4 Things You Should Know About Sales Development

Outbound lead generation is one of the less glamorous yet critically necessary components to complex sales. Out‐of‐the‐box products and more turn‐key solutions can generate consistent amounts of quality inbound leads through things like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, content marketing, etc. Complex solutions can leverage these, but also require a more targeted approach. Here are 4 things you should know to improve your outbound lead generation strategy.

1. Who are you selling to?

The first critical initiative is to determine your sweet spot. Figure out the verticals your solution plays best in as well as the typical annual revenue number and company size you have the most success. Additionally, know who at these companies you sell to and what their top business priorities are. Then build out this information into buyer personas. Efforts should always be focused on getting the most bang for your buck and staying away from deals that burn time and resources.

2. What does the landscape look like?

Consider what other competitors you will come up against and how you compare. Understand how your offering is superior and in what areas you may be inferior so you can properly position yourself. Additionally, what other technologies exist in the landscape from a supplementary perspective so you can leverage these to add additional value.

3. What hot trends can you rally around?

Having a great product or solution and understanding how you fit and compete in your market is critical, but it’s always better to battle with the wind at your back. Determine what the hot technologies/initiatives are in your space and play to those to gain momentum and establish yourself as a thought leader. Is it a primarily cloud or mobile space? How important is social media in reaching ideal customers/sharing content? What’s the deal with big data anyways? Try and determine what trends look like in 3‐5 years so you stay ahead of the curve.

4. What works and what doesn’t?

It’s time for the rubber to meet the road and the only way to figure out what works is to try. A/B testing is a great way to leverage the science of sales to see what resonates and what doesn’t. As you have your ideal buyer personas, build out a couple of company lists and draft/map out two sets of messaging. Use A messaging with group 1 and B messaging with group 2. Determine how many calls/emails it takes to get a response and how many calls/emails to secure a meeting.

Breaking your sales team out by function (prospecting vs closing) increases efficiency as it relates to complex sales by keeping your sales reps focused on closing deals and your sales development team focused on creating plenty of meetings with ideal clients. One of the top differentiators in sales development is doing good sales discovery, you can learn more here.