Sales Development Lessons from Horror Movies

Okay, okay, I know – this is really predictable. A sales development blog entry with a Halloween theme? I agree, but nevertheless, I do have a few points to make here. Let me start by saying this: I’m not really big on horror movies. I liked them as a kid, but somewhere along the line the idea that all fiction has its basis in reality crept into my head and now most horror movies freak me out. That being said, I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that they all pretty much have the same elements to them (especially ones from the 80’s). These clichés, I’ve found, have a direct link to sales development and I want to share them with you on this day before the day before All Hallows Eve (insert spooky music here).

Let's talk about the following:

  1. Don't go off on your own!

  2. Don't run past the obvious help!

  3. Keep moving!

The first one is pretty universal: don’t go off on your own. If you’ve ever watched a horror movie, you know that the person who leaves the group is surely going to meet their fate in a matter of minutes. There’s never anything good that happens to the guy or girl who splits off on their own; their always the first to go. The correlation to that and sales prospecting is just as clear to me. If you’re making the decision to build your own inside team to generate sales qualified leads for your sales team and you’ve never done it before, chances are good that it may end badly. Now, I’m just speaking from my own experience and interactions I’ve had with clients in the past. Rather than go off on your own and do it yourself, I think (and I’m obviously biased here) that you should probably outsource to the experts here.

Second: don’t run past the obvious help. Often times in horror movies, when the victims of the antagonist are running through a house, they run past the front door and head upstairs to go and hide.

Uh, hello?

How about the door? Make your escape! In teleprospecting, don’t be too proud to seek help from the pros. Is your inside team not as effective as they should be? As they could be? Do yourself and your SDR’s a favor and get them help. You want to make sure that every marketing qualified lead that your reps follow up on is done so as strategically as possible, and if you’re having trouble defining what that strategy should be, look for help. It does you no good to have a team of SDR’s that are okay, when you could have a team of SDR’s that are great. Don’t be too proud to get help.

Help could come in many different forms, right? It could be an auto-dialer if you don't have one. It could come in the form of a call cadence solution like or SalesLoft. Maybe it's that dialer on steroids, ConnectAndSell. It could look like a call coaching tool such as ExecVision. You get the idea here - don't leave your SDRs defenseless.

Lastly: Keep moving! Why, oh why, do people in horror movies ever stop and hide!? If you stop, you die, but if you keep moving, you make yourself a harder target to hit. In teleprospecting, this means that you’ve got to make sure that your reps, or your outsourced reps, are continually sharpening their skills. Its one thing to have a group of highly skilled SDR’s today – its another to think their going to be as skilled tomorrow. Teleprospecting is constantly changing, from different tricks to get prospects on the phone to getting them to open their emails with greater likelihood. If you’re not doing everything you can to foster an environment where your SDR’s are improving, you’re selling yourself, and those reps, short. Keep moving by putting workshops and trainings together to ensure your reps are in a constant learning mode.

Quick commercial here for the AA-ISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals): They have a ton of workshops and trainings for your reps if you don't have a training and development group. If you don't have the time to build your own, you should definitely look into using them as a resource.

Well, there you go – some lessons I’ve learned from horror clichés and how they relate to B2B lead generation. I need to go get me some candy like zombies get brains.
Happy Halloween!

Image Copyright :Worachai Yosthamrong

Chris Snell

Chris Snell

Chris Snell is Director of Sales and Marketing for QuotaFactory. As the second SDR hired way back in 2002, when the company was formerly known as AG Salesworks, Chris is currently responsible for the sales and marketing efforts of QuotaFactory. Chris lives in southeastern Massachusetts and is the proud father of his two children.

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