cold emailing

Outreach.io Review: The Most Complete Outreach Tool for 2024?

lemlist team
Last Update
Feb 28, 2024
Reading Time
7 min.

Selling products and services online through sales lead analysis, prospect interviews, and deal closing is getting increasingly challenging. Most businesses and sales teams rely on a set of sales outreach enablement and management tech stack.

In the online sales ecosystem, how unique you are is what makes you different. Do you just follow the template sales cadences or make your sequences? Do you overly rely on the sales outreach tool’s default features or prefer granular customizations?

Here comes Outreach.io — an AI-powered sales enablement tool. This thorough review of Outreach.io will help you figure out whether this expensive sales engagement platform is really for you!   

Outreach.io overview and what it is?

Alt text: Outreach IO (image credit: Outreach.io)

Outreach.io is a cloud-based sales outreach tool that enables you to increase seller productivity manifold. It does so by bringing all the outbound and inbound sales outreach under one software and automating tasks with AI.

The tool includes the following functionalities:

  • Sales engagement
  • Deal management
  • Action plans agreed upon by the buyer and seller
  • Sales outreach conversation intelligence
  • Deal insights
  • Sales pipeline management
  • Revenue forecasting
  • High-quality training materials for sales reps

Outreach.io delivers what it promises. However, you must go through a lengthy learning curve before using it productively. If you are a medium to large business with an abundant sales budget, you can pick Outreach.io.

Contrarily, Outreach.io is not the right sales outreach tool for you if you are a small business or startup with a limited sales budget.

While reviewing Outreach.io, I compared it with a leading sales outreach and enabler software, Lemlist. Here are my findings in a tabular format:

Features Lemlist Outreach.io
Total cost of ownership Affordable pricing plans, only $83 per user per month annually Expensive, Opaque pricing policy, Costs above $100 per user per month for the basic tier
Subscription plans Monthly and annual Only annual
Email outreach Advanced Basic
Cold emails Available Available
AI email writer Advanced Intermediate
LinkedIn outreach Advanced Intermediate
Custom landing pages Available Not available
Third-party app integrations 40+ 100+
Sales enablement AI AI campaigns, AI icebreakers, AI pipeline auditing, AI meeting assistant -
Chrome extension Available Available
API access Available Available
Email warm-up Available as Lemwarm free bonus Not available

Pros

  • Provides most sales enablement tools in one package
  • Integrates with business tools, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, etc.
  • Built-in outbound calling system
  • Local telephone numbers
  • Advanced AI and LLM models
  • AI email writer
  • AI sequence creator 

Cons 

  • There is no manual button for ad-hoc sales outreach updates in the dashboard
  • It is an expensive choice for a sales engagement tool
  • The tool may become clunky at some point
  • It often can not recognize inbound client emails
  • It can be challenging to find a complete string of actions for a lead
  • There is an absence of transparent pricing
  • The support team sometimes seems inefficient in fixing technical issues

Outreach.io features and use cases

Find below an in-depth review of the major features of Outreach.io that you can utilize to close more deals and achieve forecasted sales revenue. 

For each of these features, I’ve included use cases against which I tested the Outreach sales platform functionalities. 

You can quickly relate these tasks to your sales outreach projects and understand if you should give Outreach.io a try.  

Sales engagement

The primary feature of Outreach.io is sales engagement—a bundle of various tools to help you connect with leads, convert them to prospects, and close more deals as wins than losses.

For instance, one of your leads is interested in subscribing to an email outreach software for the next 12 months. Your sales development rep is already in contact with this lead, but they are trying to pitch in a sales CRM. So, there is a gap in pitching the right product.

Outreach.io’s AI-powered sales enablement tool lets your sales rep notice such sales signals and pitch the right tool in which the buyer is more interested. The sales outreach tool does so through the following features:      

Pipeline calculator

Alt text: Pipeline calculator (image credit: Outreach.io)

The Pipeline Calculator tool creates a prediction model on how many sales sequences your team must build to achieve the sales revenue target for a quarter or year. This benefits you when you see a shortfall of earned revenue compared to forecasted revenue.

The tool analyzes past sales outreach activities and their success rates to forecast a customized pipeline activity for your sales team. 

Outreach sequences

Predictive sales outreach projects use a sales sequence or workflow. You can automate this process on Outreach.io using its Sequences tool. It’s good because you can use sequence templates of the tool that works for most businesses. Later, you can customize the sequence steps of the template to create a unique workflow. 

Alt text: Sequences in Outreach (image credit: Outreach.io)

Sequences also enable your sales reps to stay on top of their tasks. When they explore workday tasks, Outreach.io automatically takes them to email replies or document request emails the prospects sent earlier. 

Calendar

In your sales outreach campaigns, you often send free demos, product introductions, or deal discussion meeting invites to prospects. Outreach.io makes it easier for your sales reps to send free meeting slots to the prospects using the Outreach.io Calendar tool. 

Alt text: Calendar feature in Outreach (image credit: Outreach.io)

The tool also professionally adds meeting slots in your cold outreach emails as clickable buttons. Prospects can simply click the time slot buttons to book their preferred meeting time. 

Smart email assist

I’ve often noticed that sales reps struggle to compose emails themselves in response to product demos or price request emails sent by the buyer.

They need a large language model and artificial intelligence to overcome this issue. Surprisingly, Outreach.io offers an advanced email assistant as a part of the Sales Engagement package.

Alt text: Email AI of Outreach (image credit: Outreach.io)

While replying to an incoming email from a lead, sellers can now utilize the AI email writer. They just need to click the Assist button on the email body. There are various email writing customizations like setting the email read time, modifying the email text tone, variable fields for mass emailing, and more.

Of course, your sales reps and account executives must thoroughly read the email before hitting the send button. Email AIs often come with hallucinations and bugs that can decrease the readability of your emails.     

Task flow and extensions

Sales teams often invest a lot of time finding tasks, ordering them based on priority levels, manually taking up tasks from the board by breaking the order, etc. Such activities can significantly reduce the productivity of your sales outreach campaigns. Not to mention, manual picking of tasks also involves risks of human error.

Alt text: Outreach task flow (image credit: Outreach.io)

I avoid this risk and hassle by requesting my sales team members to use the Task Flow feature of Outreach.io. Reps just need to go to their Outreach app dashboard or 360° view screen. The page already starts showing Due tasks in an itemized way, including Total, Action item, Email, Call, etc.

What I simply need to do is hit the Start tasks button. The Universal Task Flow tool will pull the appropriate task that needs completing. The task will also appear in the Outreach Everywhere extension if the seller is on their email app.

Alt text: Outreach Chrome extension (image credit: Outreach.io)

The Outreach Chrome extension also benefits your sales reps by showing crucial information about a lead, prospect, or buyer contact. For example, you can easily find sequences related to the contact, their LinkedIn profile, and upselling opportunities if the contact is an existing customer.    

Conversation intelligence

The fate of the deal depends on how your sales reps or account executives promote the product or service to the buyer during video or audio meetings. Due to human errors, reps often forget to mention key selling points.

Sometimes, the buyer asks highly technical or complex questions to which reps only say, “I’m not sure about this. Let me get back to you.” Here, the rhythm of the meeting drops.

Not to mention, sales reps and account executives also constantly need to take notes during meetings and sift their emails for product or service documents.

Alt text: Kaia transcription (image credit: Outreach.io)

An advanced AI that knows your sales outreach campaign inside out and has access to product documents can surely help. Here, it is Outreach.io’s Conversation Intelligence AI — Kaia.

Kaia assist comes with live AI and machine learning capabilities to help your sales reps during the call. When the buyer asks a question, Kaia automatically shows several probable answers on the seller’s screen.

Alt text: Kaia talk time analysis (image credit: Outreach.io)

In-call engagement and listening are also key to closing deals. Reps must ask valid questions so the buyer engages with them. Also, reps should not just keep talking, converting the call to a monologue rather than a dialogue.

Alt text: Kaia action item reminders (image credit: Outreach.io)

Here, the Kaia assist gives signals to the sales rep if they are being too quiet or too chatty. Other major features of Kaia assist are:

  • Content cards
  • Live call recording
  • Live call transcription
  • Automatic follow-up with product documents or quotes after the call
  • Automatic note-taking
  • Playlist of top-performing calls to train new sales reps         

Pipeline management

To assess the quality, quantity, and maturity levels of sales outreach campaigns, you need a pipeline management tool. If you use Outreach.io, you no longer need to subscribe to a separate pipeline management tool. 

Alt text: Pipeline management feature (image credit: Outreach.io)

Firstly, the tool enables you to oversee quota attainment for individual reps and their teams. It is beneficial because you no longer need to sift through emails for the specific quota of sales teams or reps. You get to see the quotas for all in the dashboard view in the Outreach.io tool.

Secondly, Outreach automatically pulls data from all sales pipelines and creates individual pipeline health scores. Its sales AI suggests what to do if a pipeline is at risk. Therefore, your sales managers can easily instruct the teams or individual sales reps on qualifying more leads, reducing coverage gaps, and so on. 

Other notable features offered by the Outreach Pipeline Management tool for your sales outreach programs are:

  • Real-time pipeline movement
  • Pipeline coverages for the existing and future periods
  • Number of pipelines at par with the winning speed of your team
  • Score-card based on pipelines

Deal insights

You often notice that sales reps invest too much time in deals that are sure to fail. However, it is impossible to identify such deals until you try out the Deal Insights AI of Outreach.io.

Alt text: Deal insights (image credit: Outreach.io)

The tool scans through present and past deal performances to create individual deal profiles. When reps click the Insights button, the tool displays which deals are winnable, which are at risk, and which are not winnable.

Other functionalities of the Deal Insights tool are:

  • Deal health scorecard
  • AI suggested deal troubleshooting actions
  • Quickly spot if vital deals are moving at a positive or negative pace  

Data analytics and reporting

Outreach.io’s Reporting feature lets you determine if your sales team invests their workday to win sales deals. You will find critical data on all sales outreach campaigns in the Report section.

Alt text: data analytics and Reports (image credit: Outreach.io)

The Report page has individual tabs for Sales Execution, Team, and Sequence reports. You can customize the reports by applying various sorting and filtering rules to the raw data. 

Outreach.io pricing and value for money

While the entire ecosystem of SaaS believes in transparent pricing, Outreach.io is the opposite. When I reviewed this sales outreach tool, I could not find a transparent pricing page on the Outreach.io website.

According to my interpretation, it prefers to talk with its prospects directly before offering a price quote. So, its sales reps will go over your business needs for sales engagement and management tasks before offering you a custom pricing plan. 

This is actually good from a large or enterprise business perspective. Here, you have no bar on sales tool procurement and can look for a custom quote from the software provider depending on the volume of sales outreach campaigns, admin control requirements, custom app integrations, API call requirements, and many more.

However, after conducting in-depth online research, I have discovered that the starting package for Outreach.io could be as low as $100/user/month. Also, it only accepts yearly subscriptions. So, if your sales team consists of 10 team members, you are easily looking at a yearly expenditure of $12,000.

This is way too expensive when compared with other competent AI sales tools like Lemlist. You can get the Pro subscription of Lemlist for a team of 10 for the whole year at just $9,960. It’s a cost-effective deal because you get access to all the premium features of Lemlist.

If you go for the Standard subscription of Outreach.io, you limit your access to sales outreach features. For example, you can’t generate pipeline movement reports, can’t create forecast scenarios, Kaia AI access becomes limited, and so on.          

Outreach.io review: Final verdict

Outreach.io is undoubtedly one of the best and most advanced sales engagement platforms. More than 5,500 clients are already using it, and among these are esteemed businesses like Elsevier, NewtonX, Armory, Alan, Zoom, and so on.

You should go for it if your company has a higher sales and marketing budget or if your business is willing to arrange training and development sessions for your sales reps. It is for sure that you will not be able to put Outreach.io into sales production just after getting it. You will need experts who have hands-on knowledge of the tool.

If you are on a tight budget and looking for a tool that you can put into operation right after buying, you need to look for an Outreach.io alternative, like Lemlist. Read this lemlist vs Outreach.io review to find out more.  

lemlist team
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