Outbound Sales Got Harder When Buyers Ignored Most Messages

Two weeks ago I called my mobile phone service provider and told them to shut off my voicemail completely.

I was getting 5-10 spam voicemail messages a day. I haven’t received a useful non-spam voicemail in a few years.

I’m tired of the pounding daily automated spam that I get on my phone.

I’m tired of automated LinkedIn DM spam. And the relentless automated email spam.

Everyone else seems to be tired of it too.

Most of us have stopped listening to any outbound intrusions, including thoughtful personalized outreach from humans that could actually be useful to us.

This makes it harder for SaaS businesses to reach specific people they don’t know with a specific sales message about something that would actually be very useful.

The topic of “Does outbound work anymore?” came up in two of my Practical Founders Peer groups this week.

We have all noticed that even “useful human outreach” on LinkedIn, email, and phone calls used to work to create new customers, but results have gone way down. Even more so in the last 3-6 months.

People are just turning it off.

Software CEOs and executives who make purchase decisions are getting bombarded. So they don’t go on LinkedIn anymore, never pick up their phone for a new number, and don’t respond to any unsolicited emails.

Every bootstrapped founder with more than $2M in annual revenue gets bombarded with unsolicited funding requests or to acquire their companies. They reply to only a few that look absolutely credible and serious.

Outbound automation is cheap, so it will keep coming even while response rates plummet. Generative AI will make it cheaper.

I’m not recommending cold automated outbound tactics.

What’s working economically and in outbound right now for early-stage SaaS lead gen?

Can you hire a junior sales development rep and economically generate real qualified leads?


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