With the emergence of the Predictable Revenue model by Aaron Ross, sales has been flipped on its head. We’ve been introduced to the idea of specialization of sales roles, and this idea is being applied to almost every area of the sales cycle.
Now there’s the sales development role, which is entirely dedicated to creating opportunities for senior salespeople to close out. We’ve seen the pre-sales team begin to grow so salespeople don’t have to give in-depth product demos. And even after a deal has closed, account managers deal with clients. All of these things are happening with one goal:
So salespeople focus on closing.
But salespeople aren’t the only ones specializing. Companies are taking this strategy a step further and specializing within the sale development function itself. Specifically:
SDRs are training assistants to do lead research for them, or using a service like my company, Prospecting Zen, offloading unnecessary work.
It’s happening across every industry and we’ve seen it especially prevalent in early stage companies that are really looking to scale quickly. Why does it work? Here are three big reasons companies are starting to outsource lead research:
1. Low-value tasks ruin morale.
At the end of the day, we all want to feel like we’re performing a big, important job within our organization. But there are small, menial tasks that salespeople need to get done—and doing lead research is one of them.
For instance, have you ever been in the scenario where you’ve failed to guess a prospect’s email address for the third time? It’s incredibly frustrating!
The point is: low-value tasks like guessing email addresses should be offloaded or outsourced to sales assistants. Salespeople need that information, but they don’t have to be the ones to put in the work.
2. Salespeople’s and SDR’s time is too valuable.
How much would you be willing to pay for someone to find email addresses and phone numbers for ten leads? One dollar? Five dollars?
Considering how much salespeople make on an hourly basis, if salespeople are the ones doing this research, companies are widely overpaying for such a basic task. Just do the simple math: Assuming an SDR makes about $30 per hour, and a trained, offshore lead researcher makes $4 per hour, it’s a no-brainer. Pay someone else to do lead research and have that SDR focus on outreach.
3. It can help you stand out to those difficult prospects.
We’ve all been there: You’ve sent an ideal prospect dozens of emails and called them, but no answer. You InMail them, nothing. You need a more dynamic way of reaching them. It’s time for the Hail Mary.
The old trick in the book is sending them snail mail—it works so well. With all of the digital channels we have nowadays, snail mail can be a great way to differentiate yourself to a tough prospect. Send them a little package introducing yourself with a treat they’ll love so you can stand out from other vendors. (Think about it: how often do you get tangible mail these delivered to your work that’s something other than your latest Amazon Prime purchase? Never!)
The problem is, you’ll need to find their physical mailing address, and that’s even more time consuming than finding an email address. That’s where the assistant comes in: they’ll scour the internet for their mailing address and their interests, and might even find you an awesome gift suggestion.
It can hard to make the leap into using assistants for lead research, but once you do, you’ll never go back. Next time you find yourself doing a task that you think is menial or that you hate, ask yourself “Can I offload this?” If the answer is “yes,” find an assistant to do the task.
Have you outsourced lead research, or considered it? Tell us about your experiences with it at email@example.com.
Kyle is the founder of Prospecting Zen and has been selling SAAS for six years. Now at NewsCred, he has also worked at Yext and SinglePlatform. (The recurring theme in his career is he joins companies at the very beginning, and by the time he leaves, they’ve seen huge growth.)