Sales development reps typically make a lot of calls every day. From talking to our customers, I can tell you that dialing over 100 prospects daily is not uncommon. Now imagine that you asked each SDR on your team, before they dial a prospect, what they are trying to accomplish. Chances are that reps might say something general like “trying to book a meeting” or “hit their opportunity quota.” Achieving these large objectives are important, which is why SDRs’ comp plans are usually based on booking meetings and opportunities. However, in order to have successful sales calls there are some other crucial micro-objectives that reps need to be aware of.
Here is a checklist of 5 objectives that SDRs should try to accomplish during sales calls.
This is actually harder than it sounds. Your prospects are busy. And it’s easy for them to see sales calls as a nuisance. The best way for reps not to annoy prospects is by positioning themselves as helpful. If a lead downloaded an eBook, a rep could frame the call as reaching out to answer any questions they might have. If a call is truly cold, reps should focus on the potential value that they can offer each prospect. The more targeted the messaging is, the better chance a rep will have of lasting past that crucial one-minute mark.
It’s important for reps to establish suitability. The last thing you want is reps wasting time with prospects who aren’t a good fit. If you’re selling an app for Salesforce users and they’re using Dynamics it might not be worth having a conversation. The timing might also just not be right. As an example, if they just signed on with a competing solution it might be worth following up later after they had time to grow disillusioned with the purchase. Budget is another important factor. If you sell expensive enterprise business intelligence solutions and they’re a small business, the rep should probably end the conversation sooner rather than later.
If a prospect is a good fit, the next step is to establish who key stakeholders in the deal might be. Say you’re selling marketing automation software and you get a CMO on the line. You might establish that, before approving a new marketing automation solution, the CMO would need to get buy-in from the CEO and CFO. Decision makers in different roles have different concerns and needs. Knowing who the stakeholders are can help reps tailor messaging and presentations in order to move deals forward.
For deals to move forward, calls should end by booking some sort of meeting. Whether it’s a follow-up call, a product demo, a call or a call with another key stakeholder, it’s important to know what the next step will be. Reps should be moving the call toward this gradually. So that when your rep asks to schedule that demo it should not be jarring to the prospect.
Before meetings, reps typically send follow-up emails. These often include content attachment designed to move deals forward. Reps should try to identify which content might be interesting to a prospect (e.g. a sales deck, a buyer’s guide, an educational eBook) and offer to send it along to the prospect.
If your reps are hitting all of these objectives then they will likely be on their way to meeting their ultimate objective: driving revenue.
Looking for more ways to help your reps have more effective sales calls? Check out our sales call evaluation checklist to help your reps improve their phone skills.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.