It’s no surprise that every sales planning meeting for the next quarter or year ends up revolving around the question of BDR capacity. A team of top-notch BDRs is key to driving your company’s overall goals whether it’s more clients, more engagement, or more sales. But, you already know that.
A recurring problem with increasing BDR capacity, however, is that every traditional approach comes with its own challenges. Let’s look at a few ways you can construct an optimal BDR output by rethinking how you can properly reconfigure your current inputs.
Three Ways To Increase BDR Capacity
If you try to follow a prospective client through your own lead generation process, you should be able to pinpoint where your process currently breaks down and is in need of a fix.
Generally, most of the high-quality leads who would have bought your company’s solution haven’t even been contacted by your BDRs because those BDRs were busy talking to low-quality leads with close to zero purchasing intention, an experience that’s as frustrating to the BDR as it is to the customer.
Alternatively, it’s possible that your BDRs are managing to process most leads that come their way but are still not at their potential capacity. In other words, they need to have more leads in the pipeline.
Finally, if your BDRs have a high closing rate and simply can’t handle more high-quality leads, you need to consider budgeting for team expansion.
Interestingly enough, the above process is the exact opposite of what happens in most BDR capacity planning meetings in most companies. The initial knee-jerk reaction is to hire more people, expand the pipeline, and only then work on optimizing high-quality leads.
Here’s why this approach often brings subpar results, and how you should think about the traditional methods of hiring, getting more traffic on your website, and the less traditional methods available through technology today.
Traditional method #1: Hiring more BDRs to improve capacity
In theory, the more representatives you have working on your leads the better your results will be. However, when you start creating a hiring plan based on past performance, you often get a completely different picture.
First of all, when you’re thinking of hiring new BDRs, it’s likely that your team is already at capacity. But getting more people onboard is not an immediate fix. You have to consider your ramp rate—how long it would take you to find suitable candidates, hire them, onboard them and then how long it would actually take for new team members to become productive. Let’s not forget that the average annual churn rate for new BDRs is 40%. If you think that you can hire five or 10 people right away and they will reach their quota in the first month, you’re setting your plan up for failure.
Second, while hiring can frequently seem like the most obvious solution, it’s also the most expensive. Try to calculate your needs by accurately incorporating your past ramp rate and quota attainment, and you’ll realize that instead of two BDRs you need five, or instead of five you actually need eight. Hitting your budget ceiling happens very quickly.
All these are good reasons to make hiring the last step of your BDR capacity improvement plan. So why not consider working to increase the amount of leads flowing through your pipeline?
Traditional method #2: Getting more leads in the BDR pipeline
Since hiring people is expensive and takes a long time, you could decide to give more work to the BDRs you already have by effectively increasing the amount of leads in the pipeline.
Depending on the lead and demand generation processes you have in place, getting more leads might mean increasing your ad spend with Google or Facebook, or sourcing more contacts for outbound calls, just to give a few examples. This isn’t necessarily easy, or cheap.
Additionally, you risk the chance of overwhelming your BDRs without guaranteed results in the end. While it seems straightforward if your closing rate is 10% and you want to move it up to 15% you need 50% more leads, the reality is not likely to be that linear. What matters most, aside from the sales talent you have, your call-to-connect ratio, and the number of scheduled or attended meetings is the quality of the leads themselves. And, luckily, there’s an easy way to improve that.
The new method: Improving the quality of your leads
You have a few popular options to make sure your BDRs deal mostly with high-quality leads. Lead scoring is one of them. There are tools that will assess visitors to your website and score them based on information such as company name, title, or other data that's already being included in your CRM. That will help you figure out who is hot and who is not.
The problem is that most tools on the market today can’t help you accurately score up to 80% of your website visitors, since those visitors are anonymous and not in your CRM or other marketing data silos. This is by far the largest opportunity for you to considerably improve the quality of your leads.
The question becomes, how can you accurately score those anonymous visitors when you have close to zero data on them? What you need is a sort of crystal ball to help you understand your anonymous visitors. Fortunately, it exists, powered by the capabilities of artificial intelligence.
Lift AI is a unique machine-scoring model that uncovers the intent of every visitor on your website, whether they are known to you or not, the second they land on any of your pages. The model then calculates the exact conversion probability of every visitor and assigns them an accurate score based on a model that codifies over 15 years of data and one billion profiled website visitors, plus more than 14 million customer interactions. Together, this data is fed through the machine-learning model to assign incredibly accurate scores to visitors based on their digital behaviour in real-time.
The real benefit of Lift AI then comes when it instantly connects the most promising visitors to your BDRs using your live chat for sales, while redirecting everyone else to chatbots for nurturing or support. Suddenly, even a small BDR team can spend all of its time talking to the highest-quality leads possible, thus instantly increasing its productivity and hitting its quotas much faster.
Test the power of Lift AI today and see your conversion rates go up in real time.