Business development is a critical element to the success of any business, big or small. Whether you have a dedicated business development representative (BDR) or are simply taking the reins yourself, business development should always be at the forefront of your thinking.
Business development means focusing on one key facet: generating new prospects through various sales approaches, namely: networking, cold calling, cold emailing, and social selling.
As the make-up of the traditional sales team grows and evolves, the importance of a BDR becomes ever more prevalent. Teams with a BDR can generate up to 10x the amount of pipeline deals than those without, building effective lead qualification, yielding greater sales prosperity, and dramatically boosting revenue outcomes.
The evidence is clear and poignant; a great BDR can make the tactical difference between an effective sales strategy and one that falls short.
But how can you make that difference? What does it take to become the sparkling development representative that your business needs?
At InsideOut, we know a thing or two about sales strategy, and we’re happy to share here at SalesIntel what it takes to meet those actionable targets. We want to empower you with all the best tips and tricks of the trade to steady your BDR success in the forthcoming year.
Due to the ever-changing nature of sales, we can’t promise a secret formula to BDR success. But, with 2022 fast approaching, the landscape is almost certain to shift, bringing a brand new troupe of opportunities with it – so being adaptable and prepared is as important as ever. That’s where we come in.
Here’s our Insider 101 on the steps you can take to nail BDR success in 2021:
Be Creative in Your Approach
There’s no one one-size-fits-all approach to sales, it’s all about standing out and diversifying your tactics to suit your prospects and get noticed.
Remember: there’s often a lot of fish even in a small pond, so taking the time to shine in someone’s inbox will put any BDR in good stead.
Don’t rely on cold calls and written communications to sell your message; use a variety of mediums to differentiate to develop a more targeted approach that speaks to the prospect in a fresh, unique, and innovative way.
Video is a great way to set yourself apart and spark immediate interest, which is why it’s become more and more prevalent in modern sales outreach.
Video can create an enriched experience, reducing insincerity and allowing you to deliver your sales messaging in a more dynamic, genuine, and human way.
And, it has a strong rate of success. Embedding video into your email can increase your reply rate by an estimated 26% according to a SalesLoft study.
But do remember, you should treat your approach on a case-by-case basis. The goalposts are constantly moving and you need to tailor your outreach to each prospect.
With this in mind, it’s crucial not to write any strategy out of the question. Just because it hasn’t worked before doesn’t mean it never will. Video is a powerful tool in your sales arsenal – not your entire strategy.
Think: Who are you pitching to? Put yourself in their shoes and adjust your approach to appeal to them.
Know Your Stuff
First-class BDRs always position themselves as an expert in their field, knowing what they’re selling from the inside out.
Generally speaking, the BDR is the first initial contact that a prospect interacts with, so you must know your product like the back of your hand, dually understanding what it can offer the person you’re pitching to.
Think of it as an exam. You wouldn’t enter the room without studying and your sales outreach should be no different. Your prospect is going to visualize your service, your product, and your company through you.
This works both ways, however. Although we all dream of closing that jaw-dropping deal with a massive client, it’s likely a bit far-fetched.
Focus your efforts on the right prospects and understand how your offering can benefit their business. Selling without giving a sense of direction or ambition is nigh-on impossible, you need to make them believe in your product, and that starts with them believing in you on a personal level. Personality and confidence go a long way here.
Know Your Audience
Like everything in sales, having a unique, outside-the-box understanding of your audience is a core necessity to BDR success.
To gain new business, BDRs must have an essential understanding of the key markets, consumers, and products that their prospects target.
However, with constantly shifting needs and targets, the importance of adapting in sales cannot be understated. By keeping on top of emerging trends and new data, you’ll be able to keep one foot on the ground and offer a dynamic edge to your outreach.
Make time to truly understand who you are selling to so that you can take the necessary actions to concisely meet expectations and match interests at your companies’ core.
Take time to do your research, understand what your company has to offer, and leverage yourself above your competitors and you’ll see rewarding results in your strategy.
Know Your Enemy
As previously discussed, there is often a lot of fish in a small pond when it comes to sales.
Sometimes, you just don’t get to your prospect first, which doesn’t have to be a problem – you just have to be prepared to blow your competition out of the water.
Always, always, always research your competitors. We cannot stress this enough. Without an innate understanding of where your product ranks in the market, you leave your outreach vulnerable to difficult questioning and competitor name-dropping.
So how do we do this? Two words: Sales Battlecards.
They may sound adversarial, but for good reason; a sales battlecard is your ultimate cheat sheet to competitive sales success, weaponized to help you triumph over the competition.
Your battlecard should be a simple page resource, contrasting your company’s offering with your rivals. It should concisely focus on the exact details that make your product superior and your company better to work with, allowing you to leap-frog your opponents.
There isn’t much to it; uncover your competitor’s pain points and build from there. A battlecard needs to be precise, clear, and enrich your key sales messaging, giving you the tools to present your product or service in a shining light when those tricky questions do arise.
Follow Up Properly
Simply put, if you’re not following up, you’re not doing it right. Frequency and persistence are two of the most valuable attributes of any BDR and can be the difference between a great salesman, and an inadequate one.
It can take an average of 8 to 12 attempts for a BDR to reach a prospect, and this is before negotiations even begin.
Generally speaking, you should always call a prospect first before emailing them; it’s a more direct, human approach that is valued – but it’s down to you to make this call depending on your understanding of your prospect.
Don’t let those written masterpieces go unread. We’ve all heard the age-old adage: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – and this is generally true in the sales game.
Follow up. Chase. Be persistent. Being a BDR means being tenacious in your pursuit of the perfect deal. Remember, some of your company’s prospects’ inboxes will move at lightning speed so following up daily can be the key to closing that big deal.
Keep it within reasonable limits though, don’t be the person that never gives up. There’s a difference between persistence and not knowing when to quit, reload that time into securing other deals. If you get a negative response that means the person needs more space, and you should be respectful.
Some Final Thoughts
There are dimensions to being a BDR, and rules that enrich your achievements, but ultimately your success rate comes down to your preparation and experience.
Take the time to learn. This is the most valuable thing you can know. Know your product, know your audience, and know your enemy before you even begin to approach your prospect. Knowledge is the key to success in this game.
But don’t forget the basics. Never forget: you catch more flies with honey, so use attitude and personality wisely. With this in mind, here are a few standard tips that can accelerate your BDR successes:
- Be Organised & Flexible
- Set Actionable Goals & Targets
- Keep Track of Data
- Understand What Worked Well & Why
- Be Respectful & Understanding
- Be Articulate & Grammatical
- Be Passionate
And don’t forget to keep your head above the water. Sales is as much about thick skin as it is about expertise – and this is especially true in a BDR role.
Don’t let yourself feel discouraged by rejection; it’s an opportunity to learn and reflect. It can feel incredibly disheartening to get no response after spending hours crafting what you thought was a fool-proof outreach tactic, but that’s the nature of the game.
Remember: sometimes you just have to count your losses and walk away. We’ve been there, but believe us when we say it makes closing that next big deal so much more invigorating.