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Training Your BDR/SDRs: Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Automation

Training Your BDR/SDRs: Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Automation

Categories: Sales Enablement Technology  |  Inside Sales

The last few years have seen a proliferation of sales acceleration tools. While many have come and gone, the best have taken root and proven that they really can help automate the most menial and manual sales tasks. Time-consuming activities like sending follow-up emails, making CRM updates, even tasks like activity planning have been improved with automation.

Even though their impact is well documented, the reality, as many sales leaders know, is that these tools can’t replace the basics of good selling. Too many sales organizations rely too heavily on automation and fail to equip their teams with the basic sales fundamentals necessary to effectively sell on initial calls.

With that in mind, below are three key steps business/sales development leaders should take to ensure their reps are equipped to execute effectively and maximize the investment in sales automation.

1. Emphasize the Importance of a Conversation

Email is a great prospecting tool, but relying on its automation too much, can also enable your reps to hide from prospect conversations. Only through a live phone conversation can you really ask questions and qualify your prospect. While multiple dials may be draining, nothing can replace the effectiveness of getting an interested prospect on the phone.

2. Take Time to Pre-call Plan

It’s easy to say you don’t have time to pre-call plan when sales automation tools enable you to do hundreds of dials a day. But do your BDR/SDRs know what to do once the prospect has picked up? Provide your teams with the tools that allow them to plan easily for strategic calls, ensuring they provide value once connected with the prospect. Before making a call, your BDR/SDRs should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Why am I reaching out?

Outreach should be targeted and for a specific reason. Whether it’s because the prospect has indicated interest as an inbound lead, or the BDR/SDR has identified a relevant trigger event (e.g., new acquisition, regulatory changes), the BDR/SDR should always have and be able to explain their reason for reaching out to the prospect.

  • Why should the prospect speak with me?

Your BDR/SDRs should have a clear idea going into the call what value they can provide to the prospect. This knowledge typically comes in the form of understanding potential pains the prospect is hoping to overcome, or goals the prospect may want to achieve.

  • What information is needed to get to the next step?

Your BDR/SDRs need to own the next step, which may include the hand-off to the next stage in the sales process. What information are they gathering on this call? What do they need to discover in order to align the prospect with the appropriate next step?

  • What objections might the prospect have?

Your BDR/SDRs should think through potential objections (and responses) based on what they know about the prospect and the reasons they are calling.

3. Use Role Plays

Practice makes perfect. It’s better to practice with your peers than with the customer. Reps should role play frequently with managers and even peers to improve their first call skills, practice their pitch, stay on track and be perceived as a sales professional. See this blog for how to conduct effective role plays.

While sales acceleration tools can speed up many of the prospecting processes, always remember the best sales accelerator is a well-prepared salesperson.

Ivan Gomez is a Force Management Partner who specializes in training inside sales teams. He's also the President and Founder of NextStage, LLC, a consulting firm that helps companies accelerate go-to-market strategies with sales development and inside sales. 

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