I can recall my first month on the job and not booking any meetings for weeks—not one! Being in sales is tough because you're in a constant cycle of outreach and you often get the runaround— responses like 'this isn’t a good time’ or just a straightforward rejection. Hard as it may be, I found that staying consistent in light of everything you do (and in a market downturn) is essential to not only hitting your targets, but for your own professional growth.
Here’s a quick recap of how I learned from a few missteps (after all, that’s where you find the secret to your success). After fearing for weeks that I wouldn’t meet my quota, I finally got my first significant opportunity. Looking back, I now know I was over-sequencing when following up with prospects. So instead I sequenced decision-makers. One in particular was viewing a lot of content and I even messaged her through Drift but no dice. Then, I sequenced 7 of her colleagues, sent her a Vidyard, a Sendoso gift, and even invited her to a wine event, you name it, I did it! She finally responded to my persistence, but with even more pushback.
I learned a lot from that — staying persistent was my choice, not giving up. And guess what happened? She eventually got on my calendar. While the deal didn't close, I gained a ton of confidence after that experience. Since it was a high-value account, I started tackling accounts using a multi-prong approach. From that, I was able to book so many meetings in my first month, surpassing my quota.
Getting in the Groove
After some time I started to find my flow. As much as I use multiple touch points in my outreach, I do the same for myself as I evolve in my sales career. Here are 3 ways for you to find your flow as a seller:
1. Get Organized
It may sound like a no-brainer but it goes beyond your day-to-day tasks. Having a working document that shows the accounts you're targeting, their spiking levels, and at what opportunity stage they are at in their buying journey is crucial to determine how successful you will be. Get into the know of all your accounts—the better understanding you have makes your touchpoints and personalization more effective.
Doubling down on accounts, prospects, and no-shows/non-responders is great. But having complete alignment with your marketing team to minimize friction, increase productivity, and boost opportunities is gold. Alignment with your marketing team also ensures that your organization values an account-based approach and is well ahead of the competition. That means no wasted effort reaching out to low-fit, low-engaging accounts that haven’t been given air cover from your marketing team.
3. Be Honest & Be Human
Let’s be real, it's impossible to stay positive all the time. If you're having a bad week (quota-wise) it's okay to face the music. Take the time to reflect on what you're doing and try to mix things up. For example, if you have high call connection rates on Wednesdays and Fridays at 2 pm, then save your calls (and energy) for those dates and times. Also, talk to your colleagues (or other supportive SDRs out there in your network) to figure out what they're doing that seems to be working. It's okay to have an off week and to be upset—but don't live there. Find support and set up weekly meetings with revenue leaders to collaborate toward success.
When persistence pays off
Talk about learning and balancing persistence—in another instance where a proposal I had was going to be a closed-won opportunity, the account didn't make it easy for me. The chase was on (after all, we all know there are more buyers and channels than ever). I did Vidyards, sent gifts, set sequences, a bunch of one-offs, calendar invites, and nothing seemed to be working. A few account contacts even attended our webinar and registered for a video demo, but then took a pause. Well, I then sequenced multiple contacts and ended up messaging the RIGHT person, hello Head of Demand Gen!
They are now in the sales cycle and expecting to close soon. But I could have easily backed off and not delved deeper. Once I saw they engaged with our content and leveraged our contact data that gets us in front of the entire buying committee, I knew I had to press on.
For me, a sales-ready lead is someone who is engaging with a ton of your content, has been appearing in your sales dashboard often, and has been researching your product for at least a few weeks (hello, intent signals!). I am able to see tons of this activity thanks to our partnership with Drift, Bombora, and many more — all integrated with our in-house ABM capabilities.
Now, to be clear, many prospects take months to research and self-educate (a lot of which is done before they want to chat with an SDR, so kudos to marketing for tapping in). Even though it's exciting seeing their names appear in reports and dashboards, it doesn't always mean that they are sales-ready. What it does mean is that they need regular communication (and extra touches like e-gifts for example) to take a meeting. Plus, you need lockstep alignment with your marketing team when it comes to defining what a truly qualified contact looks like by mapping and tracking journey stage progression. This keeps our SDR team focused on prioritizing the right accounts to focus on at the right time.
My BFF is ABM
Aside from having the right mindset and personal attributes, SDRs need the right tools now more than ever to do their jobs more effectively. With marketing leading targeted campaigns we need insight into the high-quality leads that are coming in and detailed reports. Tools like Sales Insights for HubSpot have been a game-changer helping to enforce better time management, alignment across revenue teams, and campaign impact acceleration.
I love getting notified right away when accounts are spiking in engagement so I can prioritize and nurture engaged accounts more effectively. With such uncertainty revolving around our current market, efficiency is a must for every SDR, and for that matter, so is ABM.
Pushing forward with revenue tech & leadership
These are for sales teams and revenue leaders alike to band together and put our persistence and adaptability to the test. , While we have strategies in place and tools to help us execute more efficiently, this is also the time to be open to anything and everything new.
It's amazing and uplifting to see the level of collaboration our go-to-market leadership brings to the table. Not only does it give SDRs like me the freedom to adopt new strategies, but it also helps us in our own development despite the market downturn. Sales really is all about flexibility and having the support of revenue leadership (and the right tech) only makes us more laser-focused on our goals and as well as personal success.