For those of you who were not able to tune into last week’s insightful webinar with author of The Sales Development Playbook and The Bridge Group founder Trish Bertuzzi, we have you covered. Below you’ll find actionable advice from the live Q&A. So, you can begin pivoting your strategy and supporting your SDR team today during these challenging times.
It goes without saying that the current global crisis has forced many companies (ourselves included) to adapt to new circumstances. One such example is remote working. Now, of course, it’s not any novel concept. Many companies boast of remote working benefits. But, if your company has switched from the majority of employees coming to the office to ALL employees working at home from one day to the next… well, that’s just unprecedented.
That’s why Trish Bertuzzi argues that in times like these, especially when morale is down and homes are all so different, it’s time for new ideas. Ideas that, although perhaps radical, can counteract the negative impact of the current crisis and keep sales development teams’ productivity up.
In the webinar, Trish makes mention of a work-from-home (WFH) stipend. Provided by companies, these stipends would help employees to buy items or furniture to create a more harmonious work environment at home. Maybe a new work monitor or a more comfortable reclining chair.
Consider your SDR’s work-from-home environment. Loud roomates, cramped desk, tiny computer. Help out by offering a home office stipend.
The purchased goods are of least importance. What matters is that you are the driving force behind your employee’s productivity, and more importantly, their health and sanity.
This second take-away message goes hand in hand with the last key point. At this moment, when all of your employees are at home and there are no in-person all-hands-on-deck sessions, you have to go above and beyond. That is, you have to check in more with your sales development representatives and ask hard questions.
“How are you feeling today?” “What is troubling you?” These questions will elicit responses that can help you better gauge your employees’ well-being and act accordingly. It can be your chance to empathize with your team members to offset the negative repercussions of these more difficult times.
If there’s one take-away message that you must leave with today, it’s this…pivot!.
Trish could not stress enough the importance of this two-syllable word. Companies cannot fight the fact that certain industries (tourism, travel, healthcare, etc.) are no longer viable as immediate target industries. But, it does not mean that you are at a complete loss.
On the contrary, this is the opportunity to change strategy and consider other (less-impacted) companies who are still successful. Now is the moment when you should use your sales development representatives to do more research, determine what new verticals can be targeted, and start building relationships.
Don’t hibernate. Use your SDRs to do more research, determine what new verticals can be targeted, and start building relationships.
There’s only one catch, though. A compensation plan for your SDRs will need a bit of a makeover. Factors like the number of meetings and qualified opportunities–while important–are harder to benchmark in this new economy.
If your SDRs are tasked with populating lists or gathering research for potential solutions and products, you’ll have to reconsider how to compensate them appropriately. Proper SDR compensation gives value to your hard-worked efforts and keep morale going strong.
A great portion of the world’s population is either in lockdown or well on their way there. The world has changed. So, what does that mean for your company?
As Trish so adamantly argued, if you’re still using automated email sequences from even three weeks ago to talk to your client base now, then expect to see more losses. Right now is when you should be adjusting your company’s messaging to address concerns, empathize, and be leaders in these murky waters.
Now’s the time to adapt messaging to address concerns, empathize, and be stand-out leaders in these murky waters.
JetBlue is just one of the few examples who has done just that. The COO of the American airline company has posted 2-3 videos to mediate worries and present actions that could impact the customer. Each video may only be 10 minutes long but what it shows the difference between automated or business as usual, and empathetic, relevant messaging.
Finally, one of the main issues raised in the webinar was an SDR’s growth trajectory within the company. How can you set up an SDR to become a successful account executive? Is an SDR being considered as a true profession nowadays or just a stepping stone?
As Trish will tell you herself, sales development representatives have great potential to become outstanding account executives. What is important though, is that companies integrate a stage 2 onboarding process that takes SDRs off the phone and equips them with skills related to AEs’ responsibilities. By doing that, companies increase an SDR’s likelihood of transitioning into the sales team without failure.
Similarly, if there is any doubt about whether SDRs represent a profession, take a look at the many vice presidents of sales development. Think about what steps they have taken to reach those positions. Indeed, SDRs can follow career paths that see them working with SME to mid-market, to qualifying enterprises of all sorts.
And right now, while times are tough, the SDRs who still come to play hardball are those who embody what it means to be a true sales professional. Although promoting to AE definitely isn’t on your immediate agenda, keep an eye out to identify those future A-players.
If you enjoyed these highlights from our live session with sales development expert Trish Bertuzzi, check out the webinar in its entirety.