The 8 Key Steps to Building a Successful Outbound Sales Engine
B2B software companies face many challenges as they scale their commercial organizations through various phases of growth. They may be challenged with determining how to best segment their customers, aligning product market fit, and then deploying resources to sell their product. Once they have success in the sales process, they need to implement their product and then drive successful adoption and renewals. Early stage companies may not have the infrastructure to drive efficient lead flow while more mature companies may be hindered with legacy systems and processes.
Regardless of the phase of your growth, you are investing capital to drive activity at the top of your funnel to ultimately turn into a long-term paying customer.
So, how do you get started down the path of high velocity lead management if you want to potentially scale a new product, a region, or you are driving leads for the first time?
Having an BDR/SDR team (we’ll generically refer to them as BDRs) is one of the best ways to provide leverage to your commercial organization. BDRs are a critical component of B2B software GTM engines as they provide key first interaction points with customers, they qualify that there is indeed an interest in buying, and they help provide talent for your commercial organization. Done well, BDRs can be a cost effective and integral part in scaling your business.
There are 8 building blocks which are essential and interdependent (e.g., only doing 5 of the 8 will not work) to build a fully productive and successful XDR team.
Forget about the 'rockstars' you hired a decade ago. They've been replaced by a rockstar process. Today's inside sales pros are more focused on listening than talking. They are highly analytical with great verbal skills. They're team players that favor collaboration over competition.
The right environment is all about collaboration and communication. Teams sit together in open spaces. High tables, dual monitors, and wireless headsets promote ergonomics, energy, and movement. Ample huddle rooms allow quiet spaces for discovery calls and demos.
Your team needs a map that defines the journey, the destination, and how to get there. Don't skimp on the details. Lay out the call opening, likely objections, and how to handle them, what needs and pain points to discover, and finally, how to close for a call to action.
Your playbook is only as good as the training. Allow time for drills, exercises, and role-playing. Remember...how you speak is as important as what you say. Use speech analytics to measure pace, filler words, and energy level.
Today's inside sales rep is powered by sophisticated cloud software to add efficiency and accuracy. Click-to-call dialing, automated cadence, email sequencing all integrated with a modern CRM are required tools of the trade. There are hundreds of tools to choose from, so seek good advice.
Dashboards & Metrics
Weekly reports don't cut it anymore. They've been replaced by real-time insights of a dozen or more important metrics such as dials, connects, conversation rates, and call duration. Performance metrics are for identifying where to provide additional training, or how to change the playbook.
Creating a high performing outbound sales team requires uniformity - team members doing the same thing, the same way, at the same time. A cadence, defined blocked of time for activities such as calling and sourcing, is critical to building a uniform, sustainable, and high energy team.
Your outbound strategy, no matter how good, will change. The ability to adapt as new information surfaces ensures that your go-to-market strategy stays relevant. Techniques like A/B testing and 'sprints' are critical to agility. Plan to implement changes about every 4 to 6 weeks.
Before you start to expand your team, or build it from the ground up, you need to realize that building a high-velocity BDR operation is complex. Before embarking on this important journey, be sure to evaluate the risks, assess the budget, and clearly define who will be responsible for managing this important new function. Successfully executing across these 8 key areas is no small task for busy sales and marketing leaders. If the barriers to successfully implementing and managing an BDR operation like this are too great, your best option may be to partner with a team of professionals who can help you scale these teams effectively.