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About This Episode
How much is your sales development representative producing for your business? Are you pleased with that number?
In a traditional sales funnel, an SDR will work the top of the funnel sorting through it and finding the best-qualified leads.
But what if you could outsource that top of funnel function, or “grunt work,” and increase production by 2-3 times? No, you don’t fire all your SDRs, you outsource so that they can hyper-focus on that actual work that leads to sales.
Rex Biberston, co-founder and COO of The Sales Developers, helps businesses improve their outbound sales development strategies. One of the most effective ways to do so? Outsource the top of the funnel function.
The Funnel Before the Funnel
While the sales funnel has had many iterations over the years, Rex believes there’s another one quickly gaining popularity. It consists of adding a new section at the top where leads get qualified by an outside organization before they reach an sales development rep.
Because at the top of the funnel, it’s all about the nitty-gritty work of figuring out who the right person is to speak with. Learning things like:
- Where do they respond to messaging?
- What channel do they prefer?
- What purchase timeline is realistic for them?
Many times, organizations will purchase a lot of data to help them figure these things out. But what Rex’s team has learned is that if you separate that top part of the funnel and outsource it, your SDRs will see a lot more success. Why? Because they’re only receiving the most qualified leads.
They still have to do the most important work: the sales conversation, but you’re getting rid of that 60% of labor that doesn’t amount to a sale. It’s work that has to be done but isn’t worth an SDR’s time.
You might ask, but that’s part of what you pay an SDR to do!
Sure you can argue that, so let’s look at it another way:
Before outsourcing sales development:
- Imagine your SDR averages five conversations a day that move forward at a rate of about 10%.
- That will likely not even amount to one appointment booked a day.
After outsourcing sales development:
- Your SDR continues to have five conversations a day. The only difference is these leads have all been pre-qualified as the right fit for your product.
- Because they’re the right fit, they become more likely to move forward. All of a sudden, you have five appointments booked in one day vs none.
As Rex says, you’re paying the sales rep to do the same activity, just better.
Imagine hiring an SDR to just have actual sales conversations all day, rather than time spent qualifying someone. Otherwise, you’re paying $100,000 for a sales development rep to download leads, clean emails, call bad numbers, spend time crafting a brilliant message just to have it bounce… it’s just not worth their time or your money.
Imagine beautifully tailored messages sent to the right people. SDRs are confident it’s worth the time to tailor a message because they only have qualified leads on their plate. SDR’s are generally pleased to have more time to spend on the right conversations. They’re getting into accounts they didn’t think they could get into because someone else did the work to figure out how to reach that person.
What Are the Cost Savings?
It’s not enough to just think about the cost savings because in this case, you’re spending more. You’re creating a new role on top of an existing role. So it’s hard to justify this strategy on cost alone.
Instead, the throughput of the system must be considered. So you might be spending 30-40% more because you’ve hired a team to work the top of the funnel, but you’re generating 2-3 times more sales opportunities. As long as you have the 30-40% in your budget to begin with, would complain about that expense when it causes the sales to increase that much?
What About From a Customer Standpoint?
Not only does this take the grunt work off the plate of an SDR and increase sales, but the customer also sees great benefit from this kind of outsourcing.
- The sales team talk to the customer in the channel they prefer.
- Deliver something of value to the customer because you’re confident you know what they’re looking for.
- Stop wasting the customer’s time. We can stop trying to reach them if we learn they don’t want to be reached.
The customer receives a more pleasant experience overall. So let’s recap all the benefits of outsourcing top of funnel work:
- Less grunt work for the SDRs to work through.
- More fruitful sales conversations that lead to conversions.
- SDRs get more experience having fruitful conversations which will prepare them to have more.
- Customers have a more pleasant experience.
- Revenue increases.
Sounds like a no-brainer, right?
If you’re still not convinced, we challenge you to simply start thinking about the cost of the way you’re currently operating. How much is that bad data or inefficient processes costing you? You might learn that it’s not nearly as much as outsourcing would cost you.
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