B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 5 months ago

105: Internal & Outsourced SDRs: A Hybrid Approach to Sales Development w/ Elaine Chan


In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to successfully scale and grow your business without the help of outside partnerships. That’s why a hybrid sales development team might be your best bet.

Elaine Chan, former Sr. Director of Inside Sales at Illumio, joins the show to share how outsourced SDRs infuse your inside sales program with a useful diversity of knowledge and skill.

We discuss what it means to have a hybrid team, the advantages and challenges of hybrid models versus employing an internal team, and the most effective usages of a hybrid model.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

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O You're listening to be to be revenueacceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sails and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show, I welcome to be to be a revenueacceleration. My name is Bonamici went ear today with Ellen Chan, Senordirector of inside sense. In fact, the person a have you potmettal with acouple of time, if I'm not mistaking an, I think we ard centrifuge walk togetherand more recently, illumina. That's right, and how are you today and doinggreat thanks for having me on your podcast? This is exciting absolutepleasure. We always speak so so ously the rest of the time about all thethings we are doing and conversion rate and stuff like that is going to be goodto have a little bit more of a side. Conversation today boy, I read modelfor dbut. We want to talk about today, but before we get into the conversation,would you mind just giving us a little bit of background about yourself? Nine,absolutely so I am a bit area, California native, so I work here inCalifornia and really I sort of grew my career in inside sales and the tech beto be space, so I've had the opportunity to kind of do what it isthat I do in terms of building up inside sales teams so that we could leverage a team of salesprofessionals to really build sales, pipe wine and revenue. So it's been atwo decade. Career find that continue to continues to go strong good todecades. Time flies by it is yeah, particularly when we werelocked at home. I feels like glass job was going so quick, so so you've been leading search.Development Team for two decades you mentioned so so have a lot ofexperience in managing in to people and as well as external people. So so,first of all, before we get into the most, do must not do what's yourdefinition of the Abri Tim, so I would define the Hybati as really leveragingand extending what is normally kind of your full time, employees into kind ofleveraging partnerships right. I think, if anything that I've learned in theyou know span of my career, things are always changing and the more diversitythat you bring intefere inside sales programs, the the more scale that youcan develop for success right, especially in technology. It is sorapidly changing that your tactics need to evolve very quickly. Messaging needsto continue to grow as fast as the market changes and the more street onthe the more feet on the street, the more knowledge that you have fromdifferent pockets of expertise, the better you can navigate and grow andchange and evolve yeah. That makes sense so from your experience, and we know thatyou you've been a. We talk about every tin that we'll beable to compliment each other pretty well. Are we talking about people thatwill be doing inbound response management and also out bound and alsoinside seves? Is that is that the first colitis anything the missing? In that Iread mode? I think it could mean a lot of different things for differentcompanies right in the different companies that I've worked at I've used,kind of a hybrid model or I've used internal versus external resourcesdifferently. So, for example, you know earlier in my career, it wasn't aspopular to use third party resources. They weren't as available as I feellike. The market has now has really opened up for inside sales,and so there's a lot more companies today that offer these types ofservices. Then, let's say ten fifteen...

...years ago, were really the only servicethat you could lever from a hybrid perspective was use a third party toget appointments and just get in the door. What I have seen evolved overtime is really specialization that allows you to leverage third partiesbeyond disappointment, setting you can almost use them and almost the bestpractices to expand your existing infrastructure through a third party toget more reach and get more scale, and you know treat them as an extended partof the internal ecosystem yeah. I think I think that makes us and we definitelyfelt that way when we walked with you in it. I recall at some point: we werekind of a fix like almost like the the end on the hole in the Boke, becauseyou may have someone that has been Matania or whatever it would be aEjestein someone to do a short term replacement as well as t potentially isthe new function, or we were doing it that way, but we're thinking aboutdoing it. This way we all real now to get going quickly. Can you guys coinerputs that makes perfect sense. So is that what would be the best Sinai to doto Debra and I Brettan from Your Gospel experience in which, in which way D itwork? The best hat was others anoyed to be into yeah? So you know, I think,where I've leverage, third party or like a hybrid model, I've actually doneit several different ways and including what you shared. You know there may betimes where you need coverage because of changes on the team. I'veexperienced situations where you know with product launches. You need to do aspecial form of messaging and really do it a bit more kind of think tankresearch, so building out a special campaign and a special team to helpfigure out how to build that out before you invest a lot of that time intobuilding up an internal team leveraging third parties to do things very quicklyat scale and to really help with messaging that hasn't necessarily beenproven out. That's been an area that I think a third party has really lendedtheir expertise. You know I've actually also done some interesting things whereworking in tact there's a lot of channel based business, and you knowsometimes when you're, just building up that channel based programs, there'snot necessarily an opportunity to have an internal team work special callcampaigns, but really leveraging a third party to do. Joint CHANE programsis allowed inside sales to scale beyond what an internal team has the capacityor the time commitment to do so. That's another area that I've seen leveragingthird parties really built scale and then really. Lastly, I think there aremany areas at which language specialization is required and having afull time, employee cover an area that requires that can get very expensivebuilding that internally, so leveraging a third party allows you to really getthe scale and also that specialization that's needed in certain pockets of theworld that require specific languages. Yeah, that's true: We've been cuttingin the sing a few people for you in the best yeahs, but which is great. Youknow this is one of the value. If for one, if you can get too long wages, youknow, that's, that's that's value, so that that's what we that's actuallywhat we are pretinses, one of for us talking about all that. So if you areto speak about pros and cons of inside verses outside- and I guess you knowfor you clear- the best word is a bit of both, but there is clearly presenton an besets start with the inside team. What would be, from your perspective,the pros and cons of of just binding...

...everything and doing everything in elseyeah? I think there are kind of pros and cons for for everything really, butyou know the pros of having an internal team. You know you can cultivate andtruly have an you know, a team that is interlock with the company successright. Typically in tech. You know, people join exciting start uptechnology companies because of the EQUI equity opportunity to be a part ofof a company, and so, as you build a team, you really have their heart andsoul poured into the success of the company. And so you know that's a greatthing as you cultivate an internal team. Is You have that commitment and thatyou know the blood flows with the passion to really help that company besuccessful? But you know there's also the con to it in that it takes a lot oftime for management to build and train and develop and scale that team, andsometimes you don't have the time or the scale to do something like that,and so there there are often opportunities where leveraging a thirdparty to move very quickly. You know, especially for start up companies thatare just getting started, to figure out what that longer term scale could be,and so you almost can start with an outsource company and then eventuallybring things internal as you determine and establish the Rinon repeatabilityof what sales development does Yeah Yeah Libra is rung. I think the topethat have been discussing farmans recently and you are the perfect personto discuss it with because, as you said, your boat, an bread in thebay area, you know been walking in that space in for for for amount of time isthe lack of talent. You know- or maybe the de like of silence, or let me put apositive spin on that- the the amount of demand- because I thinkk, I thinkyour is your friend- your family- have grown o a time. But, as you know, we started our business Oporites. We are basing sanus downtown and she at the bottom of Sun, Bigorre,fantastic marsh great bat, absolutely could go for a so fresh beers. Afterafter a ARHEEA, which is what was, I was lovely but yeah, we had to stop it because twoissues, Fostivar, is that getting talents was competitive and difficult.Do you had we had to kind of we had to focus on recruiting people who have the right profile, thus use the righthistory, because technically with people who are ready only on thatcareer did not really know what they want to do, and there is a risk wittabecause they starting began two weeks later. They don't like it. They sawthat they would like it, but they don't blake it. I then, too think that it wasquite a is people who start to become good and literally for the CommotionWithin Premonte. You know it was a Goin stret or they want to start their owncompany or wet some guy starting your brewery, not for long. You probably itfor two weeks, but there is a sort of mind set of rion propone Al People, and we found it extremely difficult.Not that we don't F, we don't find. We found it difficult. We found thedifficulties in the loyalty of the stuff and being able waiting, so thedifficulty was more in in having some sort of consistency.Okay, what's your views on that? I mean doyou because most of Felim have been built in the bay area. Have you adifficulties that you experience, that is it becoming more difficult, morechallenging? You know, I think it's always been a challenge right. I thinkfinding talent is always the hardest challenge and you know any role in anyposition right. It cost a lot of money to find the right talent to retain themand to develop them in the bay area.

There certainly is, the you know, is abig demand for you know hungry. You know smart intelligence, passionatesales, people and, but I would say in the time that I havebeen doing what it is that I do. I have seen this role really expand to otherpockets of the country and of the World Right, Yoo kind of know, as an insidesales leader, that there are certain areas that are hot spots. For for goodtalent. You know, Utah has been building up. I've had a team there, youknow Boston's a big hub for inside sales on an you, almost find a lot oftech companies and inside sales, hot spots kind of build up, because whenthere's the demand- and there are- you know- always newer graduates from college that wantto get into technology and want to get into sales, there's talent, but itmoves so quickly that you need to be quick at finding the right talentbuilding them up, and you know having that career path, to drive them tocontinue to invest in you know the company and to build that career withyou and it does get very challenging, which is sort of like having the thirdparties come in to help with that coverage as you're going through theeds and flows of you know, team development having a third party be ahybrid part or an extension of that team. Just kind of builds thatconsistency, yeah yeah yeah. We that's kind of technically we've done exactlywhat you what you just describe with. You are thinking about, potentiallyopening a Otori North America in Potta in Europe. We ve rest. So of that issueto in Europe with with decided to do, is to get out of the hub, because ifyou get into a island or Bassalona where there is lots of native speakers,what we've seen going is that or what I'se happening is people. So let's sayyou are a Russian or you are from the Middle East, which are too long. Weorative ly difficult to get by for that sort of prod the Russian guy would bein island. So there is my fee. There is er, it's not mention in evendown, Ke,five or ten CIPOS rity vendor and point vendor of big names around there andthe same gage will go from one company to the other. Every six months, withthe same recruiter. Increasing I salary by finite and literally eighteen monthslater, come back to the first place and start a syce again doing the same joband just getting more money as time goes by, because you know the semeroethem and people are fighting for or for the shortage of frangais. So what willyou say to do in the UG's is to sort south of London where we don't have alot of competition around us? So it's very unique what we are pan and that'sfine, but in the US we started in in Texas, so in Dallas, when you did nothave a lot of companies that were doing what who are doing das, but they willpaynow, the competition is piece so we've got, we've got. We've got a bitmore of a difficulty to recruit because there results of competition inrecruitment, getting people out of Hunia like that. But again, one of thegreat news at we we came to we discovered last year. Unfortunately,WIS WISC, which is not a good news, is the fact that we can become a complete,invisible organization. People can walk from m a concept that myself I was nottoo Kino. I wanted my ham to be is one to feel the atmosphere. So we stillhave a good part of the team that are in your face, but it can of open up thehorizon in time of the people that you could get to join. The team and open upto you to new places potentially to get her to get new comers coming in movingon to the at so smooth or what what have been the shot coming, that you'veseen from from out soucing the difficulties that you added and by allmen. If you free to discuss about some of the difficulties you may have hadwalking with a Stoboei as well, because...

...you know we have to be wines and to thepoint, and I'm sure that you know when we have a difficulties we walk togetherto to overcome them yeah. I I think I think the most difficult part issometimes there's a misconception that when you leverage a third party thatyou can just hire them and sort of set it and forget it and the reality is,you cannot right the the care and feeding that you would typically putinto an in house team. You still need to do a lot of that. You know trainingthe team having ongoing cadences to be sure that there's a good flow ofexpectations, and you know that as objections and new situations arisethat that that require the vendors expertise to teach and and improve kindof the messaging. There needs to be a type in a very close relationship with with the outsource agency, and so Ithink, that's probably the the one challenge is really knowing and committing toproviding the time and the coverage to help support that agency to besuccessful right to be a part of of the company. I think that's one of thechallenges that often times come up is that learning curve of understandinghow much you do need to to put towards the care and feeding of of a thirdparty. I think the the other challenges in a hybrid model. You have an internalteam and you have a external team building up the right culture so thatyou know a little bit of healthy competition is always a good thing, sothat that's a positive but also creating that healthy dynamic ofcompetition and making sure that operational y. If you're, going toleverage a third party and the in house team to cover in ban leads, how do youdo that or, if you're doing an inbound versus out them model, the theconundrum that most inside sales leaders come about is if someone isspending their time, trying to break into a target account and then all of asudden there's an inbound lad for that target account. Did that come as aresult of that person's heavy lift of really trying to break into thataccount so building out that structure so that you could really have cleanlines of division of Labor. It takes time and it takes kind of thatoperational commitment to be sure that you can divide and conquerappropriately with the internal team and the external yeats not impossible.It just takes time coordination, collaboration between your ofsea andyou know the inside sales team and that work around with the agency yeah. Now Ithink that that makes perfect sense in Tom. In Tomb of the first point, it's a it would ta the Socon Point, actually the best protected. We do more in noiseto actually make the team together and get people to a tray have a little bitof that healthy competition, as you mentioned, so see, to make sure that wecompel, because it's actually quite proul- that we operate in the same wayas on clients with operates with most of the case or clients. Team would getkind of t e, the inbound the people coming in and showing interest. So it'smore of the development tronic where they may use US more for the ABS typeof things Wut. You can be sitting in the practice no, but we still find away to get into account and we find equivalent to other sort of actecompete and getting the team to meet with each other when we can. Of course,I I run, but even if it's a room go getting to know each other and we'vegot some fantastic program where usually the internal team were oftenmore knowledgable thaness, because they spent more time in training because, asI mentioned, they do, the development store rose in the practice rule. Thereare more in depth with the products...

...they are closer to. The prospect needfrom a person at DOS petie. We can actually get a ton of information fromthem and lots of old story that can enoree practice team to be successful.But then they are so very interested is interesting to see, as you mentioned.Sometimes the practice team got, but you don't really get the success fromthe pract when you come back from an in bound because the people that you'vebeen touching so yeah, it's about the Falins is important and when we've gotthe team walking together thinking that they're competing with each other, it'sthe best possible way to make it work. I think that's a really important partpoint that you make because in the different ways that I've worked withtheir parties and even in the different ways that I've worked with operaticsfrom company to company or even within the company, we continue to evolve andchange the dynamics of the team to grow faster.And so you know I can say, like a alumina, we started off having operatichelp out with some of the Inban coverage, because we had had someinternal changes in the company and you know later ended up shifting into reversingthe model, as we built up that internal team to then be ready to take more ofthe in bounds and then leverage th. The third part of our levers, Auger tics inthis case, to really focus on some of the target accounts to really help usget into the companies that we had a hard time getting into and so thatfluidness of being able to morphin evolve. That relationship is key and itcomes in forms of also connecting the different team members and so one ofthe natural things that I still happen is you know a good example is in ourEurope operations. We tie our internal wraps and the operatic team veryclosely. So when we're doing our weekly meetings, we've got representatives onthe internal team and operatics working together to share their experiences andto help each other out on accounts that you know, may need a little bit of teamworking on appreciate that and a yeah. It has been working pretty well andthat's the thing you want. I think, from the sort party prospective what wewant to make sure we provide that flexibility as and it's easy to bringflexibility. So, coming back to the first point, you mentioned some of thekind of what we vito tips to get the most out of your your out source onyour Salt Party. You mentioned the fighter. You know you need to do a bitof adorning. You know you need to end them to get going and at's Potitur Y.True, when you do a practice campaign. Unfortunately, I think it's not thatthe market as shifting, but there is lots of companies that are technicallycompetitors of Oporto and must be very disparate for business because they goout there and say you know what we will walk for free and you only pay us whenwe get reserved. That's all good, but when you work in sells it's like ifyour Selfis Gayes rerecording to yeah okay, I don't need a basic salary. Youjust pay when I rode the Good Sans Gay Room. Come you know, so so that'sthat's the, but unfortunately that sort of mentality, as acted against that that statement thatyou made where people think that so party can be like a disposable asset. You just get the K, I'm gonna put themjust seems to have a bit of explains of my competitors. He must ave a is allright of Hugo guys and if he doesn't work in to you in a mounts time, if itdoesn't work, don't contact me. But if you doesn't work o a a Tamayo, we don'tsee a lot of clients doing that, but we've seen we definitely seal it. A bit more of acommodation of the way people manage the relationship with so party and it'sfunny because it's walking both way so on m quicker than ever to win on yourconfront to get someone to say before...

...make quick decision. But there are somein decision to toll the things of it's for to reason. You know you have a badweek on bad mount, but unfortunately, in the busier space there is a lot offactor like an influence of bad lickor, bad moms and but yeah, and I think I know thatwalking. MISUND is probably because you've done the job yourself.Unfortunately, we've got lots of people who are managing to that. May Not havedone the job themselves Ogaden when they were doing the job, but I so theyforgot the challenge so re. You had made a point earlier that triggered athought in my mind in terms of working with third party agencies, and that thought was also. Not only does the the relationship that you have withan out source entity require kind of that that team, work and collaboration,but I think one of the things that I have found is leveraging an outsourceagency to be a partner in planning and overcoming some of the growthchallenges that a company might have there's a breath of experience thatagencies bring because they worked with so many other companies that, when yougo to them with some of the challenges that you have, they can really helpcreate creative ideas on how they can help solve some of those. You know,pipeline development or Gros strategy challenges. Yeah Yeah, I agree with you.We we try to do all this. I do that. I think there is a few expect.There is an aspect and aspect of messaging there, because you've got to adapt your missage and-and I think it's it's interesting to get that word way-view what's working in France if with something that works in Californiawalks with a prospecting Bostona Leo Mataria, your prosemen the same way. Soit's about it's about the the adaptation we try to keep a lot of dataaround that it's always moving. In particular Les Char Things. I'veevolved the rotter that we was speaking at some points and we were trying to elbow clients to Understan the world tofocus in the US, because we had some states that were Briti shutting down atthe beginning of covenant. Some on a was to in Texas things like kind ofgoing south were just like still going why California, a New York was muchmore difficult to the business at some point, so we are trying to keep up likea heap map of where we should focus or not, but yeah. We try to provide it insight. Now. I think the the rest question that I've got for you reallyAlan is you know if it was to if it was to doit all again, with all the things that you've learned over the last twentyyears of managing inside an outside? What would you say is the model thatyou would come to and when I say the model you would come to I'm talkingabout. You know you will be an organization expressive with the motorin bound probably an organization. It is between the US and Europe if that aback so potentially some languages. So if you had to just take everything fromall your learning, how would you manage the thing and how would you deployinternal vaster six tone? Yeah, I think number one. I would focus on keeping myplan as simple as possible, because if I make it too complex it, it reallybecomes a nightmare to manage, and so where I have found, the the best blendis in two areas: Number One leveraging third party resources to break intothose regions and those territories. That explain are often times difficult,because you need that language specialization there is in my career. Ihave not been able to build that global scale without leveraging third parties,because you just don't have the cost...

...advantage of hiring full time.Employees that you know are needed in the vast coverage of languagesinternationally. The second area that I would really lean on is leveraging the third parties in areaswhere I am trying to break into net new accounts that is very challenging anddifficult to break into, and part of that is with account based programs.You can be smart about targeting those accounts, but there's also times thatit's very difficult to just put an inside cellar and have them cold calltheir way through leveraging third parties that do have their ways of alsobringing in the relationships that they have with some of those target accounts,actually open up an opportunity that I wouldn't have been able to doorganically with my internal team. So those are two great ways that I havekind of seen: The unsurpassed benefit of leveraging a hybrid model in TheTimes that I have leverage companies like operatics good. What is on the wartank you so much for your insight today, and I was great if anyone wants toconnect with you and other conversation discuss his cuome of the stuff that youmentioned to the was the best way to get in order you absolutely. I alwayslove kind of sharing, my my craft of inside sales with other, like mindedfolk, so you can find me on Lindon. I can be easily found, I think, linkincom in a Ey Dash Chan, okay, perfect what it was an absolute pleasure tohave on the podcast to day, for. Thank you very much for a time an Ordin saidshow with us. Thank you. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenuegeneration for technology companies world wide, while the traditionalconcepts of building and managing inside sales teams in house has existed.For many years, t companies are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales see O operatics can help your company accelerate pipe lineat operatics dot net you've been listening to be to be revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime.

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