The SDR/BDR model is broken. Moreover, the use of AI is a glaring light showing everything that is wrong with it. While we’re carrying out our day-to-day, our inboxes, voicemails, and DMs are flooded with generic messages filled with unattainable results reading something like…
“Hi Ben, are you a service provider? What if I came into your business and gave you 50 qualified leads and 2 closers to work them per month? What would that do to your business? Here’s how confident I am…if my closers don’t deliver you don’t pay. 100% money back guarantee. They do what they do best, close. They don’t fail. Are you ready to get rich?”
That doesn’t work. Plain and simple. If you’re doing that, please, stop now.
In today’s edition, I am going to breakdown the individual issues with that model, and why the Allbound model will drastically improve your results.
Allbound Sales Velocity is my guiding metric for B2B Business Development and Lead Gen. Ultimately the guiding metric for all Marketing. This is the simplest way to create synergy between sales and marketing.
Sales Velocity is a function of how much pipeline moves through your funnel to closed/won over a period of time. The length of your sales cycle determines the input by which you divide.
Sales Velocity = (Win Rate x Sales Qualified Opportunities Created x Annual Contract Value) / (Sales Cycle / 91 Days)
If you’re not a service provider, you can exchange ACV for Average Deal Value.
I believe that measuring and reporting on this quarterly is optimal, hence the 91 days in the equation to normalize the data. That said, if your sales cycle is longer, you can break it down into halves.
Here is why:
Inbound Leads Are Not Equal. In fact, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are 99% garbage. They’re either filled with the 1% of folks who actually want to talk to sales – but the majority of them just filled out a form with potentially false information at some point in the funnel.
We Are Wasting Our Most Valuable Leads. The 1% mentioned above, our most valuable leads are more often than not neglected by our SDRs, Marketing, or maybe even the sales rep by the inbound process.
The folks are doing their due diligence. Talking to 2 or 3 different vendors, they want a quick demo, pricing, and to learn the primary points about your product. They’re usually doing this in the same 30 minutes to 1 hour window that they’re reaching out to your competitors.
Research shows us that the first vendor to respond usually wins the deal. Unfortunately, instead of getting these highly valuable leads in front of an experienced sales rep, they’re often talking to an SDR whose entire goal is just to move them to the next call with the sales rep. The SDR is trained to push them to get budget info, purchasing authority, timeline, etc. They add NO value. See you later high-quality lead.
The Majority of Inbound Leads Really Are Outbound Leads. The other 99% are, for the most part, just outbound prospects who have interacted with some piece of marketing content at some point in your funnel. Your SDRs are just trained to call these folks and blow up their inboxes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling prospects, but that’s an outbound process and it needs to be measured as such.
Outbound Leads Are Inferior. Inbound SDRs are cranking out cold calls and emails, while Outbound SDRs and AEs are doing the exact same thing with a different list of prospects. The wild part is usually the prospects the outbound folks are reaching out to haven’t even interacted with any of your marketing! The most experienced reps are working on the worst leads list you have.
Why? Just take a minute and say that out loud to yourself, then give yourself 60 seconds to think it through.
Yep, you hit the nail on the head! It’s not a smart strategy.
The Solution. Route that 1% to your experienced AEs and Sales Reps. The best case scenario would be to do that directly through automation to increase the speed to lead and shorten the overall sales cycle. It will increase your win rate.
It will take some testing and iteration to get it right, but either way, valuable leads need to be talking to experienced folks as soon as possible.
Automating your business is challenging and takes time away from what you’re great at. That’s what I am here for. Let’s get started.
Treat the 99% of Leads as Allbound Leads. The 99% of MQLs need to be handled in an efficient way, that leverages technology to create automation and speed; while routing them to the most capable reps to convert them.
Without going into too much detail on the individual metrics used to prioritize, we’re looking to identify the best companies and contacts to prospect. The prioritization is based on everything we know about their company, the people in those companies, how they’ve engaged our brand, and what signals exist in the market on their intent to buy a product like ours. We then rank the best ones to maximize our chances of reaching them, and most importantly engaging them.
Segmentation & Iteration. At this point, we are sitting on a giant pile of leads (the 99%) ranked by priority. The next step is to combine all available data and segment these lists to make it easier for the reps to put the right messaging in front of them. We are segmenting by industry, role, and a few more demographics so we have the best chance to convert these MQLs to meetings, then to pipeline addition, and ultimately closed/won revenue.
Iteration is key. Every quarter you must take what you have learned and iterate for your company.
Chris Walker from Refine Labs laid this out yesterday and I loved it. It inspired this entire issue. I have quoted it below: “
1. 3 of the 4 metrics for the pipeline velocity calculation are made from CLOSED WON deals. No better way to get aligned with your sales team than optimizing for closed won revenue metrics.
2. Different than "influenced revenue", sales velocity positions Marketing as a key revenue driver, especially when that metric is growing every single quarter.
3. It's much easier (and simpler) to defend your budget, prove ROI, and make a clear business case for an increased budget to scale programs when you measure marketing this way.
4. Most companies only think about getting “more top of funnel pipeline” but this calculation acknowledges that there are multiple angles to drive accelerated growth. Cutting your sales cycle length by 50% has the same effect on growth rate as doubling the amount of pipeline you create during a period.
5. Then, you can calculate sales velocity BY PIPELINE SOURCE.
6. And compare sales velocity between your primary pipeline & revenue sources - Events, Website High Intent Conversions, Outbound Calls, Content Syndication, Incentivized Demos with Gift Cards, etc.
7. That will show you where to focus & how to optimize. Just because one source creates more “pipeline” doesn’t mean it drives faster growth for your business.
To illustrate this concept in real life, I just finished an analysis with a Series D company that’s been partnered with Refine Labs for the past 2 fiscal years. And here are the results:
1653% increase in Sales Velocity. And breaking that down:
Sales Cycle -41%
Qualified Pipeline Created +487%
SQO Win Rate +100%
The goal of B2B Marketing is to MAKE SALES EASIER. By driving more pipeline, higher sales velocity, and significantly stronger sales productivity. That's the goal.
If you want your Marketing team to be deeply aligned with Sales, maybe it’s time to score your team on Sales Velocity.
p.s. Go-To-Market KPIs and attribution are not the same thing. KPIs (like Sales Velocity) give you top level insights on overall performance. KPIs, when structured appropriately, give you the opportunity to benchmark performance against peers.
KPIs = Objectively, is our GTM strategy working?
Attribution = What low ROI programs should we cut? Where are there opportunities to scale results at high ROI?”
If you made it this far, that means you needed to learn more. Let's expand on that together and talk. Book time with me here.