We all know how difficult it can be to elicit a response from a potential prospect.
Regardless of experience level, the universal struggle of getting that sought-after reply is why there are so many tactics, guides, and strategies detailed from countless sources. But while those delve into philosophy and theory, they aren’t grounded by data-driven results.
That’s why we sat down with Becc Holland, CEO & founder of Flip the Script, and Jeremey Donovan, former SVP for Sales Strategy at SalesLoft, for a conversation on what works and what doesn’t for sales-prospecting in today’s market. Holland has spent years researching the most effective methods of outreach and she has developed a modern, data-driven approach that provides a clear framework for success.
While the entire approach can’t be contained in one webinar, the foundation of it is built from the very first contact. That’s why Holland outlines the three hooks designed to double reply rates:
1) The Problem-Centric Personalization
Your hook is your opening line, and a Problem-Centric, personalized hook is a 1:1 approach. It means you choose one problem, one person, and you craft your pitch directly to them. There’s no 1:2 or 1:20; this is a fundamental plan, either defined as public-facing or customer-persona, that means interacting and selling into a company that directly relates to the services you provide.
Problem-Centric Personalization hooks are all about problem-solving: setting up a scenario, giving insight to shortcomings, and providing a tangible, practical solution. It lets you identify and relate with a client, highly-personalize your approach, and clearly communicate the path forward. The only downside of this is that it requires the company you are selling into to offer a client-side service that you can access. That’s why the other two hooks are available: to ensure you stay adaptive:
2) The Strong Hook
Strong and light hooks are two sides of a similar approach. A strong hook is the forward approach. It’s using information available to you (for example, researching someone’s LinkedIn); you identify an interest or need, and sell your service specifically to meet that. The benefit of a strong hook is that it’s no longer 1:1; it’s 1 to the company at-large. It’s a problem-solving solution not limited to companies with client-side services, but companies and individuals that might be part of larger networks.
3) The Light Hook
By comparison, a light hook is a bit harder to land, but can be extremely effective for the right person. It requires you to draw a more conceptual tie between a prospect’s interests and your services. Holland gives the following example, “Jeremy played basketball at Sandford…and I am likening that to software like SalesLoft. What if you could turn all of your bench players into your starting lineup by enabling them with the techniques they should be practicing on and off the court…”
The light-hook, in that way, connects a tangential problem to a general solution. It may not be enough to land the sale, but it’s plenty to get the conversation started.
Pattern Interruptions & Transactional Ego States
Beyond the hooks, Holland and Donovan also discussed the importance of Pattern Interruption and its relation to the three ego states conceptualized by Eric Berne in his famous book, Games People Play. Pattern Interruption, Holland says, is your key to breaking free from the stigma and awkwardness of the “salesperson/buyer” relationship. This can take the form of an understanding and candid demeanor, or simply emphasize listening and conversing over aggressively pushing your services.
Knowing how to tailor your Pattern Interruption is important, because it can help you to properly understand and react to a person's “Objection Matrix.”
To do that, Holland says you ask two questions regarding someone’s objection: Is it real or shallow? Is it valid or invalid?
A real objection is something a prospect fundamentally believes, while a shallow objection is an initial distrust in you. The key takeaway is that you can wade through the shallows, and an objection can be both real and invalid. For instance, a prospect may sincerely believe they are correct in their objection but may be factually wrong. Holland makes the important note that all shallow objections are invalid, and are a prime opportunity to counter with pattern interruption.
Understanding the theory and principles of modern sales outreach is critical to doubling response rates – and that all starts with knowing Hooks and Pattern Interruptions.
If you found this summary interesting, the full discussion between Becc Holland and Jeremey Donovan can be found in this YouTube video.
And for all things, Tenbound, keep an eye out for our Newsletter and take a look at our other helpful videos on YouTube.
There’s something to be said for chemistry.Arbitrarily throw people together and the results will be mixed. But actively seek out like-minded and complementary individuals, and you're launching from a place of success. Shared values, beliefs, and goals are the cornerstone of any strong organization, and that’s equally true for a romantic partnership, sports team, business endeavor…
Or Sales Development program.
Start with core values and behavior. That’s your team culture, and it will literally determine and influence everything else.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” ~Peter Drucker
It’s easier to find employees and build processes that align with your culture than it is to force existing ones that just don’t fit. Round hole, square peg.
Work smarter and start with culture.
Craft Your CultureToo often, corporate culture is implied rather than explicitly defined. We need to change that. We need to identify it, write it down, and share it with every stakeholder within your company, department, or team.
Aside from making your job easier, an established culture can account for up to 20-30% of the differential in performance when compared to your competitors with no clear culture. Can you afford to ignore that?
Your first job as a Sales Development leader is to create and drive a strong culture.
The Building BlocksAsk yourself and your team:
Make a list together, either in person or collaboratively online. Distill it down to no more than 4-6 with a one sentence description for each. Write them out.
You might list collaborative, for example, adding that you work together to reach team goals irrespective of personal accolades.
Next, consider your ideal employee. What attributes do you see in your existing team members, and want in your future hires? Write them out.
Finally, think about your leadership style. How would the team describe it? Does it align with the culture you’re building? What do great leaders do on a daily basis? Write it out.
You now have the necessary building blocks.
Draft Your Culture StatementA culture statement is similar to — and may even include — your mission statement. It is a summary of your core values, beliefs, traditions, and mission. A good one will guide your team’s behavior, priorities, and decisions.
It is thoughtful and explicit. It uses the active voice — “we believe…” and “our team is…” — positive attributes, and clear goals. Keep it to a paragraph or less. Review it together. Post it around the office and shared digital spaces. Revisit and revise as necessary.
Draft Your Ideal Team Member StatementLook at the list you created for your ideal employee. Zero in on the 2-3 most important qualities you need and want in a team member. Write it out with either “The ideal member of the team is…” or “Our ideal team member…” or something similar.
Use it to identify not only the most talented candidates when hiring, but also those most suited to your evolving team culture.
Draft a Leadership Commitment StatementWhat values do you bring as leader? What culture do you hope to cultivate with your team? What does that look like on a day-to-day basis? Write it out. “As a leader, I commit to…”
Draft a One-Page SummaryPut it all together on a single page that includes your culture, ideal team member, and leadership commitment statements. Add team goals and desired results for the next 90 days. Post it. Share it. Review it every three months.
Consistency builds culture.
The Three TenetsYour culture should reflect your team, and vice versa. To build an SDR team that mirrors the culture, you need to prioritize three main tenets:
Build strong processes that align with your people and culture. Identify and fix those that don’t. Analyze and maximize.
Provide the best technical support you can afford. Make sure every team member is getting the most out of it via workflow reviews.
At Tenbound, we’ve created an eight-part Sales Development management operating system that starts with culture for a reason.
It’s the foundation and blueprint for everything that follows it.
To learn more, purchase The Sales Development Framework: How to Build and Scale a Highly Productive Sales Development Program the book on Amazon
Observations on Version 9 - Download here
The Sales Development tech space is growing leaps and bounds. The challenge of connecting Marketing and Sales, and driving predictable pipeline, is insatiable. Every B2B company needs predictable sales pipeline.
With over 70 new companies added to the map, this clearly signals that the Sales Development tech space is as strong as ever.
The Data category increased the most with nearly 20 new additions.
The Sales Enablement and Sales Engagement categories were runner-ups.
More M&A activity across the market as compared to our previous (v8) update. We'll see more of this
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