The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

Five Reasons to Outsource Sales Development w/ Rex Biberston

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How much is your sales development representative producing for your business? Are you pleased with that number?

In a traditional sales funnel, an SDR will work the top of the funnel sorting through it and finding the best qualified leads. But what if you could outsource that top of funnel function, or “grunt work,” and increase production by 2-3 times? No, you don’t fire all your SDRs, you outsource so that they can hyper focus on that actual work that leads to sales.

Rex Biberston, Co-Founder and COO of The Sales Developers, helps businesses improve their outbound sales strategies. One of the most effective ways to do so? Outsource the top of the funnel function.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast,this podcast is brought to you by out reached at io the leading salesengagement platform, helping companies, sellers and customer success engagedwith buyers and customers in the modern sales era, check out salesengagementcom for new episodes, resources in the book on salesengagement coming soon now, let's get into today's episode. Thank thrty one for joining us onceagain on these sales engagement podcast. My name is Joe Vignolo on the seniorcontent managing editor over at outreach, and we have an incredibleshow. Today we have REX Biberston, cofounder and COO over at these salesdevelopers, he's on the show today to talk a little bit about somethingcalled the funnel above the funnel or before the funnel. That may sound alittle strange, but rex, I'm sure will explain it thoroughly for us, butbefore we get into that, I'm going to toss about nober two wrecks who canintroduce himself tell us a little bit about his background and what he'sdoing over at these sales developers, REX Thans for being on the show yeah. Iappreciate the opportunity excited to share what we're learning today andthat's that's really the goal Hereis to share what we've learned not have topreach from some lofty tower, but some things that were actually experiencingday today. As you know, sales development, people, N professionalsgive a little bit of my background. I started in if you can believe it door.Ta doorwor sales that was a salesdrap doing northstar home its some securitysystems, and I was the top rookie there and I realized hey, I really likeselling. This is fun. I like helping people get a solution that works forthem, and then I had some knee problems, so I couldn't ge, go on door, the door-and I realized, wait a second there's a whole world of inside sales professions,where you can csider the desk and do this professionally for the rest of mylife. I love this, so I ended up working ironically for inside Salescom,so I went to the he big Software Company in Utah had a great timelearning about the process of sales, all the little nuts and bowls thethings that you can tweek and find tune along the way to have this housizedimpact on on your top of cunnel and just creating lots of new salesopportunities, and so then, from there I went to build my own outsource salesdevelopment company, which I ran for about a year, and then I did someconssulting building processes for companies kind of as an introm vpsales.If you will so I've been doing that for about three years and then Ryan and Iwrote a book and ended up building a company together called the sales ofdevelopers and now that's where we are today. Helping companies build theirtop of funnel sales, and that's that's what we love doing. We just focus allof our time and energy on this part of the sales process, outsourcing sales development- that isa hot button topic. I'm sure you spend a lot of your time. Convincing salesmanagers. That's something they should do it's interesting, not so muchanymore. I think that things are moving in that direction. If you do it right,but I've also seemed to done wrong so many times that I understand whenpeople are hesitant. So it's not. Our...

...primary goal is to be an outsource arm.It's really to be a partner and that's where Ryand I have both had salesdevelopment companies before the Wereouthorce, and you know that's whatwe did right. We worke for all our clients in that way, but we wanted thisto be different, so we focused more on like very custom, very specialized likewe're, not fitting you into a box, it's more about what you specifically meen.So is more of our consulting angle at a scale of the level. So it's really funbut yeah you get that kind of objection all the time as you will, you know fromany outsourcing at all, O sounds like you have a lot of experience in salesdevelopment, that's kind of duvtails right into the main topic of today'sepisode, the funnel above the funnel. Can you explain what that is yeah, so I'm sure those of us who havebeen in sales long enough remember before Antechi got spetalized right. Sowe think about sales is a funnel of people at the very top who are maybeunaware of our product, all the way down to where they buy our product fromUS and they're falling out of the funnel all along the way, so that atthe bottom you know those who come through are bind. We get the visualright and somewhere along the way we realize wait. A second like a lot ofwork is happening at the top of the funnel. Its is all this SDR type work,and so we specialize, we said new. Well now, there's strs and there's a there'speople who do the front. You know the front end of the sale, an people Lho dothe back end of the sale, so we specialize there, but as we're gettingmore as we're growing the technology around the SR function. There's lots ofgreat tools out there that exist, but they're getting it's just gettinginudated the market is saturated with tools that can do things relatedto, whosales development. So it's getting harder to stand out, so it's actuallygetting parter to reach people and we're seeing that, with the matter ofthe channel, it's getting harder to reach your target goodbyer. So what webelieve the next iteration on the funnel is is the next sectionseparating from the str is the section above it right. So you think about thisis now like a three part funnel so the top it's it's all the work of figuringout. Okay, who is the person I should be talking to? Where do they respond tomessaging? Where do they look for that? What's the channel that we should betalking to them in and what's the timeline for this because n SDR today,as we Dno from the bridge group studies, they only have five point oneconversations per day: Five coiling quality conversations. It means they'respending most of their time doing nonselling activities, becausebasically, the only activity in sales is conversations or followupponconvertations. So that's where we think the market is had and we're buying alot of data, we're buying these big lists, but any sales drap who's done,outbound cold, calling coldy million onows. You spend all this time tryingto reach people, and you just don't get that many at bats. So what we're sayingis hey what if we could separate that top of the top of the funnnel and doall that work we either through an Athor team and outsource team and thenhandover, just the most qualified leads. Now they may not be interested. Westill have to do. We Ha still have to have that sales conversation, but at'least the idea of getting rid of that first. You know maybe sixty percent ofthe labor, that is just frankly, not...

...worth a the high quality strs time, butit has to get done. If that makes sense Kay you mentioned something earlierbeing able to figure out timeline before in str engages. How do you dothat? What what data source are you looking at for timeline yeah? Well, sothere's a couple of triggers that you can find in you know: Maybe they justbrought on a new vpof sales or there's different data sources that you can getfor signals of intentether searching, there's lots and lots of differentdatabases that are trying to pull in those sorts of signals. An thenten Iknow discover- or it's been one- that's been really pushing hard for that. Butthe other way to do it is think of outbound sales as more of a demandgeneffort at first- and you could, you know, hey pitch them with somethingmore broadly, like woe'd like to invite you to a Webbon ar some sort of moreopen ended activity not directly for a sales conversation if they say hey,look this isn't something we're interested in talking about for atleast six months. Well, then, you've got another signal that hey that's,probably a better time to reach out to them, even though you're not reallyhard citching them trying to get them into a meeting right away. You get agood sense of okay. Well, this is something that's probably on theirRateo AR, but not now interesting. Hey, I'm the one that's supposed to beinviting people to webinars. I don't want sale, genleman people to Doin it.Do you ever find pushback on that, like hey, we already have a whole departmentthat does that sort of thing. It's funny. We actually get engaged by thosetwo different departments. So we talked a lot about sales development, but atthe same time we also work with a couple of companies in TA demand, Gencapacity that specifically want US following up in a much broader sensewith their total addressible market. Hey, they want to be starting aconversation with everybody they could potentially buy from them so that theycan start to get those signals up in ten. We believe you know the way wethink about. Albon is the De indown right. If you do outdown correctly,it's going to generate traffic to your website is going to generate interestin other things, so that you can start to have that conversation soonerthere's a great blog article. I read a long time ago. I'l have to find iu thelink, but it was this idea before a marketing qualified league before anMQL was is ptl like this prettyqualified lead the idea that youshould be having early conversations with anybody in your market, even ifyou're not directly trying to sell to them, because then you become theperson at the topic of their mind when they, when they're ready to buy soessentially you are outsourcing a core function or what we would think of ashe court function of the SDR. Currently, how do you reconcile that with whithsomeone who's like well, that's kind of part of their job? That's what we'repaying them for what are the benefits kind of down funnel that you're? Seeingby doing that proactive research ahead of time so yea? Let's say we have ateam of TNSDRS and they're having five conversations on average. If fiveconversations are moving forward at the Avergate of about ten percent, athey're not even setting an appointment a day, so if they were still havingfive conversations, but we had prequalified those as much more likelyto move forward because they're the right fit, because we know what channelto reach them in. So we're not they're, not angry that we're calling on thephone or they're actually picking up the phone first of all, if we canincrease either the number of conversations or the likelihood ofthose conversations and move forward, you're paying the sales are up to dothe same activity just better right.

There there's having better outcomes. Idon't think anybody really wants to pay an SDR to do work that they would valueat less than a sales conversation. If we coal hire SRS just to have salesconversations all day frinkly, I think everybody would that's what they'rethere for really. If we think of strs is like the grunt labor behind theconversation you thinking about it wrong. Frankly, I just don't think thatwe should be hiring people, especially at the rape and the cost that we'rehiring them for, especially especially if you're in, like the Silicon Valley,F, you're in San Francisco or wo one of these text, startup areas, you're paing,a hundred thousand dollars for sales, developent rap to do work likeDownloadi, leads cleaning emails. You know calling a bad number. You spendingtime crafting a brilliant message just to have a bounce. All those things arenot worth their time, so nobody really wants to pay them for that, even thoughthey are so if we can increase their ability to reach the target market orto convert those simg people that they're speaking with, I think that's awin for everybody and you're doing a lot of this because of the wors casescenario right that an FDR does get the lead, does have a conversation andpushes it down the funnel and they get to the end, and it's like now. Theyweren't qualified and begin with right. They just kind of went through themotions and wasted everyone's time. Obviously, that's not something thatyou want. So this is solving for that in a way yeah yeah, very much. Sothat's the goal, so you mentioned cost and yeah you're right like Tilicanvally SDRs are not cheap. Not only are you paying know a premium with theirthe COPPLAN and salary and whatnot, but all the added costs of benefits andwhatnot right? What are you seeing the savings being when someone does thiskind of PSDR role yeah? Sometimes it's not so much the the cost savings,because you're actually you're spending more right, you're, creating a new roleon top of an existing role and so right, it's hard to justify based on costaloan. It's really more about the through put of the system. You'rebuilding this big machining to generate sales opportunities, and so the goal is,if you can generar more quality conversations per day. Obviously youhave a greater throughput, so if you're spending incrementally more, maybethirty to forty percent more but you're, generating two to three times o salesopportunities, I don't think anybody would complain about that so long asthey had that extra thirty forty percent in their budget to begin wetsright. I think that's probably part of the conversation you're. Having oftenwith compas is like: Where do we find this budget to get this machine goneyeah? Absolutely, and it's not just people outsourcing to us. I mean peopleare trying this all over the place. In fact, the one of our very first Webinars we ran is the COMPANIS with the team that does this through off shortof teams and the Philippines in India and all over the world that they'vehired through upwork or through other sources and and they realize, like. Ireally don't want people doing all of the tedious Labor that comes before aconversation, and they were really smart about it. WEECHA system, an tidesit in a way that that we believe we can deliver it now quicker and faster thanmost most teams could do by by storgs N on their own. But it's totally possibleto do. Let's flip this on its head a littlebit and talk about from the customer standpoint, why does this processbenefit them?...

Yeah, at's, a good question. I thinkwhat it helps us to do if we can educate the market on it significantlyis it helps us to talk to people in the Channel? They want to be spoken toright. If I know you pick up the phone, hey you're likely to pick up the phoneagain right, I got you to pick it the phone in the first time. I was tryingto verify that it's really you that you're there that this is a good ponnumberfor you. I can likely get you to pick up that coate again and if I'mdelivering something of value to you, because I did my research, I wentthrough all the hard work of figuring out ou that you're the right person. Idid that ahead of the conversation, I'm no longer wasting your time trying toreach you leaving new voice mails. If it's something, that's not af value toyou. So if we use it correctly, it actually delivers a better message tothe right people. Instead of this, the other way of thinking about it is we goabout it. We buy a big fat list and we send them a mass message and we just wehope that by the law of large numbers we find somebody, but that's what fillsour inbox every day. That's what fills our voice mail, and so the idea here iswe're actually being more careful about whom we select and how we reach them.So it's a a more pleasant experience for them because they get a positiveoutcome and even if they say no Greape, you know when can we have that thatfollow a conversation or is it never going to be something? Okay W thenwe're not going to reach out to you again we're taking care of that and soyou're finding that- and I know we come in this a little bit-that when this process is implemented, the conversations that your SDRs arehaving are of higher quality and convert at a higher rate yeah.Certainly, if you look at it, let's just say we get the same volume ofconversations right. If I'm only going to talk to five people today, I want tomake sure there are five people that I really wanted to talk to and now,instead of you know, making a hundred dials three five conversations, I might,I might call those five people two or three times to reach them, but I'mgoing to be prepared with a message: That's very tailor to them, because Iknow it was worth Taylor in the message. If that makes sense, I've spent moretime to thinking about how this relates to them. Specifically, T atsthing istrue for email. We all want to caraft that personalizes email, but we're alsoall tempted by the push masss- and you know thousands f emails and one clickbutton, because it's so tempting to just do it all at once, and this givesus he the justification for quality at the same time, as you know, expectingthose higher outcomes, I'm starting to look into my crystalball to a day where every sales email that I get in my inbox is something Imight be interested in. You know like, instead of just getting spanned, howfar off. Are we to that point or will ther always be bad actors out therejust spraying a prank there's always going to be bad actors, and I think oneof the challenges with the data industry is a whole. Is that they'reincentivized to B, because people are still in this mind tennmend probablywill be for years of like? Oh, I want to pay fifty cents a record. I want topay ten cents, a record I what's the cheapest cost, I can get perecor ifwe're thinking about it. As how big of a list can I get for how wittle of aprice that s a really big challenge to overcome, because really I don't careif it cost me tendolr a record. If those records are are fifty times morelikely to convert, I will gladly pay...

...the extra. We also have to educate themarket, and this is where I'm always grateful for podcasting as a platformto talk about this, but we have to educate the market on the labor cost, abad data. We don't ever talk about the opportunity cost. The labor costs- wejust think excuse me just think about the cost of that record initially andthat's where we got to start thinking about all the numbers. My cofounarynloves talking about the math of sales, because when you see the whole pictureyou realize. Oh, my gosh. There is a tremendous amount of waste in thissystem, and that was one of the big insigdts I got working out insidetillcom is like look. If we can just tweek this little number by x percent.Look at how much more of an impact we can have and as we start to have thatconversation more, I think there's a lot of great companies out there thatare trying to have that conversation as we do that more as we you know, kind oftrate the market. With that message, I think well Start Tho see it get closerand closer, because, frankly, technology is adapting even fastergmale holy cop. You have a gmallinbox, it's so much smarter as a spam filterthan anything that was ever available five two years ago, even my gosh. Hereally can't get in with Tha spammy message very well. At all these days,so it really behoves us to be smarter about the way that we're reache topeople, I'm digging the predictive text rightnow, the Gmail has for io my goshit's learning, I'm pretty pin I my mySenence is for me, Oh yeah. I want with it for the sprs that are having thisprework taken away. What's the feedback you're getting from them? Yeah, that'sa good question, so the the SCR teams that we've worked with generally arevery pleased to have more time to spend on the right conversations. This isearly stages for us we're just kind of coming to this epiphony of like holycow. We really need to operationtalize Tus w. We need to make this possiblefor our teams and our CIENTS teams, but as we start to increase the quality, anumber of conversations they can have bot their ideal byer. It's preally good,like they're starting to get into those accounts. They thought they could neverget into because somebody else did the work to figure out how to reach thatperson like they don't want to dial through an Ivr a press. One for salesimpress the three to four Ot. The last thing like nobody wants to do that, butif it's already done for them and they know how to reach the person, I goshthere days so much better, like they're just having conversation with people,they want to talk to it's just a fantastic way of doing business, andnow everybody has to be on board with that and, of course, we'll get somepushd back from strs to're like well. That's you know. We in fact, we've seensome strs were like why I like going on Linkedin and sourcing leaves for myself.You have to think about that. Ou have to think aout the people that you haveon staff and, if it's possible for them to select the counts and then there's acouple of teams, tat call activating an account like hey, go, go pick! A fewaccounts you wont to work. Send thim to the team is going to do the hard laborfor you and then they'll get it back to you in a brief turnaround, and you cancontinue to do it the way you want to do it, but unfortunately this does it cause alittle friction, sometimes with strs, but if all we want to do is what'scomfortable for the sales rep we're not really leading the team anywhere we'reletting them lead US...

...yeah. I bet you know if you just explain to them, that the moreconversations you're having and obviously you're going to have moreusing this process, more conversations, you're having the better you're GOINGTO,get right. Your interateat time and the skill level is going to hockey. Stickright. Is that something that you've been seeing? Oh yeah, absolutely youcan see if we only had five at bats right Jeez. I really hope we hit a balland we have a thousand tatbats yeah, the first you're, probably going tomiss just as many and then a little bit fewer and then an you're suddenlyGOINGTA be swinging a lot more successfully. I think I've comparedthis to like, if you were, if you're, trying to get it into the PGA and you'donly play golf five times like e. what's the like, loood you're, going toyou're going to get into t e the pja to it right, you're, just not, but ifyou're trying to be an excellent sales rupe, you got to have moreconversations you got to you got to have the attempts and you've got tohave those conversations as quickly as Possibleso that you can learn and sothat the next time you're going to be that much smarter on be that much moreprepared, and I mean coming from aurage. Weobviously believe in automating the mundane right, the tasks that no onelikes to do, I'm not seeing this being that hard of a cell I mean if I was anFCR, I never have been, but I've done my fair share of cold calling that Iwould love to outsource this right to just be like alright, someone else.Please qualify. These leads for me and then Hend them off and they'll know. Ihave a better chance at actually connecting and having a goodconversation. This doesn't seem like that hard of a cell yeah. I think theonly time where we see it a is rather difficult is when they don't want tohave conversations when they were happy getting by just being the person whodid the ground work, because the groundwork was easy. I anit's reallynot hard and that's how ou you can out SOURC. So that's how you can off short,that's how you can get somebody else at the lower cost to do it for you itsbecause it's not difficult work. It just takes a lot of effort. It takes along time. So, if there are SDRs are sitting comfortably thinking well, thisis easy. I can do this all day. You're telling me I get paid sixty eighty, ahundred grand a year to go source leads off of linked in play around poststatus, update every once a week or so and like comments on people's articles,that's all I have to do. They don't want to give that up, but that's rare,I think most strs are really trying to become excellent sales of professionals.It doesn't always mean they're trying to move up into the ATOLD, but theywant to be excellent sales professionas and for those who do this is a reallygood way of getting the more more of a chance at that. I Teh I personallytotally agree. Rex It there was AL to Youre on yeah, that's cool yets! Do it.If there was one takeaway from this podcast that you would want ourlisteners to have what would that be? It would be to consider the cost theway you're doing things, the actual labor cost behind the bad data behindthe inefficient processes and to start to calculate holy cow, and it's just tohave that epiphany of like. I think we could do this differently. I think wecould be a little bit smarter about this, and I would hope that everyonelistening out there is constantly thinking that right yeah, whether ornot they should optimize a process they...

...have in place. Currently, there'salways a better way. There's always a little bit of a marginal increase. Youcan make so continue to think that way, you know continue to analyze whatyou're doing great stuff for ex. If it want people wanted to get a hold of youor learn more about sales developers, how they do that yeah, you can go tothe Sales Developerscom or, of course you can connect with me on Linkedin,which is where I love to share anything that we're learning live. We like toshare o our actual lessons, so you can connect in then Rex Biberston is prettyeasy to find me on there, and you also have a podcast isn't that right, yeah Ido I coast with Kevin Ramani, the former had the sales from closed, O io,o fantastic piece of software and and we're good friends, and we get to chatout about sales every week, so we'd be happy to have more people find us therefantastic. So I recommend checking out that podcast and it feel like whatyou're geing on this podcast. Please subscribe on. Itunes, give us a goodreview or even just go to sales endgagefroncom and subscribe there. Iwanted to think rex or being on the show today go check out the salesdevelopers and I want to bank all of our listeners were being on the showtoday and we'll see you next time on the sales engagement podcasts. Thankyou. This was another episode of the salesengagement, podcast joinus at sales, engagementcom for new episodes,resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon to get the mostout of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out ow reach to iothe leading sales engagement platform. See You on the next episode.

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