Nick Psaros is the Director of Sales Development at Lastline, Inc. Find more about Nick on his LinkedIn profile.

The Sales Development world has come a long way these last few years. Companies now recognize the need for a dedicated role to focus solely on building a strong pipeline for the sales engine. 

However, companies are still struggling to make SDRs effective in a reasonable timeframe. And let us be honest… it is not just about setting appointments. It is about setting a quality meeting with the right audience, with the right identified needs, with the right expectations of timing. 

That type of quality doesn’t happen by chance. It happens because the SDR is in control of the conversation and knows what is needed and how to move things forward.

How does one master the art of conversation and get the desired outcome consistently? 

It’s simple… you need to buy into, and follow, a framework! 

To get started, you really need to have a clear definition of what a conversation at this stage really is… it is about prospecting,not cold calling. What do I mean by this?

Your endgame is obviously to book qualified meetings to generate deals, but your short term / per conversation goal is to educate and nurture your stakeholder over time instead of putting your focus on closing them in a single shot (if you can get the meeting booked that’s great, but don’t position yourself as a sniper going for one-shot kills).

Once you understand this concept, then using the FTAC (formula to a conversation) framework will make sense. 

This framework is all about you being yourself on the phone. It is not about you being a robot. You just need to follow the stages in this order.

Stage 1 | Introduction

Yes, you introduce yourself and your company but the goal here is to make sure the contact is a stakeholder. If they are not, move on!

Stage 2 | Qualify

Now that you have confirmed you have a stakeholder, ask targeted questions! The purpose here is to help them understand their challenges, issues or pains, and position you as a consultative agent to help them solve their challenge(s). By understanding this you can build a business case and create value towards an initial engagement. 

Stage 3 | Value

Congrats, you made it through the difficult part. Now all you have to do is introduce how your solution helps and why it is important. In other words, tailor fit your value proposition towards their challenge. Connecting the dots for your stakeholder needs to be direct and not overbearing. 

Stage 4 | The Close

By now asking for a meeting should be a natural next step. All you need to do is explain your process for how to kickstart exploring an opportunity to work together. 

Follow this framework and you will always be in control. This insures that you can build a strong and predictable pipeline of opportunities that your company and sales team need.

Control of conversation makes you effective and helps you develop strong skills that translates to many future roles as well. 

Happy hunting folks!

Leave a comment and let us know how it worked. 


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