Prospecting has changed significantly in the past few years, and methods must be updated to meet today’s new demands and challenges.
No industry has been immune to the changes and disruptions of the past couple of years. As businesses around the world continue to adapt to the new sales and marketing landscape, the need to keep up with constantly evolving customer demands is greater than ever. But with any challenge comes new opportunities, and Sales Development is no exception.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many of your customers have new needs and work remotely. They have different priorities and pain points that must be addressed if you are to continue to earn their attention or to acquire new customers. Having a strategy for whom you intend to prospect will prove vital to your success. After all, successful prospecting requires, just as it always has, comprehensive knowledge of your target customer.
Dogma does not equal performance
In today’s technology-driven world, change is inevitable and necessary for keeping up with the constantly changing sales landscape. This is why one of the most harmful phrases in the business world is ‘we’ve always done it this way’.
Dogma does not equate to performance, which is why every process must be taken back to formula. In the case of Sales Development, this means starting with the right questions.
Firstly, how do you yourself buy today? Putting yourself in the shoes of today’s customers is an essential first step towards better understanding their needs and pain points.
Then, looking at what your current data is telling you, determine how your customers buy. Finally, look at how your existing Sales Development processes work. Chances are there are misalignments between these variables, which will need to be addressed in order to refine your prospecting strategy.
Applying the scientific method to Sales Development
Sales Development is effectively just a form of project management which, in turn, follows the scientific method.
The basic steps of the cycle are as follows:
- Ask a question or carry out background research to describe a problem
- Construct a hypothesis in an attempt to answer the question
- Test your hypothesis to determine how accurate it is
- Draw conclusions from your hypothesis and refine it accordingly
The modern Sales Development process is all about uniting people, processes, and technology in pursuit of a common goal. In this case, the ultimate goal is to increase sales. However, this can be further distilled by setting measurable KPIs, such as the number of repeat sales, and the customer lifetime value (CLV).
Sales Development Reps (SDRs) should also apply the scientific method. In a modern context, that means referring to existing data to determine how sales are currently performing. You can then identify opportunities for improvement, make the necessary changes, and then test them.
With A/B testing, you can also put multiple hypotheses to the test simultaneously, thus saving time and developing your sales processes even faster. The entire cycle is one of continuous improvement. At Tenbound, we recommend reevaluating your Sales Development processes approximately every three months.
Key takeaways for SDRs
Sales Development success depends on determining how your existing processes align with today’s buying experience. Wherever there is a misalignment, you need to go back to recreate or refine your strategy to achieve better results. This requires the optimal combination of expert guidance, a strong peer support community, and a consistent strategy that matches the unique requirements of your business.
Check out my talk at the recent Tenbound Sales Development Conference where I go into this further
Tenbound is a Sales Development research and advisory firm. We provide expert guidance and integrated technology solutions to help you take your business to the next level. Contact us today to get started.