article | April 10, 2017
SDR Outbound Calls: Dead on Arrival
Buyers don’t tolerate generic or scripted communications from Sales Development Reps (SDRs). Think of the emails and voicemails you personally received over the past week and the number of poorly trained SDRs causing you pain. Unfortunately we’ve reached a tipping point where most SDR outbound calls lack value for the buyer. The types of calls vary from informal approaches that lack professionalism to poorly trained SDRs who are reading something they were handed, but without any depth to discuss it. Buyers can smell uninformed communication a mile away and have no patience for SDRs who lack depth.
Sales Development Reps who lack depth are a dead-end. A buyer’s mind focuses on one activity; “What is the quickest way to flush this time waster?”
One of the leading culprits of poor SDR call performance is proving scripts without also providing sufficient training. Scripts can be an effective tool when used to illustrate an example to model natural talk tracks. Script examples can help SDRs develop their own natural talk tracks. The value of a script comes as an example of solid conversation that should be emulated. Natural delivery is the key to success.
Download a proven Role Play Exercise to transition from scripting to natural delivery. Also, consider coming to see me and the SBI leadership team in Dallas at The Studio to participate in a working session to review SDR emerging best practices for your company.
While writing this article I received an outstanding call from an SDR named Eddie Theut from LevelEleven. I signed up for a webinar with his company and Eddie was calling to encourage me to attend the webinar. His delivery was natural. He asked great questions and was able to get me talking. Eddie had depth and the conversation that I experience was with a true professional, not an appointment setter. Eddie concluded the call by offering a next step of sending me a copy of the webinar deck. Clearly Eddie is talented and was onboarded and developed properly, so my hats to his management team.
Do you want more Eddie’s on your SDR team? The blog article below provides guidance on how to approach training and role play exercises for developing SDR talent.
Where is the old Outbound Script most common?
Script reading is tough work in today’s highly competitive selling environment. Having callers read word-for-word scripts is the perfect de-optimization of your efforts. I can’t think of a more difficult path. Script reading is literally swimming up-stream against a raging current. Re-orient your teams.
Develop Your Outbound Callers
Scripting is the lazy alternative to real training. How do you as a leader guide your teams to evolve past Script reading? Solid preparation is the answer. Invest in your teams.
Step 1: Knowledge Immersion
In a complex B2B sales process, your representatives require solid product/service training to confidently talk about the business application. The training should be performed from a field perspective first to focus on the problems that are solved and the results realized. Once the business application is understood, then the nuts & bolts of features can be trained.
After an understanding of the business solution is accomplished, then the SDR is ready to develop and practice their natural talk tracks.
Step 2: Talk Tracks & Role Play (Replacing Scripts)
The end game is to train SDRs is to incorporate key points into their natural delivery. A caller should arrive at a point where they can enter a natural dialogue. There’s only one way to accomplish this and that’s through practice. The hard work produces fantastic results.
Start by documenting talk tracks for the most common scenarios. The talk tracks are script examples developed from best practice aids from a sales consulting firm or advisor. These replace the old Outbound Script. The best practice approach talk tracks are then customized to your company by top reps and through product marketing input.
Role Plays serve as the foundation for success. Whether they are sales development reps, inside sales reps, or lead development reps, the path to excellence is practice through role plays. The Sales Development Reps (SDRs) must undergo a regular cadence of role plays where they develop their natural talk track. Practice scenarios are required to develop the ability to dialogue at a natural level. The role plays should be done with a combination of peers, managers, and product marketing managers.
Ideal Role Play Exercise for Your Company
Your team leaders require solid role play scenarios for their teams to practice so they ramp up quickly. The bulk of the role plays should include the most common scenarios. However, it is important when driving behavior change to offer some role plays from outside your industry. This opens the mind to new approaches more quickly.
Download a proven Talk Track Exercise that you can use to sharpen the skills of your teams.
In Summary, exterminate scripts by changing behavior of your teams. Drive business understanding and push role plays to build natural delivery. Your Prospects will thank you with increased conversions of qualified opportunities into your pipeline.
If you would like help with developing your SDR outreach strategy, come see the SBI leadership team in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. In advance of the session we can secret shop the SDRs of the competitors in your industry. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to develop a customer success solution, and create an implementation plan.
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