“It seems probable that once the machine thinking method had started, it would not take long to outstrip our feeble powers… They would be able to converse with each other to sharpen their wits. At some stage therefore, we should have to expect the machines to take control.” ― Alan Turning
To create a predictable outbound sales pipeline, you need to establish a sales goal you are trying to target. For example, if your goal is to sell $250,000 a month through your outbound channel alone and your average selling price is $10,000, you will need to make 25 sales that month. Twenty-five sales may seem like a small number to reach, but if we forecast the pipeline required to achieve this goal, we will find that the number of prospects needed can be significant and require an organized and optimized sales machine for you to reach your goal.
Forecasting Your Pipeline
To forecast the pipeline required to achieve your goal of 25 sales, I will be using average industry numbers, but you should use your own. Here is my initial logic on forecasting the pipeline required to achieve the goal of 25 sales:
· 192 Qualified Opportunities Required: On average, the opportunity to win rate is between 10% and 20%, so let's say to close 25 deals, you will need to get 192 qualified opportunities that your sales team will have to close. We are using a 13% win rate for our calculation.
· 1,282 Leads Required: To get those 192 opportunities, you will need to get 1,282 leads based on a 15% lead to opportunity rate. The average lead to opportunity rate is between 10% and 20%.
· 12,821 Prospects Required: To get 1,282 leads, you will need to acquire 12,821 prospects if we assume we can convert 10% to leads. The industry average is 5% to 10%)
· 64,103 Emails Required: On average, it takes seven interactions before a prospect purchases from your brand. So if we schedule an initial email sequence of 5 emails sent to each prospect, we will have room for some direct follow-up outside the sequence for additional inquiry. With five emails sent per prospect, we will need to send 64,103 emails to get to our goal.
Sending Personalized Emails from Salespeople Is More Effective
Marketing can choose to send emails from a central company account. Still, it has been proven that emails coming directly from a salesperson will have a much higher success rate in being delivered and being accepted. Here are some industry stats regarding how emails sent by sales reps and are personalized achieve better results than sending company emails:
· 99% of companies see better engagement when sending personalized emails.
· 98% of companies experience better buyer relationships when sending personalized emails.
· Personalized emails have a 29% greater open rate.
· Sending personalized emails drive 6x more transactions and have an 8x higher ROI than branded emails.
Additionally, by sending emails using one company email account, you will have a more formidable challenge sending cold emails to many prospects.
For our forecast, we will assume salespeople will be sending the 51,282 emails since they will get a much higher conversion rate.
The only challenge with using salespeople is that we have discovered that the most number of emails a sales rep can send per day is around 50 emails. On average, sales reps send 38 emails per day. Email spam algorithms start sending emails to spam if any one individual starts sending more than 50, without a solid record of consistent email sends and interactions at a higher number each day. Consequently, we will assume that sales can reach out to 200 prospects each month and send out 1,000 emails.
Required Sales Team Size Required to Achieve Your Goal
With each salesperson sending 1,000 emails per month to 200 prospects, your company will require 64 SDRs and four sales reps. Your team will be sending 64,103 emails to 12,821 prospects and qualifying your prospects to get to 1,282 leads. Then with four sales reps who, on average, can reach out to 320 leads per month, you will be well-staffed to execute on your sales goal. Remember, your SDR team of 64 SDR will need to utilize their email boxes at maximum send amounts to achieve your desired leads; if you want them to send more emails, you may want to increase your SDR team to give their inbox more capacity.
To hire such a team, just for the SDRs, it would cost you between $609,224 - $822,557 per month. This solution would give you a negative ROI between -59.96% or -69.61%, and your cost per lead would be a high $475.19 - $641.59 depending on how much you spend on your salespeople. The cost to achieve your monthly goal with an outbound sales team would not be worth it.
If you go with a sales robot approach, you would be paying $79.99 per sales robot per month, and the total cost would be $43,676 for 64 sales robots. That would give you an ROI of 472.38% and an average cost per lead of $34.1, one of the low side of costs per lead compared to other marketing channels.
With your given price point, a human sales team will not generate a positive ROI for you to hit your goal. You will most likely hit your sales goal but at a high cost. On the other hand, if you use sales robots, you will benefit, but you will have a positive ROI and a very competitive cost per lead.
Establishing A Sales Team and Getting A Predictable Sales Pipeline
By setting up a team of 64 sales robots and four dedicated salespeople who are sending 64,103 emails to 12,821 prospects each month and following up with leads and closing, you can get to a predictable sales pipeline that has a positive ROI and a low cost per lead.
As you run these sales play a few times, you will get more predictable numbers, and you will know when it is time to scale your robots and salespeople.
Sales robots have significantly made it cheaper for you to scale your outbound efforts. Also, robots allow you to stimulate additional demand for your offering before bringing on another salesperson.
If your sales team time is utilized across multiple channels, you can adjust the model to decrease the number of prospects you are targeting or increase additional sales reps.
Mike, A Typical Day For an SDR vs. AE at a Startup, June 12, 2017, Sales Bootcamp
Sun Wu, AI-Powered Sales Outreach, May 15, 2020, Strategy for Executives LLC DBA Innovatar LeadGen (May 15, 2020
Shawn Elledge, Average Cost Per Lead by Industry and Marketing Channel: Are You Overpaying? June 27, 2018, Integrated Marketing Association