Building an outbound SDR team and strategy is no easy task. There’s a number of considerations you need to take into account prior to even setting out on the path of making your first hire. While it’s not as simple as flipping a switch, asking the right questions early on can help set your team up for future success.
How much is an SDR team going to cost?
As with any decision, the first thing to consider is the cost involved in building out an SDR team. While it probably won’t be the most cashflow intensive team at your business, it can definitely add up quickly.
Beyond hiring, every successful SDR team needs the proper tools in place to optimize their outreach and set high quality appointments that will ultimately drive revenue.
- Salaries + Commission
- Sales tech stack
- Lead sourcing
- Training and development
- Cash incentives
Who are they going to reach out to?
So let’s fast forward and say you hire your first SDR, the next big question is who do they reach out to? Most organizations typically fall into one of two categories.
a.) they have leads in their CRM that perfectly fit their ideal customer profile (ICP)
b.) they have leads in their CRM but aren’t highly qualified
Category A is easy, any SDRs you hire will have easy access to leads they can prospect initially. Sourcing leads will only need to be prioritized as you scale the team.
Category B poses a few challenges. The long term solution is making changes to your inbound marketing strategy to more effectively drive website visitors that are more closely aligned with your buyer profilers. The short term strategy would be to invest in purchasing lists or access to a prospecting database such as Zoominfo or DiscoverOrg.
Regardless of your situation, carefully consider if you’ve gone through the process of defining your buyer and have easy access to leads. While it’s possible to hire an SDR and have them spend half their time prospecting on LinkedIn, it’s definitely not the most effective solution.
Where do we find SDRs?
One of the biggest determinants of whether your SDR team will ultimately be successful is whether or not you’re able to hire the right talent. Not all sales talent is created equally, even more so when it comes to the SDR function.
For most SDRs it’s their first position out of college, which in itself poses a number of difficulties. How do you find the individuals that are hungry to succeed? Are they self starters or do they need guidance? Can they work in an ambiguous environment?
The first few SDR hires are the most critical since, if successful, they’ll ultimately move into leadership roles as the team grows. It’s imperative you have access to high potential individuals with the ability to not only establish process but also crave the growth that comes with training and developing future SDRs.
Who manages the SDR team?
Most SDR teams typically fall under either the sales or marketing umbrellas. I’ve seen it both ways and there’s really no answer, it just depends on which team has more bandwidth to grow. Both those teams will have to work extremely closely if you want to be successful, who they report to is mostly superficial.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, for most SDRs it’s their first job – meaning they’ll need more coaching and guidance than hires that have been in the workforce for a few years.
If you’re not prepared for the increase in time that needs to be dedicated towards direct management of talent, it’s best to spend the extra salary on a seasoned SDR or hit pause on building out the function all together.
Am I comfortable with running in the red?
At the end of the day, like all sales teams, the SDR team will need to drive a ROI positive for it to be “called a success”.
Time to profitability is going to depend on a few different factors. Is your product/service a transactional sale? Is it a 6 day or 6 month sales cycle? $2,000 or $200,000 average contract value? All these questions will directly impact how long it will take to see results.
At the end of the day, an outbound strategy is radically different than inbound and requires asking some challenging questions of your current business and long term growth strategy. Always make sure to consider all the different angles carefully before investing in an outbound strategy.
What other questions did you ask yourself before building your outbound SDR team?