Raise your hand, sales development leaders, if you’ve had this thought before: “If only there was some way that I could increase the volume of touchpoints my already busy SDRs produce.”
Okay… put your hands down. I know, it’s a dilemma we’ve all faced.
Despite it’s near ubiquity amongst sales development professionals, though, the question of volume and touchpoints is a unique issue because it’s something we face during both good and tough times
For example, when your team is absolutely crushing its quota, wouldn’t it be great if they just reached out to more prospects and a increased pipeline further? Conversely, when your team is in danger of missing its number, an easy way of combating that problem is to increase the leads you’re prospecting to. Falling short? Just add more!
Why, then, is it so difficult to have your team increase its volume? Why can it be such a challenge to have your reps reach out to more prospects each day?
Ryan Reisert, Lead Instructor and Head of Partnership Development at San Francisco-based coaching firm Sales Bootcamp, says that challenge is surprising because high volume prospecting has historically been a cornerstone of sales development.
“It’s a little surprising because it used to be the norm, but now that’s changed. Hitting 100 activities today feels unattainable,” says Reisert, on a recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.
“And, there weren’t productivity tools in the last too. It’s an interesting change.”
Bucking that trend, however, is the sales development process that Reisert has designed and implements with his clients.
At an expected average of 100+ touchpoints per day (that’s right, 100+), per SDR, it is a high-volume prospecting approach, to be sure. But looking at this process as merely an exercise in sending a lot of emails and calling a lot of people is to sell its focus short.
Yes, SDRs are reaching out a ton, but the ethic of Reisert’s prospecting method is actually to ensure that reps are always doing the right activity at the right time.
“I think the reason people like to adopt my system is because there are so many things we’re expected to do as SDRs – research, emails, calls, social. And, there are so many different tools we are working in to stay on top of our day to day. But, what we often forget about what is most important,” says Reisert.
“What we don’t want to do is have a day where you feel busy from beginning to end, but you’re doing the wrong activities at the wrong time. So, if we can implement this strategy, this process we’re able to focus on the right activities at the right time. And, once people adopt this process, they find their success goes up.”
So, what is the process? What are the components of Reisert’s method?
It begins with a simple, tiered bucket system.
This is the group of accounts (companies) that fall in your company’s Ideal Customer Profile. These are the accounts that you should be attacking all the time.
Put another way, this bucket represents the total addressable market for your reps.
These are the personas from Bucket 1, and you reps have made documented attempts to connect, although no connection has been made.
Those attempts could be a verified dial, or a first email. Think of this as the in-cadence stage.
Another critical piece to this bucket is research – to satisfy this stage, reps have made notes and proven that you they know how to get a hold of these contacts. These notes are being tracked in your company’s CRM or cadence platform, wherever is easiest to access the notes.
“I call this the warm up bucket,” says Reisert.
There should be 100 contacts in this bucket at any given time.
This is the “working” category. Your reps have caught a contact on the phone, they’ve responded to an email, or referred your rep to someone else in their organization.
These are hot leads.
“There has been a hand-raised and there is a follow up,” says Reisert.
Again, these connections should include contact information, notes etc. Your reps already know everything they need to know, and it’s all right there for them in the CRM.
This the “booked meeting” bucket.
“This is our money bucket. These are the leads we’ve set up for AEs,” says Reisert.
“And we want to make sure there is a very low-no-show rate.”
According to Reisert, each company that agrees to meet booked will get a check-in call from the SDR the week of the meeting. If there is no confirmation 24 hrs out, the reps are calling again to re-confirm. In fact, reps are calling up to 2-3 hours in advance of a schedule meeting to make sure prospects are still attending the meeting.
If the meeting needs to be rescheduled, it’s the SDRs responsibility to do so.
Executing Reisert’s Process
Once you have Reisert’s bucket system in place, it’s important to know how to work it properly.
To do so, his system is designed to be worked backwards (from Bucket 4 to Bucket 1) to maximize Reisert’s belief that SDRs should always be doing the most important task available.
For example, reps should always start with confirming all meetings booked because this is the most high-value task they can perform. After that, reps work their “hot” leads in Bucket 3, hammer out their cadence in Bucket 2, and, finally, adding new prospects in Bucket 1.
“If we’re looking at our bucketing strategy, Bucket 3 might have a lot of email opens, but no response. So, I’m gonna try and call them more than once per day. A couple of times maybe,” adds Reisert.
“And, same with Bucket 2. If this is a high-value target, I want to connect with them. We know are accounts are all good fits, remember that.”
The final piece to executing this prospecting method is to have your CRM designed to have four stages at the contact level to mirror the four buckets. According to Reisert, those stages don’t necessarily have to be labelled “Bucket 1, 2, 3, and 4” but should have be clear so all reps know exactly what stage each contact is at and, therefore, what their daily priorities are.
“Remember, cadence tools are designed to try and help you do the right activities at the right time. But, you can’t predict your specific prospect is going to start and engage with your activities. You might see an email get 10-15 opens all of a sudden,” says Reisert.
“But, if you’re relying on a cadence tool, and that tool tells you to reach out next in two days, you are missing out on opportunity. So, it is helpful to keep a cadence of touches in play, process is not a tool. This process is meant to stay in to on top of the right activities at the right time, not to do a certain amount of activities over a period of time.There’s a big difference there.”
For more on Reisert’s prospecting philosophy and process, check out his recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.
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