Successfully executing on your outbound sales initiatives can seem like a daunting task, complicated by the involvement of multiple stakeholders.
We tackled how to build an outbound sales machine at our most recent meetup and heard from stellar panelists sharing their expertise on how to develop and manage an outbound sales team. The discussion focused on the sales process and took deep dives into addressing data quality needs, account scoring and prioritization, and territory design.
Each of our panelists shared slightly different structures for their sales team. With the constantly changing landscape and introduction of account-based selling, this is to be expected.
At Threat Stack, there are three key players on the sales team. ADRs serve as a research function, manually looking for insights that would indicate account value. BDRs are responsible for outbound calling, trying to set up an initial phone call and schedule prospect meetings. Inside sales reps then own the deal from the discovery stage all the way through to close.
Drury of Seismic notes that she is responsible for the entire research phase of sales development, and is currently transitioning with the sales team, empowering them to understand what insights are relevant in determining prospect value. Goloboy adds that the sales team at TripAdvisor Restaurants is split between inbound and outbound, where only a few BDRs focus on ABM.
Paramount to developing any B2B sales structure is ensuring that all strategic decisions and processes are rooted in high-quality company data. An outbound sales machine will not thrive unless you can coherently supply your sales team with impeccable data.
"We wanted a single source of truth for the vendor that we are comfortable with, so finding one vendor that will cover the majority of our databases, especially our named accounts, was important - making sure we didn't have duplicate values and we didn't have stale information." - Phoebe Farber, Sales Operations Manager at InsightSquared
DataFox organizes data across millions of companies and automatically enriches your CRM, resolving data inconsistencies and integrating team workflows. The focus on a single source of truth for data collection processes is important to work at scale and empower your sales team to make confident decisions.
Sales & Marketing Alignment
Closely related to outbound sales success is the alignment between marketing and sales, a task simplified by having both teams use the same data source. Inherent to both teams is the idea that the further you can go down the funnel, the better. So rather than measuring marketing activities on leads generated, our panelists agreed on the importance of looking at multi-touch attribution to measure campaign ROI.
"We switched very quickly to revenue at the bottom of the funnel that we could attribute back to marketing, and we do a multi-touch evaluation. It wasn't for the purpose of taking credit, it was to assign where the next dollar should go, so we can focus on the programs that generated the most revenue in the most efficient way. This resonated with sales because we're saying we're going to help you with your success by investing in the right places." - Mark Goloboy, B2B Marketing Leader at TripAdvisor Restaurants
Beyond just getting opportunities into the funnel, both sales and marketing need to be concerned about moving opportunities down the funnel. It's therefore important to align team goals and figure out what marketing programs work best at any given stage of the sales funnel. With support from marketing and an understanding by sales, both teams can cohesively contribute to long-term goals.
Between our three panelists a plethora of tools were being implemented across the different sales teams. Some commonality lied with the use of LinkedIn Ads / Sales Navigator, marketing automation systems, and Engagio.
Words of caution were voiced when the discussion moved to live chat products and Google Alerts. While implementing live chat can have good intentions, it's difficult to manage. Oftentimes sales reps aren't active on the platform and frequently questions received are customer success oriented rather than sales oriented. Although Google Alerts is a great choice in theory and often works for small teams, it's not conducive to scaling your team.
Overall, the outbound sales structure is shifting to account-based strategies and a resulting need for quality company data. This change is actively influencing how to build an outbound sales machine, and each of our panelists addressed this change.
Account Scoring & Prioritization
Using a company data provider to enrich account data enables you to precisely measure a prospect's propensity to buy and allocate resources to high-value accounts. With 40+ data points on each company profile, your sales reps are armed with contextual insights for their outreach initiatives.
"DataFox really helped us align the team and focus on companies. Basically we have 100 rules and criteria based on not only demographics but engagement, behaviors, growth signals, and tech stack. We take all these things, we bring it up to a score, and we actually feed the accounts to our sales reps who then follow up based on score." - Palen Schwab, Director of Sales & Marketing Ops at Threat Stack
Account scoring with DataFox is always transparent and controllable, allowing you to iterate on your strategy and easily make adjustments based on your ideal customer profile. With an account score associated with every company profile, easily prioritize high-value accounts to keep your sales team working efficiently.
Measuring the potential value of an account allows you to design data-driven territories that are fair and equitable. Territory design at Threat Stack isn't based on arbitrary geographical boundaries, but instead divided by account score and evenly distributed amongst the sales team. This allows for equal opportunities for every rep, reducing friction and potential turnover.
With the sales team structure having a new-found focus on high-value accounts, it's important to change rep goals accordingly. Rather than compensating reps solely based on direct day-to-day goals, another compensation option is a mix that also includes revenue generated from opportunities. Ideally this ensures that even at an entry-level rep stage only opportunities that have a high likelihood of closing are being handed off. At TripAdvisor Restaurants this has been moving everyone's goals further down the funnel and makes sure high-value prospects are being targeted.
Refining Strategic Decisions
Having emphasized the importance of rooting an outbound sales team in high-quality data, it should be easy to regularly analyze trends and redefine strategy. With any account score model, it's important to make slight adjustments so that your score also considers newly acquired customers. With DataFox, managing company data has never been easier and is the foundation to your account-based selling strategy.
Want to learn more about how Threat Stack set their territories? Watch the full recording of our Building An Outbound Sales Machine meetup.