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Prioritizing Prospects for Inbound Sales Development

Inbound Sales Development Reps have an interesting role in the modern sales era. As the essential “front desk” of your business, often before the Outbound SDR, their goal is to treat every inbound sales lead that walks in the door (so to speak) with the same care as a current customer.

Of course, as the name implies, Inbound Sales Development is on the opposite side of the sales prospecting gamut from Outbound Sales Development. Unlike a prospect that’s been researched and cold called, inbound prospects are typically considered “warmer” leads, having expressed interest on their end in your company through marketing content or product.

Not All Inbound Leads are Created Equal

Even though they are coming to you, contrary to popular belief, not every inbound sales lead is created equal. In order to determine what kind of action you’re going to take, it’s the job of inbound SDRs to qualify each and every inbound sales lead as efficiently as possible. And while it’s tempting to consider every inbound sales lead as a perfect potential customer, SalesLoft’s Inbound Sales Development Rep Patrick McGill knows the importance of defining your leads right off of the bat, and how to treat them throughout the inbound sales qualification process:

Every lead has a different story. The best way to show them the value of your product and follow up with them is to be up to date with what your outbound team is doing. That way, you’re using the best cadences and the best talk tracks to convert them to an appointment.

But how do you determine which cadences and talk tracks convert the right prospects? This is where a modern Account-Based Sales Development approach comes into the inbound process.

Prioritizing Prospects Through Account Tiers

An account-based approach to lead qualification is the act of prioritizing and tiering accounts based on their candidacy for the organization’s Ideal Customer Profile, or ICP. Research and information from the prospect’s LinkedIn or company website lands the prospect into one of the following account tiers:

  • Tier A – Fits the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
  • Tier B – Fits the ICP, but needs further qualification
  • Tier C/D – Does not match the ICP

The goal here is to categorize and prioritize your inbound sales prospects, and then subsequently develop separate cadences for each tier. For your Tier A accounts, create cadences with specific content targeted all the way down to the persona of the person. That means you’re not just sending generic messaging that anybody at their company would care about — you’re sending messaging that the CFO, for example, at that company would care about, specifically. These are your highest value accounts and require the most customization and care at the prospect’s persona level.

For the Tier B accounts, tailor your content to the account level, providing information specific and relevant to the company. This is a form of personalization, just not necessarily to the degree of the persona. But as for Tier C and D accounts, these are the prospects you can put into an automated cadence to provide content designed to nurture them into B accounts; which, according to a report by DemandGen, nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.

This process will ultimately save you time, as an SDR, to focus on the accounts more likely to close — which is, after all, the motivation behind creating an ICP and following an Account Based Sales Development model.

Humanize Your Inbound Process with Modern Sales Engagement

Now, while all of this information is great for prioritizing and tiering accounts — it’s useless if you’re simply using CRM to store your data. In order to put these ideas into practice, you need a modern sales engagement platform to execute, optimize, and test these account-based strategies. Consider your CRM, in most cases, Salesforce, as the home base for your sales data, but a sales engagement platform, like SalesLoft, as the vehicle for acting on that data with humanization and personalization.

According to a recent study by Wesson, sales teams with a sales intelligence solution integrated with their CRM system have seen a 36% increase in quota attainment. So, by using Salesforce to store, organize, and share your sales data amongst the other members of your sales organization, and then SalesLoft to employ a personalized sales process, where you can inject as much or as little personalization into these tailored cadences, you’re creating a modern process built specifically for customer acquisition.

Modern sales reps already know that having a dialer and email platform that integrates with their CRM can be a major boost to sales productivity. So why not use the same platform with inbound sales development? With highly personalized sales communication, your inbound strategy is already light years ahead of the overly-automated correspondence usually associated with inbound messaging.

Just like any other department within a specialized sales organization, Inbound Sales Development requires strategy in order to create an efficient process. With a pre-planned daily schedules and cadences, team-wide collaboration, and a set of rules and regulations for prioritization, the ultimate goal for an Inbound SDR is to execute the most efficient process for turning inbound sales leads into qualified opportunities for the organization.

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