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Not booking meetings? Try doing better research.

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 6/14/22 7:30 AM


It takes too long for me to personalize my messages myself. How am I supposed to meet my activity levels and book enough meetings if I'm researching every person that I reach out to? 

Great question! I hear this actually a lot from SDRs that I work with.

And it's true. It is gonna take you more time to do the research, to be able to personalize your messages so that you can be relevant to the person that you're talking to. Especially when you first start doing it. Because like anything when we try to first start to learn it, we have to crawl before we can walk and we have to walk before we can run.

Just enough research

The good news is that the more that we do it, the faster and better we get at it. The important thing to remember here is that you need to do just enough research to be able to start the conversation. You don't need to know every little thing. You just need to know enough that piques your curiosity.

This helps you to think of questions that you can develop to pique their curiosity and see what things you might be assuming. But ask questions to confirm whether your assumptions are spot on or off the mark.

This actually reminds me of an SDR that I recently coached. He had been struggling with this exact same thing:

“I have all of these activity levels. I'm the highest as far as the dashboards and leaderboards go on my activity metrics. Yet, I'm not getting meetings. I'm not getting, you know, monthly recurring revenue and I'm in danger of going on a plan”.

Yep, he was freaking out just a little bit. And so we worked on:

  • How to do the research
  • Personalizing the outreach
  • Crafting messages that were gonna be relevant to the people that he was talking to

I had him start by getting organized.

What I mean by that is start organizing your target accounts by industry and then by the contacts in the roles of those industries.

So that he could see, for example, everyone who was in the Fintech industry that was also a VP. Then he could find some relevant information by reading up on the industry. What are some of the major impacts that have been happening to that particular industry?

Then think about it from the VP level. What's going to be important to them. For example, most VPs are strategically minded. They're looking at developing and executing a strategy. They care about how to effectively do this and how to effectively measure that. Of course, they want to make the best decisions possible about how to pivot and move forward. Hopefully, they also care about how to build their teams and develop relationships with them.

So if you have a solution that helps them to address some of those things, then I would suggest that you look at some of the questions you might ask:

  • What are some of the things that I can point out that I know about them in their industry and their role?
  • And what is a case study or a use case study that I have that's relevant to them that I could share as an example or social proof of some of the results that others like them have seen?

knowing what kind of research you need to do

When you as a seller or leader, know what your buyers care about, it's easier to know what kind of research to do.

In this particular case with this SDR, I had him look into LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You can find out the latest distribution for new hires has been. And/or look in Crunch Base to see what the most recent funding has been for the company. This will help you get an idea of where they might be in their stages of growth. Or based on the distribution of headcount, who they're trying to hire. Where are they focusing their growth efforts?

These places can give you all kinds of clues on how to craft a relevant message to them.

When this BDR did that, he got a meeting booked for his rep with the decision-maker of all people. What was interesting about this is what happened at the end of the call that the rep had (that the BDR had booked) with this decision-maker.

As the seller was wrapping up the call, the sales leader stopped everything and said:

“You know what? I have ignored all kinds of outreach from BDRs for the past four and a half years. And I definitely was not looking for this solution. But when I saw the message that your BDR sent, I knew that he had done his research. He created a custom message that was relevant to me. This led me to respond because I was actually curious to learn more. Which is how we got here today. I wish more BDRs took the time to do that”.

So, yes. Doing the research & doing the preparation is gonna take a bit more time.

However, if you believe that selling is about the numbers, then consider this:
If you took a ten or even five percent more people to respond to you in this way as this sales leader did. Would you have to spend so much activity time and outreach to reach your goals?

Probably not.

So take an imbalance.

It can't all be automation and just constant spamming because when we do that, we're teaching our buyers to not respond to us.

But if we take the time, to do the research and make a relevant message, we're more likely to get a response. As well as uncover some problems that buyers actually want to solve.

And solve now.

If you liked this post, you've got some insights from it, or you have a thought to share: please, comment below, and share it with others.

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Topics: sales techniques, sales process, sales best practices, market research, sales tips, sales management