One of the biggest pitfalls of scaling the work that Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) do is neglecting to align the type of outreach to the lead type.
Different types of leads need a different type of outreach in order to maximize the chances of making a meaningful connection to the prospect, establishing fit & need, and creating a qualified pipeline. Instead, what often happens is all leads are pretty much lumped together and get the same type of sequences & messages.
Let’s take two types of lead as an example…
- A hot, marketing qualified lead (hMQL). For example, a lead who explicitly asks to talk to a sales rep or who requests pricing or a demo. This lead is reaching out because they have a need or a goal and think we might be a good fit. The lead might not be qualified, and the lead even may be wrong about our ability to help solve the need…but the lead has reached out. They are probably somewhere in the middle or low-end of the funnel. When we reach out, we start with messages like “Thanks for reaching out, what led to your interest?’“ and from there, we immediately try to qualify them. Which is the right thing to do because they reached out to us. Of course, the logical next step is to determine if it is a mutual fit.
- A marketing qualified lead (MQL). For example, a lead who downloaded a whitepaper and also meets a list of qualification criteria such as company size, industry, role/title, etc. These are leads who might be a good fit. That is it; that’s all we know. They may be top of the funnel. They might not even be anywhere near the funnel. They may have needs we can solve; they may not. If we reach out to these leads and try to qualify them, we will be missing the chance to create a great buyer experience, and we will be putting our brand very much in the ‘transactional’ category. “Thanks for downloading the white paper. What led to your interest?’“ might work to open up a dialog. But if we use that opener as a jumping-off point to qualify them, it will probably fall flat. It’s too soon, and we don’t know enough about them—it’s too forward, and it skips important relationship-building steps.
Most leads get treated the same because we don’t create segmented sales motions, playbooks, and enablement resources for different types of leads. Worse, we don’t train our SDRs to have empathy and to meet the buyer where they are in their own journey. So, how can we have better Sales Development motions that align to lead type? Here are a few things that help:
- The most important, biggest impact thing you can do is teach your SDRs to have funnel-aware conversations.
- Document the types of leads your sales team touches and codify when and how the reach out should occur. See the sample chart below for inspiration.
- Once you have your lead types documented, create different sales sequences for each type of lead.
- Audit outreach to ensure it’s empathetic, relevant, and effective at meeting the buyer where they are in their journey.
Sales development teams who are able to execute the right type of outreach based on the lead type are generally more effective at connecting, having better conversations, and ultimately at creating a more qualified pipeline.
This article was originally published on ArthurVentures.com.