There are 2 possible scenarios when starting your outbound sales team: one where there is no team yet, and another one where you have a full-cycle team. In the first scenario, you start from scratch, and in the second one, you have to analyse who makes up your team and understand the best fit.
In both cases, implementing an Outbound Sales methodology requires a time investment in order to:
- Thoroughly understand your Go to Market,
- Adapt CRM to the methodology,
- Develop the Sales Playbook,
- Create the pitch, cadences
- and iterate
In the first few months, your first team won’t get great results. We are still grounding the model and assessing what works and what doesn’t. We need to collect data and use it to feed the playbook and be more efficient. So during this initial stage, you will need to start a team, but you will still not be able to predict any results with certainty until you have the model clarified and verified.
In this first stage, the most important thing is to recruit resilient people. It is a challenging and fascinating stage, but at the same time, it requires a lot of strength, as it will require hard work to offer results. Sometimes, we might not even see any results and we’ll need a team capable of taking a step back and quickly trying again with a new strategy.
Implementing Outbound Sales requires patience, it is a medium-term investment. If it is done well, the sales machine will drive and become predictable and scalable, and its success will not be down to chance. The period for the methodology to function perfectly has been estimated at 6 months, based on surveys carried out with SaaS B2B companies.
When you implement Outbound Sales, the CEO or one of the founders must be involved in the process for it to really work. They have to train and immerse themselves in the methodology. A freelance or external agency can help you land it, but they will hardly know your client better than you do – you have already sold, you know what your customers expect, and you know what you solve.
That being said –
Who should be on your first outbound team?
- A Market Research (MR) – It is a detailed-oriented profile that looks for potential clients and uploads them to the CRM. At first, it is easier (you’re only just starting to open a new market), but they will have to get more creative over time.
- A Sales Development Representative (SDR) – We always recommend onboarding 2 SDRs, so that a relationship of competitiveness and trust is established, which drives continuous learning. SDRs are junior profiles, they are the ones who contact the buyer personas of the companies that the MRs have uploaded to the CRM and their objective will be to close a meeting.
- The Account Executive (AE) or Closer – These are sales profiles with experience in closing. They are responsible for making the demo that the SDR scheduled and continuing the relationship with the potential client until its closing.
You will not always have the resources to onboard all these profiles in your outbound sales team unless you have reconverted your existing team. Ideally, the founders and CEO should continue to close the sales. After you’ve managed to close an attractive number of clients it’s time to onboard the AE.
SDRs are the quarry for your future AEs, but at first, you will have to hire a closer from outside your company, with experience in closing, someone from whom the SDRs can learn. We all need to have mentors and people to guide us. Let’s not forget that no matter how intelligent the SDRs are, they are junior profiles that are starting out in this profession.
What if none of the founders have the quality time to do all this first work on implementing Outbound Sales and also don’t have the experience to manage it?
If it really is a strategic bet, you have to sign a CRO/Sales Director/Sales Operations with experience. Someone methodical who has theoretical, technical, and leadership capacity. This is a profile that will be dedicated to creating and driving.
An Outbound sales team with a Sales Ops will be more likely to be very successful, as Sales Ops are experts in CRM tools, as well as in the development of messages and cadences. They are the ones who perform the onboarding of the new hires and train them in the different sales tools. They also continue to train the team in the tool’s updates. Sales Ops are also the ones that control the metrics, conversions and see where something is wrong to find a quick solution.
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