Welcome back to part two in our three-part series, How to Fix a Hiring Mistake. To recap, last week we introduced the steps we need to take to remedy a potential staffing problem on our sales development team. I likened it to a mechanic, who needs to figure out what’s wrong with a car that isn’t working properly:
- Diagnose the issue.
- Prescribe a fix.
- Evaluate that fix.
- Final analysis.
The Prescription (cont.)
Last week we looked at our KPI matrix around activity and quality conversations. If none of those issues are actually problems, I talked about investigating the lists that your SDRs are calling. Unfortunately, sometimes the best SDRs can crumble if their list requires a lot of building after they’ve received it. In this case, you’ve got to get some help from marketing to better target their focus. Maybe an intern can help fix a broken list; whatever you have to do, you owe it to them before you let them go to give them help. I feel like this is something that gets overlooked in the inside sales community, this notion of lists “hindering” SDRs. People tend to see it as an excuse, and maybe they forget what it was like for them, or maybe they had the benefit of a kick ass marketing team that put together crazy-targeted lists. If the truth lay somewhere in the middle, then I’m sure there are plenty of times when bad lists are an excuse, but that means that sometimes those lists are keeping a good SDR down.
Those factors, activity, quality conversations, and list accuracy are going to all play a hand in how successful your SDR is in booking new meetings. If this hiring mistake has got the activity and QCs going for her, and you know that her list is perfect and yet she is the only one on your team that is struggling, then it may very well be her.
If more than one of your SDRs are making the dials, they’re having the conversations and pushing for meetings, and their lists are on point, yet the leads are just not passing, you have to reevaluate either: a.) the value prop that is not getting bites, or b.) the market’s readiness for your solution.
If the issue is that the hiring mistake is booking meetings for you, and those meetings aren’t happening, you need to see how they’re following up after their meetings are booked. Maybe, just maybe, during your onboarding process, they weren’t taught how to consistently follow up with a meeting that has been set to ensure that it happens. Things get missed during new-hire orientation, so don’t assume they know how. Are they sending reminders and calling two days before, and then the morning of the meeting? They should be. What do the notes look like from the conversations with their prospects? Are they just booking any meeting they can without qualifying them? You need to put your detective’s hat on and really try to find out why they’re not sticking. This can really make the difference in helping a bad rep get better. If they’re able to get someone on the phone long enough to book an appointment, they can be taught to use that time wisely and gather as much information about the situation as possible.
If the issue is that the meetings are happening but they’re not converting to SQLs, the first place to find out why is from the AEs that are actually taking the calls that have been booked. Ask them what the issues are, as they’re likely going to give you feedback that will help you teach your SDR how to better qualify meetings that convert. What you’ll find, sometimes, is that all an SDR needs is to ask more direct questions during their initial conversation with a prospect, all in the name of improved prospecting. If they’re relatively new, though, they’re not going to know that unless someone trains them to do it. Some younger SDRs can get happy ears, and book appointments with anyone will to take one, regardless of whether or not that prospect is qualified. They’re so excited to get someone on the phone who is willing to talk with them that they forget the whole “qualification” part of their job. While it’s great that they’re talking with prospects, the meetings they’re booking tend to be a waste of time. Their meeting booked number looks great but their conversion rate is in the tank, so we have to teach them and reinforce the importance of the qualification process.
Please come back next week as we finish up this series with How to Fix a Hiring Mistake (Part Three).
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