We are frequently asked what results and ROI can be expected from outbound sales.
We’ve talked about this before, but to recap, here are some requisites:
1. You have a product or service which has at least £2,000 average customer value.
2. You can clearly define your target market and buyer.
3. You can frame your product or service as unique (even if it isn’t).
4. There is a proven need for your product or service.
If you’re struggling to answer yes to the above, you may have a hard time justifying a full on outbound sales system. I’m not saying it won’t work, just that it’s going to be harder (the big exception to this is if you’re just starting out, doing some market testing and ROI isn’t a consideration. See this post if you’re a startup).
If you can answer yes to those requirements then we can start to get an idea of ROI.
But first, a disclaimer – Results May Vary. Hugely. I’ve run campaigns that have had zero results. Nothing. Conversely, we’ve seen campaigns that have had 35%+ conversion rates from a standing start (that’s actual sales, not leads – cold hard cash). So results will vary from company to company, market to market and product to product.
Recently, we aggregated results from a number of outbound campaigns in a varied mix of markets, companies and products/services (all UK based). We discounted some high and low anomalies and the resulting campaigns actually ended up looking very similar:
1 – Prospect to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) conversion of 2% – 5%
2 – SQL to Customer conversion of 10% – 30%.
In the main, the campaigns followed accepted best practices for outbound sales and (most importantly) all prospects were consider targeted and relevant.
Therefore, for each rep reaching out to 50 new prospects a day you can expect:
1 – 5 to 10 new SQL’s a week
2 – 4 to 12 new customers a month
If you’re getting less than that, it’s likely you’re not truthfully answering yes to requisite 2 and 3. Or you think you are, but you’re wrong and you need to do some more research.
It also follows that the higher the price of what you’re selling, the lower the number of new customers you’ll get. If you’re selling a service with a £100,000 average customer value then you’ll likely be very happy with a 1% SQL conversion. If your value is £1,000 you’ll need to make sure you’re optimising every step of the process to hit those high conversion rates.
And that’s why requisite 1 is important. Unless you have a customer value of greater than £2,000 you might find it a struggle to get a decent ROI from outbound sales.
But, going back to my disclaimer – results may vary and every business if different. I’d love to hear your experiences so feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.