It’s the middle of Q2 and at long last, here in the Northeast, hints of spring are finally making themselves known. This welcome change led to one of those random, yet revealing water cooler weather conversations with a Demandbase colleague, NYC-based Sales Development Representative (SDR), Catherine Champney. We chatted excitedly about spring’s potential for sunshine, warmth, romance, the inevitable crop of weddings and then a surprising pivot to how the role of an ABM-guided SDR is analogous to that of a matchmaker in our SaaS marketing technology world. Initially, I wasn’t convinced of this logic. “Just think about it,” Catherine said, “We evaluate all the companies in our particular patch of the full target account list, to identify a smaller segment that we believe is the perfect fit for Demandbase products and services, and vice versa. Not just because we want them to buy but because we think they will find improved marketing success and happiness as a customer. Not a bad foundation for a relationship, right?”
Catherine’s background as a recruiter has no doubt influenced her perspective. Is there any role in the industry more finely-tuned in to the potential for fit and that certain spark that will kick off a successful partnership? Leveraging these skills in her new position, Catherine’s description of the care and attention she puts into her approach made me consider the value-add of SDR’s in a new light. In the two tips below, Catherine shares how B2B marketers can leverage this role to its fullest potential:
We Know Your Type.
SDR’s operating in an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) environment are going to be some of the most discerning, knowledgeable and picky “matchmakers” you could ever hope to meet. Whether they report up into marketing or sales, SDRs are a likely channel through which a target account becomes a fully engaged prospect. This pool of potential customers is purposefully small and heavily vetted. The filters on the top ten dating apps can’t hold a candle to the rigor that’s been employed in the target account selection process. Does the company meet the criteria for revenue? Check! Number of Employees? Check! Tech Stack? Uh-oh. Swipe left.
ABM ditches the spray and pray approach and focuses on operational efficiency, so if you’re the recipient of these marketing efforts, take solace in knowing there’s a good chance that customers that fit a similar profile are already seeing value and we think you will too! Next, take into consideration the social stalking that is now the norm in advance of a first date. Good SDRs take this research to a new level. Not only are they looking at demographic relevance but digital footprint indicators of buying intent. In a Demandbase-specific example: Is the target company researching account-based advertising, budgeting for ABM, did they visit high-value content on our site? If so that account just got a significantly “cuter.” But with all potential relationships, just because it looks good on paper, that doesn’t necessarily mean the chemistry or equally sexy BANT is going to be present. This is where the first date or discovery call comes into play.
“No/Low Commitment Conversation”
Once a connection has been established (no easy feat), Catherine recommends the contact at the target account take full advantage of this exploratory stage in the relationship via the discovery call, without any of the worry of a hard sell. “The SDR team at Demandbase eats, breathes and sleeps ABM. We’re examining the category from every potential angle in an attempt to unearth compelling information. Our goal is to provide value and capture the attention of a contact at one of our target accounts.” So whether you’re a harried Director of Demand Generation or an overwhelmed VP of Marketing, this is your chance to ask every single ABM-related question that has ever crossed your mind. Many SDRs plan to one day move into a sales executive role, so they’re getting much of the same hands-on product training, competitive education and landscape overviews. They’re an excellent resource to get a peek into the ABM practices of other companies, get an insider’s perspective on similar use cases and even understand how the use of Demandbase’s products and services could potentially impact the success of your marketing programs. Finally, be honest in your responses, if you are in the middle of a website launch or just bought a competitive product, SDR’s will appreciate your transparency and the opportunity to check back in at a later date. A request from Catherine, “We get that timing is everything. Just please don’t ghost us. Nobody likes that.”
So the next time you get an email (or 5), voicemail, hand-written note, direct mail or a box of cupcakes delivered to your office, give that SDR the opportunity to educate, inform and maybe even add a bit of delight to your decision-making process.
Have you leveraged a relationship with an SDR contact in a unique or interesting way? I would love to hear your tips on Twitter @B2BABM