I used to joke that I was a great sales development rep (SDR) because I didn’t want to be an SDR. I wanted to be promoted – and I knew the fastest path to promotion was to be a great SDR.
For any SDR, getting that promotion requires a lot of hard work. I’m not going to sugarcoat it – getting promoted is not the easiest thing to do (especially when only 48% of SDRs consistently meet their quota).
You log all those calls, emails, LinkedIn messages, videos, and live chat sessions – and it can still feel like odds are stacked against you.
Add in a global pandemic, and all bets are off, right? Not quite.
Because hard work pays off. In fact, Q3 2020 was the best quarter in history for our SDR team. We set new company records in meetings booked, held, and opportunities generated each month of Q3. That doesn’t mean we’re finished – those records make up our new standard.
We’re raising the bar 🙌
2020 taught us a lot about trying new things and stepping out of our comfort zones. So we decided to share some of our biggest lessons learned with you. Whether you’re a sales development leader (like me) or an SDR who doesn’t want to be an SDR forever (I know the feeling), follow these 7️⃣ tips from Drift’s SDRs to finish out the year strong.
Create a Repeatable Process That Works for You 📝
When I first sat in the SDR seat, I made a point to meet with everyone who was hitting quota and pick their brain. I took a piece I liked from everyone’s workflow and created my own repeatable process. Now I start each day by ranking the tasks I need to get done in order of importance. Then I work my way through the list.
The trick is to stick to your process – even when there are tough weeks. And trust me, there are going to be tough weeks. There’s no way around that.
I’ve seen a lot of reps yo-yo and try to shake up their process when they have a few bad days. Some will switch between only making calls, or only sending templated emails, or only working on a few hyper-personalized emails. But most of the time, they only dig themselves deeper.
If you have a consistent process that you know works for you, abandoning it when times get tough is the worst thing you can do. Stick with it. Trust that you’ve got this. And remember that making a few extra dials never hurts either.
Build Your SDR Pipeline
This means that every time you get a high intent inbound lead, an “I’m not the right contact” email, a “call me later” on the phone, a “not the right time” response on Linkedin – WRITE IT DOWN. I call this my SDR pipeline and it’s been a game-changer for keeping track of leads and accounts that are good fits for Drift, but for whatever reason, the timing isn’t right.
Here’s a video of me walking through how I set up my SDR pipeline and how it helps me increase engagement 👇
Adding this to my process has helped me turn cold leads, into warm leads, into meetings, into opportunities. It helped me hit my quota in Q3 and helped me start Q4 off strong.
Zero in on What Your Prospect Cares About 🎯
As an Enterprise SDR, I talk with the C-suite every day. So my messaging needs to be refined constantly. Add in the fact that Drift can accelerate revenue for any industry, so the type of target account I’m interacting with varies greatly. It keeps me on my toes – and I love it.
That said, I’ve yet to be on a cold call where a C-level executive needed to learn every single feature of a platform in the first 30 seconds. Especially if they never even expected to get that call from me in the first place.
That’s why personalized messaging is the game in the enterprise space. Drift Prospector is the solution.
Having the ability to immediately understand what someone from a specific target account was interested in learning about is crucial. Coupling that with having instant communication makes reaching quota that much easier.
Here’s a recent example. At the beginning of September, I used data from Drift Prospector to book a meeting with a Fortune 100 CMO. I booked it from the very first email I sent out – that’s all it took to get this exec to come to our site, chat with me about that topic, and book a meeting on my calendar within three minutes.
Prospector cuts down my research time and gets right to the key topics that enterprise buyers care about to book more qualified meetings. What’s not to like?
Try Cold Videos to Break the Ice ❄️
Write down what has worked in the past and try it again. If it stops working, how can you revamp it? Any SDR will tell you that it’s hard to get people on the phone, so I created a little Drift Video I refer to as, “The Nobody Likes a Cold Call Video.”
The message can be super simple, “Hey, noticed my email was opened a few times, and since nobody likes a cold call, this is what I wanted to tell you on the phone…” And then I add a personalized email to the individual persona, company, and/or use case. That’s it.
If you’re hitting a wall and not getting responses to your cold outreach, try making a video. What do you have to lose?
Unlock the Goldmine in Your Call Recordings Library 💰
As an Enterprise SDR, I have a lot on my plate. I work with big accounts, within a ton of industries, with a variety of personas, and through numerous channels. I understand that the best SDRs study the art and science of sales to invest in their personal expertise. But with a hectic schedule and an ambitious number to hit, it can be tough to carve out time for learning.
Gong is the perfect solution for this. In fact, I almost always have an internal sales call playing in the background throughout my day. Why? Because the takeaways are invaluable.
Listening to my team’s calls empowers me to try different selling techniques, understand buying behaviors, and explore alternative ways of pitching our solution.
Last week, I listened to a call hosted by an Enterprise AE at Drift. This was a discovery call with a buyer in the sales automation industry. My ears perked up when I heard my colleague answer an objection I hadn’t come across. The execution was flawless.
The next day, I made a cold call with a buyer in a very similar industry – and I found myself getting a very similar objection. I channeled my colleague’s technique and articulated a thorough response based on my learnings. My pitch resonated, and I booked the meeting.
Listening to call recordings is an easy way to learn from industry experts. And you never know – what you hear might be the key to booking your next big meeting.
Use Drift Prospector Like a Floodlight 💡
Personalization and information are gold when it comes to the outbound motion. Why would you go into a dark tunnel with no light and try to find your way out – when you can be armed with a floodlight that illuminates everything? That’s what Drift Prospector does for me. I know exactly who to reach out to and exactly what topic I should be reaching out about. It helps me spend less time on research and more time on the motions that make meetings happen.
My AE and I regularly get together to plot out which accounts we want to break into and how we’re going to do it. The best meetings are when I bring information and insights on my accounts that my AE wasn’t aware of – it just gives me this huge leap forward. Because now instead of having to wait for my AE to bring everything to the table, I can provide a holistic overview of all the accounts we’re working, not to mention bubble up some details that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.
Thanks to Prospector, I was able to capitalize on two different accounts that weren’t on my radar last month. Here’s how I did it: I sorted by account activity and was able to identify the key players who were on the site. Then I sent them content directly based on their activity. In just one week, both accounts set up meetings. I was pumped – and so was my AE.
Bring Authenticity to Everything You Do 👋
The best SDRs stay authentic. Although you may be given a specific framework and outbound cadence, it’s critical to embed your own style and words in your calls, emails, videos, GIFs, and DMs.
The fact of the matter is that sales is a relationship game. Buyers are more likely to respond to genuine outreach.
P.S. Pick up the phone and start dialing 🙂
Now let’s go get Q4!