How AI can revolutionize an outbound-led GTM motion

Nina Butler
June 24, 2024
 min read


In recent years, outbound sales has faced its fair share of skepticism, with many claiming it's become obsolete. But the real issue isn't that outbound is dead: it's that the traditional methods we used to “do outbound” need a serious upgrade.

GTM Partners' latest research on outbound-led growth reveals a compelling truth: when executed strategically, outbound can be a game-changer. The key lies in reimagining outbound for today's savvy buyers. It's time to shift from generic, high-volume approaches to targeted, value-driven strategies that resonate with modern decision-makers. Welcome to the new era of outbound sales - where precision and relevance are the name of the game.

Key takeaways from the article:

  1. Outbound sales isn't dead, but the traditional approach is broken and needs to be reimagined to align with how buyers actually buy today.
  2. AI can transform outbound from a numbers game into a hyper-personalized, customer-focused, and cross-functional integrated motion.
  3. AI enables businesses to identify their total relevant market (TRM), focusing efforts on best-fit accounts rather than the entire total addressable market (TAM).
  4. AI can generate personalized messaging at scale, orchestrate multi-channel outreach, and continuously optimize campaigns based on real-time data and performance signals.
  5. By leveraging AI, companies can augment their outbound teams' capabilities, improving productivity and effectiveness through enhanced intelligence, forecasting, and coaching.

Outbound sales has gotten a bad rap in recent years. 

Many have pronounced it dead, an outdated relic from a bygone era of sales. The common narrative we hear is that spam filters block unwanted emails and highly informed buyers don't want or need annoying cold outreach disrupting their journey.

However, we also know that our businesses can’t rely simply on inbound marketing alone. So while outbound may have earned some of its tarnished reputation through years of irrelevant outreach and spray-and-pray email blasts, we can't just cold-shoulder it completely. When done right, outbound still plays a vital role in our overall go-to-market (GTM) strategies – giving us the opportunity to expand our reach and tap into new audiences we haven’t talked to yet.

But here’s the key phrase: “when done right.” 

Outbound isn’t dead; it’s just broken

In GTM Partners’ Outbound-Led Growth report, they shared examples of what doing outbound “right” can translate to in terms of real, tangible business results:

  • 2x more outbound meetings booked
  • 23x quarterly boost to pipeline
  • 83% increase in pipeline velocity
  • 66% increase in qualified opportunities
  • $7B increase in total pipeline

They also revealed that — despite all the protestations that “outbound is dead” — 86% of B2B companies say they still use outbound tactics and 59% reported planning to increase investment in the coming year. So, clearly, we all recognize the immense potential of outbound. However, what’s also crystal clear is that the ways in which we’ve been executing outbound are broken. The way businesses outbound prospect doesn't mirror the journey buyers command. The old approach just doesn’t work anymore. So, if we really want to unlock the full potential of this GTM motion, we need to write new playbooks that enable and empower us to sell the way buyers actually buy.

But where do we even start?


Shifting the paradigm for outbound sales

GTM Partners makes a compelling argument that the key here isn’t abandoning outbound altogether, but rather refining and optimizing it to meet the demands of today's market. Outbound needs to shift from being an expensive, tactical effort to an efficient, strategic part of the broader GTM approach.

In their report, GTM Partners outlines several paradigm shifts that are required in order to successfully revive outbound:

  • Tactical ➤ Strategic: Go from short-term, ad-hoc outbound tactics to long-term, well-planned strategies that align with overall business goals.
  • Sales-led effort ➤ GTM-led effort: Go from being solely driven by the sales team to a collaborative GTM strategy that includes the marketing, revOps, customer success, and product teams.
  • TAM ➤ TRM: Go from targeting the total addressable market (TAM) to the total relevant market (TRM) in order to focus efforts on best-fit accounts.
  • Product-focused ➤ Problem-focused: Go from emphasizing product features to focusing messaging around solving specific problems the prospect has.
  • Cadence ➤ Context: Go from prioritizing the frequency of outreach to prioritizing the timing and relevance of your communications.
  • Volume ➤ Value: Go from emphasizing the number of messages sent to focusing on the quality and relevance of each prospect interaction.
  • Random outreach ➤ Triggered follow-up: Go from executing unsystematic outreach to conducting follow-ups that are triggered by specific intent based actions your prospects take.
  • Single-threaded ➤ Multi-threaded: Go from targeting one prospect per account to engaging with multiple stakeholders.
  • Activity-driven ➤ Results-driven: Go from only measuring outbound activity to measuring outcomes like lead conversion rate and revenue impact.

Essentially, we need to transform outbound from being a soul-crushing numbers game into a hyper-relevant, customer-focused, cross-functional integrated motion. Move away from sending out bulk generic emails and move toward delivering more targeted, contextual, multi-threaded outreach across channels.

Easier said than done, right? 

Here’s the good news: AI has the potential to completely revolutionize outbound from a soul-crushing numbers game into a hyper-personalized, highly intelligent go-to-market motion that delivers phenomenal results. In the next section, we’ll walk you through how this can be done.


Leveraging AI to revive your outbound motion

Let's explore how AI can supercharge each key aspect of modern outbound-led growth.

Identifying your TRM

The first key to successful outbound is focusing your targeting on the total relevant market - the specific accounts that represent your best-fit opportunities based on real data and predictive intelligence.

AI can analyze historical win/loss data combined with technographic, firmographic, and intent signals across your entire TAM to identify the TRM. This hyper-targeted approach focuses your outbound efforts on high-value, high-fit accounts most likely to be ready for your solution today.

Personalizing messaging at scale

One of the biggest failings of traditional outbound has been cadence-driven, one-size-fits-all messaging and outreach that treats every prospect the same with static templates. AI can flip this on its head by analyzing each specific account's unique needs, product fit, business challenges, and buyer personas to dynamically generate hyper-personalized messaging at scale.

Specifically, you can use AI in this context to:

  • Generate customized email/call scripts tailored to each prospect's industry, role, company, and specific pain points
  • Build dynamic multimedia content experiences using generative AI for video, images, audio, and more.
  • Automate follow-ups triggered by real-time engagement and intent signals, engaging high-intent leads more often and waning off those less engaged in sequence

Orchestrating multi-channel, multi-threaded outreach

An intelligent outbound-led motion needs to go beyond just cold email blasts. AI can seamlessly orchestrate coordinated account-based campaigns that span multiple channels and stakeholders. 

Specifically, you can use AI in this context to:

  • Map out the entire buying committee and design tailored roles-based outreach.
  • Automatically generate and deploy customized email cadences, ads, direct mail, and social outreach.
  • Enrich data to identify relevant signals like budget, authority, need, and implementation.
  • Analyze engagement data across channels to identify and automate the execution of next-best actions.

Continuously optimizing & iterating

One of the biggest advantages of AI is its ability to continuously analyze results, monitor trends, and self-optimize processes without much (if any) human intervention. Here’s how it works:

  • AI can ingest historical performance data to identify high/low-yield demographics, messaging, and tactics.
  • Then, it can autonomously execute tasks like audience targeting and generate sales content like call scripts, and copy variations that are hyper-personalized to each prospect on your list.
  • Overall outbound playbooks become self-tuning based on funnel performance signals.
  • As an added benefit, sales reps and revenue teams can get smarter recommendations on where to prioritize their time and effort, turning cold outbound into warm lead follow-up.

If you’ve ever done outbound before, you know that this in and of itself will be an absolute game-changing benefit of AI.

Augmenting outbound support & enablement

Finally, AI can directly augment the outbound teams to maximize productivity and human effectiveness. 

Specifically, you can use AI in this context to:

  • Surface competitive intelligence and generate real-time battlecard insights.
  • Get dynamically generated mock call/conversation previews based on prospect data.
  • Forecast pipeline, execute deal prioritization, and generate next-best-action recommendations.
  • Enhance coaching and content curation to continuously improve your team’s knowledge base and proficiency.

Final thoughts

Outbound isn't dead; but what got us here will not get us there. AI finally gives us the tools to fix it and enable outbound-led growth to become a vital part of any B2B company's GTM strategy.

Across the entire outbound lifecycle, AI can be a transformative force - moving us from robotic, spray-and-pray tactics to an intelligent, adaptive, and continuously optimized outbound motion. 

The bottom line? When thoughtfully applied, AI won't just make outbound incrementally better - it can completely revolutionize it into a scalable, highly effective go-to-market engine.

Want to learn more about the “outbound-led growth” strategy?

Check out GTM Partners’ “Outbound-Led Growth” report - or download the PDF for later!

Read the report

Businesses like yours are using our AI Sales Agents to transform their outbound motions.

Book a demo today to see how you could, too.

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