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About This Episode
The sales process is a long and arduous one. Having a healthy pipeline or funnel is what we all hope to create, but why doesn’t it always happen?
Is your account executive or salesperson a general one? In other words, are they doing all the work? When your sales rep is in charge of every layer of the sales process, from prospecting to qualifying to pitching, getting just one sale can be exhausting.
That’s why many companies, especially in the tech industry, are breaking down that process to allow a sales rep to do the one thing they’re really good at — sell.
Lindsay Liranzo manages the BDR and SDR teams over at ZOOM where she’s seen these roles double the amount of business they’re able to generate. A former SDR herself, she loves the excitement and ability a BDR holds in fearlessly calling a CIO to give them a value proposition. So many great skills are learned in this role, which is why she loves developing them.
Finding the Right People
The first thing Lindsay looks for is people who share the same passion and values of the company. For example, one of Zoom’s values is happiness, so Lindsay looks for people who have that in their core. That looks like people who demonstrate a desire to help others, to understand their businesses and how they can be more effective, and a desire to be someone of value for someone else.
Because a large part of a BDR’s role is doing research, Lindsay asks the same question in every interview: what research did you do on me before this call? She looks for people who do the right amount of research. She’s not interested in someone who spends hours trying to learn every single thing about their prospect because there’s just not enough time in a day to do that for everyone.
The ones that do really well are those who can pull 2-3 key points before their call and blow them away with the few (but important) things you know about them. Check their website, their LinkedIn clubs/associations, and initiatives they’re talking about online. Make it basic, but make it valuable.
At the end of the day, sales is all about confidence. When hiring for a BDR/SDR role, you want someone who 1. knows they’re selling value 2. can make a pitch and 3. you can feel confident that they’re only pushing qualified prospects to account executives.
Honesty and integrity
Finally, you want someone with integrity. It’s a really important role that usually doesn’t own accounts in Salesforce. Since they typically partner with an AE, you want to trust them in properly tracking their activity in Salesforce, both with prospects and AEs.
You also don’t want someone who might deceive prospects, even in seemingly minimal ways. You wouldn’t want someone who would pretend they already have a foot in the door with a prospect when they don’t or reach too far when trying to be relevant.
Their value comes down to pipeline generation. They are sourcing pipeline for the business. They are now one of the first positions a startup creates because getting your foot in the door and getting your message out there is important. Marketing can only do so much, and having that personal touch is lost.
AEs can strictly focus on closing business for the company when they’re time isn’t spent prospecting. While they may continue to do some level of prospecting, your company still has someone feeding the pipeline when they’ve shifted their focus for some time to close a sale.
What AEs really need is quality meetings so that they can close business and reach revenue goals. If you raise your revenue goals, an AE can close more business in the same amount of time if you have a BDR feeding them quality leads.
Gone are the days where you can send one-off or mass marketing emails. When you look at the data, it’s now easy to see that you can no longer just spray and pray. You need targeted approaches with different types of touches. This has become so important to the quality piece of quantity vs. quality because you can’t just throw out a big net and wait to see what comes back.
It doesn’t work anymore because we are inundated with emails these days. We get so many of the same emails that we end up just deleting most of them. But if you can make yourself known with a LinkedIn connected or targeted mail or a phone call, you show that you’re valuable and worth their time.
Imagine if your account executives could close twice as many sales because you gave them the time and freedom to focus solely on that. When a BDR and account executive work together, everyone is happier.
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