You want to build a world-class sales team to prospect new leads and drive sales in your company. What does it take to form a creative, flexible, and passionate group to support your outbound sales efforts? Keep reading to learn where to invest your time and effort.
Outbound sales strategies are critical to a successful business. Even with the growing popularity of inbound sales initiatives, outbound programs remain an effective way to drive customer engagement. Outbound operations account for 55% of generated leads, while inbound sits at around 27%. It doesn’t matter how innovative your products and services are or how clever your marketing is—if you aren’t actively pursuing and qualifying leads, you’re missing out on revenue.
When you devote resources to building a sales team and an outbound sales plan, you keep your business on track for expansive growth. However, establishing a refined sales cycle and a world-class group of sales professionals to pursue lead generation isn’t easy. You need sales development representative (SDR) managers who know how to identify potential sales reps and train them to communicate the story of your business to buyers successfully.
Outbound sales strategy is a science. You can’t expect to succeed without the right direction. Keep reading to see what you need to strengthen your outbound sales plan and achieve reliable market growth.
Your outbound strategy needs a skilled team of sales development reps to be effective. The sales professionals you choose to research prospects, map out your strategy, conduct direct outreach, qualify leads, build connections, and close deals have to be a proven match for your company’s culture and requirements. Finding sales managers and sourcing the sales tools you need can be expensive. It takes time, resources, and vision.
To ensure you build the best sales team possible, consider the following:
Outbound sales reps actively seek potential buyers and drive customer engagement through a careful process of cold calling, cold emailing, demonstrations, and negotiations designed to move a prospect through a predictable sales pipeline.
To turn prospects into clients, your lead generation strategy should follow these steps:
- Implementation – Every lead generation plan starts here. Implementation is all about onboarding. During this phase, you determine your ideal customer profile and outline the process you’ll follow to build a list of prospects. Use management tools and multiple data sources to research key decision-makers and build a solid prospect base.
- Cleanse – Polish and perfect your list. Your sales reps should address any informational gaps and verify the contact information and credentials of key decision-makers. To do this, contact prospects and ask qualifying questions.
- Introduce – After you’ve built and refined your list, your sales reps can start building relationships with prospects. Use forms of communication like cold calls and cold emails to describe who you are, what services you offer, and how you can help your prospect address an issue they have. Train your sales reps on your services and ensure they’ve researched the prospect’s business.
- Nurture – This is a critical phase in an outbound sales plan. Not many prospects buy on the first call. To move a lead through your pipeline, you need multiple touchpoints in the form of continued calling, emailing, and relevant sales assets. Use customer relationship management (CRM) tools like Salesforce to reach customers at the right time and manage all of your ongoing lead generation efforts.
- Set Appointment – You’ve carefully nurtured your prospect and now they’re ready to meet. Congratulations, but you aren’t finished yet. Your sales reps may not be the ones to close a deal. Once an appointment is set, you need a process to hand off all the relevant information a closer needs to negotiate a deal.
SDRs are your soldiers in the field. They head your outbound lead generation program, making cold calls and sending emails to potential buyers. SDRs qualify leads by asking relevant questions and guide prospects through your outbound sales funnel. Once a lead is ready to make a purchase decision, your SDR sets an appointment and passes vital information to the account executive who closes the deal.
The key to a sustainable and scalable outbound process is an SDR manager. SDR managers hire and develop your sales team. An effective sales leader spends time with each member of your SDR team and helps them understand your company culture, their role in the organization, and gives them the sales tools they need to complement their unique capabilities. Constant coaching and positive reinforcement build confidence and cooperation within an outbound sales team and prevent turnover.
An SDR manager applies their knowledge and expertise to build your sales team and encourage their success. According to studies, around 70% of workers feel disconnected from their work. They either don’t understand their place in the company or feel their work isn’t valued. SDR managers take the time to learn sales reps’ strengths and aptitudes and place them in roles where they should shine.
To a capable SDR manager, sales training is more than a transfer of information. It’s an opportunity to develop the soft and hard skills a sales rep needs to excel in lead generation. Teaching a development rep how to navigate a cold call, handle objections, listen actively, and tell a story are invaluable lessons that increase performance within your sales team.
In your search for an SDR manager, look for a sales professional who can:
- Model and reinforce desired behaviors that motivate your SDR team
- Deliver constant and constructive feedback
- Teach reps how to advance through the stages of a sales relationship
- Set actionable goals and encourage accountability across sales teams
- Educate sales reps on how to adjust their approach and uncover client needs
Many companies with limited experience in sales and marketing think inbound and outbound lead generation are the same. This leads to businesses creating hybrid in-house sales teams that pursue both inbound and outbound leads. In such an environment, SDRs become overwhelmed because they’re responsible for too much of the sales pipeline.
Building lists, prospecting, and nurturing client relationships is already a lot for a sales rep to manage. Add to that the pressure to create marketing collateral, build websites, and write SEO-rich content, and it’s enough for anyone to throw in the towel. Don’t mix metrics. Understand the unique structures of inbound and outbound lead generation programs and develop your sales teams accordingly.
Some of the best ways to improve your sales performance include hiring more SDRs, acquiring and using more sophisticated technology, and developing methods to optimize processes. However, scaling up your lead generation efforts before you have the infrastructure to support it can lead to financial disaster. Making acquisitions without understanding their effect on your ROI can render all of your investment into your sales cycle worthless.
Your outbound sales pipeline needs to run 24/7/365. Do you have the team, technology, and infrastructure to make it work? Keeping your outbound sales efforts in-house may offer you more control, but outsourcing your SDR team is cheaper and frees your hands (and budget) to address other matters.
When you hire your own sales reps, you account for expenses like taxes, workspace, workstations, IT, sick leave, and more. It would cost more than $20,000 per month in salaries to create an outbound sales team like the one at Abstrakt Marketing Group. If you also take into account the time and resources it takes to implement new processes in a pipeline, you have one expensive bill.
Working with Abstrakt Marketing Group gives you access to a team of experienced sales professionals who are dedicated to the growth of your business. Success managers, sales managers, partner sales representatives, and more work tirelessly to move prospects through your sales pipeline and reach a purchasing decision. No matter what you need, our solutions scale to your requirements. Work with us to save time and money and gain the sales team you deserve.