SDR Best Practices – Knowing the Inflection Points
There are four inflection points in a SDRs workflow from the moment of starting to dial a prospect, to a booked meeting that goes on the sales executive’s pipeline: Improving Connect Rates, Improving Conversion Rates, Meeting Attendance Rate, and Meeting Acceptance rate.
We will discuss the second one in some detail below.
2. Best Practices for Improving Meeting Conversion Rates
If your SDRs follow the best practices we recommended here, they will see their connection rates increase in the form of returned emails and calls, and more calls picked up, as prospects begin to recognize who is calling them, and why.
Now, it’s time to make sure that every connection counts, and none are wasted. After all, you spent more money to get to this point.
And again, just as in the first step of increasing connection rates, the secret to increasing meeting conversion rates is to focus on the prospective buyer and conduct the call from her point of view.
The best way to look at this is to insert yourself in the prospect’s shoes. Imagine you just got a call (one of many you have received today) and you recognize the company calling. You decide, “What the heck, let’s see if they really have something worth checking”. You don’t know who you will be speaking to and how that conversation will go. Hoping it won’t be a total waste of your time, your interest is piqued and you hope for the best.
That is the bar your SDR has to meet at this point—not blow the call. And unfortunately, that happens quite a bit.
Bad Practices to Stop
- Don’t let your SDR assume the prospect already knows what this is about and waste time asking, “Did I catch you at a bad time”. It is almost always a bad time to interrupt someone.
- Don’t let your SDRs figure out what to say, when and to whom. As we explained in detail in a related blog, only your best SDRs will take the time and effort to really do their own research to be good at this. Most wing it, and since they don’t connect enough, they won’t have a chance to really hone their pitch.
- Don’t let your SDRs figure out their own objection management responses. Most will not develop effective ones.
- Don’t leave it up to the SDR to figure out how to set an appointment for the sales rep. Worse, don’t leave it up to the prospect to do that. Your SDR should never have to say, “Let me get back to you on times that can work for you and our sales exec.” That is likely a lost prospect.
- Don’t let your SDRs be chatty, ramble on, etc. That just increases the likelihood they could blow the call.
Better Practices to Follow
Under increasing connect rate, we said that a major best practice was to use highly segmented lists and that your SDRs should only call on one homogeneous group each day. The reason is that when they actually connect with a prospect, they only have to think of what to say to a specific role that works in a specific industry—financial controllers in medical device makers, for example. If you do that it now becomes easy to:
- Give your SDRs a specific call guide or navigator per specific industry-role combination. This call guide/navigator should give them what they need to know to talk at the level of the prospect:
- How to introduce themselves, their company and the reason for calling
- What they need to know about the industry they are calling into
- What they need to know about the role they are calling
- How to pitch the value prop of their product customized to this industry-role combo
- Handling objections including competitor related “We have that”
- handling frequently asked questions (such as, “how much does it cost” or “can I see a recorded demo” or other)
- Once the SDR has buy-in from the prospect to arrange a call or demo, your SDR should quickly and easily be able to tell the prospect the next two available slots for the meeting. If the prospect prefers a specific range of dates and times be able to quickly book that even if it is with a different sales exec than the one assigned to the SDR.
- Make sure your SDRs spend as much time as necessary to deliver their pitch handle objections, and book the meeting. No more.
- We had given a prospect every reason to pick up a call since the prospect already felt we had something of value to offer them
- When they pick up we continue to demonstrate our full understanding of their world and deliver a customized pitch that shows them a potential way to address their major pain
- When they agree to meet, we can book a meeting quickly while we have them on the call.
Operationalizing SDR Best Practices
We listed a whole bunch of best practices so far. If you agree these are good principles to follow, your next question is likely: “Well, how do I implement them?”
The first thing to keep in mind is that we are talking about automation that ensures that all your SDRs follow the same steps, say the same things, and take the same actions.
Operationalizing these best practices means you bake them into your SDRs’ daily workflow so they are less likely to skip, or cherry pick what they want to do and not do.
The biggest challenge is the list segmentation, which requires alignment between Sales, Marketing, and Sales Development. All three have to agree on what segments to pursue, which personas to pursue, what the messaging is for each segment-persona combo.
If you get that agreed upon, then the rest builds on that and is mostly grunt work.
This is perhaps a good place to let you know that SOMAmetrics has built a cloud-based intelligent prospecting solution. SIP delivers the product value prop, industry, persona, competitor, and campaign data your SDRs need to conduct expert-level calls and book quality meetings and generate a viable sales pipeline.
Unlike generic sales productivity tools, SIP is a sales effectiveness solution that comes fully configured with all the right market information, transforming even your most junior SDRs into elite performers within days.
SIP operationalizes these best practices in a single solution.
Find out more about SOMAmetrics’ Intelligent Prospecting Platform and get free resources on our website at www.somametrics.com.