The Pros and Cons to Implementing an Outbound Sales Campaign
“Sales is the lifeline of any business”
-Geoff Winthrop, President of LeadJen
This is a phrase I have said for years and it is true. If your organization is not selling, it won’t be in business for very long. In order to sell, your sales team needs to have highly qualified sales opportunities. These typically consist of people and/or companies that have a problem that your company can hopefully help solve.
There has traditionally been two ways in in which to connect with these organizations. This is through inbound and outbound sales/marketing efforts. For this article we are going to concentrate on building an outbound sales campaign. The world of sales has definitely found value in the creating these campaigns as the most in demand sales talent is one to fill Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) positions.
There are definitely pros and cons to building an outbound sales campaign. Below are some of the ways that an outbound sales campaign can both help and hinder your desired direction for your company:
- High hit rate against your ideal client profile – Outbound sales and marketing allows you to focus your efforts on contacting companies that fit your ideal client profile, whereas in inbound sales you don’t have the same degree of control over who will come to you. The quality of people that you contact is far less in your control with inbound sales – while it may be less difficult to reach interested parties, you will invariably be dealing with a lesser number of leads with a more questionable quality of what you are looking for.
- Can create a very consistent pipeline – By creating a consistent outbound sales program, you will find that you will have a consistent build of your sales pipeline and eventual consistency around closing business. Once an SDR understands the product, the target demographic, and the closing points around those two aspects, you can calculate the amount of sales that you will be making.
- Drastically increased brand awareness – This is a by-product of a heavy outbound campaign. By calling, emailing and socially touching prospects at your ideal client prospect accounts, your organization will get a tremendous pop as it comes to brand awareness and not have to have a huge marketing budget to achieve it. When your company becomes a household name, your sales team will become a branch of your marketing campaign.
- Highly Scalable – Once you get it down and have your metrics dialed in, an outbound sales campaign is a highly scalable program (assuming your company has a rather large addressable market)
- Potential for High Turnover – Without the right sales and management infrastructure in place or an appropriate culture to cultivate your SDRs, your organization can experience significant turnover. Managing a team of SDRs takes skill and experience – it cannot be half-baked.
- Success is partially dependent upon your SDR talent – Robots haven’t taken over just yet. Sales is still heavily a people dependent profession and the success of an outbound campaign still depends quite a bit on the talent you have in the position. Millions of robocalls are fielded per day, but they will never have the same efficacy as a human because people require a personal touch to be convinced of a product or service.
- Elongated Sales Cycle – Often organizations expect outbound leads to close at the same speed as inbound leads. Occasionally this could happen (right time right place) but this is more the exception than the rule. The reason for this is because most of the time your outbound campaign is oriented towards educating your prospect. Outbound sales is as much a problem of convincing people that they have a problem as it is about finding a solution
- Opportunities need to be sold to – As stated in the last point, being that these are outbound (not inbound) leads they need to be sold to. Some sales executives make the mistake of treating outbound prospects like inbound leads. That is a mistake as these need a little more selling to be done than inbound leads.
- Infrastructure cost could run high – Building a sustainable and successful outbound campaign takes resources. Those who think they can hire a new college grad, give them a list and say “go get ‘em” are going to be disappointed with the results. To build a proper outbound campaign you need: CRM, Sales Acceleration Tools, great data, awesome sales culture, top talent and engaged management.
These are all things to consider as your organization decides to build an outbound sales campaign. That said, many of the “cons” can be mitigated by outsourcing the SDR function to an organization who specializes in this for their clients.