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The 2 Not-So-Obvious Traits of Successful B2B Sales Development Reps


Getting back to the gym after the holidays is always fun. Everyone has their resolution to get back in shape after eating obscene amounts over the previous month. Of course, you end up having to deal with a sea of people taking up literally every piece of equipment that the gym has to offer. It's certainly enticing, since most gyms nowadays can offer memberships at $10 a month. Out of curiosity, I asked a friend who works at the gym what the sales numbers look like this time of year since the fees are so low. She said that they typically see a 35% growth in new membership in January, which you come to expect this time of year. 

While new sales are obviously very important for them focus on, she said that their corporate offices spend much of their time focused on what their "active membership" looks like. The definition of an active gym member would be someone that comes to workout 1 time a week. 

Of the 80 locations they have across the US, take a guess at how many members they have that fall into this category? Only 8%!

They're hoping that 92 out of 100 of us sign up, pay the 10 bucks a month, work out a few times and then either forget about it, or blow it off for the rest of the year. 

Since this is a sales blog, I assume you can probably see where I'm going with this. 

There are two common traits that I always see in both the workout warrior and the top B2B sales development rep: Persistence and excellent time management skills. 

The workout warrior recognizes that in order to get into shape, they must be persistent and willing to deal with a little sweat and pain along the road to getting to where they want to be.

Persistence in sales is similar.  It is pretty common for a sales development rep to say something like, "Man, I am getting beat up on the phones today." While we all can provide our reps with some inspirational words, we can't get around the fact that they will see much more rejection than they will success when cold calling. Our numbers say that approximately 90% of your efforts will result in rejection... so you might as well get used to it. My point is, a core part of your reps' make-up has to be resiliency and persistence, since it is inevitable that they will run into that rude prospect that blows them off on the phone. The difference is that the successful sales development reps realizes that this is the inherent risk when dialing. They just pick up the phone with the mindset that the next prospect they contact will be interested in what they have to say, rather than stewing over a rude response for an hour.

It can be a pretty easy for us to say that we didn't have time today to get to the gym. Before you know it, it's a month later and you've only gone to the gym one time.  A workout warrior has the time management skills to carve out the time in their day to fit a pump, or a jazzercise or whatever your thing is into a busy schedule. They have the same 24 hours to work with as you do. 

In B2B sales, the difference between an "A" player and others that struggle with time management is that the "A" player takes the time to think about each dial they are making. A common issue I have seen with the inconsistent reps is their tendency to procrastinate. They have the skills required to produce consistently, but at times, they allow their day to get away from them. As a result, the work they should have tended to in the AM needs to be made up for later on in the day. Think about how inefficient those dials are in the PM if all you are doing is jamming in dial after dial hoping no one picks up the phone in order to hit the expected daily call out-put. Essentially, all they are doing is making dials so that it appears as if they have had a productive day rather than doing it the right way by appropriately pacing out their day.

So what are your priorities for 2015? Whether it's becoming the work-out warrior you want to be or killing in sales, your persistence and time management will be a great foundation to getting you there. 

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About the Author   |   Craig Ferrara

Craig Ferrara is the Vice President of Client Operations for AG Salesworks. He has extensive experience in the sales and teleprospecting process. Craig joined AG Salesworks in 2003 and has successfully managed several teams of high-performing Business Development Representatives. To read more of his articles, click here.

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