Thanks to the internet and digital marketing, it’s more difficult than ever for businesses to gain market share. While you’d undoubtedly love to be the go-to service provider in your industry, it’s not something that happens by luck or accident. To become an industry-leading organization, you have to build a reliable sales pipeline that generates high-quality leads, set appointments, and have the sales team to convert them.
Though we can’t deny that staffing a team of sales development representatives (SDR) has its benefits, it also has its drawbacks. Along with time, money, and training, in-house B2B lead generation takes a tremendous commitment to developing a process. Continue reading this blog to learn more about the lead generation and appointment setting strategies, the benefits of outsourcing sales operations, and SDR as a service.
Inbound marketing efforts, such as creating SEO-rich content for a strategically developed and designed website, give many businesses the false impression that they no longer need to seek out leads actively. Though inbound marketing is undoubtedly an effective way to draw more business, it hasn’t killed outbound lead generation services like telemarketing and email campaigns.
Some outsourced B2B lead generation programs try to sell clients on the idea that cold calling is dead and inbound strategies are the only way to go. So, is cold calling dead? Yes and no. The traditional methods of cold calling don’t work—calling random numbers all day with the hope of someone biting is no longer effective. On the other hand, developing a process, implementing a strategic prospecting strategy, and using top-notch tools are effective steps.
You may not want to implement cold calling into your marketing strategy simply because it’s complicated. However, just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it’s dead. Cold calling is still very much alive, and when done right, it can be an effective way to grow your business.
Cold calling offers the following advantages:
- It’s the fastest way to get in touch with a prospect and start a conversation.
- It’s the best way to start building a solid, sustainable sales pipeline.
- It’s the best way to start the lead nurturing process.
- It increases top-of-mind awareness.
- It gives you immediate information about your target prospects (if you ask the right qualifying questions).
To become or remain a market leader in today’s business environment, you need a comprehensive strategy. Rather than focusing on outbound or inbound exclusively, using both helps you create a reliable pipeline that delivers high-quality leads consistently. In fact, inbound strategies are making outbound marketing more effective than ever.
Outsourcing B2B lead generation and appointment setting saves companies time and resources on several activities involved in the sales process. Another significant advantage of using SDR as a service is allowing your team to focus on serving current customers and delivering customized sales pitches. At the same time, your lead generation partner handles the relationship-building and scheduling work.
- Access to team, tools, and technology: An outsourced sales team (lead generation companies specifically) comes equipped with the lead generation experts, tools, and technology you need to run a program successfully. You won’t have to figure out how to generate leads yourself because that’s already their area of expertise. Your SDRs effectively and efficiently identify targets, qualify leads, and build relationships with key decision-makers using cutting-edge technology and highly accurate data.
- Expertise: Outsourcing gives you more than access to an entire team of professionals—it gives you access to sales experts. You don’t have to worry about training them or getting them up to speed on a process. An outsourced sales team already knows exactly how to execute a sales program; they just need to learn your business. And the more you’re willing to work with them, the faster they’ll understand. An effective SDR as a service program becomes an extension of your sales team, not just a group of cold callers and email writers.
- Substantial time and cost savings: One of the most significant benefits of outsourcing sales operations is freeing up your time and capital. When someone else builds your sales pipeline and focuses on appointment setting activities, you free up time for other business development activities. Additionally, a DIY B2B lead generation program comes with a prohibitive price tag. Outsourcing an entire lead generation team costs less than a single full-time employee in most cases.
Outsourcing sales operations offers tremendous benefits for a wide variety of organizations, but the truth is that not all companies require them. Consider the following signs, and if they hit home, there’s a good chance they should be a part of your sales strategy.
- Your sales team struggles to meet goals. The easy assumption is that your sales team isn’t up to the task, but there’s a good chance that’s not the case. It’s more likely that low-quality leads, subpar generation, and prospects outside of your target market are the reasons your team isn’t hitting the mark.
- You’re not converting leads into prospects. Building your sales pipeline isn’t just about attracting new leads to the top of your funnel; it’s also about converting those leads into prospects who are ready to buy. One of the benefits of SDRs is their expertise in raising interest in your services and ushering leads through the sales funnel. They know the questions to ask to identify pain points, how to show that your business can address those pain points, and how to handle objections.
- Your sales team is stretched too thin. Your top sales reps should be focused on closing the deals in front of them. How can you expect them to put together convincing sales pitches if they’re required to prospect, cleanse, and nurture multiple prospects daily? Outsourced sales development professionals handle the leg work, leaving the pitching and closing to your team members who do it best.
- Unreliable, disorganized, and inaccurate datasets. You’re at a severe competitive disadvantage if you’re not storing your data in an easily accessed CRM with updated contact information and sales datasets. Outsourced lead generation programs harness the power of CRMs to nurture and track leads, store information, and automate routine tasks. Unorganized databases only lead to confusion, missed opportunities, and fewer sales.
- You don’t see the return on investment you expect. If your lead generation expenses are cutting into your margins or costing you more than they’re bringing in, SDR as a service is a necessity. By outsourcing, you don’t have to risk investing in unproductive overhead. You can scale your number of appointments set upward without having to worry about searching, hiring, and training new sales reps.
Are you ready to discuss growing your business with SDR as a service?
Now that you have a better understanding of what to expect from and the advantages of outsourcing your lead generation and appointment setting services, let’s examine what SDR as a service means. B2B lead generation programs include a team of professional SDRs who prospect, identify target audiences, initiate communications with potential clients, nurture leads, and schedule appointments on your behalf.
When you outsource to a B2B lead generation firm, you have an entire team dedicated to prospecting and identifying qualified leads on your behalf. Acquiring the team and tools to do just this activity in-house would cost more than a whole lead generation program.
Sales prospecting as a service is a part of any lead generation program. A B2B lead generation company will offer the following services:
- Understanding your target customer. At the beginning of your program, your lead generation partner will gather information from you about your ideal customer. Your SDR may want to know things like the typical size of companies you like to work with, what geographic areas you’d like to target, and the preferred scope of the project. Once your partner knows your ideal customer, they can use lead generation and growth strategies to run a successful program.
- Using top tools to build lists. Once your partner knows the criteria that make a prospect a qualified lead for your business, they’ll begin building a list. B2B lead generation agencies use industry-leading tools to find hundreds of candidates so you can win more business in your market.
- Collecting data. Business development professionals who prospect aren’t just responsible for finding a name and an email address. When they build a list, they’re gathering tons of data on prospective clients so they can effectively qualify leads.
- Cleansing lists. Once all data is collected and a list is built, your outsourced sales development team will scrub the list. Data cleansing is a quality control measure. A business development specialist looks at a list closely to ensure all datasets and information are accurate and potential leads are qualified.
Once SDRs complete these steps, the appointment setting process can start.
Lead nurturing and qualification is an activity that sales representatives manage. It involves calling and emailing to gather additional information and qualify leads. The ultimate goal is to nurture qualified leads and, eventually, schedule an appointment for another sales rep to deliver a more detailed sales pitch.
Nurture campaigns are a vital part of any lead generation program. The more you nurture prospects, the more opportunities you’ll generate. However, most companies don’t have time for this activity. Companies across all industries have enough tasks on their plate, like developing new products, serving their current customers, and taking care of their employees, just to name a few.
But even if a company has time to cold call prospects daily, lead nurturing requires an entirely different skillset. It requires a top-notch CRM to keep track of activity, a strategic email marketing campaign, informative marketing collateral, and multiple touchpoints with a customer across several months. Plus, if your salespeople don’t have the skill to talk to prospects and extract the right information, a lead nurture program won’t produce the results you need to grow.
Ultimately, the most valuable benefit of outsourcing sales operations is setting appointments that convert into sales. Utilizing SDR as a service is the best way to get qualified leads who are ready to take the next step in the sales process in front of your sales team to close more deals, drive more revenue, and grow your business.
In just over a decade, Abstrakt has gone from a startup marketing agency to the country’s largest lead generation and appointment setting firm. We rewrote the book on SDR as a service and have helped our exclusive client partners grow their businesses using our proven solutions.
If you’re looking to work with a team of experienced, professional cold callers and outbound specialists, Abstrakt’s SDR as a service offerings help ensure your next closed deal is just a sales pitch away. Schedule a meeting today to learn more about our lead generation and appointment setting services and check market availability.