How GuideSpark’s Jon Parisi helps new SDRs convey real value and avoid “happy ears”

Collin Stewart, CEO
29 June 2017
In the world of sales development, there is little, if anything, that excites an SDR more than finally booking a demo with a top-tier company after endless reach-outs.

Email after email, call after call, ignored. And then, success! The prospect wants to learn more.

Then, the demo goes well. The prospect likes the product: the design is sharp, the features well throughout.

But what can sometimes feel like the end of the line for an SDR – the prospect is in the pipeline, it’s the Account Executive’s turn to work their magic, right? – is really only the beginning. Now, it’s time to learn about the company and really understand if they can benefit from your product.

“Across the board from SDR to AEs, we’ve invested in technology to judge the substance of calls we’re having. This helps us avoid happy ears. People think they have nailed demos, and can’t answer what the business problem is,” says Jon Parisi, Senior Director of GuideSpark, on a recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.

“If they don’t have a problem, they won’t buy. This is an objective look at sales. It’s removing emotion from the process, which is hard because sales is an emotional, up and down profession.”

At Guidespark, a key aspect to understanding the needs of their prospect’s actually lies in the SDR’s ability to deliver the right value proposition to the right person. How the GuideSpark sales team determines the right value prop is by following the 3X3 model.

The crux of the 3X3 model is that different contacts at a company require slightly different messaging. For example, a typical department in an organization will have coordinators, directors and VPs working in it. And each of those roles may be experiencing unique pain points as it pertains to GuideSpark (or any other product, for that matter).

So, it’s up to the SDR, within the parameters of the 3x3 framework, to understand how to get the right message across.

“If they don’t have a problem, they won’t buy. This is an objective look at sales. It’s removing emotion from the process, which is hard because sales is an emotional, up and down profession.”
“Basically, the 3X3 model walks up and down a chain of command to make sure your value prop resonates with goals, problems and needs with each one of the people you’re prospecting to,” says Parisi.

“You have to make sure you have a way to talk to each of them that affects their job. Make it resonate for them. Internally, we call it GPNs – goals, problems and needs. Each level in an organization has different GPNs. So, what we’re doing is matching a GPN to the prospect we’re talking to. For example, if you’re talking to sales, then you should be talking about revenue and hitting your number.”

This focus on tailored communication dovetails nicely with GuideSpark’s emphasis on telephone prospecting. According to Parisi, GuideSpark’s SDRs send emails, do some social touches, but rely heavily on picking up the phone and calling prospects. About 70% of their meetings come from phone calls; 30% from email reach outs.

“The phone is really popular for us,” adds Parisi. “There is no substitute for a live conversation.”

To help their SDRs nail their calls, GuideSpark produces a “cheat sheet,” called Conversation Aides. It covers the different value propositions GuideSpark offers and, most importantly, matches existing customer stories to relevant challenges for prospects.

In addition to giving SDRs another resource to tailor their communication, the Conversation Aides also help standardize messaging across a sizable business development department. On the new business team, GuideSpark employs 15 SDRs, with another 4 SDRs on the account management side.

Each SDR is responsible for completing 12 conversations per day, book 30 new, completed meetings per month, and book 10 follow-up meetings. Meetings that are scheduled, but don’t actually take place aren’t counted towards their quota. If each of these goals is hit, however, they should result in 7 opportunities in the pipeline for the company.

With that many SDRs, and with such robust quotas, you have to do everything you can to ensure the right information is being relayed. And of course, if the right message is being shared, then the substantive, information-rich calls Parisi wants will happen.

“This is all about making sure the meeting is a good one. You have to understand if the person you’re talking to is a good fit. If it isn’t, that’s okay. But, don’t just book meetings to book meetings because then AEs are just doing meetings that result in no pipeline. Those sessions add up,” says Parisi.


For more on Parisi’s sales methods, check out his edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.