Episode TwoHundredSixty

Build a Culturally Minded BDR Team

Guest: Sven Kliem, Director of Business Development and Sales Operations at Mapp Digital

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About This Episode

Outreach in Africa should look totally different than it does in the Nordics. Is your BDR team showing cultural awareness in their multichannel approach?

Recently on Sales Engagement, I had an amazing conversation with Sven Kliem, Director of Business Development and Sales Operations at Mapp Digital, about building a culturally minded BDR team.

Sven made it to Mapp Digital by way of video game translation and data analytics (he loves both linguistics and data). “Opportunities will always arise. You just have to be ready to take them on,” he said.

Let’s get right into the conversation!

A cultural approach to BDR teams

“Especially cultural studies helps me to understand what’s going on when you’re working for a global organization,” Sven said.

First of all, the BDR team itself is made up of people from different backgrounds. Cultural awareness makes communicating with them easier.

Primarily, however, cultural studies enables Sven to help his team engage properly with their global targets. It helps you understand what you should do to stand out of the pile and create a connection with your prospects.

Even though Mapp Digital has four main regions, each of those represents huge cultural differences. In Germany, there may not be a lot of talking, whereas in Italy, you don’t necessarily expect to get down to business right away. 

“If you’re a global organization, then this is even multiplied,” Sven said.

Training the team culturally

It would be impossible to take one single approach to training the BDR team for cultural appreciation. But there are overarching qualities that it’s important for the team to appreciate and adopt.

  • Motivation to try things out. There’s no cookie cutter template to use, so the team needs to be committed to keep analyzing what is and isn’t working.
  • An omnichannel approach. Tweaking your outreach to include LinkedIn, emails, and calls means taking a scientific approach to adapting various templates for success.
  • Openness. Having a team spirit of persistence, optimism, and motivation all contribute to an atmosphere of success.

Openness means it’s welcome for people to ask for help if something isn’t working. “People sit down and really discuss this in depth and try to figure out what’s actually the reason for why things are not working. This is where data comes into play,” Sven said.

Sometimes it’s the cultural approach that’s hindering, such as lack of personalization or even just the wrong title, and sometimes it’s the numbers.

The reverse funnel approach 

A successful reverse funnel approach is built on omnichannel. Rather than inundating everyone with webinar invites, it takes a series of channels to land the phone call, which is still the closest thing to a personal meeting in most places.

Successful calling is even harder now. It takes strategic research to get cell numbers, since many people are still out of office working remotely. “Now you need to have done your research on the person… so you can convince them that it’s worth talking to you,” Sven said.

It takes a multichannel approach to build enough interest to get in touch with someone by phone to have a chance at a relationship.

“Do everything because you never know where you get in touch with somebody. It definitely makes sense to have a multichannel approach also for outreach,” he said.

The reverse funnel in numbers

This is the reverse funnel: Have a goal in mind and build the numbers you need from there.

Here’s a simplified example.

  • You look at your annual goal and see how much you want to earn.
  • If you want to earn X, how many opportunities do you have to find in that time period?
  • If you want to have 100 opportunities and only 50% convert, you need 200 discovery calls.
  • In order to get 200 discoveries, how many activities do you need per discovery? Let’s say you have to get in touch with at least 2,000 people.
  • So that may mean you need to reach out to 40 people a day, including time for researching industries or individuals.
  • Now you have a daily numerical goal that you can devote yourself to optimizing.

If you want to figure out what numbers you need to hit and what types of activities you need, start doing a bit of math based on your CRM in your sales engagement platform. 

Of course, this reverse funneling process isn’t a straight line. You have to continually optimize and improve on a micro and macro level.

Bottom line: The data will give you a clue as to whether you’re doing enough, a starting place for you to build with your education, experience, and growing cultural awareness.

Sven’s top takeaways

Sven: It doesn’t matter what job you’re in, you should be motivated, and you should keep training yourself and educating yourself. Both sides are important, theory and practice. It’s important that you have an experimental startup mentality, as BDR, as a salesperson, because only then you can have this data available to continue to optimize even if everything is working great. Wouldn’t you like to improve 1% each day? That only works if you try out new things and improve processes.

Get in touch with Sven on his LinkedIn.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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