If your title is Sales Development Rep (SDR), Business Development Rep (BDR), Revenue Development Rep (RDR), Inside Sales or any other of the many names for this position, we’ve got some good news for you about your sales conversations…
You’re no longer expected to cold call day in and day out! Wooo!
BUT WAIT! Don’t relax too much just yet, it doesn’t mean that things are going to be loads easier. Just different.
So, how has the role of a salesperson changed?
Well, progressive organizations are no longer pushing for more and more call volume. Instead, they’re letting their BDRs prospect for and qualify leads. This is because the time spent properly researching and preparing for calls tends to actually lead to more sales.
As a result, teams are gaining prospecting and networking skills that all good businesses want to nurture.
Furthermore, a new paradigm has developed in the role.
The highest performing teams are now evaluating the benefits of tying the salespersons commission to revenue instead of how many meetings or demos they book. This approach demands more expertise from the BDR. As a result, more skilled sales reps are cultivated, leading to more successful later in their careers.
All of this means that as a BDR, you can no longer rely on simply making more calls to meet a quota or luck into some good leads. You need to be smart, do your homework, make connections, network, and do exactly what your title demands – develop business.
If you’ve lucky enough to work for a really smart company, you may also find that senior team members are helping to train and mentor their BDRs. While some managers may be nervous to invest the time and money on their more junior sales roles for fear that they might leave, others feel that this is a backwards logic.
Providing their BDRs with a challenging and rewarding work environment and gives them the opportunity to improve and advance. As a result work places are seeing the hardest working, best performing team.
Makes sense, huh?
Another big change in business development is coming from new technology.
The ability to use these tools effectively can make you that much more productive – setting you apart from the competition. No longer is it about picking up the phone and dialing – the game has changed.
It’s because of this that BDR’s are now expected to be able to easily adapt to the ever-changing technological landscape. These tools are designed to make your job easier. And while technology alone won’t make you a better BDR, it will give you the boost you need to succeed.
These changes to the role of a salesperson/BDR mean that you’re probably going to spend a whole lot more time than usual on the phone to your customers and clients. So, your conversation skills need to be stronger than ever before.
A study by Forrester found that, across a wide array of industries, companies that focused on their customers’ experience grew their revenues 14% higher than those who didn’t. Improving the quality of your communications and conversations can go a long way towards improving your customers journeys.
Lucky for you, we conducted some research of our own a little while ago that provides a wealth of information on how, when, and in which ways to converse with customers.
You can download the full report here….
Or you can keep reading for our highlights…
Your customers still want to talk
Technology may be evolving rapidly, and there may be many platforms for communication… but the most efficient and effective way to communicate with someone is by picking up the phone. Being able to hear the persons voice and talking through real time scenarios makes it possible to solve problems much faster. Your customers will feel more comfortable and in better hands when they are able to converse over the phone compared to apps, chat bots, and more.
Have customers details to hand
Due to the many channels of communications, customers are probably having to repeat themselves every time they call. And they’re probably a least a bit frustrated with it. When you integrate all sales conversations into a CRM it becomes possible to pick up right where the customer left off from their last conversation. This helps to make them feel important and keeps you more organized.
Imagine…..You’re receiving a call and as the phone rings, the caller’s details instantly pop up on screen. With CloudCall, you’re only one click away from a full record of previous interactions, so you can carry on from where the last conversation finished, even if you personally haven’t spoken to, or even encountered, the caller before. You’d show the caller that your business is prepared, professional and knowledgeable, improving their experience with your business.
Ultimately, the more details you have on hand, the better!
Be mobile ready
The thing that (most) people have with them at all times is their mobile phone. This makes it the most accessible way to get a hold of someone. Most won’t answer calls if they don’t recognize the number, so following up with a text gives them the ability to respond when they are available and know who they are talking to.
Tailor your offers
By tailoring offers, you are personalizing them based on the actual needs of your customers. They will feel acknowledged and more inclined to use them because they understand the benefits on an individual level. This creates a better experience for them overall.
Leading customer service expert, Shep Hyken, says “there is no reason to not create a more personalised experience that caters to a customer’s individual needs.”
These tips will ensure that you are using the latest and greatest communications tools efficiently, allowing you to be well prepared for a conversation.
Now, there’s one other small thing we should probably cover….
How should you actually talk to your customers?
When trying to close the big deal it’s easy to forget some of the basics. You may slip into your old habit of talking too much and firing questions so rapidly that your customers feel interrogated.
Even if you’re using state of the art communication tools, it’s important to be mindful about the actual conversation’s you’re having. After all, your sales conversations are your business.
So, how do you ensure that your conversations make a good impression on your clients and customers? What can you do to deliver a positive experience for your customers?
You might want to get a pen and paper (or, you know, copy and paste!)
Here are our top tips for excellent sales conversations
Remember: people buy from people they like. So, before you even think about questioning your prospect get them to open up about how you can help them. Start with some comments on interests and hobbies, this will get your prospect in to a conversational mind set from the off. Finding common ground or shared interests is the quickest way to building positive relationships, helping your sales conversations to go far smoother.
Every article you read with hints for salespeople includes the importance of understanding your customer’s pain points. What isn’t always specified though is the importance of harnessing their aspirations – you need to understand what their goals are and then show them how you can help them to achieve them.
Make your case
If you don’t make your business case, you quite simply won’t make the sale. If your customer can’t see the value in what you are proposing why would they buy?
Your case should be a constantly evolving and improving snapshot of who you (and your company) are, why your product or service is beneficial and how it has helped other organisations.
Paint a picture
It’s time to give your customer a look into the future, a future where you have alleviated their pain points and achieved their goals. Build excitement around the scenario to get them to visualise how things could change. Visualisation helps prospects attach emotion to a scenario or situation – whether that be a positive emotion of a situation to come or a negative emotion of a situation from the past. Either way, this can be a powerful way to convey your message.
Trust is a key building block in sales success. A prospect won’t open up and share their pain points, aspirations and goals if they don’t trust you. So, if you say you are going to do or provide something make sure you deliver and do on time. If you going to be late in delivering be honest and communicate. If you let them down, they are unlikely to trust you to move forward with the deal.
Fail to prepare…
Prepare to fail applies to each and every sales conversation you’ll have. Do your homework. Understand the business, have clear objectives of what you want to achieve from every single conversation.
Following these tips should help you have more successful sales conversations with your potential customers.
It isn’t all about phone calls though.
You may text with customers about updates on their purchase. Or you could email clients personalised content that you know relates to their interests. You may even decide to share a glimpse into your company’s values and culture using social media.
These examples are all based upon information that you either already have or can easily access and would communicate and reinforce your offering with clients and customers. This can make all the difference when contracts are up for discussion, or a customer is umming and ahhing over which product to take.
And there you have it, the complete guide to sales conversations for the modern, high quality salesperson (Sales Development Rep, Business Development Rep, Revenue Development Rep, Inside Sales… you know the drill).