Outbound Sales & the SiriusDecisions Demand Unit Waterfall

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Outbound Sales & the SiriusDecisions Demand Unit Waterfall

If you haven’t heard, SiriusDecisions released its new version of the Demand Unit Waterfall this past May at its annual SiriusDecisions Summit. There has been a lot of conversation about what the waterfall means for sales and marketing folks alike, so I wanted to share my thoughts on how it’s affecting our own SDR functionality here at EverString.

Since Hubspot’s beginning days in 2005, “inbound” has been a hot topic for the marketing community, and quite possibly the only topic. I have been studying Hubspot’s blog post, What is Inbound Marketing? where Hubspot defines inbound as “an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful — not interruptive.”

While I agree this approach is effective, I also know that combining an outbound strategy in conjunction with inbound is of the utmost importance, and the new Demand Unit Waterfall validates this concept. You can still attract, engage and close with a strong outbound approach. While inbound is great for sales teams, who wants to wait around for business to come to them? I keep hearing the phrase “You can’t buy a beer with an MQL” … and it’s so true. This blog is dedicated to highlighting how an outbound approach applies to the new framework SiriusDecisions has laid out for all of us.

Target Demand

This is the number of potential Demand Units for a solution in the defined market. We like to call it TAM, or your total addressable market. Defining your TAM can be a daunting task, no doubt about it. At EverString we are big believers in targeting accounts that look most like the customers you already have, whether they are engaged or not. This is where I have a problem with an INBOUND ONLY approach, and where the the role of an SDR becomes very important to up-and-coming businesses.

If you are an emerging business, let’s be honest – not many people know about your products or services yet. Prospects aren’t on your website and they’re not downloading your content. While marketing is providing air cover and producing content to thousands of businesses, why not have your sales team calling on the accounts you have identified as high-fit, but are not engaged?

“At EverString we are big believers in targeting accounts that look most like the customers you already have.”

Active Demand

These are Demand Units showing evidence of acute need or buying intention. We call this Intent Data. While Intent is highly valuable to marketing, we believe it is even more important for a sales org with an outbound mindset. To put it simply: Arm your outbound team with intent data and target accounts that are currently searching for your product or service first. For example, we are able to combine an EverString Fit Score with intent scores – and it’s working wonders for our SDR team because we are reaching out to the right accounts, with the right message, at the right time. Fit + Intent FTW!

Engaged Demand

This happens when a member of the Demand Unit responds to marketing, tele, or sales stimulus. The classic marketing qualified lead, or MQL. MQLs generally are a priority for inbound SDRs. If you don’t have the luxury of an inbound team, MQLs are a nice little bonus for your sales team when they are starving for meetings. Depending on how well they rank against your historical success, high-fit MQLs should be contacted first, given the fact that have engaged with your brand. SDRs will then load your leads into your dialer, and you can fire away. If you don’t have sales engagement software, check out our friends at SalesLoft. We use their platform to personalize our outreach at scale on phone, email, and social in order to deliver value to our prospects in a pleasant and persistent manner.

Prioritized Demand

This is the level of engagement from the Demand Unit once it has reached a threshold that justifies additional interactions from tele or sales resources. In my eyes, prioritized demand is the final stage of an outbound team member’s role. This is the point where account executives and prospects agree to continue down the path to purchase or part ways … at least temporarily. Account and lead scoring is useful for marketing and sales folks alike, as they allow revenue teams to focus their time and efforts on accounts that look and talk exactly like their best customers.

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