What Is an Outbound SDR?

Outbound SDRs help you get new customers.
Outbound SDR article cover photo
Anyone with a business has asked themselves the following question at least once in their lives.

How can I get people I never met to be my potential customers?

Enter the outbound SDR.

In this article, we will go over all there is to know about outbound SDRs, outbound sales, the difference between inbound and outbound SDRs, and whether or not you should hire an outsourced SDR for outbound.

What Is Outbound Sales?
What Is an Outbound SDR?
Inbound vs Outbound SDR
Should I Hire an Outsourced SDR for Outbound?

What Is Outbound Sales?

There are two different types of sales: outbound and inbound sales.

Outbound sales is when the salesperson is the one who initiates contact with a prospect. The goal of an outbound sale is to talk to prospects and convince them why they should buy your product. Outbound sales reps typically work with lists of their own, calling people they think would be interested in buying what they're selling.

In today's case, outbound SDRs email and message prospects on platforms like LinkedIn, in addition to calling.

Pay attention to the prefix here: "out". The prospects that outbound SDRs are contacting are those who, perhaps, never heard of your business before. They might not even think they need your product, let alone want it.

Inbound sales, however, is when prospects come to you. They do research on a product or service and start looking for a solution. You have the chance to get in front of them, talk to them about their problems and your product's benefits, and eventually turn a lead into a customer.

Inbound sales is when prospects come looking for you with their wallets in hand, eager to make a potential purchase.

A good example of inbound sales is what happens after we publish these articles on the SalesPipe blog. At SalesPipe, we generate a significant amount of meetings through ranking high on Google with articles like this one. Leads contact us using our contact form and a member of our sales team reaches out and has a conversation with them.

The part of writing blogs and ranking high for important keywords is inbound marketing. The part of our sales team talking to the former prospect and now lead is inbound sales. Note the difference.

Regardless of how a prospect becomes a lead, both outbound and inbound sales require human interaction.

What Is an Outbound SDR?

Now that we know what outbound sales is, an outbound SDR is someone who starts the conversations either by calling or emailing a prospect and tries to move them along the buyer journey.

An outbound SDR always knows as much as possible about the prospects they're reaching out to and organizes prospects through something called a customer profile. A customer profile is a description of the target customer that the outbound SDR is reaching out to.

A good example of what a customer profile looks like comes from one that we have for a customer. The customer is an innovation management platform and works with companies that have at least 500 people in their workforce. They also have sales conversations with innovation professionals. The higher up they are in the totem pole, the better.

So this company's customer profile looks something like below.

  • Job Title(s): Chief Innovation Officer; Head of Innovation
  • Company Size: 500+ employees
  • Location: United States
The outbound SDR makes customer profiles like this on a daily basis. A customer profile such as this one serves as a guide for what types of prospects the outbound SDR is going to reach out to.

Once the outbound SDR has a customer profile, they reach out to prospects using it by sending them content, emailing them, and/or calling them. Outbound SDRs also use LinkedIn to connect with prospects and send them direct and voice messages asking for a meeting.

The best outbound SDRs don't stop at single outreach. They reach out to the same prospects multiple times throughout their outreach of them, sometimes ten times or more. If a prospect doesn't respond to the outbound SDR's first two emails to them, and two weeks have elapsed, a great outbound SDR will reach out to them again with different messaging to hook them in.

An outbound SDR's job doesn't start and stop at reaching out to prospects one time. An outbound SDR's job stops when the prospect becomes a lead and books a meeting, no matter how many times they reached out to the prospect.

When a prospect becomes a lead by expressing interest and booking a meeting, sometimes it is the outbound SDR that takes the meeting. It depends on the organization of the company that is doing the outbound sales. Most companies that work with SalesPipe like to take meetings with leads themselves, the outbound SDRs main job is to make those meetings happen.

Inbound vs Outbound SDR

What's the difference between inbound and outbound SDRs?

As we already know, outbound SDRs reach out to prospects who did not previously express interest. Yet these prospects make for good customers of whatever the outbound SDR is selling them based on their job titles and parameters such as company size or industry.

An inbound SDR, on the other hand, is dealing with those leads that signed up on the website or otherwise expressed interest.

Anytime someone on your team reaches out to a lead generated by your website, they're doing inbound sales.

The efficacy of your inbound marketing is not the job of the inbound SDR, that's the job of whoever is running your content marketing. However, content marketing can only go so far if you don't have a good inbound SDR either.

The inbound SDR is the one who builds a bridge between a lead coming to your business and making the actual sale. While the outbound SDR is more interested in converting prospects into leads, the inbound SDR is more interested in converting leads into paying customers.

A typical scenario of a successful inbound sale is when someone searches for what you're selling on Google. The prospect finds your domain, is impressed by your offerings, and reaches out to you via your contact form. Then an inbound SDR will reach out to the prospect who filled out that form and book a conversation with them. Depending on your sales cycle, it can take as little as one month and as long as one year of many conversations for the inbound SDR to make that conversion from lead to paying customer.
Inbound vs outbound sdr infographic

Should I Hire an Outsourced SDR for Outbound?

There are two different paths that any company can take when hiring an outbound SDR: outsourcing or hiring within.

Hiring internally means that the company will offer an SDR job to an existing or a new member of their team. They will then train that person in all aspects of outbound prospecting and allow them to develop over time.

Hiring externally means that you hire an SDR who works for another company but is contracted to work on your account during certain hours each week or month.

The pros of hiring internally are that you have the comfortability of having, well, an internal member of the team do outbound sales. However, the cons of hiring internally versus an outbound SDR certainly outweigh.

Hiring internally means that you need the outbound SDR to be trained. Even if they've had previous work experience as an outbound SDR, it can take months to get on-boarded and for the outbound SDR's work to lead into sales meetings.

Meanwhile, an outsourced SDR already does outbound sales for several companies on a daily basis. They are a master of their trade and can get you results faster. Plus, they don't require traditional onboarding as they already have systems and software in place for getting the job done.
Outsourced vs in-house SDR infographic


Having an outbound SDR is your next step to getting customers who haven't heard of your business before.

Want to hire the best outbound SDR imaginable? Fill out this form and we'll chat with you shortly.
Post by Noah Levy.
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