In January and February most sales teams were going through SKO season, reviewing what went well in 2019 and planning for 2020. As with any year, the idea of getting ahead of pipeline is top of mind, trying to win more deals early in the year to crush their numbers and hit accelerators as they cruise into Q4. And the role of creating pipeline falls heavily on the shoulders of Sales Development Teams. No pressure!
Then March came around and the world changed. Businesses closed, everyone began to work from home, budgets went dry, and a new reality set in.
But guess what, many businesses, while adjusting forecasts for the year and quarter, still have to create pipeline to hit any adjusted goal. And guess what, that responsibility still falls squarely on the shoulders of Sales Development Teams. No pressure! Except now you’ve got double the pressure as you adapt to new realities: Buyers are distracted by things at home, and those valuable office direct dials are worthless.
The Main Driver of Pipeline Generation is still the SDR
The person who is dialing, emailing, direct mailing, and text messaging.
The SDR is responsible for 3 pipeline-centric goals:
- Book meetings.
- Book a lot of meetings.
- Ensure the meetings are of high quality.
As we know, cold call dialing is the preferred method to reach these goals in the best of times. In current times, what’s the truth.
At Chorus, we have been tracking cold call data through the Covid-19 Pandemic and it turns out, it’s still effective. With some changes. Here’s what we have learned from the data:
- Cold Call Volume is down 27% overall from January, when SDRs were firing on all cylinders to create new pipeline
- Connection rates are only down 2% over the same time frame
What does this mean, while people may be working from home, they are still picking up the phone when it rings. And without the normal social interaction, maybe people are more prone to answer a call just to have the distraction they are used to when they are in the office.
What Does a Great Cold Call Look (and Sound) Like?
The truths of objectively excellent cold calling are still a black box. There are mountains of bookmarked articles claiming silver-bullet best practices and tried-and-true techniques.
And yet, The Bridge Group found that one-third of all SDRs aren’t hitting quota industry-wide.
And that was before Covid struck! Now the old messaging has to go out the window, and you MUST develop new messaging that adds a level of true empathy. What wasn’t easy before, is much harder now.
So how are these SDRs being coached to make their cold calls work? What do they say and do?
Conversation intelligence platforms like Chorus do offer benefits of recording and analysis to SDRs and full-cycle reps.
But can cold calls be assessed and coached in the same way as a sales meeting?
Let’s Think About the Differences Between a Cold Call and a Meeting
Data based on 5M+ sales calls from the State of Conversation Intelligence tells us that on a cold call pre-Covid:
You have to work faster to get your desired result.
SDRs and cold calling in general need to be assessed and coached on differently than sales meetings. Now more than ever.
In the past 2 months, this data has changed. As I said before, cold call volume is down over 25%. 100 dials is now 75 dials. Yes, connect rates aren’t off much, but with lost pipeline and revenue to make up for, that lost productivity will come back to bite companies later.
It’s time that the world of sales coaching and enablement rises to this challenge.
Say Hello to Chorus and Tenbound
We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Tenbound to help Sales Development leaders through all times.
While Chorus can enable enhanced visibility into the performance of your SDR teams, Tenbound can offer you the white-glove service you need to implement changes based on that performance.
How Can Tenbound do this?
With a focus on training your Sales Development teams, Tenbound aims to help cultivate the skills your teams need to optimize their performance.
Areas of focus where Chorus’ AI and Tenbound’s services can help you succeed:
1. Call Opening
2. Objection Handling
3. Value Propositions
4. Locking down Next Steps