Last month, we were lucky enough to sit down with fifteen of the most influential sales development leaders in B2B SaaS. We got their candid takes on all things pivot. They shared how they swiveled their sales development processes while working from home and how they updated their targeting strategies.
After surviving (and sometimes even thriving) through Q2 2020, these SDR leaders from the likes Aircall, GitLab, and Hootsuite, shared their key learnings for keeping meetings flowing and prospects happy. So, keep on reading for the top four pointers or check out all fifteen tips in our latest ebook.
From your team to prospects, now’s the time to double-down on your authentic listening skills. Liz Meuse of Hootsuite offered her advice, “Demonstrating a genuine interest in someone’s well-being during COVID-19 will get you way further than smiling and dialing.”
But prospects are the only ones that need a little TLC. Ryan Liubinskas of Redis Labs advised the importance of taking special attention with your SDR team during the trials and tribulations of lockdown.
He shared, “Initially, we filled our calendars with back to back video calls, which caused more stress, longer working days, and even health problems. Quickly figuring out a healthy balance using different tools, formal and informal messages, and awareness of successes and failures proved to be the most vital part of our progress.”
While a little bit of empathy goes a long way, prospects are expecting more than just moral support. Bryan Elsesser of Aircall advised, “Prospects also expect a customer experience that enables them to thrive. It’s no longer just about the customer. It’s about how our product will help our customers help theirs. Our mission has to be to enable their mission.”
When talking to enterprise prospects that means listening first, selling later. Hailey Pobanz of GitLab noted, “We stopped actively selling and instead worked to support our prospects by sharing our knowledge and building trust, which in the long run, will help us move opportunities forward when companies are ready to make a move.”
It’s no longer just about the customer. It’s about how our product will help our customers help theirs. Our mission has to be to enable their mission.”Bryan Elsesser of Aircall
Now’s not the time to stick to the status-quo. James Buckley of Attest pointed out, “When the world’s moving so fast, you can’t just rely on what was working for you previously. We have a way higher focus on marginal gains now – anything from reply rates on videos to the success of different intros on a cold call are under the microscope.”
In short, it’s time to get creative. Sarah Downey of Staffbase suggested, “We’ve enlisted the help of a working student to create customized videos where we can show each prospect what our product would look like for them. She’s helping us to do research and producing the videos/gifs. An SDR is then able to quickly record a customized talk track over to ensure we can reach a larger number of prospects with relevant messaging and valuable content for them.”
Even those verticals less affected by COVID have had to make some strategic changes. Kier Johnson of Zendesk admitted, “After BDRs struggled to get traction with larger enterprise companies, we decided to do something we wouldn’t typically do and go after lower-tier customers – and it’s working for us.”
Going after a new tier isn’t the only way to pivot for profit. Our very own Director of Marketing and Sales Development Marc Gassó offered up – “We’ve changed target markets, and shifted our prospecting focus towards SaaS verticals that are less affected and more likely to survive the crisis. Our messaging has also changed. Now we’re focusing on companies with the intention to buy rather than people who might just be curious to explore new tools.
Overall, we’ve seen that empathy, experiments, and flexibility with your strategy are key factors to prospecting through tough times. But these aren’t the only strategies you should consider implementing in the second half of 2020. Check out our latest ebook to get more timely advice from some of the most renowned SDR leaders in our space.
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