How Kemberton Survived Early Ups and Downs on the Road to Outbound Success with Predictable Revenue
No matter how much we wish that wasn’t the case (who wouldn’t want to sprint to new revenue if they could choose, right?).
This is the situation growing healthcare technology provider Kemberton found itself in summer 2017. Growth was the mandate – 20% – 25%, year over year for four years was the target – but hiring a network of high-priced outside sales reps with deep rolodexes wasn’t an option. That route was too expensive and too slow.
They had grown to an $8,000,000 company with one salesperson and the founders doing predominately relationship selling. Impressive numbers, to be sure. But what Kemberton needed now was to generate consistent pipeline, at scale.
Kemberton needed outbound prospectors.
The only trouble was, no one at the company had ever built an outbound team before. So in his quest to learn the sales development ropes, Bob Donnelly, Chief Revenue Officer at Kemberton, picked up a copy of Predictable Revenue. He shared it with George Abatjoglou, Kemberton’s Chief Executive Officer, and the two figured “why not reach out to the guy who wrote the book?”
Starting from scratch…and stumbling out of the gate
Before contacting Aaron and The Predictable Revenue Team, Kemberton had no sales development infrastructure in place – no team, no tools, no methodology. It was a blank slate.
“Everything was based on relationships. All $8 million in revenue up until that point,” says Bob.
“Do your homework. It takes a lot of time, and trial and error to nail your niche and sharpen your messaging.”
“You are not going to get this overnight. But, you have to stick to the process and it will work out.”
“And that, in a way, was good because we could set out to build the team we wanted to. We had this lump of clay and we wanted to mold it. And Aaron’s book gave us the template for how to mold it.”
So, the Kemberton team signed up for a Predictable University boot camp, to learn the outbound blueprint, and worked with Aaron and the Predictable Revenue Group Coaching Team directly to refine their messaging, their cadence, and general outbound sales process.
And although that coaching helped establish a solid foundation to work from, Kemberton stumbled when they first launched their outbound team. Things just didn’t click.
“We didn’t get ramped up as quickly as I thought. We thought we could jam a square peg in a round hole by having different people try outbound here and there, and it didn’t work,” says Bob.
“But then we realized that that was in our company, in operations, that was perfect. They’re used to being on the phone, and they know our organization. That turned out to be where we really landed, and that’s when things ever took off.”
Trusting the process
Stumbling out of the gate can be a tough pill to swallow for any organization. Building an outbound team is an investment, and recouping that investment – and, hopefully, much more – is always a priority for a company building an outbound team.
But, again, a marathon takes time. At a minimum, you’re looking at 6 months of building your outbound team before results start to come in. Realistically, it could take twice that long.
“Aaron told us it could take 6 – 12 months. I was hoping it wasn’t going to be 12 months. I was hoping we would be the ones to get it right. I thought: ‘how hard can this be?’ But to refine the technique, the message, and the approach – there is just attention to details that I had no idea was needed,” says Bob.
“The devil is in the details. And we looked at every detail when we started building this thing.”
So, despite the number of animated rocket ships used to illustrate revenue growth, building an outbound team is more akin to learning to ride a bike rather than blasting off to the moon.
Moving the needle
Whatever tweaks Alex and his team of two SDRs have been making…it’s working. Since taking over the outbound team in early 2018 (more than 6 months after Kemberton began building its outbound team in August 2017), the company has seen tremendous results:
Increasing their outbound investment
The success of Kemberton’s outbound team has forced the company to completely rethink its sales model. To continue fueling its growth, Kemberton plans to hire 2 more SDRs in 2019 and focus its marketing department on creating engaging content that Alex’s team can use to improve their prospecting.
“We will only hire additional outside sales people when the existing reps can’t keep up with the demand of leads generated by our SDRs. And we will add another 2 SDRs in 2019,” says Bob.
“We are committed to adding to Alex’s team. This is going to be the command center of the sales organization.”
Advice to others
Although the struggles to get their outbound team up and running tested the patience of the Kemberton team, it was that experience that helped them see the value of investing in outbound, having a dedicated team own the process, and, ultimately, the power of effective prospecting.
“Do your homework. It takes a lot of time, and trial and error to nail your niche and sharpen your messaging,” says Alex.
“You are not going to get this overnight. But, you have to stick to the process and it will work out.
- Closed $1,000,000 annual deal
- Closed $350,000 annual deal, on 2-year commitment
- Have 2 Vendor-Of-Choice contracts on the precipice of closing, totaling $415,000 annually
- Executed 133 AWAF calls
- Passed 39 SQLs to Kemberton AEs
- Created 10 opportunities
- Generated $3,600,000 in pipeline
- 100 cadence starts (accounts)
- 500 dials
- 100 call connects (in which Kemberton reps learn something about the prospect)
- 12 AWAF calls
- 4 SQLs