With the number of businesses in unique industries, how is it possible to generate new business leads and stand out among a sea of competitors? By integrating both outbound and inbound sales development representatives (SDRs) into your business growth strategy, you increase the opportunity to develop new partnerships and enhance your relationships with current customers.
But wait—aren’t outbound and inbound SDRs the same thing? In short, they’re not the same even though the terms are commonly used interchangeably. While they may have some integrating responsibilities, outbound and inbound SDRs have different, yet equally important, responsibilities in the grand scheme of your lead generation strategy.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover the following topics:
- Outbound vs Inbound Sales Development Explained
- Outbound Sales Development Representative (SDR) Role Description
- Inbound Sales Development Representative (SDR) Role Description
- Internal vs Outsourced Outbound SDR Team
- Internal vs Outsourced Inbound SDR Team
- Is There a Single Role That Accomplishes Both Outbound and Inbound SDR Tasks?
While the terms are often used interchangeably, outbound and inbound SDR positions are very different. Outbound SDR teams are responsible for finding new business opportunities or enhancing relationships with current customers. Outbound SDRs aim to generate more revenue through strategic partnerships, digital marketing efforts, and other business development activities that support growth.
Inbound SDRs, on the other hand, identify and engage with prospects in the target market to pitch a company’s product or service. Inbound sales development representatives prospect and bring qualified leads into the sales pipeline. Through the sales pipeline, they continuously work to convert leads into long-term customers.
Why Shouldn’t We Confuse Outbound and Inbound SDRs?
Confusing outbound and inbound SDRs can be troublesome because intertwining job descriptions could result in unfocused market penetration, unpredictable sales cycles, inaccurate revenue forecasts, and fluctuating processes. Making a clear distinction between outbound and inbound SDRs allows businesses to understand which sales processes may need to be adjusted.
An outbound SDR’s main goal is to identify business opportunities and generate leads. This position is more creative than the inbound SDR role because they spend their day brainstorming new ideas for lead development.
Outbound SDRs discover leads through various channels, including search engines, social media, networking, cold calling, or emails. They help set the inbound sales reps up for success by building relationships with potential customers and effectively turning cold leads into warm ones.
Many companies also refer to their outbound SDRs as business development representatives, account executives, strategic partnership managers, strategic alliance specialists, and solutions consultants to help recruit high-performing sales professionals.
Inbound SDRs manage the existing leads that the outbound SDRs discover. Inbound sales development reps nurture leads through various platforms, including emails, newsletters, and social media platforms. Leads may also be generated from colleague or customer referrals.
Depending on the structure of the sales department, outbound SDRs are typically responsible for gathering the leads. Then, inbound SDRs take those leads and determine which ones would yield the biggest ROI. From there, they contact qualified leads to help the company close business.
Inbound SDRs practice “lead scoring,” which is when they rate each prospect to determine how ready they are to make a purchase. Each company or inbound sales rep may have their approach to the lead scoring process, but there are some actions that they must follow to score a lead productively. Lead scoring determines how quickly an inbound SDR should act on a lead: the higher the lead score, the more ready they are to make a sale. Therefore, an inbound SDR should be considerate and realistic when scoring a lead to make sure they’re a good fit for your company.
Inbound sales development reps are responsible for engaging with prospects, nurturing relationships, and closing sales. They are also often referred to sales associates, account executives, sales representatives, and sales consultants to attract candidates with the most advanced sales experience.
Every company has a different goal when it comes to its outbound SDR strategy. It’s essential to consider your strategy when deciding whether to internalize or outsource your sales and marketing efforts.
Internal outbound SDR teams are great if you have the tools, technology, money, and expertise to acquire and continuously train a high-performing sales team. Many small to medium-sized businesses don’t have the capability to efficiently internalize outbound SDRs, which is why many choose to outsource their efforts.
Internal lead generation teams are ideal if you want a 360-degree view of your reps at all hours of the workday. A downfall of outsourcing outbound SDRs is that you don’t have real-time visibility of reps, so you don’t have the opportunity to coach and adjust the pitches as they’re making them. However, an outsourced outbound SDR team with no visibility is a red flag. Outsourced SDR teams should schedule a monthly review of the results with you to listen to each pitch, make adjustments and suggestions as needed, and discuss high-converting opportunities that are on the horizon.
Benefits of Outsourcing an Outbound SDR Team
While internal teams may have their perks, outsourced outbound SDR teams also have many advantages that internal teams cannot provide.
- Generate new opportunities: Outsourced outbound SDR teams give you access to new regions and markets. They can adjust their pitch to be used in different markets and introduce new products or services to the industry. This is a great way to gather market research and learn how they react to the new product or service.
- Fill the sales pipeline with better leads: Outsourcing sales development efforts allows outbound SDRs to generate better leads. They work with your internal team to identify your business’s lead qualifiers and apply them to their development process.
- Better conversion rates: Since outbound SDRs are generating better leads, they’re more likely to close business deals with prospects that have a need. This increases the opportunity to convert leads into long-term customers.
- Boost customer satisfaction and retention: Outsourcing allows you to free up your internal team’s time to prioritize relationships with current customers. This supports a better long-term customer experience.
- Access to sales expertise: Outsourcing outbound SDRs means instantly gaining expertise in business development. Lead generation providers hire outbound SDRs specializing in business development and typically have many years of experience. Outsourced lead generation experts apply their knowledge to your business from day one of the partnership.
- Minimal training time: Outsourcing your outbound SDR team empowers you to minimize your internal team’s training time. You don’t have to take the time to teach them the process your company follows because the outsourced company has a method they follow. This gives you more time to focus on your day-to-day operations.
- Provides flexibility: Changing an internal outbound SDR program is costly and can take up a lot of time internally. Outsourcing provides flexibility to make changes without affecting your budget or daily operations.
Like outbound SDRs, many small to medium-sized businesses don’t have the resources and capabilities to hire in-house inbound SDRs. However, an inbound SDR team may benefit your business if you have everything you need to build a sustainable sales pipeline.
Internal outbound and inbound SDR teams are ideal if the product or service your business offers is complex and challenging for most people to understand. An internal inbound SDR team ensures that each pitch is accurate and effectively highlights everything your company provides to benefit the prospect.
One of the biggest downfalls of outsourcing inbound SDRs is that they’re trained to develop and nurture relationships, but they’re not qualified to close a sale. Although, they’re also trained to qualify each B2B lead they call to make sure that it’s a good business opportunity and meets your preferred criteria.
Benefits of Outsourcing Inbound SDRs
Outsourcing inbound SDRs provides significant benefits for B2B companies, including:
- Balances costs and resources: Companies often hire inbound SDR teams because they’re looking to grow their business, and hiring internally is expensive. When considering an internal business growth team, companies must consider salaries, available tools and technologies, training, compensation, benefits, and more. In addition, sales turnover is typically high, so it’s crucial to consider turnover rates.
- Team flexibility: Outsourced inbound SDR teams are flexible, which allows your company to make changes to your product or service quickly as needed to fit your market. Outsourced sales teams can be scaled up or down depending on your company’s changing needs and priorities.
- Decreased time to market: Hiring an inbound SDR team allows you to get to your target market faster than if you were to do it internally. B2B lead generation companies require less time to train inbound SDRs and more time calling and pitching a target market. In addition, they have the tools to gather a list of qualified prospective businesses quickly.
- Leverages outside experience: Outsourced inbound SDRs typically have years of experience working with various industries. This allows them to use their knowledge and best practices to pitch prospects successfully and schedule high-quality business meetings.
- Data optimization: In today’s sales climate, having easy access to data is essential for a successful B2B sales strategy. Outsourced inbound sales reps are experts in organizing company databases, enriching records, and building prospect lists, giving your company more opportunity to gather market data and streamline processes.
- Increased access to technology: Sales tools and technologies can be costly, especially if you have a variety of them. When you partner with a lead generation provider, you have increased access to many sales platforms to optimize your sales strategy. In addition, the outsourced inbound SDRs are also well-trained on the technology provided, so you save the time you would have spent training.
- Building a better product or service: Outsourced inbound SDRs give your company the advantage of learning your target market’s wants, needs, and desires. By speaking with prospects, inbound SDRs know what’s valuable to them. If it’s not something your business offers, it could give you a chance to implement it into your line.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we have a hybrid role that accomplishes both outbound and inbound SDR responsibilities. For our clients, we have outbound SDRs who follow the specified roles of inbound SDRs. They work to build and sustain a sales pipeline that yields long-term, predictable growth for clients.
Our outbound SDRs set business appointments with prospects that meet our clients’ unique, predetermined criteria. For example, some clients only want to work with particular industries. On the other hand, some clients only want to work with buildings with specific square footage to ensure a significant business opportunity.
For the Abstrakt sales pipeline, we have internal inbound SDRs who manage both inbound and outbound responsibilities. They create a sustainable sales pipeline and close business opportunities. They take additional sales measures such as Live Transfers and Zoom Connects to ensure that an opportunity doesn’t fall through the cracks. These sales meeting tactics are beneficial because they directly connect a prospect with a certified sales representative.
Ready to take your business growth to the next level? Contact us today to learn how our outbound SDRs can help you generate new business opportunities!