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The success of an outbound sales team depends on various factors such as the quality of leads, the skills and training of sales reps, and the effectiveness of the sales strategies, etc. But a well-built sales team helps put all the activities in motion and makes the target 10x more achievable.

In session 6 of our Outbound for Dummies series, Ryan Lailler, Business Development Leader at Tabular, shares how to build an outbound team from scratch. From recruiting a dynamic team to creating a collaborative environment - you'll learn everything you need to know to assemble the perfect team.

Below is an excerpt from his session. But before we begin, let’s cover why it’s important to build an outbound team. 

Why Do You Need an Outbound Sales Team

1. Preemptive action: Outbound sales teams proactively reach out to the right buyers, instead of waiting on inbound lead generation. That way, there’s always a ripe and healthy pipeline.

2. Tailored outreach: With teams targeting specific demographics, and segments, the chances of reaching the right audience become higher.

3. Personalized connections: Personalized interactions become the life and blood of sales teams - especially in outbound, as they need to connect with the prospects on a deeper level and build trust. This again increases the chances of hearing a positive response.

4. Market Expansion: By reaching out to potential customers across geographies, outbound sales teams are the true champions for spreading the product or service love, globally.

5. Brand Awareness: Direct mail and cold outreach such as cold calling/emailing can create ripples of brand awareness amongst the target market and create a niche for the brand.

6. Sealing deals: Outbound sales reps are trained in the art of persuasion and negotiation. This leads to the added advantage of bringing home more customers.

Now, over to Ryan. 

When Should Startups Start Building their Outbound Team?

Ryan Lailler says startups should wait as long as possible before they build an outbound team and remain founder-led. 

Of course, that doesn't mean teams can't hire a BDR for the business.

The first BDR, shouldn’t focus on booking meetings right away. This person should in fact be in charge of interviewing potential customers who are perceived to be the ICP and collect sheets of data from the interactions.

This data can help align the brand messaging.

Once that’s done, companies can start working on their outbound messaging and build their onboarding playbook. That’s when the scaling should begin. 

How to Build the Outbound Process from the Ground Up?

Creating SDR pods is the best way to do this.

What is a pod? And what can you do about it?

What you can do inside a pod is specify what the person in that SDR role should be doing.

Each of the BDRs on your team has to be a specialist. For eg., if you had a sports team, only one person can be a quarterback, only one person can be forward, and only one person can be a center. 

As Ryan says -

“You need to have one person be the researcher, the deep analytical thinker, and the person who goes out and does the research on companies, builds the lists, gets the data under control, and another person who is responsible for email copy, phone scripts, objection handling, etc. And then they have another person that's responsible for the technical side of it.

Have three people in the pod who are responsible for outbound, but give them specific roles and let them become masters of that.

Once you have this, you’ll have an onboarding program in your hands. And you can go get another pod because the first process or concept worked”

Roles of the First Hire BDRs

They should only focus on collecting information in the first few months.

Because you could also be talking to the wrong prospects. If you’re getting too many rejections, objections, etc. - it’s time to reflect.

Go find people who were in a similar space as your company before. Get them on the phone and offer them a gift card for taking a 30-minute interview with you.

Ask them questions to get the voice of the customer and the prospect. 

Team Alignment

Smarketing. As it states, sales and marketing should work together.

Most BDRs and SDRs don’t receive the right ammunition and knowledge that can be given with the marketing teams’ help. 

Plus, your website is the most powerful tool, which should give the right hint at what each of the teams are doing - Sales, Marketing, HR, Product, etc. 

Challenges to Overcome for Startups

Patience and lack thereof are the biggest killers of any process that you're trying to achieve.

Should we get behind selling? Borrow money? When do we raise? There are a lot of questions left to be answered on a regular basis, but you need the patience to get them resolved one after another.

Is your Onboarding Process Working or Not?

If you have an onboarding process in place and a foundation for an SDR team or BDR team to follow, within 90 days you'll have a sense of whether or not it’s working.

Is it not working because we need more training for our BDRs? Is it not working because we made bad hires? Those things you can ascertain quickly.

But if the market is reacting positively to your product, then you have to give it six months to see the results. You cannot panic till month 5.  

As Ryan says, it does take a long time to find out if something is worth pursuing. 

Evolution of Outbound Teams 

This is what Ryan has to say -

“I hope to see a little more distribution of age and experience within the team itself. Because you can ruin someone's sales career by hiring them too soon and then putting them into an environment where they're not supported. I hope we see a nice distribution and the removal of ageism in the outbound space because there's this stigma that it's a young person's game.” 

If you want to listen to Ryan’s entire session recording, you can check the video below. It has everything you need to build your outbound sales team from scratch. 

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