Being an SDR isn’t an easy job. Most SDRs are still new to the corporate world and still growing a lot as individuals. There can be a lot of anxiety associated with prospecting, so it’s no wonder that the turnover rate is so high with sales reps.

While prospecting is stressful, you can alleviate some of that stress through planning and gaining experience. 

The six steps outlined below will benefit your company and assist your new salespeople in their career growth.

1. Define the “Why”

Why do you wake up each workday and continue your career in sales? Why is it important for you to be prospecting?

There is great power in understanding your “why.” It gives you a goal to plan towards and motivates you for the long term, not just for checking your daily tasks, like prospecting, off your to-do list.

The problem is that many salespeople don’t know their “why.” They simply know their job is to pick up the phone or set up an email campaign and start prospecting. But, they need a deeper connection to their work and a broader context for their daily tasks to find long-term motivation.

Helping your salespeople define their career goals can solidify or strengthen their will to succeed. With a clear view of the big picture, motivations become more personal, and SDRs can work backward from their personal or professional goals to put their all into tasks like prospecting. The phone feels a little lighter when it comes time to prospect if every outreach is a purpose-driven stepping stone toward a larger, more meaningful objective.

2. Understand the Customer

Before your sales reps start prospecting, they should have gone through onboarding to get a clear understanding of your customers, their pain points, and how your product serves them.

This understanding is crucial for tailoring their outreach and demonstrating genuine value. 

Think of it like this: when SDRs know who they’re talking to and the challenges they face, they can position your solution as a remedy rather than just another product. 

This knowledge empowers them to ask insightful questions, address specific needs, build rapport with potential customers, and handle potential sales objections before they snowball into a definitive “No.” It transforms their outreach from a generic pitch to a personalized conversation, making prospects more likely to engage and, ultimately, convert.

Create a culture at your company that encourages questions. A mentor program with senior sales reps would be extremely beneficial to a new salesperson, and it can decrease the number of interruptions to your day as a sales leader. 

Shadowing is another excellent way for your new salespeople to learn your sales methodology and the ins and outs of your specific customers. The best sales leaders have an open-door policy that is not just advertised but also practiced.

3. Add Prospecting to the Calendar

Avoid procrastination by scheduling time for prospecting into your day. Encourage your salespeople to do the same.

Encourage your salespeople to do the same. 

Just like that important client meeting or product demo, prospecting deserves a prime spot on the calendar. By blocking off dedicated time slots, you ensure that this crucial activity doesn’t get squeezed out by other tasks.

Pro tip: Don’t just tell your team to “make time for prospecting” — lead by example. Let them see that you’re prioritizing it too.

By tracking your prospecting efforts, you’ve also made it easier to conduct an analysis. Have all your reps record their efforts, so you can measure activity and identify ways to improve. 

Think of it as your sales team’s very own data goldmine. With this information, you can pinpoint which strategies are yielding the best results and which ones might need a little tweaking. 

This data-driven approach ensures that your sales prospecting techniques efforts are always evolving and improving.

4. Use the Right Tools

New sales tools enter the market every year and while goes without saying that some of them can make your and your sales reps’ lives much easier, there are questions you should ask yourself before adopting a new piece of software:  

Are the tools in your sales stack the best ones for my company? 

Will this new tool genuinely help my team sell more effectively, or is it just another shiny object?

Is it going to improve my team’s sales efficiency

First of all, assess your existing sales tools arsenal and identify any gaps or areas where your team is struggling. Then, do the research and watch demonstrations to see what works for others and how the available tools can advance your team’s prospecting duties. 

This will help you choose the best sales tools to help you do your job most effectively. 

Besides implementing a CRM, you should think about adding a sales engagement platform to your tech stack. VanillaSoft can streamline your team’s prospecting efforts and boost your sales thanks to its diverse features that are suitable for different parts of the sales process. Auto dialing can help your SDRs reduce the time they’d otherwise spend punching the numbers manually, while the platform’s powerful algorithms analyze leads, prioritize the ones most likely to convert, and automatically assign the next-best leads to the right SDRs.  

5. Take a Multichannel Approach

When it’s time to prospect, your SDRs shouldn’t avoid cold calling or social media. Instead, they should take a multichannel approach and reach out to targets using a variety of communication methods. Diversifying your outreach via different channels is a winning strategy because it makes sure your message has the best chance of reaching your target audience. 

Not everyone responds to emails the same way, and some prospects may be more active on social media platforms like LinkedIn

By using a multichannel approach, you increase the likelihood of your message resonating with prospects wherever they are most engaged. 

It also allows you to build multiple touchpoints with potential customers, increasing brand awareness and staying top-of-mind. This multi-faceted approach shows prospects you are willing to meet them where they are, making it easier for them to engage with your brand on their terms.

So, it’s essential that your sales team doesn’t rely on one tactic. Whether it’s a fear of the phone or a fear of new methods like social selling, don’t let discomfort stop your team from connecting with people in new ways. 

Your favorite way to reach out may not be your prospects’ preferred method to be reached.

6. Personalize Your Sales Messaging

Let’s be honest and admit that nobody likes receiving generic, cookie-cutter sales pitches. It’s like getting a birthday card that just says “Happy Birthday” with no personal message. That’s why personalization is key when it comes to prospecting.

Before reaching out, your SDRs should take the time to research your prospects and their company by checking out their LinkedIn profile, company website, and recent news articles. This will give them valuable insights they can use to tailor the sales message.

Instead of a generic “Hello, I’d like to talk to you about our product,” something like, “Hi [Prospect Name], I noticed that your company recently [mention a recent company event or news]. I was curious to know if [your product] could help you with [specific challenge related to the event or news]” would resonate much better with potential prospects. 

This shows the prospect that the person calling has done their homework and that they’re not just sending out mass emails or calling hoping for the best. It also makes your message more relevant to your prospects’ specific needs, increasing the chances that they’ll be interested in learning more about your product.

Remember, the goal is to start a conversation, not just deliver a pitch. 

By personalizing your sales messaging, you’re showing prospects that you value their time and that you’re genuinely interested in helping them solve their problems. 

This approach is more likely to lead to a positive response and, ultimately, a closed deal, so make sure every SDR on your team is familiar with this tactic. 

Get Ready to Prospect

Share these tips with your SDRs to help them become better prospectors, but also encourage them to take responsibility for their future in sales. Advise them to conduct their own research and pursue other educational resources to improve their prospecting and sales skills. 

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