Sales is exciting, they said. Sales is competitive, they said. Sales never sleeps, they said. They’re wrong. Sales is boring, tedious, and difficult. When you’re surrounded by AEs closing deals and building connections, being an SDR is a chore, and cold calling all day proves to be a time suck at best.
If this is your attitude as an SDR it doesn’t mean that sales isn’t for you, it means you’re going about selling the wrong way. It’s easy to forget that not all prospects are created equal when your primary responsibility is to make tens — if not hundreds — of dials every single day.
The good news is that you’re not alone. The better news is that there is a solution to get you out of the doldrums and back to enjoying the prospecting process. All you have to do is target the right prospects.
Targeted outreach strategies differ depending on the origin of your prospects, but ultimately, a blend of both inbound and outbound strategies will prove to be the most successful.
Inbound SDRs can often feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of contacts they’re responsible for. Being handed a list with hundreds of contacts and having to call them multiple times can be daunting. But before you blindly dial down the list there are a few steps you can take to turn your massive list into a manageable and more accurate one.
1. Remove competitors
Often times at trade shows and webinars your company’s competitors will stop by or listen in to gain some insight on their competition. It’s a smart business strategy on their part, but a nuisance for you and your giant list. Obviously, there’s no need to call these people — so don’t! It’s just as important to remove bad prospects as it is to identify good ones.
2. Check titles
Another common annoyance with calling through a list of inbound leads is misinformation — specifically with contact’s titles. It’s supremely frustrating to call a “hot lead” only to find out they’re not involved with the right department and can’t refer you to anyone. Some people just like to gain knowledge and they ended up on your list because they thought your company had a cool name or some really sweet swag. Picking through these obvious wrong titles will help cull your list further.
You don’t need to call (123) 456–7890 to know that it’s a BS number, and you don’t need to email firstname.lastname@example.org to know it’s a BS email address. That misinformation isn’t a mistake. Consumers are smart — if a prospect wanted to be considered a warm lead, they would’ve given you their information openly.
That’s not to say one piece of bad data means you shouldn’t reach out. If you only have a name, an email, or a phone number you should use your outbound prospecting skills (see below) to find the correct info and reach out accordingly.
“While inbound account mapping is focused on removing the wrong prospects, outbound account mapping is all about finding the right ones. Lucky for you, LinkedIn (and other dedicated prospecting tools) are here to help.”
While knowing the tips and tricks to best utilize your preferred prospecting tool is nice, it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know what you’re looking for and what you need to find. Be as specific as possible. Let’s say that you are trying to sell an Applicant Tracking System to enterprise-level accounts. What do you think will give you better search results?:
A) Keyword search for “director” “hr” and [insert fortune 500 company here]
B) Keyword search for “Director of HR” OR “Director of Recruitment” AND “ATS”
The answer is obviously B. The more specific you are, the easier it is to find the BEST people.
But what if my search is so specific there are 0 results?
That’s when you broaden your search. It’s important to start small and broaden your search from there. That way you don’t waste any time looking through dozens of mediocre contacts before finding a good one. The reason you’re doing this at all is to be a more efficient SDR, so wasting time looking through bad contacts unnecessarily negates the effort you made in the first place.
Doing this allows you to reach out to the best prospects, minimizing the amount of time you waste attempting to contact the wrong people. You’ll have higher conversion rates, more connections, and (above all else) sales will be fun again.