Hiring an Outbound Lead Generation Company vs. SDR

By: Jack Reamer |
 May 15, 2023 |

Hiring an SDR is a great idea. 

We know this because if you go on Linkedin there are thousands of well-paid SDRs who are making money for themselves and for their companies. 

But what we have learned though, is that having a sales team doesn’t always work for every company.

Don’t panic though. 

It’s easy to see if hiring an SDR will work for your company. And if an SDR doesn’t seem like a good fit, hiring an agency will be the better choice. 

Here’s how to figure out which option is best for your business. 

(With over a decade of experience, SalesBread has helped b2b companies with their lead generation efforts. Within the past 24 months, we have helped our clients book over 7000 qualified leads. We guarantee 1 lead per day. If this sounds good to you, let’s talk. Free 15-minute strategy call. ) 

Do you already have someone doing outbound with success? 

This could be you as the founder, or it could be an employee. Perhaps you have carved out the time to send some cold emails, or do outreach on Linkedin, and it’s working for you.

Your booking calls, closing those calls and your time is being compensated for your efforts. 

If that’s the case, hire a sales development rep now because it’s so easy to just do the math to make sure the numbers work.

It’s like:

The Number of hours spent doing outbound, and then writing that down. Then determine the cost of your SDR

If it’s $20 per hour for your SDR and it takes you 10 hours of work to land 1 meeting, that’s $250 spent.

And if it takes 5 meetings to close a $1000 deal, it’s obvious that those numbers make sense. 

If that’s the case, then you shouldn’t be afraid to hire a sales rep

Do you have the time?

Your work as the founder or manager then becomes finding the right candidates, which takes time.

 For example, here are some things that you would have to do:

  • You need a really good recruitment post. 
  • You need to share it on social media
  • You need to work your network
  • You need to interview different candidates 
  • You need to get rid of the ones who don’t have enough experience.
  • You need to test out a few good ones

And by the way, if you’re here at this step, we recommend reading a book called: Built to Sell – Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You,  by John Warrillow. 

Basically, this book encourages founders to hire at least 2 SDRs in one go, because one of them will outperform the other. You can also figure out some kind of “reward-compensation” so that they are more motivated to do deals for you. 

And then once you hire the right person, you have to ensure that you train them properly. Whether you want them to handle cold email outreach, cold calling, or even Linkedin outreach.

You need to train them up to a point where they would be just as good as you, or even better than you.  

If that’s you and you have the time and you know EXACTLY which lead generation strategies to use, then by all means go ahead and hire an SDR

BUT… For the rest of us, who just don’t have the time, a lead generation service might be the better option.

Here’s why…

Maybe you find yourself in this situation. 

You have a company, and yes you’re making sales but a lot of it is through referrals or inbound marketing.

Or maybe you’re a startup and you haven’t yet found a proven way to turn prospects into qualified leads that convert into clients.

And if the above situation sounds familiar, this is where a lot of businesses go wrong.

They decide to hire an SDR for like $60K a year, thinking that they will be a smart person, and know exactly what they need to do. 

(By the way: Check out our article on business development rep salaries in the USA. Turns out El Paso is the cheapest place to hire a sales rep.)

But that’s what we’re trying to get at. An SDR is not going to save the day if you don’t have a b2b lead generation strategy in place that’s already working. 

If you’re hoping that they are going to be a good strategist, knowing how to build out this outbound sales process, reaching out cold, and then winning those deals… We’re going, to be honest, it’s a recipe for disaster. 

Why?

Because you haven’t validated which sales channel would be the best for your business. You don’t have a proven lead generation process in place just yet. 

And if you hire an SDR hoping that they will do all of this for you, you’re going to find yourself really frustrated. 

Because after 2 months, you have no b2b sales leads, and the SDR is happy because they feel you have an unsellable product, and they aren’t getting the commissions they were promised. 

So then the contract ends, and no one is happy. 

And it’s not the SDRs fault; It’s also not entirely your fault as the founder either. 

You just didn’t build this outbound lead generation strategy correctly…

Think about this:

There’s a story of how the Wright brothers built their airplane.

Because there were no internal combustion engines back then to fit the specific needs of their aircraft, the Wright brothers, along with Machinist Charlie Taylor, built a 4-cylinder engine that delivered 12 horsepower and weighed 170 pounds. 

Initially, the plane took off but crashed. 

Luckily there wasn’t much damage, but then the next flight Orville Wright decided to use the help of the wind to help the plane take off. This first flight lasted 12 seconds and was the first powered flight. 

Eventually, over time these planes were improved upon and scaled to what we see today.

So the moral of the story, when it comes to outbound lead gen:

First, get a lightweight solution that works. 

Even if it’s you doing lead generation campaigns on your own until you see results, or paying an agency… 

You want to hire an SDR when you have a process that works. You should be able to give your sales rep a strategy that you know works for generating leads

You should be able to tell them, if they follow this specific strategy for 10 hours, they should be generating 10 potential leads a day. 

Respect the process. 

Only hire an SDR when you feel comfortable that you have a foolproof sales playbook. As long as they follow these marketing strategies, you know that potential customers will come through the door. They’re going to get paid, you’re going to get paid.

If you don’t have this strategy in place and you’re only relying on referrals it’s not time to hire an SDR, it’s time to hire an agency. 

Rather hire an agency. 

Why?

Because this is what they specialize in and they can generate quality leads quickly. SalesBread gets fired if we don’t deliver results immediately. We tell our clients to expect 20+ high-quality new leads in the first 4 weeks, and thereafter. 

We come in and shorten the learning curve for you.

We know what works with sales outreach, we know what works with personalization, and we know what works with list building. 

SalesBread can very quickly and efficiently help you build out a strategy that works.  

What we also tell our clients is that when you’re ready to hire an SDR, by all means, we will share notes, testing results, the strategy,  which target audience list has been performing best, and even tips on copywriting.

You can just pick up where we left off.

Or you could use a hybrid solution…

It’s actually not about hiring an agency or an SDR

For some companies, it’s not either or.

It’s a hybrid solution.

A Lot of companies today are choosing a hybrid model. 

And this is what it is:

Choose an agency for 2-4 months that can bring to the table years of prospecting and lead generation experience.

They will show you right away the right and wrong ways to do outbound marketing

And once this process is proven, you can just collect notes from the agency and share them with your SDR

As long as they do the work that they say they are going to do and follow the step-by-step lead generation process, you’re going to have a great relationship with that sales rep; Then you’re going to be happy to see your company making sales and revenue. 

Some extra resources to consider:

Which is better?

As you can see, it isn’t either or. You have to consider if you have the time and experience to hire an SDR

Do you have a strategy in place that’s already working?

If not, outsourcing your lead gen to an agency might be best. 

Even if it’s just for a few months. 

They can help you build a refined prospect list, come up with the best lead generation strategy and help you execute it. 

You could even use a hybrid approach.

But if you would like more high-quality leads in your sales pipeline, ASAP… 

Let’s talk. 

SalesBread guarantees 1 qualified lead per day or your money back. 

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