Sales Development Experiment: Switch Your Best Outbound Reps to Inbound

ISDCDo you assign your most experienced sales development representatives to inbound lead response or outbound dialing campaigns?

For years, the sales industry has mostly operated under the assumption that the most experienced and talented reps belonged on outbound teams.

XANT decided to challenge this assumption by moving our most seasoned outbound reps to inbound leads.

The experiment revealed that this simple tweak to the old sales development model can immediately yield revenue increases as high as 66 percent.

Immediate impact

A team of six highly experienced specialists was strategically placed on the sales floor alongside 18 other inbound specialists.

These six made an outsize contribution by accounting for 59 percent of the total revenue generated by the team of 24.

These six top performers — who made up one-quarter of the total team headcount — also increased overall appointments set by 38 percent during the first five-week period.

A sale will most likely go to the first company to respond to a qualified lead. By assigning our best reps to hot, inbound leads, we generated more qualified opportunities for our closers faster and more efficiently.


Innovation drives results

Visionary XANT CEO Dave Elkington devised the idea for the experiment. It was eagerly received by managers of the sales development inbound team, Alec Erickson and Taft Rasmussen.

“Think about it,” Rasmussen said, “marketing searches out the best leads and we don’t want to give them to inexperienced reps. We want people who have experience and know how to handle these high-quality leads.”

Motivation increases productivity

The experiment proves that sales specialization drives real business results.

The strategy not only increased total dials and appointments set, it noticeably boosted productivity as a sales department.

“We were given the challenge of proving everyone wrong,” said Ryan Dance, a member of the special sales development team. “And boy, did we do that.”

Skill clearly matters

An obvious strategy that surfaced from closely monitoring the experiment was the importance of hiring the right person for the appropriate job.


Erickson said it helped to weed out employees who weren’t in alignment with the vision of the company.

“When the six came on, dials across the floor completely dropped almost in half and some people left,” she said. “But quickly, appointments went up and the number of conversations increased as well.”

Rasmussen said the lessons learned from the experiment will help push the whole team to exceed last year’s number.

“For the last two months, we’ve had the two best consecutive months we’ve ever had in the company,” Rasmussen said. “And it’s all because we’re giving the best leads to the best people.” 

Would this experiment work for you?

XANT is still assessing the costs and benefits of assigning more experienced reps to inbound leads. Initial results look promising, and we will continue to monitor the team’s progress.

The best way to find out if this approach will work for you is to test it and measure the results. These types of experiments are crucial if you want to optimize your sales performance.

Want to learn more sales development best practices?

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How to Build a World-Class Sales Development Team

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