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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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4 Quick Tips to Set Your Business Development Reps Up for Success


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Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a guest post from Katie Kelly, Associate Inbound Marketing Specialist at HubSpot.

Traditionally, we think of BDRs as energetic, hungry, cold-calling machines. How can we get a prospect into taking a meeting? How can we get creative with our voicemails or sales pitches?

This worked well for decades - that was until our little friend, The Internet, arrived. Before the Internet, we didn't know what we wanted, when we wanted it, or why we wanted it. Instead, we were told. We were told by TV ads, cold calls, radio commercials, billboards, etc., that we need this product/service and we need it now!

This urgency, this curiosity, this overzealous time line, doesn't exist anymore. We have the Internet at our fingertips now. What does this mean? This means that the act of going to the yellow phone book and dialing number after number is dead! Yet, that is what many companies hand BDRs - a list of outdated, inaccurate, and uninterested strangers. Not prospects, strangers. A prospect is someone who has some level of interest in you, so stop handing inside sales reps unresearched lists and start setting them up for success. 

Below are 4 Quick Tips to set your BDR up for success - which in turn, sets your business up for success:

1. Say Goodbye to (Aimlessly) Smiling and Dialing.

The traditional robotic, monotonous routine of cold callers needs to be transformed. First off, who even answers unknown numbers these days? Hello! CALLER ID! So this Smile and Dial needs to be replaced with research. Know who you are calling and let them know you know them well! Whether it be lead intelligence or researching a company's blog/press releases - get relevant and get real. My favorite tool for capturing some insight on my prospects (and therefore calling when I know they're already showing interest) is Signals. Signals is a free tool for sales reps to track your email open and clicks, so you can see who you should call and take action on, and who needs some time to cook. 

2. Leverage your network.

This doesn't mean network in the traditional sense; it means network in the social sense. Get your BDRs/Sales team involved in social conversations. Comment on blogs, follow relevant industry groups on LinkedIn. Engage with people outside of a phone call or email. Think about it: Most people don't even answer a friend's phone call unless they know why they are calling. But if prospects receive a tweet, a blog comment, or a relevant email from a stranger, they will be far more willing to type than to talk. Take advantage of that!

3. Directly Involve BDRs in the Sales Process.

At HubSpot, we have a 2:1 ratio between Sales Reps to BDRs. Do your best to keep the ratio small and encourage a two-way street relationship. Your sales reps can learn from your BDRs just as much as your BDRs can learn from your sales reps. This tight relationship helps with two key areas: 

A) Internal growth. A BDR within an organization can most of the time drive more revenue when they get promoted as a Sales Rep than an outside Rep because they know the company inside and out.

B) Accountability. A BDR that is held accountable for their end result and can see the process for getting there will be far more successful than a BDR who aimlessly sets up meetings with little input, other than "deal closed," "that meeting was good," and "that meeting was bad." Keep them involved; don't just praise or punish for what was good vs. bad. Help them understand WHY something was good and WHY something was bad and what the next steps are, so they feel like they are just as responsible for a deal won as a deal lost. Giving them the ability to see what comes of their hard work and the steps involved will not just make them set up better meetings with strong integrity, but your BDRs will also hold your Sales Reps accountable for closing that great deal they created for them!

4. Create a Path for Growth.

Typically, a BDR is fresh out of college, excited for their first gig in the real world. However, we all know this excitement can start to diminish. Don't let it! Create opportunities for your BDRs to work towards something. Whether your model requires someone to be a BDR for one year or two, you need to inspire and encourage growth. If you don't, they may well leave. Create mini-promotions and benchmarks within the role for your BDRs to reach. Give added responsibility and opportunity to your top performers to keep them interested. Usually what happens with BDRs is, when they finally have mastered the role, they get bored and either want to be promoted to a Sales Rep or do something completely different. Unfortunately, when a BDR is continually achieving peak performance, you don't want to let them go. That's why it is important to keep the role interesting and give your BDRs many short-term goals to achieve instead of one long-term goal. 

Katie Kelly is an Associate Inbound Marketing Specialist at HubSpot. She's worked in Business Development for over 2 years. Her current responsibilities include training new Business Development Representatives on HubSpot's Enterprise team, while continuing to prospect and qualify for the two Account Executives she supports. Signals is her favorite sales tools. 



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