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 each the fourth one in detail below.
4. Best Practices for Meeting Acceptance Rates
So far, we have been talking about how we maximize booked meetings—focusing on quantity. At this point, we switch to the quality of meetings.
The question is: of the meetings set and attended, how many actually end up on the sales pipeline? What is the actual pipeline size built?
Let’s say you have a prolific SDR (let’s call him MIke) who books an average of ten meetings a month and through his relentless follow up, gets eight of them attended. And, as a result, Mike builds an average of $500K sales pipeline a month.
Let’s suppose another of your SDRs (let’s call her Sarah) sets an average of five meetings a month, and gets at least four attended. However, Sarah consistently builds on average around a $600K sales pipeline per month.
What’s going on here? How is that MIke sets twice the meetings and gets 20% less pipeline?
Obviously, you care about the sales pipeline, not meetings (meetings are a means to the end—sales pipeline).
Here is what likely is happening:
- Mike is setting meetings with anyone who agrees, including junior level people who can’t get a decision, or senior execs who are looking at something that they either don’t have a budget for or don’t yet want to fight to get a budget for.
- Sarah, on the other hand, qualifies better, and while she talks to junior level people, only books meetings with their bosses. And just as importantly, Sarah takes trouble to identify real pain and make it explicit to the prospect, then takes her notes and enters it in the CRM.
Remember not all sales reps are elite pros, either. Some are way better than others. So, with Sarah taking some trouble to ferret out real pain and get that in front of her sales exec, she ensures that this is more likely to end up on the pipeline, for a larger deal size, and closes faster than otherwise would.
To summarize, everything we did through the first three inflection points is about maximizing the number of meetings attended.
The last one is about the quality of the meetings set, so more end up on the sales pipeline. However, that groundwork is laid out starting from the first inflection point, and especially during the actual call. Sarah does a much better job prior to booking a meeting in finding out about the size and urgency of pain than does Mike. So, she gets the bigger wins.
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.