In this episode we interview a seasoned SDR, Grant explains how he goes about collecting qualified leads, and how his methods have changed since COVID-19.
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This artifact was commissioned by OMI the company that makes CRM work! I'm George your host. And in this episode, I spoke with Grant and SDR, who knows that while the tools are important, his success is really about the relationship. Grant and I spoke about how he goes about collecting qualified leads, especially since things are a little different now during COVID Hey Grant. So thanks for being here with me today. Thanks for having me. All right. So how would you explain what a sales development representative is to the average person who may not be familiar with the title or, you know, to tech sales in general?Speaker 2:
Good question. So it's essentially a sales role in the tech industry, typically with software as the product, instead of selling in person, you're selling via the phone or email.Speaker 1:
Gotcha. And so what is your day-to-day process like when reaching out to prospects?Speaker 2:
My day-to-day process typically involves a combination of emailing, calling a little bit of LinkedIn and, you know, researching companies. and then based on the title and company o f the people that I'm after, or reaching out to, you know, any of that sort of can change.Speaker 1:
So do you have a set of tools that help you succeed in meeting your quotas and staying on task? And if so, which, which tools, aid in your research, and you know, outreach to a prospect?Speaker 2:
Yeah, so we use a web based tool called outreach, which organizes most of our activity. I use a combination of LinkedIn and ZoomInfo to find contact information as well. And then Salesforce is our main sort of CRM, which we use to house all of our prospects, contacts and customers data. I often run reports in Salesforce to pull certain contact or company lists, which then I upload into outreach for any sort of bulk action and outreach.Speaker 1:
And what are some best practices that you found work for you when prospecting and how do you find the balance between quality and quantity when you're contacting and engaging prospects?Speaker 2:
That is a great question. So my general strategy when messaging and prospecting, really come down to two skills that I've honed in on, based on the seniority of the person I'm reaching out to a may spend a significant more amount of time drafting off of these messages. I know, that w ill be more effective increase my change of getting a response. As far as cold calling is concerned, the importance of tone, respect and brevity are key i n making the people you reach out to actually want to speak with you.Speaker 1:
So what are some, you know, hard or soft skills you've developed in your role as an SDR that have helped you become successful? I think for me personally,Speaker 2:
You know, it's been really a combination of two things. I guess one is soft and then one is kind of a hybrid, I guess. So I think what's most important is time management, and the amount of time you spend reaching out to people. It's really easy to do, like back of the napkin math to determine how you're spending your time is effective or not. If you send a thousand emails in a day and you only get one response, tune your messaging, another aspect is I think persistence, and I think this is a soft skill, or I might categorize it as such, but, j ust because people aren't answering you now, or maybe they're telling you this, that, or the other reason now's not a good time to chat, it doesn't mean that they're not still engaged. It may mean you sort of need to work on your angle on how to approach them.Speaker 1:
So I want to ask you about some of your past experiences in sales, outside of the tech industry. What have you learned from, selling things that are not technology, and that can be transferred over into your current role.Speaker 2:
My only other sales experience prior to this role was in the automobile industry. This position consisted of a lot of retail and online sales. I think there's a considerable overlap with that role in my current role as SDR. You know, it's targeted and customized outreach, your tone and effective communication in general is valuable for any position, but especially in sales.Speaker 1:
Right? So you're giving out some advice here, but what is some advice that you've received that you found most helpful in your current role?Speaker 2:
The best advice I've received in this role is that quantity and quality of outreach are essential. You can't just pick one, if you plan on being successful, your odds are much better if you prioritize both, and striking that balance, is the most important part.Speaker 1:
And then, is there any advice from your own personal experience that you would be willing to share with someone interested in transitioning their career to sales, particularly as an SDR?Speaker 2:
Definitely. You know, I think, everyone has a different strategy, but, at the end of the day, it's really good. It really comes down to believing in yourself and never giving up. Sometimes you sort of start the month and or the quarter rather, andyou know, your quota can seem unattainable, but, with persistence and a little bit of elbow grease, I think anyone can be successful.Speaker 1:
So I imagine things are a little different for you since COVID 19. How has your approach changed? if it's changed at all since your onboarding and your initial training?Speaker 2:
You know, initially my approach completely changed when we first experienced the effects of COVID outreach, became less general and more personable, a focus on sort of g auging the context f or i t a nd situation. And, you know, if they've been impacted, that's obviously very important when you're reaching out to people, sales definitely dipped. At first, as we all became used to the new circumstances, I found myself sort of easing off of the more empathetic and cost cautious messaging, b ecause I realized it wasn't yielding much at all., and then a p age was definitely taken out of that book moving forward, but starting outreach with a COVID first mentality, just wasn't working.Speaker 1:
Yeah. So for the past few months, account executives have been tasked with prospecting their own customers. What tips would you share with AE's who are now spending more of their own time on outreachSpeaker 2:
For AE's who are now required to prospect their own customers? My advice generally would be to prioritize their ideal contacts and lob messages over time so that you can take what's working and dropped what isn't, it's important to have that data, but it's also important to have homemade messaging templates for less ideal titles. So you're still reaching out to as many people as you can without spending too much time on them. LinkedIn is a great way to gather virtually all of the information you'll need to cold call cold email, or, r each out to any of these customers. And then once you have enough artillery to relate to the client, it's easy to incorporate their needs and goals into your pitch.Speaker 1:
All right! Thanks for the time I'm going to let you get back to selling. Will do I appreciate it. Thanks.