Sales Tips

Top 3 Things SDRs Need To Know In 2023

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September 18, 2023

4 mins read

3 Tips for SDRs Sales Prospecting

Top 3 Things SDRs Need To Know In 2023

Key Strategies for Opening Sales Opportunities

As a long-time Sales Development leader, I know too well the difficulties of opening up sales opportunities in tough economic climates. As the VP of GTM Strategy at Demandbase, I have narrowed the absolute must-know elements for every SDR down to three tips that I’ve seen be effective time and again in combating the headwinds that 2023 has thrown at us. Be warned; this isn’t for the impatient. It’s time to embrace smarter prospecting and the slow play. 

De-risk purchases

When we talk about embracing the slow play, I’m sure all of you have felt the squeeze. Marketing budgets are getting cut, MQLs are harder to come by. As a prospector, this means you have to do a lot of the work at the top of the funnel more effectively. Because people are not spending as much as they have in years past (they might have budget for just one purchase this year), you need to make sure that they see and understand the value, and that they have every piece of information they need to make the right decision. A great place to start is by finding people who have already used your product or service, know the value first-hand, and feel that purchasing your solution will help them achieve their goals rather than adding risk.

Ultimately, they need to know that by purchasing your solution, they’re not putting their job at risk. You’re helping them be a game-changer at their company and supporting them through tough times. Don’t focus as much on what you need to sell. Focus on how you can help them solve a key business problem and again, make them the star.

Embrace the slow play with smarter prospecting

How does smarter prospecting work? It all starts by understanding buying signals.  Leverage predictive scores, focus on your ICP (or if you have a target account list, start there), and be maniacally focused on engaging with those accounts. 

A part of embracing the slow play is realizing that not everything is going to turn into an opportunity right away and that is perfectly fine. If they are buying in the current climate, they might be able to buy one new technology this year. So you need to get yourself ready and in position for when they are ready to buy –– not forcing them into your sales cycle when you want to sell. 

To embrace the slow play here, make sure that you’re dripping with value and you’re not just trying to reach out asking people for a meeting every day. So what should you do instead? Share how you’ve helped other customers. Show how you’ve helped people in their role to be more effective and build that relationship over time. Connect the dots between what they care about or the problem they are trying to solve and the value you can bring. Once those people you have cultivated a relationship with have a project or an initiative or their budget opens up, they’re going to remember how you can help them be more successful in their business, and they’ll remember you weren’t like the other pushy people just trying to sell them something. Really focus on embracing that slow play. 

Engage at a higher level

When budgets are either “gone” or very highly scrutinized, the only way to combat this is to engage at the executive level.

Think about it this way:

  1. You need to engage from below the line (manager levels and day-to-day users of your product and service), which is usually the starting point for most conversations. 
  2. And then with the intel you gather, you can engage from above the line (directors, VP’s, C-Levels). In a lot of cases, you need to go as far as to be directly engaging with CFOs who hold the purse strings.

When you’re engaging below the line, these are the people that are doing the research and are actively trying to understand what are the key parts of the project that will help them accomplish their goals. Understanding what their day to day challenges are, how they might be leveraging a competitive solution, what they like about it, what they don’t like about it, any problems that they’re having in the business that they’re looking to solve for –– all of this information is gold.

And once you capture this information, you can take it up a level to the executives. When you reach them you’ll be able to show you’ve done all the background research, you understand their business, and you understand their pains. This is how you engage at the C-level. By showing them you understand the problems of their business and what they’re trying to accomplish, and exactly how you will help them do it.

The power of three

By leveraging these three strategies of de-risking purchases, embracing the slow play with smarter prospecting, and getting engaged at the executive level –– this is what it takes in 2023 to create opportunities that can close.

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Jay Tuel

Vice President, GTM Experts, Demandbase

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