Dissecting Outbound Sales with Aaron Ross
Author: Aaron Ross
Recently, our Co-CEO Aaron Ross sat down with SalesLoft’s Jeremey Donovan for a wide-ranging chat on Jeremey’s ‘Hey Salespeople” podcast. Below is just a snippet of what they talked about.
An effective outbound machine – from your outreach, to your meetings, follow ups, even compensation plans – is a holistic process.
Too often we think of outbound sales as a collection of piecemeal artifacts, typically with email templates occupying the most important position. Where are we without effective emails, right?
But the truth is, every element of outbound sales is critical to its success and, as a result, should never be ignored. Take, for instance, Bregal Sagemount, a private equity firm we work closely with and that I profiled in the second edition of From Impossible To Inevitable.
Bregal Sagemount’s value proposition to the companies it works with is that they can triple your valuation in just three years. From their data, the number one way to achieve this milestone is through organic outbound sales growth. Bregal Sagemount also looks at elements such as content and PPC spend, but nothing compares to organic outbound sales growth. In fact, 70% of that growth comes from this channel.
And organic outbound sales growth, according to Bregal Sagemount, is comprised of three critical facets:
- More leads (filling that top of the funnel).
- Perfect meetings (building rapport, answering questions, supporting your customers as they need).
- World-class follow up (using what you learned from your calls, craft regular and intelligent follow up messages to stay top of mind).
(For a detailed breakdown of these sales pillars, check out this post our other Co-CEO Collin Stewart wrote a little while back)
Another important element of successful sales, though often overlooked, is compensation plans. If you need more pipeline and opportunities, then make sure you pay on every sales accepted lead or every converted opportunity. Trust me, if you have a team of great salespeople, and I know you do, you will get more of what your company needs if you incentivize correctly.
When it comes to compensating your SDRs for their hard work, having clean audited data is paramount. Let’s face it, there is a lot of subjectivity in outbound – we’re passing batons back and forth, after all.
So, you need to institute an audit system to make sure all of your opportunities are actually all yours, or belong to your team. For example, if you have a large SDR team reaching out to a large number of prospects, it can be easy for one of those prospects to slip through the cracks. Stop me if you heard this one before – one of your outbound reps has been reaching out to a top prospect, only to have that prospect ignore their outreach and then…sign up via an inbound channel.
But that lead should belong to the outbound team, so it’s critical you institute a robust audit practice – review every lead if you have to – to ensure the correct teams are being comped for what they should be comped for.
The opposite is also true: an opportunity booked by an outbound SDR was originally an inbound prospect (inbound teams, from time to time, give the outbound teams old leads to work once more). This situation, can paint a rosier picture of an outbound team if that opportunity isn’t properly audited and attributed.
It happens all the time.
But, if this scenario is left to fester, and grow, you run the risk of having wildly out of sync revenue metrics. And, if an executive, who isn’t in touch with the team on a day-to-day basis, sees this inconsistency, they will likely struggle to trust the reports they’re being given.
This will, in the long run, stunt your company’s growth. So, get an audit system in place early – and set the tone with your reps that clean data is key. It will benefit everyone involved in the long run and, of course, help support the growth your outbound function has created.
And that, without a doubt, should be what propels the team.
To listen to Aaron’s entire appearance on the “Hey Salespeople” podcast, click here.