Kyle Coleman: Scaling Your Outbound Engine

Posted on Jul 15, 2020

About Kyle

Kyle Coleman is the VP of Revenue Growth & Enablement at Clari.

Kyle’s foray into B2B tech sales started in 2013 when he joined Looker as the 6th employee. Over the next 6 years, he grew the SDR team from 1 to 60+ as the company scaled from $100k in ARR to $100m+, and was acquired by Google for $2.6b. Kyle is now the VP of Revenue Growth & Enablement for Clari, an AI-driven revenue operations & sales analytics platform, where he leads Growth Marketing, SDR, and Enablement. He shares with a unique perspective on how to select the outbound strategy that best suits your company stage and some of the statistics that inform that.

He’s an avid runner, a proud corgi owner, and is always looking to talk shop & trade best practices.

Growth and Enablement Teams for Outbound Sales

  • The growth and enablement team is a combination of teams that is non-traditional. The team is responsible for both creating and accelerating revenue. It's demand generation, field marketing, sales development, and sales enablement all under the single umbrella of growth.
  • Clary is a revenue operations platform that forces companies to think about revenue, not just as an outcome that happens at the end of the quarter, but as a process that can be broken down into its component parts and each one of those component parts can be optimized.
  • Creating an accelerating revenue is a component of the revenue process that can and should be broken down, examined and optimized.

The Role SDR Teams Play in Outbound Sales

  • SDR team at Looker proved that they had the capability of getting the message out to the right people at the right companies at the right time, way more so than any sort of inbound strategy really ever could on its own.
  • Before Looker was acquired by Google, it had over about a hundred million in revenue and roughly 40 million of that was outbound sourced. So the ratio of inbound versus outbound leaned more toward outbound once they had more brand awareness.
  • The SDR team is that bridge between marketing and sales. And if the success metrics are correct, they can be that connective tissue that ensures things that are happening in marketing matter to sales and the things that the sales team is seeing and hearing makes its way back to marketing. So they are the bridge that helps the flywheel across the whole rev ops or revenue organization really happen.
  • In a company's early existence they're still trying to figure out product-market fit. The SDR can get in front of as many people as possible in an accelerated way. The success criteria for SDRs at an early stage company should be meetings completed.

SDR and Company Growth

  • Once Clari figured out their ICP and the revenue team was a little bit more firmly set, they had a real demand generation presence. Then, it became far more about qualified opportunities that will turn into real pipeline for the sales team.
  • As a business matures, series B and series C, that's when it makes the most sense to start expecting your SDRs to provide more in the way of quality and specifically compensating them on not the meetings they're booking and not the opportunities they're creating, but which of those opportunities are actually qualified by the sales team that are turning into real revenue for the company.
  • Marketing can't just create leads and SDR can't just create meetings. The marketing team needs to care about which of their leads turn into meetings, turn into opportunities, turn into pipeline deals.

Outbound Sales Teams Working Cohesively 

  • Working cohesively means creating a connection across the entire pre-sales organization that builds trust with one another, that ensures everybody is speaking the same language.
  • The growth team is responsible for the entire pipeline created number of sales.
  • The SDR team is responsible for SDR source pipeline.
  • The enablement team is responsible for carrying the number four sales source pipeline.

Using Data Points in Decision-Making

  • In 2019, 83% of SDR teams missed their quotas.
  • The rise of marketing automation systems like Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot, and the rise of sales, acceleration, and automation systems caused an enormous inundation of email, phone, and social marketing.
  • Expecting more output from SDRs to yield more results now is not practical nor reasonable. However, most SDRs are still being measured on how many calls they are making and how many meetings they're setting.
  • An evolution of this model is necessary to be less about quantity and more about quality.
  • Open-rate and click-through rate are the two that matter most from a marketing perspective. However, from an SDR perspective, it's about how many meetings are you booking from the personalized emails written every week.
  • Account penetration is most important. Of the accounts that have been identified as ABM accounts, we care most about what percent are we having sales meetings with. This data is tracked on an individual level and team level.

Hiring SDR Team Members

  • Since SDRs are sending out personalized emails, hiring people from different backgrounds and perspectives can be beneficial. 
  • Understand the unique characteristics each person can bring to the role and how they can inform the process. Determine what they do uniquely well and better than anybody else on the team, and how can they train the rest of the team to incorporate that into their own style.

Outbound Sales Process in the Midst of World Crisis

  • Before the pandemic, direct mail was relied on heavily. Outbound sales strategies had to change and be more creative to weave that level of personalization.
  • Half the battle is empathizing with the growth initiatives or the key initiatives of the company. And then you need to figure out how to segue from those initiatives into your company's value proposition.
  • Do the research and find the right way to creatively segue into why you provide value to them.

Find Ways to Allow People to Be Successful

  • Adjusting to levels of seniority and change who has what conversations with clients.
  • Leadership's role is to cascade what needs to happen and why it needs to happen from a company or department's strategy standpoint. Leadership can give a framework, but the people actually doing the work are the ones that evolve the process.

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About the podcast

The RevAmp podcast derives from two words: Revenue + Amplification. This series has been produced specifically to give a voice to the sales and revenue operations professionals who have invaluable experiences to share. We have seen the scope for this role, as well as the recognition, expectations, and tools have rapidly changed over the last couple of years. The reality is that there are not enough high-quality resources for fellow professionals to use as a benchmark or learning curve. DealHub knows how important it is to be well resourced so we have put together this RevAmp podcast for your benefit.

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Topics: Featured, Process Building, KPIs, Executive Alignment