Let’s be honest, the job of a Sales Development Representative can be overwhelming.
In order to successfully move leads through the sales pipeline, SDRs have to be quick on their feet, be experts in their product offering, understand customer pain points, be proficient with various technologies and have a positive outlook that’s immune to bad interactions.
If that wasn’t enough, the widespread adoption of CRMs over the past few years—and the collection and management of data that comes with it—has added an extra layer of complexity to the role.
Up for a Test?
Take a moment to log into your CRM — pick a current lead or opportunity and try to understand the following data points and where they might be hiding; such as the past history of engagement across sales and marketing, the current status, and the best next step in the sales process. It’s likely that this is no easy feat. Now, just think how difficult it can be for an SDR that is trying to do this, day in and day out while working through as many of these engagements as possible.
When it comes to helping their sales team get the most out of this necessary tool, a sales leader’s approach should center around one thing: finding ways to make the individual sales rep’s day better. Here’s why.
It takes about four months on average to onboard a new sales development rep. That uses up valuable time, resources and money. From there, that SDR typically burns out after 16 months due to tough days, lack of success, opportunity somewhere new, etc. which can turn into a pretty expensive cycle. However, by cutting through the noise and focusing on empowering SDR success, you’ll save money in the long run and make your reps more effective simply by helping navigate the unavoidable “dip” that accompanies this type of role.
So how do you go about empowering your SDRs’ success? It all comes down to four key strategies: automate as much as possible, leverage data, improve the experience and train effectively. Read on to see how.
Bridge the Gap Between Your Phone and CRM
If your reps are still pulling up a record within CRM, looking at the phone number, shifting to their phone keypad, typing in the phone number and then beginning their conversation with a prospect, they are doing it the hard way.
This manual act may not seem like a big deal, but your sales reps are also likely making far more than a couple of dials per day. When you begin to separate the time spent on even small tasks, like picking up and dialing a phone, out over hundreds or even thousands of calls per week, these little things begin to add up into very noticeable time lost. Bringing in a system that will enable click-to-dial functionality where the rep can simply click on a phone number within CRM to place their call will save time and the pain of a tedious task that is repeated call after call.
Automate The Tasks, Free The Human
According to Salesforce’s State of Sales Report, the average sales rep spends 64% of their time on “non-selling” activities. With only a third of their time left to sell, it’s no wonder reps are falling below quotas.
The majority of this non-selling time is typically spent interacting with CRM. Necessary tasks like inputting data, logging activities, updating fields, sending off email templates—the list goes on—must certainly be completed within the sales process, but why are you making it the responsibility of your most valuable assets rather than leaving it to the machines?
Sales automation within CRM is how savvy sales leaders double and even triple the output of their high-performing sales teams without the diminishing returns associated with simply adding headcount.
Let’s say, for example, it takes a sales rep on average three minutes to update their CRM and complete necessary post-call tasks after hanging up a call. Now, multiply that out over 75 calls in a day. That is approximately three hours and 45 minutes of time spent per day on busywork that has nothing to do with closing a deal! Multiply it by a week and it’s over 18 hours. By a month, it’s an average of 72 hours and over a year it comes out to a minimum of 864 hours or 108 full eight-hour business days! Now, think of what you pay your sales reps per eight-hour day… starting to see the big picture?
Based on this example, eliminating just those three minutes per call for two of your top-performing reps would be like hiring an additional new rep that could produce the same revenue of those top reps with zero ramp-up time. As if this wasn’t enough of a benefit, automating all the processes within CRM also guarantees 100% accuracy of the data being inputted. This ensures perfect reporting every time, which is crucial for sales leaders to be able to rely on and effectively utilize reports in CRM.
Leverage Your CRM Data to Target the Right Prospects
The days of making decisions based on “sales instinct” or “gut feelings” are long gone. Today, data is king in decision making and your CRM should be capturing tons of it. Collecting customer data like industry and job title, for example, in CRM is only a small piece of the equation, though.
To see the full picture of what a successful buyer may look like, you will also need to blend in the engagement and call analytics that come from the sales process. How many calls did it take before we got an appointment set? How many and what duration of conversations needed to take place before a sale closed? When do we hit our point of diminishing returns on phone calls where it does not make sense to continue calling? This data, along with the customer data, can paint a very clear picture of which leads match up similarly to your successfully closed sales in CRM.
A native sales engagement solution like DialSource Denali can capture call analytics on each call placed and push that data into fields within a CRM like Salesforce. At that point, you are just a standard report away from identifying exactly which leads in CRM match up to current buyer profiles and how many calls or conversations are still needed for the highest likelihood of close.
With these data points in CRM and a sales tool that can automatically serve the records that match one after another, sales leaders can completely remove all the guesswork that is typical for reps making their own decisions on who they are going to call next.
Train More Effectively Through CRM
With the right add-on tool, CRM can become a tremendous oversight tool for a sales leader looking to evaluate and coach their sales reps.
Reports and dashboards are standard features within CRM and can show great information about closed deals, pipeline and other process-related stats. Having activity KPIs logged and tracked separately outside of CRM (if at all) is a big drawback when trying to gain a clear picture of a rep’s overall performance. Bringing these data points into CRM not only allows a manager to view all the metrics for their team in one place, it also allows for these data points to be combined to give a clearer picture of performance.
Blending number of conversations and revenue over a month period, for example, can produce a report to show the average dollar amount generated every time a sales rep gets a live customer on the phone. This type of advanced reporting goes far deeper in showing how a sales team’s individual skill levels stack up to each other, rather than just looking at a simple call report or revenue leaderboard.
Another great way to provide coaching and feedback to a sales team is through call recordings and evaluating the calls they are making. Most sales leaders do not have hours to sort through hundreds of call recordings to find the ones that would be most beneficial to listen to. Denali records every conversation and links each recording to the logged activity for that call along with the call outcome in CRM.
Combined, both of these CRM enhancements allow sales managers to create reports based on call outcomes to pinpoint and aggregate only the types of calls they want to listen to. Picture a report of all sales that were lost due to the objection of price during the last quarter. With recordings linked to each of those failed sales calls, a manager would be able to hear exactly what is being said and offer immediate coaching on how to better handle that objection in the future.
Bringing It All Together
As sales leaders, our job is to empower our reps. They are our biggest asset because although automation may be disrupting millions of job, it will never be able to replace human interaction and connection. That’s what they do best and we can empower our teams to succeed by remembering to apply the four strategies listed above: automate as much as possible, leverage data intelligence, focus on the right targets to improve the customer experience and use your CRM to train more effectively.