How the Manager Can Optimize your Outbound Effort

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.

You should have daily conversations with your reps, along with scheduled private retrospective meetings once a week. During the meetings, each rep should reflect upon recent activity against the daily/weekly metrics and bring to your attention any impediments he/she is facing (an impediment is anything that prevents a team member from performing work as efficiently as possible).

Ultimately, this brief meeting will enforce the idea the rep is accountable for achieving certain short-term goals, and that his/her issues or impediments will be taken seriously and resolved appropriately.

Suggested days and times: Monday morning or Friday afternoon (reoccurring scheduled meeting in Outlook Calendar.

Suggested length of time: 30 to 45 minutes.

Management recommendation: Keep brief notes about each conversation and save on desktop.

Example of a Retrospective Meeting

In this example, the company uses the Salesforce.com CRM platform and the business development representative is referred to as a lead qualification specialist (LQS). 

Review and assess activities vs. metrics and trends.

  • Review the LQS Dashboard in Salesforce.com
  • Calls vs. Call to Connect – did the LQS meet his/her weekly conversation goals?
  • Call to Connect vs. Call to Connect (Power) – are at least 1/3 of the conversations with decision makers?
  • Lead to Opportunity Conversion – LQS should briefly update the manager on details of the opportunities that he/she created and next steps in terms of pain points of prospects, preparation necessary for upcoming demos/calls, etc.
  • Bigger Picture –where does the LQS stand for the quarter? Is he/she on par for hitting quarterly goals?
  • Activity Trends – according the dashboard, how does last week’s activity compare to previous weeks’ activity?
  • If activity is down – what is the reason? Is the LQS scheduling his/her day properly?
  • If activity is up – what is the reason? If conversations/points accumulated are higher than usual, how can LQS maintain the high activity rate in the upcoming week?
  • Feedback Trends – what does the LQS hear consistently in his/her conversations with decision makers? What are their pain points, content demands, product demands? What are they saying about the market and their industry? How can this feedback be used to improve the LQS’ pitch? Can your marketing team use this information to improve the content it is providing for both the business development and sales teams?

Emphasize the positive – what’s working well?

  • What success stories/improvements does the LQS have to share from the recent week? From a management perspective, what success is the sales team experiencing due to the opportunity conversions or efforts in general of the LQS?

What are the LQS’ impediments?

  • Are there any factors preventing a team member from performing work as efficiently as possible?

Assess the current lead list that the LQS is attacking.

  • At what rate is the LQS navigating through the list (e.g., 50 new leads/week contacted at least once)?
  • How many leads remain in the LQS’ view? Is it time for a new list to be imported into Salesforce?
  • How many follow-up activities does the LQS have in his/her view? Is he/she allocating an appropriate amount of time toward completing these tasks? By Friday, there should be no follow-up activities assigned for the week left open.

Map out the upcoming week – what activities/tasks are planned?

  • How is the LQS mapping out the week/work day? Is he/she leaving each evening with a plan for the next day?

Similarly, you should have a quarterly retrospective meeting to look at the last three months as a bigger picture.

Next week will be the last post of quick start guide, and will include a sample report for communicating your results.

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