“If you have an inbound engine in place, squeeze it out completely before you think about outbound.”
There’s a time and place for everything and the right time to go outbound is when you’ve done everything you can with your inbound engine.
So says Troy Barter, the Vice President of Sales at RentalMatics.
But are there other factors involved? What if you didn’t start with inbound in the first place? And what factors determine whether you’ve done all you can with inbound (or build a steady flow of leads)?
Well, you’ll find the answers to all these questions if you keep on reading.
When should you think about going outbound?
Troy says if there's no marketing, if there's nothing, outbound sales is the way to go. Outbound salespeople can start dialing, start prospecting and they can build something from nothing.
But with a lot of companies, that's not a necessity. They already have inbound marketing in place.
“I think one kind of giant mistake companies can make when they're looking to scale is they go outbound just for the sake of going outbound.”
But companies usually have this inbound engine through which leads are coming in, and which are always going to convert better. According to Troy, that's where companies want to increase their deals.
Coming back to the question of when to go outbound, Troy thinks the right time is when you’ve gotten everything out of your inbound engine:
- When you want to start to go up market.
- When you’re confident that you're maximizing your inbound engine.
- When all of your salespeople are delivering on their SLAs.
- When the salespeople are getting hold of leads in a timely fashion.
- When the conversion rates through inbound feel right.
If everything is on point, then you could start to go outbound.
Now that that’s settled, the next question is how to scale outbound sales properly.
Scaling outbound sales the right way
“I think one thing that companies like to do is to hire a good amount of account executives and then the account executives inevitably become the SDRs.”
If the AEs you hire develop their own leads and everything, you will never get the best account executive you can possibly get on the closing side, warns Troy.
He says if you expect them to do a lot of prospecting, then you're not going to get someone that is fully doing everything they can. They cannot maximize closing percentage if their eyes are on something else as well.
“What I'm the biggest fan of is not flooding the floor with a bunch of account executives.”
Should you really hire 10 great account executives by the end of the year? Or would you be better off with two phenomenal account executives and a bunch of SDRs supporting them? These are the questions to consider according to Troy.
In the second scenario, AEs will do demos, they’ll follow up, they work on getting better. That's all they’ll be worried about. They won’t be worried about prospecting, and they'll be able to focus on the closing percentage.
If you have solid SDRs, all that really matters is how strong are your conversion rates and what you are putting in at the top of the phone.
“There's this stigma with account executives that if you don't have them prospecting, then you're not getting the most out of them.”
Troy says that we can play and pretend that that's maybe the right way of doing it, but their closing percentage will never be as high as it could be. And you'll never be able to hold them accountable to a high closing percentage if you have them doing three jobs at once.
For Troy, the first thing you should ask is, are the conversion rates where they need to be? And then think about where you need to increase bandwidth. He also says to keep in mind the end goal when you're adding resources.
So for example, if you want the highest closing percentage, you should be adding more SDRs to your team. And the great news about that as well is that it creates a pool of SDRs to promote later.
This was just one small chunk of our conversation with Troy. If you want to hear the entire conversation, head to our podcast.