article | September 17, 2012
How to Train Your Lead Development Team for Today’s New Buyer
5 Years ago, CSOs could get away with low-skilled employees in this position. However, buyer behavior has changed. Informed buyers are entering the sales process with companies later than ever before. We are now living in the era of the self-directed buyer.
So when your prospect finally speaks with your company, who is the first point of contact? If you are a B2B that utilizes webforms to register inquiries, it is typically a Lead Development Representative (LDR). Unfortunately when we ask many CSOs “Would you be comfortable with one of your top ten target accounts engaging in a conversation with the LDR?” The answer we get is not confident. “They should immediately pass it to the Sales Rep”. Guess what? Prospects don’t want to engage with a Sales Rep before they are ready. If you want to converse with your buyer early in their buying process, the key is a confident, skilled LDR who serves as a resource. Click here to get access to the LDR Skills and Exercise Checklist to give them the training they need.
Unfortunately, most Sales Organizations fail to grasp the growing importance of Lead Development. Instead of the being utilized as a potential resource that offers content and answers preliminary questions, they are appointment setters. They read from robotic sounding scripts and get flustered by basic product questions. This is a legacy practice from the pre-internet era. Times have changed.
Why are LDRs inadequately prepared? Look at your Sales Training dollars. Lead Management is typically an afterthought. Sales Departments are willing to fly all the field reps into a centralized location and train them for two days. Try to pull Lead Development Reps from the phones for two hours and there’s an uproar. Lead Management training expenses account for less than 12% of the Annual Sales & Marketing Training Budget. This is an astounding figure given the shift in buyer behavior.
Changing your approach is vital to staying aligned with your customers. Lose the typical lead team training similar to Canine Obedience School. Read from this script. Qualify using these questions. Leave this message when you go to Voicemail. One big training event and hit the phones.
Instead, give the LDR the skills they need to engage. This involves assisting, and then qualifying the buyer when they are ready. A minimum of 2 hours per week should be devoted to LDR training. In this training, they should utilize mock exercises to hone to customer communication and engagement. Get the LDR Skills Training and Exercise Sheet today. It will show you exercises we use to engage and train the Lead Management force of the new era.
Here are the Seven Key Skills a Lead Development Rep should master:
Lead Management Process Knowledge
Question Asking Skills
Customer Email Constructions
Content and Marketing Material Knowledge
Scripts and first call BANT qualification are dying. Give the LDRs the skills they need to become an early stage resource. Set up a customized training program and make it a weekly event.
The end result will be increased:
In the era of the new buyer, you can’t afford to let your competition get into the opportunity before you. Have you adopted components of this training? Please leave your comments below and share how your Lead Development Rep training has changed over the past 2 years.
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