The True Coin of the Realm for SDRs

A Meme of Kip from Napoleon Dynamite with the Words "Sales Prospect Said to Call Back in 6 Months. I Guess You Could Say Things Are Getting Pretty Serious"

What is the real currency for SDRs?

A power dialer that can pummel your ear with calls faster than the M134 Minigun? 

A beautiful Irish lilt in your voice that mesmerizes C-levels into saying, “Yes…yes…Tuesday at 3 pm would be just fine for a 45-minute demo.”?

A perfect email cadence with an 80% open rate and 79% CTR? 

Actually, it’s your value proposition. 

Wait! Don’t tune me out just yet — give me a couple of hundred words to win you over before you go back to watching the best fails of the year on YouTube.

The hardest job of an SDR is to cut through the noise. To wake someone up. To matter. Absent a strong value proposition, an SDR has to slap prospects with a multitude of gimmicks in order to try and get the most scarce resource in selling — the prospect’s attention. But what prospects want — what they desperately want — is a carefully crafted value proposition. A compelling value that eases our burden in the drudgery of work is what we all crave. It means someone is finally paying attention to us. It means that someone cares. 

When you think about your value proposition to your customer, how did you come up with it? Did you adjust it after getting feedback from customers? If so, good for you. 

The value proposition should answer 3 basic questions: 

  1. Why should a prospect change at all? 
  2. Why should they buy your category? 
  3. Why should they buy from your company over your competitors? 

For an SDR, the most important of these three is the first one, so that’s where we’ll focus. This question is the hook around which all the meat is wrapped to entice your prospect to accept an appointment. It is our challenge to the biggest competitor on earth for all companies and products: the status quo. If your prospect bought the status quo then they bought jack squat…they were simply restercising, piddlefarting, even-keeling, or enthusiastically declaring “meh”. It means that neither you nor your competitors are going to win over this couch potato. 

A more pointed way to ask this question is: 

Why is the prospect’s current method unsafe, unsustainable, or unacceptable? 

Now the value prop of your solution being 8% cheaper or 10% faster no longer sounds good enough, does it? We need to dig deep and hold ourselves to a much higher standard. We must be able to tell the prospect why the current method is simply not an option. 

On what basis can we say that something is unsafe, unsustainable, or unacceptable? Reframing the prospect’s world is one way to do this. Check out this article about one of the greatest pitch decks of all time which was created by Zuora. The very first slide reframes the prospect’s reality by unapologetically stating that we now live in a subscription economy. So in this new world we are living in, there are bound to be winners and losers, no? And do I, the prospect, want to be a loser? No, I do not because being a loser is unsafe, unsustainable, and unacceptable. So your job after the reframe is to simply explain why your solution is the difference between winning and losing in this new reframed reality. 

Now that your SDR can clearly articulate the key reasons why the status quo is unacceptable, they need to knead these reasons into questions that get a prospect’s attention. 

For example, as the Co-Founder of one of the first AI-based lead gen companies, I started asking prospects how they were leveraging AI to improve their lead generation. There was always a pause because they weren’t leveraging AI at all (I knew this)…but I heard them silently saying to themselves, “Shit…I feel like I’m about to get left behind.” And no one wants to be left behind. This simple framing, along with a great sales team, took us all the way to a $24M run rate and a B Round which is when I exited. 

I’ve used this kind of thinking to help many companies dramatically improve their value prop and their revenue growth since then. 

So as you continue to look for ways to boost your numbers, don’t overlook your value proposition. I’ve never met a value prop that I didn’t want to tinker with to better shape the sales story or give it a complete overhaul. In the long run, it has made all the difference, from the top to the bottom of the funnel. 

About the author: Sanjit Singh is the Founder & CEO of Boltt, a fractional sales leadership company. Boltt helps early stage tech startups create a repeatable sales engine in 6 months. To read about our process, see our startup growth infographic. If you might like help with your sales process, contact us.