B2B Sales Prospecting Tip: Speak the Language of Your Target Industry

Sales development reps (SDRs) find themselves in a challenging situation when they are asked to prospect for new leads across a diverse cross-section of industries. The problem? Every industry has also has its own language. Unless you are (at least somewhat) fluent in that language, it can be nearly impossible to sell into any industry but your own. If you want to set your SDRs up for success, it is crucial to ensure that they receive some basic education around target industries’ pain points and vocabulary.

business languageHere are some tips that can help SDRs do a better job as they target specific industries.

Limit the Number of Target Industries Per Rep

In an ideal world, each SDR would only have to prospect into one specific industry. Sadly, that’s often not the case. If your budget limits you from hiring one SDR for each target industry, you can still vastly improve prospecting ROI by limiting the number of industries that an SDR prospects into.  Imagine that you have 3 SDRs are targeting 9 specific industries. Think how much quicker it could be to ramp up a sales team if each SDR only has to research 3 industries instead of 9. As a general rule, try to limit an SDR from targeting more than 3-4 industries at a time.

Document Industry-Specific Value Props

When on-boarding a new rep, you should help them gain the knowledge they need to prospect into target industries as quickly as possible. To that end, it can be very helpful to keep a document of industry-specific vocabulary that can help reps deliver appropriate value propositions.

For example, since RingDNA can trigger a screen pop with valuable contextual data about inbound callers, our solution is a fantastic fit for healthcare companies looking to provide patients with better service. However, I would never sell to a healthcare company the same way I would sell to an insurance company.

  • When discussing our value proposition with rehab centers, I would talk about: “helping agents at intake centers do a better job of providing patients with the right healthcare services.”
  • However, if I was selling the same solution to an insurance company, I might talk about how our solutions can “help agents do a better job of up-selling policy holders.”

Even though I’m selling the same tool, the value prop dramatically shifts based on industry.

Use Call Recordings to Identify Best Practices for Target Industries

Call metrics can tell you whether or not reps are successfully adding opportunities to your pipeline. But for true granularity into your reps’ pitches, we recommend listening to call recordings. This empowers managers to see if reps are successfully pitching to prospects in a particular industry. For an example, if you’re selling to healthcare companies, is your rep giving a general sales pitch, or is she using healthcare-specific language? Recordings can also help managers to identify best practices for industries. The goal is to use these best practices to help other reps achieve success when prospecting into that industry.


Learn more about how to drive ROI with a dedicated sales development team by reading our free ebook!


About the Author

Jesse Davis

Jesse Davis is a sales and marketing strategist and Sr. Content Marketing Manager at RingDNA. Over the past decade, Davis has honed his business communications skills working as an inside sales manager, business writer and agency marketer. He is a proponent of utilizing platform technology and evidence-based methodologies to optimize creative campaigns, marketing ROI and sales performance.

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