My transition into a BDR role at InsightSquared came shortly after spending my first few post-grad years gaining experience in a highly transactional, customer-facing sales role.
If you’re late to the game like I was, life as a BDR is one hell of a grind. That’s not a gripe, either. It’s a fact. Believe it or not, the grind is the reason why I love my job. A career in sales isn’t for everyone, though. You have to want it, and you have to want it badly. It’s a game of high highs and low lows and some days will feel like an uphill battle.
Over the past 16 months, I’ve worked really hard to build a brand for myself amongst my colleagues as a go-getter, team player, and someone who will spend an unlimited amount of time trying to overcome whatever challenges stand in front of me.
Having a go-getter or team player mentality, unfortunately, accounts for $0 in the comp plan. There’s a lot to learn and I have a number to hit every month. I’m certainly not perfect and have fallen short in the past. Not something I love to admit, but it’s happened.
When I think about some of the challenges I’ve had to overcome and anything that’s directly attributed to my success, a few things come to mind as noteworthy:
- Setting small, attainable goals to execute on a daily basis
- Personal accountability around the daily execution of my goals
- A robust sales tech stack–in the sense that it’s built to enable efficiencies across the team
Sales is all about goals. You’re either missing them, meeting them, or surpassing them. It’s intimidating, honestly. For me, small goal setting has actually had the biggest impact on my success.
I used to have a sticky note on my desk that read, “Small Gains = Big Wins”. That note was actually just my paraphrase of a quote that motivates me towards my goals on a daily basis:
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
I always struggled to gain momentum in the mornings, specifically around making calls. After getting perspectives from my manager, our Director of Biz Dev, and our Sales Enablement Manager, I had a clearer picture for steps I could take to better manage my time and optimize the morning dial block.
I set a small goal–I would make a minimum of 25 dials every day by 10 am and would need to Slack my manager at that time every day to let her know whether or not I met the goal. If not, what was the reason? (ie. Slack, late, poor planning, etc.) This goal wasn’t something for her to manage me around; I needed a system of accountability.
Once I got into a rhythm, I found myself having more conversations–small gains. From there, I was able to hit more prospects, make headway into accounts I’d been having trouble with, and book more meetings–big wins.
It’s easy to think that the Sales Rep of the Year, or the CRO of that multi-million dollar startup, or the VP of Sales at your company has had a month, a quarter, maybe even a year where they didn’t hit quota. The reality is that those achieving continued success now–month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter, year-over-year–are often the same people who faced some of the biggest growing pains in the early stages of their career.
The little phrase “sometimes you win, sometimes you learn” may not have been their anecdote to get them through a tough time, but it’s definitely mine. Winning and losing is a very black and white way of looking at things. If you have the mindset that learning is the opposite of winning, you’ll never lose.
For example, have I absolutely butchered a pitch reaching out to one of the hottest prospects in my territory? Yes. Does that mean I’ll never try again? No. It means I need to take a step back and identify the where, when, and what around how that call could have gone better.
Take away the intangibles of the job, and you’re left with whatever tools you’re using on a daily basis. The tech stack, in my opinion, is the most crucial element contributing to my success as a BDR.
The majority of my day is spent in Salesforce, obviously. Platforms including LinkedIn, Sales Navigator, Outreach, ZoomInfo, and Engagio make up a portion of the remaining tech I use on a daily basis. I think it goes without saying, but we’re also heavy users of our own tool, InsightSquared.
Salesforce, from my perspective, is the hub of everything. Every piece of software we use interacts with the CRM in some way.
Without LinkedIn or LinkedIn Sales Navigator, I would need another way to locate my prospects. Sales Navigator is a game changer. I’ve recently put a lot of work into leveraging their ‘boolean’ search capabilities and it’s helped me to find some great prospects.
Without ZoomInfo, I’m not sure where I would get my prospects’ contact info. It might be a game of guess and check and would, quite frankly, be pretty annoying to do manually.
Outreach is my personal favorite because it allows you to build an outreach cadence–a mix of things like calls, emails, and LinkedIn messages to engage a prospect. Additionally, the insight they provide allows you to dive into the effectiveness of your prospecting efforts.
Engagio lets me know when a prospect is engaged and what lead source brought them to us. Having an idea for where my prospect looked on our website or knowing what content they downloaded helps to personalize messaging and gain a base-level understanding around what may be top of mind.
Guaranteed, there would be a massive void to fill if I had to give up even just one piece of the tech I leverage on a daily basis; my workload would double, at minimum. The only place ‘success’ comes before ‘work’, though, is in the dictionary. Remember that.