Sales development hacks

Emma Dahl
Wed Oct 20 2021
SALES SALES-DEVELOPMENT BUSINESS-DEVELOPMENT

Sales is all about process.

I came to Statsig (17 employees) from Snowflake (2,500 employees), and while the product I work with has changed, my process hasn’t. I’ve found the key to success with pipeline generation is to iterate on the same process to make improvements as necessary, without reinventing the wheel.

The more folks you reach out to, the more conversations you’ll have- more in, more out. Here are a couple hacks I’ve been using to bring in high quality meetings that have a material impact on business.

1. Nail your pitch

If you can’t explain it to a kid, you probably can’t explain it well enough. Seriously, call your friend that has no idea what you do and give them your pitch.

I pitch to my mom. If she doesn’t understand it, I still have work to do.

Great pitch = great prospect response

Having an “Elevator pitch” is great, but I’ve found that getting explanations down to a sentence or two is my sweet spot for brevity and understandability. Try plugging your pitch into this template:

[company] helps customers [verb] [business outcome] by [tech capability].”

For example, “Statsig helps customers build better products faster by running 10x more experiments”

2. Don’t reinvent the wheel

Once you come up with messaging that works, save it. Whether it’s in a notes doc or a snippet tool, keep all your messaging in a central, searchable location. Over time, you’ll build up a repository of copy paste-able snips that will massively save time.

I do the same exercise when I work with a new industry/ persona/ customer. If I know I’m going to reach out to several similar people, I build out the messaging on the front end, before any outreach happens. Usually it’s just a couple sentences on how my product is relevant to, for example, the healthcare vertical. Then, when I need to reach out to someone in that industry, I have a relevant, pre-packaged pitch that doesn’t require new research on my end.

Spend the 10 minutes to build out a great email, save it, and make sure you never write that email again.

2. Warm up your leads

Cold outreach is difficult. Make your life easier by warming up leads before putting in the effort to send them personalized messaging. You’ll get a higher response rate and will also build trust with prospects.

I suggest using LinkedIn to make an initial touch before email blasting or calling. Posting regularly on LinkedIn is a great way to let folks know you exist without pinging each person individually. Chances are, you’ve also connected with some prospects who never took your calls/ opened your emails, and exposing them to your content now can be fruitful down the line. I’ve had prospects reach out 6 months later because my posts keep me top-of-mind.

My content of choice is video (former theatre kid)- LinkedIn has been changing its algorithm lately, but with the advent of TikTok, digestible 1-minute explainers are generally well received.

Posting videos also humanizes me. Prospects get a sense for who I am- I’m not just another email in their spam folder, and people trust you more when they know you.

A word of caution around posting: my secret sauce is sharing 2/3 non-promotional material and 1/3 salesy material. If all you do is promote your product, share webinars, and send people to your site, prospects will unfollow you. Make sure you’re adding value in the community by sharing educational content, interesting perspectives, or anecdotal stories. The more you invest into LinkedIn, the more you’ll get out of it.

Whatever you post, be consistent with it. LinkedIn rewards mediocre consistency over occasional genius.

3. Be effective, not busy

Lead generation roles can sometimes unintentionally incentivize busyness over efficiency- think call+email metrics, outreach tasks completed, “stuff” done. Some of the best SDRs I know made 1/3 the calls they were supposed to, but booked just as many meetings.

Have you reverse-engineered your metrics?

One key to efficiency is continuous learning. Especially with remote work, it’s likely that everyone (to an extent) has reinvented the wheel and is doing the same job in different, inefficient ways.

For example, I unknowingly created a new opportunity every time I booked a meeting for my first 4 months in-seat because I didn’t know how to use Salesforce. I had no idea, until the VP of business development asked why I’d created 12 cap1 opportunities for the same company. Ouch.

Shadowing your peers or account execs is an easy way to avoid such embarrassments. One of my favorite teammates and I used to hop on a call every few weeks just to chat about what new stuff we were trying and what seemed to be working. We exchanged tons of email and call script templates + best practices, and saved ourselves a couple hundred hours of trial and error.

Collaborating with your team is also a great opportunity to tag-team tasks that you’re not good at. Said teammate and myself had an ongoing deal where she helped me with emails and I helped her with tech messaging.

Learnings

My hot take is that sometimes sales can encourage unnecessary competition and dissuade us from collaborating and learning from each other. Most of the things I’m really proud of at my job are iterations of what I’ve picked up from someone else. There’s no silver bullet in this job, but by sticking to a process and being open to feedback, lead gen transforms from an art to a science.


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