B2B Lead Generation Specialists: They May Be the Smartest Decision When the Economy Sucks

By outsourcing B2B Lead Generation Specialists, you can generate pipeline connections and new meetings, you give your sales team better opportunities to close.

Executive Summary

  • 83% of in-house SDR’s don’t hit quota
  • As email outreach volume increases during Covid-19, open rates fall dramatically
  • In-house SDR’s can run companies up to $100k/year
  • In-house SDR Average Cost Per Meeting is $900
  • While a single in-house SDR can cost $8300/mo- outsourcing a fully equipped SDR team like SalesHive, the Best B2B Lead Generation Specialist, costs as little as $4500/mo
  • Winning B2B companies in 2020 are outsourcing to Lead Generation Companies

Let me just say it, the economy sucks right now.

Covid-19 has caused a disruption in the world economy unlike anything seen in our lifetime. The projections of its impact vary greatly, but most economists agree that by the time we pull out of this nosedive, Covid-19 will have evaporated at least the last 3 years of economic gain. Note: we also wrote about how we are optimizing sales during COVID here.

3 years of unprecedented growth. Your growth. Gone.

Sucks, right?

Needless to say, budgets are being squeezed tighter than your favorite jeans after quarantine, as every business strives to be as frugal as possible in order to preserve business continuity.

For the majority of companies that aren't B2B Lead Generation Specialists, new customers have never been more elusive, just like that government loan programs that could very well mean the difference between your employees -or your company itself- surviving through this hellscape.

There’s a lot of negativity surrounding this topic, so let’s paint a brighter future. 

You get approved for your PPP loan and have payroll covered for the next 8 weeks. You’ve managed to tighten your belt enough to reduce excess spending and stretched your runway a few extra months. 

What’s next?

Truth be told, there’s only so much a low-interest loan and running a fine comb over your budget will do if you can’t take control of the most crucial part of your organization's future: Sales

Fact: The future of your business is in the hands of sales.

Terrifying, I know, but sales are now everything.

It’s continually closing new deals, even when the buyer pools have evaporated to mere droplets of what they once were. In fact, closed deals are down as much as 36% since COVID hit, according to Hubspot data pulled from 70,000 companies.

Deals Created and Closed

A common question right now is, “How do I keep my sales reps busy enough to keep us afloat when the economy sucks and there are no resources left to support outreach or visibility?”

The answer is Outsourcing Sales Development with a B2B Lead Generation Specialist.

By hiring a Lead Generation Specialist to step in and generate pipeline connections and new meetings, you give your sales team better opportunities to close.

Government loans are some of it, controlling your budget is a lot of it, but opportunity; the opportunity is everything.

That’s why outsourcing to the best Lead Generation Company is perhaps the best decision you can make when the economy sucks.


Let me be sensitive for a moment. You might like your in-house Sales Development Representative (SDR) team. In fact I hope you do. They’re valuable employees of your company, contributing importantly to the diverse conglomeration that makes up your company's character. It’s very ethos.

But when it comes to the objective numbers, many in-house SDR’s don’t impress, and it can’t be ignored in a critical time like this.

A collaborative group of Sales and Marketing executives, known as the Revenue Collective, surveyed and gathered 2019 data from hundreds of leaders overseeing 3,112 SDR’s. They yielded groundbreaking insights into Company Structure, Outbound Performance, and Outreach Channels, but their information on SDR’s is the most compelling.

The majority of in-house SDR teams aren't hitting quota; In fact, 83% of them didn’t.

83% of SDR'd Missed Quota

That’s a shocking number in itself, and only gets worse when you factor in the associated costs.

Companies are spending huge amounts of money on their in-house SDR teams right now. The average OTE (On Target Earnings) of a first-year SDR in 2019 was $69,934. That’s BEFORE benefits, payroll, taxes, and technology costs are factored in. An all-in SDR runs companies well north of that $70k mark, most closer to $100k, especially in major hubs like San Francisco, New York, London, etc..

The ROI just doesn’t make sense in many cases, and in an economy that's likely going to be ugly for a long time, that burden becomes heavier.

That 83% failure to reach quota statistic is enough to make any executive blanch, yet replacing underperforming teams with potentially successful new hires doesn't seem to be the answer.

Here’s why.

SDR Ramp

Hiring new reps is riskier than ever. Most SDR’s never achieve sales quota, regardless of tenure, and new hires often take much longer to ramp up than needed. A company's sales ramp up time refers to the amount of time it takes a new SDR to become fully productive from the time they are first hired.

The most frequently reported expected ramp time for an SDR of surveyed market leaders was 3 months, with 40% of companies stating that expectation. The second was 2 months, with 30% holding that slightly loftier expectation.

The data from the Revenue Collective shows that 83% of companies expect their SDRs to ramp to full quota achievement within 3 months, yet only 47% of top-performing SDRs meet that goal. In many cases, companies found it could take even longer for a new SDR to hit quota. Or, they just never do and eventually get replaced by a different rep, thus starting the cycle all over. 

Ramp Time for SDR

Assuming you manage to capture an SDR that hits quota, it could take up to 8 months before that SDR role is producing at full volume.

With revenue already on the line, let’s take a look at some other metrics.

SDR Cost Per Meeting

The Cost Per Meeting (CPM) of SDR’s is at an all-time high, although the data shows most companies still wish that wasn’t true. While the average target CPM of surveyed companies in 2019 was $551, the TRUE cost per meeting fell just shy of $900.

Multiply the recorded difference between Target and Real ($346) with the desired quota of your SDR, and we’ll see just how much money is being left on the table or outright squandered.

(SDR Quota) X $346 = Too Damn Much

target CPM vs real CPM

The current CPM numbers are bad, but as close rates are expected to drop during poor economic times, that number is only going to increase, and it’s likely going to increase a lot.

Naturally, companies are taking several actions, like increasing outreach channels.

But is this the right action?

Outreach Channels

SDR teams are shrinking due to headcount cuts and costs to retain, and so pipelines are naturally going to dry up; a dire threat to revenue and company survival.

As pipelines dry up, companies are doing everything they can to generate new business during Covid-19. The most common channel companies have fallen back on during this difficult time is cold email.

By taking a look at HubSpot’s Covid-19 graph below, we see email outreach has increased by up to 67%. This doesn’t surprise us, as email is the quickest and easiest outreach channel to ramp, but by taking a look at response rates, it’s clearly not succeeding in the same way it used to.

Pre Covid-19, email reply rates stayed quite consistent, but as volume has increased -ever filling inboxes and overwhelming buyers- reply rates plummeted by as much as 33%.

Respnse Rate

Email channels are slowly losing their effectiveness and coupled with a lack of creating and closing deals, companies need to look in a new direction.

Luckily, there is one.

Time for Lead Generation B2B

Winning companies in 2020 are outsourcing sales development to Lead Generation Specialist more and more because it's low-risk, more flexible, and much cheaper than how companies have historically approached Sales. Outsourced SDR companies, like SalesHive, don’t bring additional costs normally associated with in-house SDR’s such as hiring, technology, management, commission, and payroll taxes.

Lead Generation Companies already have their own technological and data systems in place, all easily adjusted to meet the needs of any client, and ramp time is immediate as every SDR has already been trained and performing in the field. Furthermore, they handle their SDR payment in-house so that outsourcing clients don’t need to carry the burden of commissions or taxes.

Plus, you gain a strategic partner that knows the ins-and-outs of sales development and can execute high caliber campaigns, much like if you hired a marketing agency to design a beautiful website you could never build on your own.

Let’s evaluate SalesHive’s, The Best Lead Generation Company, fiscal metrics for the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

The current SalesHive Cost Per Meeting hovers right around $500, significantly lower than the average market target, and coming in just over half of the in-house average of $897.

In April 2020, SalesHive met quota for 81% of our clients, a stark contrast to the 83% fail-to-meet quota set by the industry average. On top of that, only 6% of clients were below 80% of total quota. Not bad at all considering this all happened during a global pandemic

The total cost for an outsourced team (not just rep) begins at $4,500 per month. This US-based sales development team comprises a Sales Hacker, Pipeline Responder, Researchers, Sales Operation Experts, and even dedicated Cold Callers.

  • The Sales Hacker specializes in sales development strategy, copywriting for email and LinkedIn, cold call scripts and objection handling scripts, campaign creation, optimization, and reporting. This is the day-to-day contact between the client and SalesHive and monitors each channel's effectiveness.
  • The Pipeline Responder specializes in inbound pipeline communications, objections, and setting meetings between the client and prospective buyers across email and LinkedIn.
  • Researchers take deep dives into prospective websites and internal + top tier 3rd party database’s to find influencers and decision-makers, generating a more optimized pipeline for the Sales Hacker and every data point needed to be successful across every channel.
  • Operations make sure that everything is running smoothly, whether it’s validating every single contact we reach out to or creating, warming, and continuously testing domains for unbelievable deliverability.   
  • Cold Callers do one thing, and they’re damn good at it. They work with our clients on either a half or full-time basis and make hundreds of calls per day while the rest of the team handles other channels.

Want to hear the most beautiful part? The cost of a full team from SalesHive is a flat rate and month-to-month, so you aren’t locked into any long term commitments or owe commissions down the road. Plus, we’ll even develop the entire strategy for your company absolutely free so you can make an educated decision on if we’re the right partner for you.

96% receive salary

I’m not great at math, as my worn calculator buttons will attest, but I ran the numbers so you don’t have to. The average salary of a single SDR lands at $49,178. 

That’s JUST salary. 

The average OTE of a second-year SDR is $79,087. Once payroll, technology, benefits, and manager costs are factored, that number easily reaches $100,000.

Stretch that conservatively recorded number over 12 months and you arrive right at $8333/mo to operate an in-house SDR.

Doing the math… yep.

That's one single in-house SDR at $8300/mo against $4,500/mo for a completely established and productive outsourced team.

I may not be good at doing math, but that’s the kind of math I like.

The Smartest Decision

Let me say it again. The economy sucks right now.

Even as fallouts from the aftermath of Covid-19 begin to resolve, it will still take a while to recover economically. Getting through these hard times and into 2021 is the goal, and it’s a goal that can only be achieved through closing new deals and growing pipelines.

Successful companies that are looking toward 2021 have moved to outsourcing sales development functions to Lead Generation Agency, saving vast amounts of money in doing so, and will inevitably end up seeing better results in pipeline and closed deals.

“How do I keep my sales reps busy enough to keep us afloat when the economy sucks and there are no resources left to support outreach or visibility?”

By Outsourcing Sales Development.

It’s the smartest decision you can make when the economy sucks.

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