This article was written by Ellen Lewis, an Enterprise Account Development Manager for Consensus. A version of this article appeared on LinkedIn Pulse.
Want to be a successful Sales Development Rep? We are told it is as simple as following this formula:
The higher the quantity of X, the more appointments and qualified opportunities you create. The result inevitably is a bigger paycheck. Let’s be honest. That’s a huge motivator. Sounds like a no-brainer right?
This formula undoubtedly works well for SMB. But it starts to fall short upstream. Single point of contact? Wouldn’t that be nice? Research from CEB tells us there are 5.4 decision makers involved in today’s B2B purchases.
In the enterprise world, not only do you have at least 5x more contacts, but you are faced with the challenge of tracking down a VP or C-level decision maker. Typically not the most accessible folks. Stack on another obstacle: standing out from the hundreds of other automated, templated messages promising similar results.
As SDRs it is drilled into us to have the “smile and dial” mindset and thanks to the modern sales stack, we have the ability to reach an unprecedented number of prospects. We make more dials, faster. We automate “personalized” messaging with practically no time or effort. Could there be a better way to close enterprise sales? Unfortunately, because most SDRs are incentivized by these metrics, it will naturally continue to drive bad habits.
The big question is — considering all the convenience, volume and productivity these tools offer — are we compromising the quality of our interactions and killing deals before we even get a chance pitch?
Let’s try shifting our focus from quantity to quality with Account Based Sales Development (ABSD). ABSD is a more strategic method of prospecting, one focused on nurturing high value and targeted accounts, rather than a single point of contact.
Patience is key, and panic may be the knee-jerk reaction for any SDR who feels they’re falling behind. Although this is easily addressed if metrics are adjusted to encourage the right behaviors, ultimately resulting in desired outcomes. Without a doubt, an account based approach takes more time and effort.
It takes time but
- It takes time to research your ideal customer profile (ICP)
- It takes time to identify your highest value accounts
- It takes time to learn how to align best with account specific initiatives and goals
- It takes time to create context by scouring blogs, press releases, and financial reports
- It takes time to personalize email messaging and build trusted relationships through social selling
So what is the payoff for your investment? Instead of being doomed to that bottomless pit of unopened emails in your prospects’ trash bin, you become a trusted and credible advisor. You are now integral to the buying journey, with the ability to identify and educate each member of the buying group. You can be confident in what value you can provide, and when you call, they are eager to hear what you have to say.
You now own your success. When you set that appointment, there is no seeing what sticks, you are confident that account is qualified and ready to take the next step. The most significant bonus: by nurturing the account and the members of the buying group, you helped drive consensus early on. Data suggests group consensus results in bigger average deal sizes, reduction in sales cycles and increased close rates. Closing enterprise sales is a win for everyone.
To learn more about using Consensus for personalization in your ABSD approach, click here to watch a personalized demo.