Sales development is a passion of mine. Say what you will, I don’t consider the sales development rep (SDR) an entry-level role. SDRs aren’t just telemarketers: they’re the front line of your company’s first-impressions.
If you blow that first impression, it’s difficult to recover. And as more and more outreach becomes automated, more prospects tune out and you have to try harder to be memorable. In 2018, more than ever, you have to EARN that sales meeting.
Here is how I earn mine.
Target the right businesses
Sounds easy right? Only, it isn’t. We salespeople treasure our intuition but sometimes, it can hold us back. But it’s time for us to set aside our pride and use data to make the right decisions when it comes to identifying your company’s total addressable market.
AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics work and aren’t going anywhere. We take these for granted everyday…
Think Netflix, self-driving cars, or your phone suggesting responses to a text. These applications are common in the consumer world and increasingly available in B2B sales.
It’s time to swallow your sales pride and use the data to your advantage.
The goal of prospecting is to get a conversation
Most people new to sales development struggle with passing qualified meetings over to account executives (AEs). If the meeting is unqualified, it’s a lose-lose situation. Not only will the AE not like it, but your meeting won’t move through the pipeline. Your return on your time spent setting up the meeting will be negative.
I have learned a lot about this concept from Chris Beal, CEO of ConnectandSell. Meetings are great, but meetings with the right timing are much better. That is why conversations are so important. If you greet the prospect with energy and enthusiasm and ask relevant questions that tie back to your product’s value, you will earn more conversations. These conversations will get you to the right buying group at the right time.
How to Earn that Sales Meeting
People won’t give you their time unless you earn it. I have always been a fan of Jacco van der Kooij’s methodology — research, reference, request. The most important thing in my mind when it comes to earning a prospects time is making your time together relevant.
That is why it’s important to set the tone before the meeting ever happens with a message like this:
The best part about structuring your emails in this fashion is that it sets up all your other outbound activities as well.
Now, when you call into the account or engage them on social, you have a great story to tell that is highly relevant to the solution you are trying to sell.
This is what I mean by EARNING the meeting and the key is being relevant.
If you have carpet in your home or apartment you don’t go and demo the swiffer wet-jet, it just doesn’t really make sense for you to spend your time doing that. Persistence alone cannot save you. Neither can personalization, if used alone.
But persistence and personalization coupled with relevance? That’s how you EARN a meeting in 2018. Happy hunting!