Outbound lead generation teams are an incredibly powerful way to quickly expand your sales pipeline — and there are several ways to know if you need one — but they also require extensive planning and a significant investment to implement correctly. Like anything worthwhile, building a successful outbound lead generation team requires foresight and strategy, and it is essential that you carefully consider the process before you undertake it.

Before you jump in, ask yourself these five crucial questions: the who, what, where, when and why of adding an outbound lead generation team.

1. Who are you trying to sell to?

Without understanding the types of leads you need, it is impossible to know whether an outbound prospecting team is right for you. Work with your sales team and upper management to craft a specific buyer profile (or several) so you can decide how your outbound lead generation team should be structured and what tactics it should emphasize to reach and persuade the right buyers. Some types of buyers are more likely to be influenced by outbound lead gen reps than others, so make sure you know who you are hoping to target before starting to build your team.

2. What do you want your outbound lead gen team to accomplish?

Although outbound prospecting teams are typically used to fill your sales pipeline with promising leads, they can also serve other purposes. Therefore, it is important to think carefully about how you would use a outbound lead generation team if you were to create one. Do you want to expand into new markets? Do you want to breathe new life into your sales process? Do you want to build brand awareness? These are all potential benefits of adding a sales prospecting team, but they require slightly different team structures and objectives, so it is worth asking yourself ahead of time exactly what you want to accomplish by implementing an outbound lead gen team.

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3. Where will the team be situated?

Outbound prospecting teams are unique in the sense that they straddle the line between sales and marketing. Like marketing, outbound lead gen reps must have a clear and focused pitch that they can deliver to prospects. And, of course, the potential customers they dig up go directly to sales reps. Because of this, many companies have difficulty establishing the right structure for their outbound prospecting teams.

Before you decide to implement an outbound lead generation team, it is important to think carefully about how the team will be organized. Who will the reps report to? Which department will oversee goals and hiring? Answering these questions before you even hire your first outbound lead gen rep will help you ensure that you are putting yourself in the best position to reach your objectives and start growing your sales pipeline.

4. When do you need more sales?

The primary goal of any outbound prospecting team is to quickly increase your sales pipeline, but this isn’t going to happen instantly. An outbound lead generation team’s efforts typically don’t come to fruition — in the form of qualified prospects and, ultimately, deals — for many months, so it is important to think proactively and use your long-term sales goals to identify when the right time to start building your outbound prospecting team.

5. Why do you need an outbound lead generation team?

Even after you’ve answered all of the questions above, it is important to take a step back and ask yourself why you think your company would be improved by the addition of this highly-specialized team. Outbound prospecting teams serve a very specific purpose — quickly generating more leads — but they are not perfect fits for all companies. They require a significant investment of time and money and can change the underlying structure of your company, so before you start hiring outbound lead gen reps, you should make sure you really understand why it will improve your business.

Have you found any other questions that can help you build the best outbound prospecting team?

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