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I’ve been a successful B2C sales manager for the past 18 years. That being said, I recently took over sales for a new B2B data analytics platform, and my tried-and-true cold-calling tactics just aren’t cutting it.
We have a team of 40 outbound callers, but it’s almost impossible to get anyone on the phone. When we do, they usually just tell us to put them on the do-not-call list, or that they aren’t interested.
I figure we need to try a more targeted approach. We looked into options and want to try out account-based marketing, but really don’t even know where to start. Cold calling into our ‘target accounts’ is not getting us anywhere… neither are cold emails, for that matter.
We need to get into these big, behemoth brands (Apple, Starbucks, etc.) but we don’t know where to start…. Do you have any suggestions for us?
Thanks in advance!
Sales Director at B2B firm, Sacramento, CA
Sounds like there is a huge gap in your go-to-market strategy. Since you’re new to B2B, allow me introduce you to the Sales Development Representative (SDR). SDRs support and enable account-based marketing (ABM), and they’ll be your biggest ally to executing a well-oiled ABM approach.
First things first – take your list of target accounts, and stop blowing their phones up. That’s annoying, and you don’t need to be on any more do-not-call lists than you already are. Second, let me share a little more with you about the role SDRs can play in solving the problems you’re having.
With 40 outbound callers, it makes sense for you to get granular with their responsibilities. Think about allocating a portion of your callers as Lead Development Representatives (LDRs) and the remainder as SDRs. Each role plays up different strengths, so here’s a snapshot to show you the difference:
SDRs & ABM
Now that you have a good idea of what the SDR role consists of, let’s talk about how they will be your best friends when executing an ABM plan.
Picture this: you’re mindlessly scrolling through your in-box, until, at last! You see a subject line that catches your attention. You decide to click. Once you open the email you realize the sender actually did their homework to deliver a message that provides value to you.
This is the power of the SDR. They have time to do the detailed research it will take to penetrate your target accounts. They’ll get to know their target accounts so deeply they’ll be able to craft messaging that hits home with prospects.
Here are some examples of the best places for your SDRs to gather insights:
A combination of these tactics and tools gives SDRs the intelligence they need to prioritize accounts based on intent topics, keyword research, press releases, job promotions, company news, and so much more. In short, they consolidate the key details your SDR needs to know about a target account.
Ready to get started?
You can align your SDRs by either territory or sales rep, based on the structure of your sales team. From there, they’ll have a list of assigned accounts to go after. They’ll go through the list and start thoroughly researching the accounts so they can prioritize them based on who will be most receptive to your product or service at that time – further segmenting their account list into high, medium, and low priority.
Next up, talking to people! When they begin calling they can gain an advantage by making friends with the assistants. Assistants are an SDR’s best advocate as they are the one who fills up those coveted calendar spaces for the high-level execs whose attention you’re vying for.
It also helps for SDRs to connect with lower level associates to get a full understanding of their pains and challenges from the end-user’s point of view. They often provide insight into current projects, pending RFPs, and pertinent information the SDR can leverage on future calls within the account so when they do get the decision maker on the phone, they’ll know exactly how to open the call. By talking to various role levels within the company, they’ll be able to craft better messaging that speaks directly to the pain points within that target account.
Crafting emails that elicit responses
Along with calling, your SDRs will be sending emails into target contacts within their account list. Keeping emails short and sweet is a must. Here’s an example of what works for our SDRs:
If you don’t get a response within a couple of days, it’s helpful to pull that email back up from the ‘sent’ folder and forward it to the same person, so they are more likely to open it.
After your SDRs complete thorough research and craft messaging as relevant to the prospects needs and challenges as possible, they’ll experience the insane conversion rates you’ve been hoping for.
In our experience, about half of the people our SDRs reach out to with hyper-personalized emails will reply back requesting a meeting.
SOS – no more flare guns in your future!
Now that you’ve realized your weak-spot, you can begin to take the necessary steps to fill the gaps in your go-to-market strategy. Your head is in the right place; and with the added help of SDRs, you won’t be sending out rescue signals any time soon!
Wishing you strategic sales success,
Vice President of Strategic Accounts, Televerde