How to Build a High Velocity Sales Team: Tools, Training & Technology (Part 4.5 – Outbound)

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[This article is part of a multi-blog series on how to build a high velocity sales team. Click the following links to view previous blogs:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4– Inbound. To the view the original 5-part webinar series on how to build a high velocity sales team, conducted by Ken Krogue, click here.]

Outbound tools and technologies, while somewhat similar to their inbound cousins, require a different mind and skill-set in order to be successful. As was discussed in Part 4 of this series, both inbound and outbound lead generation offer tools and technologies necessary to optimize and enhance the sales process. However, research has shown that a number of specific best practices related to outbound lead generation will dramatically increase results.

For example, from the XANT original Lead Response Management research, it was found there is a 100x decrease in lead contact rates if a lead is responded in 30 minutes versus 5 minutes. The qualification rate decreases by 21x. It is enormously beneficial if a sales team can attempt contact on new leads as soon as they are generated.

We completed an industry study on lead response management and discovered that the average response time for the inside sales industry is 39 hours 20 minutes and 39 seconds (check out the complete study, “AA-ISP ResponseAudit Research.”) Many sales teams are taking almost two days to respond to web-generated leads! This is why it’s so important that every inside sales department invest in a tools, training and technology to wring out as much value as possible from their leads while they’re hot!

For a strong outbound approach, the following tools will lead to higher productivity and efficiency among reps:

  • Dialer Technology: The right technology in place can be contacted leads through dialer lists much simpler and timely. Do you need a PowerDialer or a predictive dialer? Chances are, if you’re in B2B sales or complex B2C (meaning multi-touch sales) a PowerDialer would be much more effective. If you’re interested in B2C telemarketing, then a predictive dialer might be a better fit.
  • Equipment: In outbound sales, the headset is king! Studies have shown that a headset increases the productivity of a sales rep by 18-20 percent. Invest in noise cancellation headsets for all of your reps and watch your numbers climb!
  • Voice messages: Implementing an automated voicemail process, where the rep selects a specific voicemail from a library of pre-recorded voicemails, then then moves on to the next call as the system plays the voice message to an answering machine. This process can increase your call back ratios by up to 22 percent. Check out this blog for the best practices surrounding voicemail.
  • Email: This technology is crucial if you want to educate leads that aren’t yet qualified  – your top of funnel leads. Use email technology that enables split testing, stored pre-written templates for rapid selection by the rep, and is opt-in/permission based.
  • List Providers: There are a number of excellent companies that will supply targeted lists for your sales reps to call. Most sales managers aren’t aware that sales reps who aren’t supplied lists actually spend 40 percent of their day trying to find people to call. That is a huge waste of time and resources! Some of the more popular list providers include: Data.com (provides excellent company data), Hoovers (provides strong credit data), infoUSA (excellent if looking for sales and marketing information), InsideView (delivers strong data with combined sales intelligence) and ZoomInfo (supplies four to six different contacts within an organization).

Once you have generated your leads through inbound and outbound efforts, it’s important to have a strong Lead Management Software (LMS) platform in place to help to help manage lead response, lead progression and rep contact activities.

While there are many other tools, technologies and train resources available to professionals within the inside sales industry that weren’t mentioned here, by implementing the practices highlighted above your sales team should begin to see improvements in efficiency and (hopefully) revenue!

What other tools, technologies and trainings have you found helpful that we may not have mentioned? Share your experiences below.

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