How RevBoss Does Sales Development

dog with bowlI’m pretty embarrassed to admit it, but until very recently, we’ve been very inconsistent in our efforts to RevBoss on behalf of RevBoss.  As in we’ve barely been doing much outbound at all.

Yes — we should be eating our own dog food, but the cobbler’s children and whatnot and various other turns of phrase.  Plus we’ve been doing more -than-fine harvesting new customers from inbound leads.

We knew we needed to practice what we preach, so we got serious about it earlier this year.  The results have been good and we’ve already made a full-time hire to ramp (and improve!) the process, so I thought I’d share a bit about what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and how we plan to make it better.

This isn’t meant to be the “be all, end all” post on sales development strategies, just an illustration of what has worked well for us and hopefully some ideas that you can borrow whether or not you’re a RevBoss customer.

Also, this is a really long post with a lot of juicy details, so we’ve broken it into sections and included several internal references.  Leave a comment if you have thoughts or feedback!

Thanks for reading.



Like any good “process” post, we’ll start with the finished product and work backwards into the details.  We began to focus on this process for ourselves in April 2016.  The data below reflects our performance for 2 full months, from April and May 2016.

  • 796 prospects started, just shy of 400 per month.  We could obviously do way more. We’re feeding one rep for now…and he’s only putting ~20% of his time into outbound because he’s busy qualifying inbound and closing deals.  (Note that we started our first dedicated SDR in June.)
  • 75 prospects replied, ~10% total prospects.  Admittedly a pretty poor reply rate, but we’ll provide some context why later in the post.  We know how to make this number much better.
  • 14 assessment calls completed, ~2% of total prospects, just shy of 20% of replies.  (Assessment calls — or ACs — are the first step in our sales process in which we assess problem, fit, and opportunity.)  There are another handful scheduled but not yet completed that will get us close to ~3% of total prospects and ~30% of replies converted to an AC.
  • 5 opportunities created, 35% of ACs completed thus far.  2 closed and 3 still open…and more to come.  Our Opportunity bar is pretty high, so we’re OK with a low-ish AC to Oppy convert rate.
  • 2 deals won, 40% close rate, which is probably higher than we’ll be able to sustain over the long term…but we’ll take it!  One sourced and closed in April and one sourced in April and closed in May — both of which are pretty fast turns for a prospecting-sourced deal.

When your factor in sales compensation and benefits (allocated based on time spent on outbound, we’ll say 20%) and assume that we’re paying $1,500 per month for RevBoss — which we’re not of course, but think we should factor into the calculation anyway — the unit economics break down as follows:

  • $310 per AC, assuming we’ll complete ~20 total from April & May inputs.
  • $1,240 per Oppy
  • $3,100 per Win — our outbound customer acquisition cost (CAC)

I won’t share all of our internal details, but customer lifetime value (LTV) and CAC payback are both more than good with these funnel economics.  As I mentioned earlier, we’ve already made a full-time hire that will be 100% dedicated to sales development with the goal of replicating and ramping these numbers.

Besides the data, we’ve also had a few anecdotal takeaways:


Our process is very simple.  Every ~2 weeks, we:

That’s it!  RevBoss sources the prospects that match our criteria, finds the contact data (email and phone), cleans up the company names, personalizes the content, deploys the email, removes the bounces, forwards the good replies to our team, etc.

We still have a long way to go, but our product goal is push a button, get a sales pipeline.


Like our process, our current staffing is also very simple — it is just Danny, our VP Business Development and one-man sales machine.

He spends maybe ~20% of his time running RevBoss for RevBoss, most of which is spent managing replies and scheduling / completing Assessment Calls for himself.

As you might imagine based on the results we’ve seen thus far, we’ve hired and started ramping a Business Development Rep to run this process for us full-time.  And once we get our first BDR up and running, we hope to hire lots more.

Target Segment

Our target customer profile is still admittedly a work in progress, but we generally do well with small and mid-size software companies and generally like to start with the sales leader.

Here is a RevBoss screenshot of the Segment that we use to source prospects for RevBoss.  In this example, we’re hitting “Director Sales” job titles at US-based software companies with 11 to 500 employees.  2,013 companies and 4,003 prospects at these companies meet our criteria.


Once you save the search, RevBoss will begin sourcing prospects and contact data:

  • It gets prospects from a variety of sources — data we’ve crawled, data we’ve licensed, and data that we source via 3rd party APIs.
  • It sources email contact data using a homegrown matching algorithm that uses a variety of sources and data signals to guess, check, and verify the right address.
  • It triggers tasks for cloud workers to grab phone numbers from each domain…and eventually will harvest phone numbers and other data from email signatures.

The app drops prospects into a queue — like in the screenshot below — and email Danny when they’re ready for review.  He will choose which prospects he wants to email, which ones he wants to save for later, and which ones he wants to ignore.


For the prospects that Danny wants to email, he simply ticks the box and assigns the selected prospect to a Flow.

Flow & Messaging

Flows are the “sales process” object in RevBoss.  It is the collection of actions — both automated and manual — that we want to take on each prospect that we drop into the system.

Below is the Flow that Danny is using, we’ve linked to the actual messaging later in the post.

Our process is admittedly email focused.  We don’t make a ton of cold calls, instead we use calls to accelerate engaged prospects.  We’ve learned that you if you’ve good a strong message combined with a compelling product and if you target the right prospects, you’ll be able harvest much of your goal simply via email.

Also — the messaging that we’re using isn’t terribly personalized, as you’ll note below.  To be honest, they’re not personalized at all aside from simple merge fields.  Frankly, it is just easier that way…and the numbers (and the deals) say that the method works.

But I know that we can do better and have the empirical data to prove it.

We’ve actually done a number of tests with personalization, both on ourselves and with a few volunteer customers, and have learned that incorporating just one line of personalized content — even something as simple as “Go Tigers!” or “I read your blog post about …” — will lift reply rates by as much as 60%.  

We were honestly pretty amazed by the results…but we’re still not doing personalized content in every email because:

  • The results we’re getting are more than good enough for now considering the size of the sales team.
  • Personalization requires a TON of effort.
  • Our automated personalized content offering isn’t quite ready but will be soon.  🙂

We’re pretty close to a workflow that will make it super fast and super easy to personalize every email for every prospect that we — and our customers! — target.  Our goal over the next few weeks is to completely kill the robo-email from our process and make sure that every email sent via RevBoss contains at least a small personalized nugget.

Our Next Steps

It is a little embarrassing to admit that we’ve only recently started eating our own dog food in a meaningful way.

Based on what we’ve learned about actually running this process for ourselves, our next steps are:

  • Get Zach — our new Business Development Manager — ramped and tracking to 25 ACs per month.  He’ll be a full quota in July.
  • Quickly iterate on Zach’s process to determine a set of plays that we can easily replicate.
  • Dig into the pipeline data to assess how and why prospects are moving through with the goal of justifying more BDR resources.

Messaging Detail

Here are the emails — subject and body — that we send to our prospects as a part of our outbound Flow.

Day 1 — Subject:  Would this be helpful?

Hey {{first_name}},

Hope your day is going well!

My name is Daniel Chu, and I run sales @ RevBoss, a software company that builds sales pipeline for B2B companies like {{company}}.

RevBoss does not replace salespeople on your team like an outsourced agency nor are we a software tool requiring your team to spend their day tee’ing up prospecting campaigns. We have a mission to support internal sales and sales development teams with a software-driven process that consolidates your prospecting tech stack in one place.

Not sure if outbound sales development is currently an active sales channel, but do you mind confirming you are the person responsible for top-of-the-funnel process at {{company}}?


Back to Flow list>>>

Day 3 — Subject:  Customer development @ {{company}}…

Hi {{first_name}},

Didn’t want to drop the ball following up with you!

Not sure if this falls on your plate or not, but I was curious how {{company}} has validated (or is currently validating) the multiple hypotheses around ideal customer profiles and target prospects.

With our customers’ unique prospect inputs (both on a company level and a person level), RevBoss builds a repository of target companies and eligible job titles and runs them through highly segmented, personalized outreach flows to generate prospect replies.

Would love to hop on a quick 15-minute call @ 10:30am CT, 1:30pm CT or 4pm CT to discuss your growth process, so feel free to shoot me a time that works for you.


Back to Flow list>>>

Day 8 — Subject:  Quick q…

Hello {{first_name}},

Hoping to connect with you a bit out-of-the-blue, so just curious if this is at all relevant to you and the sales team @ {{company}}.

How many tools, software products, plug-ins, etc. are your salespeople using to generate a first sales conversation with a cold prospect? TOPO’s research says at least 5…

Fortunately, RevBoss is not a tool — it is a process. We programmatically generate the actual outputs that your sales team needs — forward moving sales conversation or scheduled sales appointment — to close more deals.

I’m available @ 10am CT or 1pm CT, so feel free to shoot me a day to connect.


Back to Flow list>>>

Day 15 — Subject:  Sales toolkit for {{Company}}…

Hey {{first_name}},

I read an article on LinkedIn last week referencing that 20% of a sales rep’s time is spent “researching” — an entire week out of the month not selling (yikes!).

Before working with RevBoss, the majority of our customers purchased multiple tools for list development, data aggregation, campaign management, content development, analytics, etc.

RevBoss enables companies like {{company}} to push a button that automatically triggers: replies from qualified prospects directly into an inbox (our Leads product) or scheduled conversations directly onto the calendar (our Meetings product).

Not sure if this is worth a quick chat, but I’m available next week @ 2pm CT — shoot me a day that works.


Back to Flow list>>>

Day 21 — Subject:  Either Way

Hi {{first_name}},

Just wanted to followup from my earlier email re: sales development @ {{company}}.

As a B2B company with a seemingly consultative sales process (based off price points), {{company}} shares similarities with all of our amazing customers like Sysomos, Spendsetter, Fabl, ECOS, etc.

The RevBoss platform solves some of the most painful problems in the early stage funnel development process for B2B companies — sourcing the right prospects, personalizing content at scale, and activating prospect conversations.

How does next Mon or Tue @ 1:30pm CT or 3:30pm CT look for a quick intro? Let me know either way, or feel free to suggest some alternative times if necessary.


Back to Flow list>>>

Day 30 — Subject — Sorry to be a pest…

Hey {{first_name}},

Reached out a handful of times over the past couple weeks, and didn’t hear from you either way.

Was curious about the following 2 questions:

1) Is outbound currently a lead channel for filling the sales pipeline?
2) How many “tools” or software subscriptions are used for this process?

If outbound sales development becomes top of mind, I’d love to chat through your process @ {{company}}, but thanks in advance for your help with the customer development questions.


Back to Flow list>>>