On Friday Jack Neicho from SalesLoft and I hosted a lunchtime Zoom call with 86 BDR’s based in London to find ways we can adapt during these crazy times. It was so overwhelming to see so many business development professionals come together and offer ideas on what is working and how we can grow as a community to help our customers. It was also great to hear best practices and what other companies are doing to increase productivity at home.
During this challenging time buyers will be feeling insecure about their jobs, homes, and family life. Often this results in budget cuts, added pressure and months, even years worth of work and planning all put on hold. That is hard when our job is to sell.
Unless you have a product that increases productivity when working remotely this could mean having to play the long game. Use this time to build trust and educate your buyers. Find new ways to be empathetic and offer help with problems that fall outside of your regular sales conversations. Something I am loving right now is sharing a playlist that's helping me get through my day and could bring a smile to my prospects as well. Gift someone some UberEats vouchers so they don’t have to worry about leaving home to buy lunch. Send colouring sheets that parents can print to keep their little ones busy.
Think about what is going on in your prospect’s personal and business lives. Be aware of social media like LinkedIn, research industry news, read current affairs and think how these times are affecting them. In our BDR online lunch session, Stratford Canning from Forrester said in some cases it is better to take the softer approach and give people some breathing space.
More now than ever before this isn’t about you it’s about them. Put your customers at the start of every conversation and find out how they are doing and how the current situation of events being cancelled and working from home has affected them. People are busy but they are also lonely. A problem shared is a problem halved and if you can listen and react with something that helps, you might just save someone's bacon. It might be that you can’t book a meeting right now so build a healthy pipeline for the future. Your network will always grow with you.
Liam Bailes from Mapp managed to book a meeting by starting a conversation about music. This conversation broke away from the typical sales chat and he was able to build a relationship built on a common interest. The foundations were then set to talk about business needs and book in the meeting.
Sophie Crampton Smith from Salary Finance mentioned how we should turn on the video and open up our surroundings. Why not leave personal items in shot that makes it easy for prospects to comment on. Have a laugh, throw in your oversized toy llamas, sombrero hats, get your maracas out! Send your prospects a video or Linkedin voice message. Events used to be a way of humanising touchpoints in the buyer journey but now we can do that virtually. Send an engaging video that is sure to get someone's attention, make their day and even make them want to reshare it with others. Could TikToking prospects be the next big thing?
The CRM is full of direct dials, closed lost accounts, people who weren’t interested that might be now. Look back at the conversations you had 6 months ago and check in to make sure they are okay. You might not have been a priority then but you just could be now.
It isn’t just solely down to marketing to create content and share thought leadership stories. Interview customers, create videos, build content, do something different. Solve problems that people in your industry are facing. Help your peers and other people in your community by sharing ideas and knowledge on what is working for you. Increase the opportunity of your prospects knowing who you are before you reach out to them. It is still the year where building a personal brand can make all the difference. Tag people in posts and don’t be afraid to have a personality or opinion.
This is the perfect time to learn about yourself and the people you have previously helped. Test your relationship skills and give an existing customer a call or someone that you once introduced to the business. Find out what challenges they are facing and ask them how you can help other people. Why not even ask them if they know someone who they could make an introduction to.
You may not be able to book meetings at your normal pace but that also means people closing won't be closing deals. Ultimately businesses might have to make difficult decisions and this is your chance as a BDR to shine and step up. Come to the table with new ideas that will help your managers. Write content, find new markets, learn about a new channel, write new messaging. Keep team morale high and find new ways to increase productivity. Play around and get a bit risky. We are working from home, things aren’t normal right now so our workflows don’t have to be either. You will be rewarded in the long run and we must have fun doing it.
Set daily and weekly goals to help keep a focus and optimise your time. Working from home can go quickly and we can focus too much on internal conversations to replace having people around us. Find a good balance quickly and challenge yourself and other team members to be accountable. I have started to use Trello boards to set daily goals with my team. Everyone needs to share what they want to achieve, tasks for the day and new ideas to implement. The next day we review how we got on and look to see where we can help if we didn’t quite get there. It’s also a great place to shout out the great work we see our colleagues doing.