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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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Are Your Inside Sales Reps Good Detectives?


Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a guest entry from one of our BDRs, Stephen Wolff. 

It is always difficult to answer the most common question asked of me when I meet new people.  “What do you do for work?”  I always tell people I work as a “Sales and Marketing Consultant.”  The reason I say this is because I do more than just find “leads” for AG Salesworks clients.  Part of our responsibility as a Business Development Representative (BDR) is to not only find “quality sales opportunities” but to get marketing information on what is going on in the businesses that we call into.  The information we uncover is key to building our clients’ forecasts.  The sales reps can tailor their pitch, due to the level detail outlined in our opportunities, making the most effective use of time spent with prospects.

When I begin calling on a prospect I have three goals in mind.  First is to get the lead. Second, if the prospect is not interested, get some information on why they are not interested, and third, set up a time to reconnect in the future when they would be more interested in evaluating a new product, anticipating that in the long run this is a chance to turn this prospect into an opportunity.

I think of my job as a detective.  When I call I try to use every minute that I am on the phone with someone to get as much out of the call as possible.  This can be tough with time constraints, meetings and people who just really do not want to talk to people taking up their time with sales calls. 

I like to use Colombo’s lines “Oh, one more thing.” I find that people are willing to share one more thing with me in order to get me off the phone.  This one thing may turn into a longer conversation that could bring out more pains and needs from the prospect and in time, turning this ‘not interested’ person into an opportunity for our clients.  Every little bit of information helps.  It may not get me an opportunity today, but the information I gather can only help me to find that opportunity down the road.  Usually, it’s this marketing information that sets AG Salesworks apart from everyone else in our field.  When a prospect tells me that they are not interested, this is where we need to find out why.  Is it because they are using a competitor and if so who?  The information that we find in this part of our calls is extremely important as it creates the marketing intelligence that is often just as important as a lead is to our clients. 

For sales, I find information such as when they plan their budgets, how they find funding, when their funding is released, and when their fiscal year begins.  For marketing, it could be finding proper verticals, best collateral, and the organization size that best fits their product. Also, for both sales and marketing, other useful information can be how old their technology is, how often do they evaluate their solution, and when do they think they will be looking at vendors or upgrading/expanding on what they are using.

So all of this information can be very beneficial several ways, most notably: by a BDR to follow up at a later date knowing what to expect and set up a call accordingly, as well as by the marketing team to determine where they need focus their energy and marketing resources to build their future pipeline.

We, BDR’s, are like Detectives trying to find all the facts and get the whole story from each phone call so that we can provide the most information not only on the opportunities that we find but also on the prospects that are not opportunities…Yet.


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