hiring for a certain role when they engage with you?
  • Are most of them buyers with a specific job title? If this is the case, try and narrow that down to five job titles or less to go after. Remember to always keep it simple at first.

Once you have found patterns, we suggest narrowing this list down to one or two segments.

You will then need to find lookalike audiences of each segment, make sure each segment has at least 500 accounts so that your SDR doesn’t run out of prospects too quickly, but also try to keep it smaller than, say 2000 accounts to stay targeted. 

Most successful SDRs can typically go through about a thousand accounts a month.

So aim for 500 accounts at a minimum per segment.

We also use 5 specific tools for research.

This allows for high-quality leads.

Make sure to invest in these tools before you start with your SDR outbound strategies: 

They are:

1. Linkedin Sales Navigator

What is Linkedin Sales Navigator? Well, this is a prospecting tool that Linkedin itself provides. (Every sales rep that’s keen on Linkedin outreach should invest in this)

This tool offers various features (depending on the package you choose) such as:

  • Advanced lead and company search
  • Alerts on your saved leads and accounts
  • Customized lists
  • Content sharing and engagement tracking
  • CRM synchronization
  • Inmail 
  • Access to Linkedin subscriptions 
2. Apollo.io

Apollo.io is a powerful tool for b2b sales prospecting. We use this specific tool for data mining. It allows us to find the email addresses and phone numbers of contacts on Linkedin

You can find your ideal prospects with laser-focused details. 

Apollo.io is basically a tool that has scraped all the info off Linkedin, so when it comes to finding info about companies, for example, it allows you to do a Linkedin search essentially, but far more effectively. 

3. CrunchBase

Crunchbase is another prospecting tool that we have found very helpful. It allows you to find data on prospects with:

  • advanced filters 
  • analysis tools and 
  • company alerts.
4. Zoominfo.com

If you’re looking for an outbound sales tool with the best intent data, then Zoominfo is the prospecting tool to use.

 Zoominfo has metrics that allow you to see which companies are actively searching for the products that you are selling, which is a great resource that can help you save time when you’re looking for qualified leads

5.  Expandi.io

This is an automation tool you use once you take all the accounts you have found on Apollo, Crunchbase, or ZoomInfo.

You can then pull and plugin the data into the Sales Navigator search. 

You will then grab that search URL, and Expandi will scrape those prospects for you and add them to a connector campaign automatically.

(Just make sure the first names and company names are written perfectly before you start messaging.)

(On a side note: Most of these prospecting tools cost quite a pretty penny, this is also why some initially prefer to outsource outbound SDR teams to save on costs.)

So if your looking at either finding your own prospects or starting up your own SDR outsourcing company, finding patterns and analyzing your current clients is really the best first step.

This helps you create the right kind of lists for prospecting. 

You can even think of Facebook ads; for example, you have to have a nice mix between very targeted but still, have an audience. 

Step 2: Start outreach using Linkedin.

There are many different social media channels that you can use for finding qualified leads, but we have found Linkedin to be the best platform to use. 


Have a look at some of the stats below: 

Linkedin is a great place to start because this is a platform where people are looking to further their careers, therefore they will be more willing to talk about business. 

Step A: First, find the Linkedin IDs for each account:

First things first, find the Linkedin IDs for each account. This is a time-consuming process, but it is an essential step to translate the accounts you want to go after and turn that into a sales navigator URL.

This is how you do it: 

Go to the company page on LinkedIn and click on “See all X employees on LinkedIn. “ The company ID is in the URL after the “?facetCurrentCompany=%5B” parameter.” 

See below: 

If you don’t have Linkedin Sales Navigator, buy it now. Period.

It’s a great tool for business owners or salespeople to keep their messaging system neat and organized.

Besides this, you will also have various other features such as CRM integrations (only if you use the “Teams” package), sharing custom lists, lead, and Linkedin account suggestions. 

You have to pay for Sales Navigator, but it’s worth the investment. 

So once you have all the company IDs, you will need to add them to the Sales Navigator’s Linkedin search URL.

This will then allow you to pull up a list of accounts.

It would look something like this: 

This is basically how you find the correct people on Linkedin. It’s essential not to rely on a database or a program like ZoomInfo because the freshest data will always be on Linkedin itself.  

But at the same time, if you don’t have Sales Navigator and only Zoominfo, then that would be the second-best place to go to find contact information.

Step B: Filter by second degree

The next step will be to filter by your second-degree network first. We recommend sending 25 invites per day.

By keeping the volume low, but the content and personalization high, you will succeed in 2 ways: 

  1. Low volume means that you won’t get your Linkedin account suspended. 
  2. Sending personalized messaging = more qualified leads for your sales pipeline.

Just a side note on personalization

Why is personalization important, especially in the first message? Personalization is a proven strategy that some sales development teams use. 


Because it REALLY works to draw in those decision-makers and ICPs

It’s one of the proven methods that work over and over again for qualified outbound leads

Have a look at some stats below from Hubspot about personalization: 

And this is one primary reason why we have been able to get one lead a day for our clients, and it’s because we personalize each and every single message. Yes, it is ALOT of work, but it works. 🙂

Next step:

Once your second degree connects with you, you can then filter down to your third-degree network and send them a connection request. 

This is the sales process that we use. But what if some people never reply or accept your connection requests? You can then do step 3 below: 

Step 3: Find emails for your 3rd-degree network.

If prospects do not reply or connect with you, you can then check if they have been active on Linkedin within the past 30 days.

So why are you doing this? 

Well, if they’re in your third degree and they haven’t posted lately, there’s a pretty good chance that they’re not very active on LinkedIn.

You don’t want to waste time sending connection requests to people who might never reply because they don’t use social media.

If they have not been active on Linkedin, you can find their email addresses or phone numbers.

You might get lucky and have some prospects list their contact details on Linkedin

But if it’s not listed, you can then use certain tools like Zoominfo, Seamless.ai, and Lusha.

Yes, these programs do cost quite a bit, but it’s worthwhile having to make life so much easier for your sales development representative

(Once again, if you would like to save on these extra costs, outsource a lead generation company like SalesBread. We already pay for each of these programs.)

This will then allow you to contact them for either a cold call or a cold email. 

But remember that the same principles apply, as they would with Linkedin outreach

Some tips for email marketing:

A.) Remember personalization

You would still need to use lots of personalization in your email and keep it brief. Your cold email is basically warming up the prospect for a call or meeting. 

(Your first email will need personalization, especially as this will make your mail stand out.

People get hundreds of spam emails daily. So make yours stand out by mentioning something personal about the prospect. Did they perhaps host a great webinar recently, that you enjoyed?)

Have a look at our CCQ video below, which discusses all you need to know about personalization and why it’s so important: 

Don’t jump into a sales pitch.

Also, remember that you wouldn’t want to jump straight into your pitch when it comes to email.

Compliment the prospect on something that you found on the internet about them.

Or, for example, if they were interviewed in a podcast, mention that in the mail. 

Touch on the prospect’s pain points and how you can help them.

This will show them that you are not the average sleazy salesman. 

By doing these things, you can be sure of higher conversion rates.

(Not convinced? Read this article on some of our most recent stats that we got by using this sales strategy.)

(On a side note: We are sure that your second-degree network is going to grow every week. 

So keep repeating the search and add new contacts to your list, but the reality is not everyone will be contactable, or it doesn’t make sense to reach everyone on LinkedIn.

This is why cold email and phone calls are also important.)

B) How many emails should you send?

As with Linkedin connection requests, we suggest sending a few emails, max 20. This low-volume, high-impact form of prospecting has really gotten us great results.

4. Phone Calls

The last step of our sales process is cold calling.

But the best part is that it’s not really a cold call because we have warmed the prospect up by emailing them first.

This phone step also applies to when a prospect replies to your Linkedin messages. 

(Ultimately, this is the last step of outbound prospecting that you would want to achieve because calls and booking meetings can lead to marketing qualified leads that bring in sales.)

So once you have sent personalized messages via Linkedin and email, you can then ask the right prospects subtly for a phone call or a meeting.

You are going to play on the prospect’s curiosity to set up these meetings. 

How can you ask for a meeting?

Have a look at the templates below:

 Here are some ways to ask for a meeting:

  1. Are you available for a 20-minute chat on [MONTH] [DAY] at [HOUR] [TIMEZONE]
  2. How about a quick 30 min call next {{=day}} at 4 pm [TIMEZONE] to discuss more?
  3. What will it take to get 25 minutes on your calendar next week?
  4. Can I steal you away for a 15-minute phone call tomorrow at 5 pm [TIMEZONE]? 
  5. Let’s catch up for 15 mins. Just select any date and time on my calendar link.
  6. Please choose a date and time of your choice using this link.

(Just remember if they haven’t replied, on Linkedin, don’t worry, because you can also email them, if they don’t respond to your email, you can send them an SMS.)

Once you see that they have opened your email, you can then trigger this “phone call” step

(See the templates above for ideas on how to ask for a meeting.)

You can use slack alerts that tell you when someone has connected on LinkedIn, and you can use Expandi for Linkedin alerts and WebHooks via Zapier for email opening alerts.

In this way, you can contact your prospect immediately. 

Let’s Recap:

Step 1: Analyze your current buying customers

This requires a lot of effort and time, but it’s worth it. This will help you find patterns on which prospects to target, and this gives you an idea of who your ideal customer will be. 

Step 2: Use Linkedin outreach

Linkedin outreach is one of the best ways to reach sales-qualified leads, especially if you use personalization to hit the right people. We suggest sending at least 25 connection requests a day.  

  • First, find the companies account IDs using various search tools
  • Next, use those account IDs to filter to your second-degree network and then your third-degree network. 
  • Send personalized connection request invites and messages to second and third-degree connections( only those who have been active within the last 30 days.)
  • Follow up with them immediately and ask for a meeting or a call. 

Step 3: Find email addresses and phone numbers for your 3rd-degree network

If you don’t get a response from those in your Linkedin campaign, you will need to do additional research to find the prospect’s email address and phone numbers.

This takes time, and you will need to invest in specific tools to do so. 

Send 20 personalized emails per day to your prospects; if they reply, great! If not, we suggest sending two more emails and then an SMS. 

Step 4: Ask for a meeting or a phone call always.

The last part of our sales process is asking for a phone call or a meeting. This is what you want, after all, is to get that phone call that could lead to a sale.

If this sounds like too much hassle, let’s hop on a free consultation call. 

No worries, we know that this kind of winning SDR outbound strategy takes time.

If you’re new to the game of lead generation, you might need an experienced marketing team to help you get those initial qualifying leads. 

This is where Salesbread comes in to help you get those leads.

Once we have helped you, we believe that you should bring your outbound sales team in-house. 

So let us help you to get the ball rolling, and once you get that last “graduation” call from us (Yes, you will graduate to becoming a lead gen pro), you can become your own sales development rep, or even better, hire one inhouse with all the money you’re going to make.