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In a perfect world, your SDR team will always be working warm leads. In reality, however, this isn’t always possible, for any number of reasons; whether it’s that your scoring methodology is off, the lead just purchased from your competitor or something else. As a result, your SDRs are often left with wasting their time on cold leads.
Further complicating matters is the fact that purchasing cycles are getting longer and more decision-makers are being added to the process, which makes lead nurturing far more challenging.
Two things that improve the odds of your SDR team optimizing their time and reaching their goals include setting up the right nurturing sequences and ensuring that they have access to relevant contextual data. Let’s take a look at each of these things below.
The most critical weapon an SDR has in his or her arsenal is time. When leads are passed along from marketing to the sales development team, it’s the SDRs’ job to research those prospects and develop appropriate messages that will hopefully nurture those leads through the sales funnel.
There are several channels available to SDRs, including manual ones, like phone calls and social media interactions, as well as automated ones, like drip emails. Leveraging four or more channels can make SDRs up to 300% more effective in converting a lead.
But doing so requires a delicate balance. Too many manual touches will drain their availability and reduce productivity. Too much reliance on automated methods, on the other hand, is a waste of human skills and can potentially drive leads away.
To address this, SDR teams should develop and implement a repeatable sequence of actions that includes a combination of both manual and automated communication. The length and order of the cadence you choose will ultimately depend upon your sales cycle, but here’s a general example:
- Day 1: Email, Social Media, Phone Call
- Day 4: Email, Phone Call
- Day 7: Social Media, Phone Call, Voicemail
- Day 10: Email, Social Media
- Day 14: Email, Social Media
- Day 18: Phone Call, Voicemail
- Day 20: Email, Phone Call
- Day 25: Email, Phone Call
If, after the 25th day, a contact has not responded, the SDR should move on to the next lead. Again, if your sales cycle is longer or shorter, you may need to tweak this accordingly. Likewise, you may wish to modify and segment this based on the customers you’re targeting with each campaign. In any case, having a documented sequence in place helps to maximize efficiency, create consistency and improve the odds of conversion over time.
Of course, SDRs should be free to respond to buying signals at any point during the nurture sequence to prioritize accounts based on interest level. For instance, if a particular lead has a question about something specific related to the product, sending over a relevant case study can help push that lead through to the next tier of the funnel.
To put the pieces of the puzzle together, SDRs require relevant data from a variety of different sources and across the entire buying cycle. Data surrounding demographics help to prioritize leads as a start, but from there behavioral and intent-related data is what truly drives the sales process.
Understanding what leads are doing at any given point, whether it’s liking a tweet or downloading a whitepaper, provides insight into how messaging can and should be approached. For instance, let’s say a lead announces a new award nomination or indicates interest in attending an upcoming trade show.
With this contextual data, the SDR can then reach out with a personal message extending congratulations or initiating a plan to meet up at the event. This type of “touch” may not be enough to convert the lead now, but it will be far more valuable than sending a copy of the latest ebook.
You want your SDR team to succeed because their success means greater profitability for your business. Arming them with the right nurturing sequences and providing them with relevant contextual data will position them for even greater performance, which is critical to your bottom line.