Within every company that is sales driven resides a varying amount of Business Development Reps that will come and go as the years pass. These people are interviewed, and hired and then go through their training process. Once they complete their training they’re unleashed and are handed a list of goals and expectations that they are expected to hit. Now just because they went through a training regimen does not mean they are fully trained and armed with the tactics and strategies to hit these goals.
It’s obvious to state that some BDRs prefer their working independence while some would rather more hands on training and oversight, but nevertheless it’s imperative that everyone receive call training periodically. When call shadowing with our BDRs there are several key areas we focus on:
List Management – The first thing I take notice of, is how they sort their personal list view for the campaign they are calling on. It’s a problem if they organize it by contact name because it shows right off the bat that their focus is on prospecting people instead of accounts. Their list views should be organized by company, because it is the account where they need to identify the right person within. Just because we bought a list of names does not mean these contacts will be the correct person within the company.
Resourcefulness – If they get an admin on the phone do they just ask to be connected to the person on their list or do they try and confirm who would be the best person to reach regarding XYZ and then use the person’s name if the admin is of no help? Don’t let them rely on data unless they know it’s good data. You can get IT Director contacts at thousands of companies from a list vendor but you should not rely on that info until you have personally confirmed that the data is good and they are still someone you would want to contact. If the BDR has no reliable contacts within a company how well do they use social media (LinkedIn) and online searches for better contacts?
Transition questions – When they do get the right person live on the phone I like to take notice on how they try to engage their prospect in conversation. So it’s crucial to have a good transition question that doesn’t require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer but rather a more thought provoking answer so it’ll be a more natural conversation where they can either qualify the person in or out.
CRM Management – A CRM is only as good as the people who use it. Take notice on how they manage their usage of it and how they update records and/or accounts. Your process, analytics, reporting and your overall data quality will suffer if it’s not properly being updated and handled. It’s one reason why data cleansing companies exist.
Personality & Character – This varies from person to person but I tend to emphasize the importance of a positive and lively tone on the phone. If you sound dull and monotone you should expect to get the cold shoulder more often than someone that breathes a little more life on their calls. It’s natural to want to babble when you’re feeling anxious or uncertain, but when it comes to teleprospecting, it’s much better if the contact is doing most of the talking. The BDR should be the catalyst that feeds the appropriate probing and qualifying questions to effectively understand whether that company/dept is a viable candidate for whatever service or solution they offer.
It is important to maximize the time spent with your reps while shadowing calls and this checklist should provide a good reference for that. Go into your training sessions looking for specific areas where you can help your inside sales reps improve upon and take this opportunity to make your team better. What are some of the things you look for when call shadowing?
Mike Ricciardelli, a Director of Client Operations for AG Salesworks, has been working here since 2009. He is responsible for managing client relationships, daily reporting and project analytics, strategic marketing campaigns and ongoing training for Business Development Reps. Read his articles here. For more information on Mike Ricciardelli, see here.