Leadspace teamed up with Craig Rosenberg, Chief Analyst atTopoHQ and editor of The Funnelholic, on a recent webinar, Six Secrets to a Successful Inside Sales Organization
to get some insight into what makes a successful Inside Sales organization and other key questions. Time ran out to answer all the audience questions, so we wanted to share them here via the Leadspace blog. Want to watch the webinar again? Access it here.
Q: The time allotted to reach out to the lead is anywhere from 1 min – 30 mins – 24 hours. That can’t be true for all complex sales, right?
CR: Good question, people in complex sales ask me that all the time. Certainly, the problem is more acute on the SMB – Mid-market segments. However, you have to remember that part of the problem is that it is VERY HARD to get people to talk to you EVEN IF THEY ARE INTERESTED. One of the reasons getting to people quick upon their initial interest is that you have them at a point in time where they are not in a meeting (at least I hope not) and they are thinking about you. The goal of lead follow-up is to efficiently move the buyer from a digital relationship (marketing) to human engagement. Just because the sales cycle will take 9 months, doesn’t mean you should waste any time getting that initial engagement with the prospect as soon as you can.
Segmenting the Buyer
Q: Have you been able to place the contact into the right buying group and determine which people to engage in person vs. nurture as internal influencers?
CR: I think I understand this question. If I don’t just let me know. The best way we know to do that right now is by title and role. You have to analyze how your buyers buy to understand who typically falls into the champion category, influencer category, and decision maker category. Once you understand that, you can predict the role a lead will have in the decision.
The other important thing to note is that I don’t believe you should ignore champions. I actually believe you should talk to them. As a matter of fact, a great play to run is to gather intelligence from the champion and use that information to generate interest from the decision maker.
Connecting with Elusive Buyer
Q: How can I best connect with my prospects? What if they are people that don’t answer their phones like network engineers?
CR: Most people don’t answer their phones, remember your have basically an 8% of chance of getting someone on the phone. And yes the number is worse with network engineers. A couple points I would make:
1. We have found that you should still call them – leave the voicemail and point them to the email. Anybody who believes in the “double tap”, i.e. voicemail and email, is essentially saying: “You won’t get them on the phone”. The voicemail is really a vehicle to drive higher email conversion. God forbid, they may randomly pick up the phone as well.
2. Many organizations who are focused on “do’ers” in the tech organization leverage a lot of email. We have a client that was passing 25 QLs a month using only email. (QUICK NOTE: Adding the phone got them to 35). But the main point is, your buyers prefer certain channels and if they prefer one over the other – go where the money is.
Definition of a “Qualified Lead”
Q: Curious about the qualified lead definition from marketing to the SDRs. Does it follow the same anatomy of the QL?
CR: There are a number of factors in this determination. Do we need marketing to filter or let more through? If the SDR team has too much to work on, then you will need to provide greater scoring to keep leads away. If the SDR doesn’t have enough, you will want to let more leads through.
For example, one company might pass everyone who downloads anything. Another company might score based on company type and require more scoring (download certain pieces of content).
More specifically, you should define every step in the revenue chain. What’s a lead that you pass to SDRs? What’s a qualified lead the SDRs pass to sales?
Lead Flow /Quality or Quantity
Q: The flow of leads generated by marketing varies from time to time, depending on campaigns, power of programs, etc. (even with nurturing streams). Thus, how to set a SDR team that keeps up with a good occupation rate?
CR: Here is the answer – if you want them running thorough follow up on inbound leads, you want to plan for the SDRs to get 250-400 leads a month. If you won’t be able to supply them with this amount of leads, then you have a hybrid SDR team (inbound and outbound). They should have a list of target accounts that they are working on all the time – if inbound comes in, good for them…if not, they always have someone to call.
About Craig Rosenberg – Craig Rosenberg is in the Chief Analyst for TOPO. TOPO helps organizations deliver remarkable buying experiences via sales and marketing. He has worked with 100’s of inside sales organizations to design, build and optimize their processes. He is also the editor of the popular sales and marketing blog,Funnelholic.
Access the Leadspace webinar, Six Secrets to a Successful Inside Sale Organization.