Sales development representatives (SDRs) face challenges every day to connect with prospects and convince them to take some type of action. Actions can include viewing a product demonstration, scheduling a future conversation or agreeing to subscribe to an email newsletter. Measured by generating meaningful interactions and moving prospects through the buying cycle to create sales opportunities, SDRs must be adept at overcoming obstacles. However, SDRs shouldn’t feel they’re alone in their pursuits. Marketing should be a key ally to help SDRs increase their success.
January’s post on “Sales Driven Marketing” highlighted how marketing needs to work closely with SDRs to understand what prospects are saying, so it can create new marketing campaigns that will resonate better with prospects to generate leads. Now it’s critical to examine how marketing can guide SDRs to improve their interactions with prospects, giving them the right content to reinforce the messages that will compel prospects to take action.
To help SDRs effectively, marketing must understand what SDRs are saying via phone and email and how prospects are responding. Reviewing SDRs’ calls and emails with prospects provides marketing the necessary information to work with SDRs to improve their interactions. To accomplish this marketing should review a sample of calls and emails, including both successful and unsuccessful ones to get an accurate picture of what’s working and what’s not. Why do some prospects respond to certain messages when others don’t? Are the prospects the same or different? Understanding the specifics will make it clear that certain messages work with one type of buyer, but not with another. Having different messages for different buyer personas is critical and you should expect to see a future blog post on this topic.
Additionally, it’s also important for marketing to understand how the next prospect interaction goes. For example, when SDRs hold a second prospect call, such as a product demo, marketing should evaluate how prospects respond to the demo. Did the demo meet the prospects’ expectations and do they plan to continue their buying process with your company or did the demo experience halt the process, creating an obstacle? Understanding the total picture, including why the prospects agreed to demos and how they responded during demos, provides both marketing and sales the insight to determine what’s working and what’s not. When prospects are underwhelmed with demos, it’s possible that SDRs oversold on the initial call to get the prospects to agree to demos. SDRs need to set the right expectations from the start in order to be successful.
Moreover, marketing must be agile in its content development based on what and how prospects respond to SDRs’ methods. This is an iterative process, which requires constant testing and refining of messages and calls to action. Based on the prospects’ actions, marketing should develop content that speaks directly to the prospects’ needs, creating urgency to help SDRs overcome the obstacles. This includes content that may not originally have been on the content calendar. For example, developing a “what you should expect from a demo” guide could do wonders in moving prospects past the demo stage to the next sales interaction.
Overall, while aligning your marketing and SDR team may be critically important, resource constraints can make this challenging. Selecting a marketing firm that understands the marketing and sales process, as well as how to create great content, is imperative. Choose a firm that offers lead generation services, which include mapping content development to specific lead definitions. If marketing doesn’t understand how leads progress through the buying cycle, it’ll be difficult for them to provide the content strategy that will help SDRs overcome sales obstacles.
How does your marketing team help SDRs overcome obstacles with prospects? Does the team review prospect interactions to understand why leads are slow to move to the next step of the buying cycle?