Sales engagement platforms offer B2B sales managers with the opportunity to improve the sales development rep (SDR) role. They also assist in aligning sales and marketing teams, prioritizing sales activities, and reaching out to prospects across target accounts. Read on to learn how to use sales engagement technology to train your SDRs to have strong listening and business problem solving skills.
Reaching key decision makers has become more difficult as they are inundated with sales messages and ignore most of the emails and phone messages left for them. We trained our SDRs to “smile and dial” and failed to train them in saying anything compelling. SDRs are often fresh out of college and new to sales. Being an SDR is an opportunity for sales reps to prove themselves with their sales engagement, but if we simply put them on the phones with a generic pitch, most are likely to fail. This process rewards the tenacious and affable, while burning out the smart problem solvers who will be needed for the increasingly complex sales of the future.
If we are to build relationships and trust with our ABM prospects, extend our presence into additional departments, and successfully upsell and cross-sell, then we need to ensure that we train and promote those with strong listening and business problem solving skills. Tenacity and affability are excellent sales skills, but the ability to understand the client’s problems and suggest the appropriate actions are becoming increasingly important.
Multi-channel sales engagement tools such as Koncert Cadence help professionalize the SDR role through sales workflows or cadences, email templates, and prospect insights. Too often, SDRs quit on prospects after only one or two touches, taking an initial lack of response as a lack of interest. But prospects are busy and may simply have missed or ignored initial contact attempts.
Often, it takes seven or eight messages to gain a prospect’s attention. By simplifying the messaging and sales outreach schedule, sales engagement platforms increase the likelihood of earning your prospect’s ear without overburdening the sales rep with planning, tracking, and messaging tasks.
A sales cadence provides a scheduled, multi-channel approach of cold calls, emails, texts, emails with video, and social touches, to messaging your prospects. Cadence software also tracks messaging and response activity for the rep, removing task overhead while ensuring that follow up tasks are scheduled and appropriately spaced. With analytics and call transcripts in hand, sales managers can identify rep weaknesses and provide coaching. They can also listen in on calls and whisper suggestions into the rep’s ear.
Cadences provide structure to SDRs and built in persistence. Cadence software also provides tested messaging, task prioritization, land analytics.
Tied to cadences are a set of email templates that provide tested messaging. In order to increase response rate, sales reps and SDRS should customize each email for the recipient when doable. SalesLoft found that a small bit of personalization greatly increases click-through rates. According to their research, a rep can double their email click through rates by personalizing twenty percent of the text. Thus, a small investment in time results in superior results.
To truly engage with buyers, you must understand their preferences. Vanilla engagement and outbound strategies will be less effective than those customized for both message and medium. (LinkedIn’s “Ultimate Sales Engagement Guide”)
Cadences can be assigned to specialized templates that are customized by industry, job function, company size, and underlying technology platforms. With Smart Platform, key variables are gathered from vendors to properly segment and assign prospects to the appropriate cadences.
Along with custom messaging and personalization, data intelligence assists with prioritization, helping the sales rep direct their activities throughout the day. Marketing can work with sales operations to identify the key attributes of ideal customers and build lead scoring models.
Cadence tools assist sales reps in determining who to call, when to call, and what to say. Sales reps can tailor their messages by industry, role, or surging topic of interest. As LinkedIn noted in a recent guide on sales engagement, “To truly engage with buyers you must understand their preferences.”
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