New Trends in SDR Learning Technology
One of the most exciting new technologies emerging today to help SDRs improve is a company called Teamflow.
Using Teamflow, groups of SDRs and AEs (or basically anybody in inside sales) join others in a virtual meeting to create a virtual sales floor and start making calls.
Others in and out of the company can jump in, listen in real-time and offer support, feedback, and advice.
Similar to the old-school sales “bullpen” of yesteryear, where people used to work together in an office in a group.
One of the things that sucks about remote work is the feeling of isolation. With this tech, SDRs can hear others making great calls, and also ‘meh’ calls, and terrible calls. It’s all part of the process of getting better.
Adding a new layer of technology makes it even more useful because when you were in the sales bullpen you only heard one side of the conversation, and not the other. With Teamflow, you can listen to both sides of the conversation.
This is how the new generation of salespeople learns and interacts online. The trends toward SDR and Inside Sales enablement point in this direction.
The old-school methodologies of instructor-led training, posting product sheets to your wiki, and offering occasional weekly training, are all helpful, but they are not just-in-time coaching and are not peer-led. They don’t fit the workflow of a new generation.
A generation raised on video games with instant gratification, and YouTube videos with constant jump cuts have never had the time patience or energy to learn by reviewing slides on their own and listening to boring lectures.
They want micro-learning, just-in-time training, preferably among their peers in a structured way that includes gamification, collaboration and fun, with awards so that they know they’re constantly making progress.
There are other tools which are chrome extensions that follow along and assist as SDRs are on calls are other micro-learning solutions that are more just in time for the workflow of the SDR.
However last time I checked they don’t involve the peer-to-peer aspect of something like Teamflow.
The potential of a tool like next is really interesting in that they can layer on learning methodologies, training programs, and other job specialties within the inside digital workforce to make it more valuable across the company, more than just salespeople.
There’s also the Conversation Intelligence layer platforms that could be potentially integrated and used the data that’s being provided across companies on best practices versus just the one company that’s using them.
This is definitely a space to watch and will be in included on the next Tenbound Market Map -potentially in the Sales Enablement quadrant.
Teamflow is hosting a webinar this month - sign up here. Find out more about how they use this: Advancing Your Career as an SDR Manager
December 6th, 2022 @ 10AM PST
HEARER/R – The Scientific Method applied to Sales Development Pipeline Production
We are all familiar with the Scientific Method we’re all taught in our first science class. A thousand-year-old methodology.
But how does this relate to running a successful Sales pipeline generation program?
Especially now, with all the changes happening in the economy, what can we learn from this ancient methodology?
We introduce the HEARER/R Methodology.
Use this to track your campaigns and align your revenue engine against the scientific method. Apply this method to your outbound efforts, running continuous HEARER/R programs over a set time period, usually, a 90-day period is enough time to start getting useful feedback. This will create an upward spiral of learning and productivity. Here’s the breakdown:
The HEARER/R Methodology
Hypothesize: Based on past results, or if you’re just starting out, based on your best judgment, what outbound message will you use to impact your market? What channel will you use primarily to interact with your market- cold calling, emailing, social media, events, and others? What size company and which verticals will you target? Who are the personas you will target and what are they most concerned with? What data provider and list prioritization strategy will you use? Start a the beginning. Create an initial hypothesis that you will commit to testing for 90 days, or a long enough time period to get meaningful results.
Experiment: Start testing. Use the messaging, lists, and channels you have determined you are going to run, and execute your sales plays. Start reaching out to prospects, making contact, and opening conversations. Set up activity metrics to ensure enough activity is happening every day, and hold your team accountable for hitting those numbers. If the initiative requires more or less activity, you can adjust during the repeat phase. If nothing is happening, that’s a data point. Your initial hypothesis could be off track.
Analyze the results At the end of each week, and each month, review the campaign results. Were there any responses? Who replied? How did they reply? Which persona is most likely to respond to your current messaging? Is there an emerging channel that is working better than others, i.e. is cold calling working better than email? At a high level, are you starting to see trends? Compile the results into a format you can review.
Report on the results At a set time period, at least monthly, report on the results of your campaigns, with a cross-functional Go-to-market team. Put more eyes on it to get feedback and ideas. Does the messaging resonate with you, is our talk track accurate based on real-world examples? Are we missing a key point or objection-handling technique we need to add to the campaign? Essentially, how can we get better results?
Examine and question results Now, we’ve seen the initial results, and gotten feedback and input from a cross-functional team, it’s time to be brutally honest, are there people, processes, or technology constraints we need to address in order to improve performance? Are there bottlenecks that need to be removed? Are we tracking the right metrics and looking at the right problems? Vigorously question the results.
Research further If you’re a student of the craft you know there are many resources, ideas, and studies on best practices in prospecting. Every day new ideas and methodologies are produced. Capture new ideas and organize them into your own playbook. Now, look at the results of your campaign and cross-reference the ideas and research you have done. Are there any new ideas or techniques you can use to improve your results?
/Repeat Take all that you have learned from running the campaign, the results, the teardown, the further research, and create a new hypothesis. You are now back at the beginning of the HEARER/R process. Create a new hypothesis and start over at the beginning, running the process again. Forever. A continuous process to better results, processes, and return on investment.
Next time you see a debate online about whether cold calling works, or emailing, or events, now you can reply with one word: HEARER/R!
Have you tried this? Leave a comment below.
During a market downturn, selling may be difficult, and setting up calls even harder. Not only are companies getting ready to operate with a lean staff, but there seems to be budget freezes from your buyers. People start ghosting.
Deals will start to take longer to close and meetings will be harder to book. Yet, there are ways to still generate revenue and keep your sales org going. As the Stoics say, focus on what you can control.
Below, we've compiled some methods to help you get ready to conquer the time ahead.
1. Stay Focused
It all comes down to this. The entire company should be on the same page. This is the time to be relentless with your team goal. If you have projects that are not serving your core competency, now is the time to cut them.
Communication will be the life blood of the company during this time. Each department, from sales to marketing, to customer support, must focus on one singular goal. If the team wasn’t already on the page and working towards the same KPIs, then now is the time to do that.
There is no time for wasted effort, chasing after goals or new initiatives that won’t directly serve the company.
2. Upsell & Cross-sell
Now is also the time to be diligent with your current customer base.
Most SaaS companies put far too much emphasis on acquiring new logos in a downturn — instead of focusing on their existing customer base. Instead, concentrate on optimizing your renewal rates and expanding your customer base to additional services.
Start where you already are. Build deeper relationships with your existing customers. Work on getting into other line of businesses. Push to get 2-3 year deals. These are just some of the things that you can do to ensure that you grow your existing customer base.
3. Create the best customer experience
We’ve seen the trend over the last 5 years of the focus being on creating a buying process that aligns with how your customer buys.This is perfect time to think through areas that need improvement in your over customer experience.
Consider offering different payment options so you can tailor the experience to each customer's specific needs. You may also want to explore providing additional discount options. At the end of the day, customization should always be made with the user experience in mind.
You’ll want to provide your users with the best possible experience when purchasing your product. This starts from the moment your Sales Development Representative reaches out to them to the time the deal is closed and handed off to the the CSM team.
Focus on providing the best experience possible for that customer.
4. Level up your team
Resilient sales teams are able to quickly adjust to changing markets as long as you invest in training and skills development. This way, your employees can handle any role or responsibility that arises.
Even though you may not be pursuing as many opportunities in the next year, this is the right moment to invest more heavily in training and coaching your sales reps. Take advantage of every chance to review calls together as a team and get everyone focused on growing their business.
Investing in your team ensures that you build loyalty. Sales reps will stick around longer if they know that they are being invested into.
5. Automation - Doing more with less
More often than not, you’ll have less resources than you when it isn’t a downturn. You’ll want to assess your sales process to see which process could be automated to help your team out.
Not only will it save time, but automation can lower risks for salespeople by reducing errors and helping them focus their attention on high-value interactions instead of mundane minutiae.
At the end of the day, we never want to automate in a vacuum. The goal is make your team as efficient as possible.
If there are two things you remember from these tips, let it be this:
If an economic crisis occurs, you may witness some fluctuations in revenue. Therefore, companies want to be ready for an upturn, they need to invest in their products and their customer service. And they must be able to demonstrate that their products and services offer genuine benefits to their customers.
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