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 order to have an effective outbounding team, as the CEO, you must hire an effective manager. The manager must possess integrity and be disciplined, enthusiastic, and self-directed. In addition, this person must be a true sales professional – an individual with a strong ability to communicate and a desire to be successful financially. The success of your lead generation program depends on this very important hire, so plan to conduct this job search over a period of 1 to 2 months to find the absolute best player in the market to lead your outbounding effort.
When OpenView launches a search to find sales manager candidates for portfolio companies, the three main resources used are:
1. Referrals from current employees, or people in your network
Spread the word that you are looking for a particular profile, and start first with your own team. Who do they know that meets the criteria? Sources include former co-workers, friends, college alumnae, etc. Referrals are often very successful because most employees won’t recommend a candidate unless they think the prospect has a personality that will mesh well with your company’s culture. Consider reaching out to your own network as well, and use your connections to your advantage.
Use LinkedIn not only to post the job description (it presently costs $195), but also to “head hunt.” Head hunting through LinkedIn is a bit more time consuming, but it most often yields the highest quality candidates.
Shoot for the top — search for individuals who meet your absolute ideal criteria. For example search for people who have experience in the desired industry, who have a certain number of years experience, who have experience with a specific type of CRM software, who are located in a specific city, etc.
Sample Head Hunting LinkedIn private message to someone who you are not connected with already:
I am conducting a search for a Business Development Manager for my company, XYZ. I would love the chance to speak with you to see if you or someone you know may be interested in this opportunity.
Will you please let me know if we can schedule a brief phone call so I can tell you more about the company and the role?
3. Your company’s website and social media sites
Post your job description on the career section of your website, but also consider using your social networking sites (e.g., Twitter and Facebook) and your corporate blog to promote the opening and attract a larger pool of candidates.
Once you have met the candidates and have narrowed down the pool to the top 2 or 3 candidates, get 3 to 5 references from each candidate’s former managers. Be sure to speak only with people who managed the candidate over the last 5 to 7 years.
Here is a list of questions to ask during your reference check:
- Confirm reference’s title and career track
- How long have you known the candidate? In what context?
Candidate Job Data
- To what position did the candidate report? What roles reported directly to the candidate?
- Can you describe the candidate’s job responsibilities, product/service line, size of budget, sales volume, and client list?
- What was the candidate’s total compensation — salary and bonus?
- What were the standards of successful performance in that job? How well did the candidate meet those standards? Key achievements? Any key discrepancies?
- What area could the candidate have used additional training in?
- How was the candidate regarded by:
Here is a sample job description:
Outbound Prospecting Manager
(Alternative Title: Demand Generation Manager)
The Outbound Prospecting Manager is responsible for planning, developing, and executing highly effective and measureable lead generation programs in a high-tech channel.
- Collaborate with sales and marketing to create programs that generate and nurture leads through the marketing and sales pipeline
- Manage and optimize the results of the business development team
- Deliver regular activity, ROI, and performance reports
- Determine the appropriate mix of direct marketing programs including, but not limited to, telemarketing, webinars, channel events, and other lead nurturing opportunities
- Manage the tracking infrastructure for each program
- Implement lead nurturing programs through the partner lifecycle
- Identify new lead generation channels
- Continually monitor, analyze, and tune campaigns using marketing automation tools and Salesforce.com
- 5-8 years experience in demand generation, preferably in a high-tech channel
- Proven, measurable track record of developing and executing successful demand generation programs with high return on marketing investment
- Highly experienced with Salesforce.com
- Meticulous attention to data and metrics; everything at this company is measured
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
- Strong experience in e-mail management (e.g., Constant Contact)
- B.A. or B.S. degree; an MBA is a plus
The recommended base salary range is $60-80K depending on geographic location; also consider creating a quarterly or annual bonus plan based on the team’s success.
How to Set Up a Sales Compensation Plan, by Elizabeth Wasserman
Next week, I’ll provide a a checklist for the outbound prospect manager to use to stay on track when kicking off this initiative.