What You Can Expect in an Outbound Program

This is a part of a series that was cre­at­ed to help you get the prac­tice of out­bound prospect­ing built into your com­pany.  This series will walk through the process, nec­es­sary roles, in addi­tion to guides for each role to help your com­pany get started quickly.  In the next few posts, I’ll be releasing the contents of a quick start guide for the outbound prospecting manager to use to attain success during this process.

What are the Metrics for Success in Outbound Prospecting?

The success metrics for the outbound prospecting initiative must be defined before you start interviewing candidates. Why? The candidates need to understand what will be expected of them and what they will need to be prepared for. This doesn’t mean that these metrics will never change. After the first quarter, if your initial metrics were unreasonable, make some adjustments.

There are two types of metrics to consider: process metrics and individual metrics:

  • Process Metrics:
    • Conversion rate
    • Time to conversion
    • Number of new opportunities created
    • Dollar value of opportunities created
    • Number of activities to convert
    • Cost of converting
  • Individual Metrics:
    • Activities per day/week/month
      • Calls
      • E-mails
      • Conversations
      • Opportunities

The metrics that OpenView typically advises its expansion stage portfolio companies to hold their business development representatives to are:

Calls: 60/day
Conversations: 10/day
Opportunities generated: 2/day

These metrics obviously will differ from company to company, depending on how well you know the segment you’re calling into, the quality of the leads, etc. However, for the most part, we have found that these three KPIs make for a very successful program.

What counts as a call?

A call is a conversation, a voicemail, a hang up, or an interaction with an operator/administrator. Basically every time you pick up the phone and dial, it should be recorded in the CRM as a call.

What is a conversation?

A conversation is a verbal interaction with someone within a target company who is a) the decision maker (the goal), or b) someone who gives you a great deal of information about the decision maker (contact information, personality, schedule, etc.), buying process, and/or the type of software/services that the company is currently using.

What is an opportunity?

Generating opportunities is the most important aspect of the business development representative’s role. The definition of an opportunity can vary by business, however we recommend the following:

  • The decision maker has communicated a pain point that your software/solution can help solve
  • The decision maker has listened to your value proposition
  • There is a need to buy within the next 90 days
  • The decision maker is open to the next step — a call/demo with an account executive

Next week, I’ll post some useful tips on how to create, prioritize, and deliver your outbound campaign.

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