Editors Note: Phill Keane answers audience questions from our most recent Sales Hacker Webinar
1. Do you see data and technology replacing sales reps in the future? Do you think that this will allow single reps to take on more territories?
I don’t feel technology will ever replace sales reps in the future, I do think we can find technology that can make better use of sales reps time. You see it now with software that finds contact information, or generates a ‘custom’ proposals with data from the CRM in a single click. However, there will always be a need for a human element.
2. Is there such a thing as too much data? When does too much research on a prospect become wasting time?
PK: Yes, data overload is a real thing. You need enough data as an SDR or SDR manager to make decisions quickly. Research on a suspect, or prospect should be done within a few minutes and stored under their record. The 3×3 Method is a really good way to find quick talking points but not get lost in research. As an SDR manager you need to make it clear the amount of information needed, if you aren’t you will start to run into call reluctance.
3. Have you ever encountered someone that feels violated because you know too much? Is there a tactful way to present data so it doesn’t seem for lack of better words, creepy?
PK: Not personally, but I have seen it happen before. Use your gut to figure out where to draw the line. Some are going to be willing to push a bit further than others. I’d stay away from personal topics. If you know they are a fan of a sports team from social, find a way to bring it up casually don’t just come out and say. “HEY! SAW YOU ARE A FAN OF…” If they ask how you find out a piece of information, just be honest.
4. What would you (each) say is the most important data to have in sales?
PK: Direct Lines. Hands down, no doubt…nothing is more important.
5. Where do most of your appointments come from? Phone or email?
PK: Most appointments we set are via phone, sometimes there is an element of email but we ask to get a brief call first before passing it to an AE.
6. Realistic Expectations: We’ve given our SDR team a goal of 160 touch points per day to qualify a lead prior to passing on to an AE. Realistic or not?
PK: Depends on your expected outcome. You need to look at it from what you want to get out of the touchpoints and work backwards. If you have a higher ACV, it makes sense to slow down and be more personal on your outreach. You will find a deal at $500k, $50k, and $5k all need to be treated differently.
However, just from a time management perspective 160 touchpoints a day can work, but might require some technology to make it realistic. You can send 90 emails, and make 70 calls but what’s the quality of those touches? If you are asking for that many touches without tech to support, also be aware of burnout in some of your more tenured.
7. How Often do you test total and frequency of calls, emails, and LI messages? Also, how much do you vary sequence level, firmographics, etc?
PK:You should always monitor for this, but don’t consistently change the rhythm. The SDRs should have the ability to feel out what is happening and make choices as they get further into sequences. If they are calling into a phone number that never picks up, and can’t find info… let them go to strictly email on a prospect. If they know they found the Decision Maker, and know your solution is a fit… set up a sequence that allows them to call the prospect for as long as they want. Help them figure out how to get to a ‘NO’ if that’s what needs to happen.
8. Is video a good medium to contact people cold?
PK:I have very little experience with this from my SDR team using this, but while being prospected I have seen it used more and more. I would recommend using it only after you have an established relationship.
9. Is it better to start company research with company info, jobs, or news?
PK: Yes…to all of them. There isn’t a right or wrong way to research a company, this depends on the companies you are trying to call into. Not all companies are going to have news about them, and some will have very limited job openings. Also, anything can be a hook so it depends on the solution on the best place to start.
10. Call someone before email??
PK: Stats for us show it doesn’t have a huge effect on the outcome, we prefer a soft touch via email after we establish who we should target. We call an account first via a mapping call, and then move to email with an individual. We give them time to respond (2 or 3 days) then we start to call and email them.
11. At the start of a SDR what is a realistic number of companies to reach out to per week, ideal conversion rates for clear next step?
PK: Somewhere between 50 to 150 a week, depending on your ICP. The more niche your ICP is, the lower the number will be. It then makes more sense to go deep and wide into a company rather than throwing lots of darts at a lot of suspects.