Blindly dialing A-Z into a large, cold list of target accounts will rarely lead to success in the world of sales development. When an SDR on my team comes to me expressing their struggles of obtaining enough quality conversations to sustain their pace to goal, I always lead with the same question, “Are you making ‘smart’ dials?” It may seem like a high-level and perfunctory response, but there is a lot of truth and value in taking the initiative to improve your prospecting techniques by adopting a smart dialing technique. When an SDR receives a new target account list, it’s critical that they take a step back and think strategically about the tools that they can leverage, their approach for breaking into an account, and combining both techniques into one smart dial.
What is a “smart” dial?
A “smart” dial is the combination of the right technology, strategic approach, and continual performance evaluation. Here are the steps you need to take:
[Tweet ""Smart" dialing = technology + strategy + evaluation"]
Step 1: Adopt a strategic approach.
The first factor of “smart” dialing is strategy. An important best practice for approaching a new list of target accounts is to divide your prospects by various aspects into different buckets. For example, you can put all of the manufacturing organizations in one bucket, healthcare in another, technology in another, and so on. All you need to do from there is customize your approach for each bucket with industry-specific messaging. You can take the same approach with job titles and separate your list by C-level contacts, VP level, Director level, and so on. Again, prospecting each title with a message that resonates more specifically to their job responsibilities.
As reps become more familiar with the strategy that works for them, encourage them to take that insight and put it to action. For example, in my own experience, I’ve consistently seen the highest connect rate between 8:30 and 11:00 AM. Dividing a list into timezone buckets is the best way to utilize this insight and maximize the touches within that window throughout the day. Using experience and account-specific messaging that’s applicable to a prospect’s company or their job responsibilities is a good way to make your outbound effort a bit more personalized which will in turn increase your chances of gaining a higher level of responses.
Step 2: Choose the right sales development technology.
At QuotaFactory, our Prospect Relationship Management (PRM) platform has several built-in tools that can enable an SDR to initiate a cold call while armed with the warmest possible information. We’ve recently partnered with HG Data, which allows reps to uncover a tech stack of installs that a particular organization has implemented in the last handful of years. Having insight into what a prospect’s current technology landscape looks like allows reps to be prepared to discuss how their client’s offering stands against a prospect’s environment or how it can help improve it. Provide your team with access to technology that allows them to take their pre-call research to the next level and really target their approach.
We’ve also integrated the full capabilities of InsideView into our platform which provides our SDRs the option to not only pull in new contacts by title and account, but also enhance the information attached to pre-existing contacts in their database. It also provides news updates regarding what’s happening within a particular organization. SDRs need access to a data management tool that provides them the details they need to work referrals, understand the decision making structure before ever talking to someone, and discuss relevant business updates that have been announced.
In addition to these powerful information-gathering tools, the preview automated dialer allows SDRs to populate a targeted list with an unlimited number of contacts to dial during a session automatically. This helps sales development reps make more dials and increases their chances of connecting live with a prospect in a fraction of the time that manual dialing would require. These three tools working together in one platform enables reps to maximize both the volume as well as the quality of their outreach.
Step 3: Evaluate. Improve. Repeat.
Tying the appropriate tools and customized messaging techniques together is the final step a sales development rep can take to ensure their best chance at meeting their sales quota. Once these technologies and techniques are working together, reps must make a high-level evaluation of their current process and previous successes. A proactive SDR will initiate their own evaluation and then try to replicate their successful approach while leveraging the right sales technologies and account-based sales development best practices. If a certain industry has a better connect rate at certain hours - bucket them accordingly. Or if a certain piece of technology underwent a change that is causing clients to move away - attack as soon as possible. Or if a large organization just announced a partnership, buy out, or structural change - adjust the messaging appropriately, etc.
Teaching your reps to do just one of the above steps will help improve performance, but executing on all of them at once will make them much stronger in multiple areas and they’ll be able to carry those skills from campaign to campaign, client to client, and job to job.
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