8 Ways to Adapt a B2B Outbound Sales Program When Targets Are at Risk
Leadership's role in setting B2B outbound sales and sales development teams up for success cannot be overstated. The success of any company depends on the performance of its sales team, and it is the job of leadership to provide the tools necessary to help them succeed. One of the keys to success is the ability to adapt quickly and iterate when metrics are not on target. In the following, we will discuss eight ways that founders or leadership can align their outbound sales program and work with sales operations, marketing, and sales development teams to adjust strategies when targets are at risk.
Explore new target market verticals.
Deploy new sales sequences.
Run urgency-based marketing campaigns.
Create new marketing and social proof assets.
Conduct pipeline reviews, digging deep into each instance.
Revise compensation plans and create new incentives.
Require end-of-day meetings and reports.
Shadow calls and support the close.
Explore New Target Market Verticals
One way to adapt when targets are at risk is to adjust the verticals targeted and the marketing message to that vertical. This is an excellent strategy for companies that are struggling to find success with their current target market verticals. By exploring different target markets, companies can increase their chances of success and generate more leads. However, it is crucial to be sure that the new verticals fit your ideal customer profile and that there are enough companies and leads to provide an impact. Leadership should work closely with sales operations and use a sales intelligence platform like Zoominfo or Salesintel to find a solid lead list. They should also work with the marketing team to ensure the messaging is consistent and aligned with the target market’s pain points.
Another way to adapt is by deploying new sales sequences. Sales sequences are a series of steps that an SDR takes to book a discovery call. These steps can be automated, but they are a very smart way for SDRs to keep track of tasks and their “touches” on a lead. By creating new sales sequences, companies can modify how these “touches” happen and improve their chances of closing deals. For example, maybe the SDR has a sequence that involves 2 emails, a few LinkedIn messages, several calls, and commenting on social posts over the course of 2 weeks. Sales development representatives should be involved in creating new sales sequences to ensure that they are effective and align with their sales development goals. In the SalesLeap B2B sales training program we coach on sales sequences and see a significant spike in meetings booked when these are done right.
Urgency-based Marketing Campaigns
Running urgency-based marketing campaigns is another outbound sales technique to respond when sales targets are at risk. Urgency-based marketing campaigns tap into the psychological trigger of the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) and encourage potential customers to take action quickly. These campaigns can be effective in generating leads and increasing sales. When faced with a limited-time offer like a discount or price increase, a sales lead automatically starts to evaluate if they are comfortable letting an opportunity get away. They no longer brush it off as something they can look into later. B2B leadership should work closely with sales, marketing, and success teams to create these urgency-based or scarcity campaigns at least a few times a year.
New Marketing and Social Proof Assets
Creating new assets such as case studies, reviews, video testimonials, and email templates is another way to adapt when targets are at risk. For B2B sales, social proof is the most vital outbound sales and marketing tool you can gather or create. Social proof is when your customer talks positively about their experience with your production or service. Direct feedback from a customer is exponentially more effective than your company talking about itself. Additionally, writing new email templates to include this social proof or address common objections will give your team new tools. Below is an example of a social proof asset. Make it your mission to continually create these assets for marketing and sales to refer to.
Sales Pipeline Reviews
Regular sales pipeline reviews are a necessary chore for any sales team to optimize its outbound sales program. Pipeline reviews involve digging deep into each opportunity or lead and analyzing the potential for conversion. This analysis can help identify who to target and show areas where to improve the sales process. Scheduled pipeline reviews will ensure the sales and sales development teams know the areas where improvement is needed.
Compensation Plan Revision
Revising SDR compensation plans and creating new incentives is another essential lever to pull for B2B SaaS sales teams when targets are at risk. It's imperative to balance employee motivation, retention, and profitability to find the right mix for hitting targets. For example, you can look at the base salary, meetings scheduled, meetings held, qualified sales leads, opportunities created, or revenue generated as some KPIs to compensate for. Shifting these around can motivate sales reps to work harder and close more deals. Leadership should work closely to ensure the compensation plans and incentives align with the company's goals.
Instill End-of-day Meetings and Reports with Your Team
End-of-day meetings and reports effectively get your team on the same page and iterate on what they see trending with leads. These meetings and reports can help sales development reps stay focused, and motivated and help identify specific funnel efficiencies that could be off. Reports will provide data they can use to make hypotheses to act on during daily team meetings. This daily cadence of meetings keeps everyone on their toes and allows for quick changes to your outbound sales process.
Shadowing Calls and Supporting The Close
It’s easy for sales leaders to let their SDRs do their discovery calls once they are ramped. Leaders want to remove themselves and get back to their work; however, SDRs may start to develop habits that are not effective. From time to time, shadow calls to make sure they are staying on point. In addition to this, having the sales executive on a discovery call can sometimes expedite an opportunity. If your SDR feels good about a discovery call, have the sales leader shadow and be available when/if they have established “need” and “authority”. The leader can then jump in and quickly move into a sales call, which may expedite a closed deal. In the SalesLeap B2B sales training, we call this the “hot potato” technique, where an SDR can quickly pass a lead to sales when it looks promising.
These are just a few ways to adapt a B2B outbound sales program when targets are at risk. It is important to note that leadership should refrain from relegating to the sales team, expecting them to figure it out or presume it's their job. This is a common mistake that many leaders make. They assume their sales team can figure things out independently, but this is only sometimes the case. Sales teams need their support and guidance to be successful. This relentless focus on your team will pay off.
If your company needs help managing the Outbound sales process, this is where SalesLeap comes in. SalesLeap has a time-tested framework for companies to understand this complex, iterative Outbound sales process and the necessary adaptations and support for SDR success. Our B2B sales training program and model-as-a-service help sales and sales development teams achieve their targets by providing tools, guidance, and resources like the tips above. Our initial sales transformation has a company up and running with its own outbound sales machine in under 90 days. Once the machine serves up discovery meetings, the SalesLeap team repositions as a guide to help the company operate and optimize its outbound machine through quarterly reviews, community support, done-for-you services, fractional sales operations support, and much more.
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