Best-selling author Trish Bertuzzi is Founder and CEO of The Bridge Group. She is an expert on all things inside sales and helps sales and marketing leaders use that function as a revenue engine for growth. Her book “The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales” is an Amazon bestseller.
Gryphon Networks: Over the past 20 years, how have you seen approaches to sales development change? Could you share with us what no longer seems to be working in sales development, and what seems to be working best?
Trish Bertuzzi: Sales development has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Really, everything in sales has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. There are technologies that have changed the way we communicate, and buyer preferences that have changed the way we communicate. The whole inbound, content-driven craze – the wave that came and went – has changed the way we communicate.
So, there’s been a significant shift. And for a while there it got easier, but now I think it’s ebbing back towards being harder. The reason for that being our buyers; it is harder than ever to get a buyer to engage. And it’s our fault because we have bored them, and we continue to bore them with valueless interactions. Until we address that issue we are stuck in this cycle of “we want to talk to you,” but perhaps not all of us are going to invest the time in making it worth your while to talk to us.
GN: Could you expand a bit more on the value aspect?
TB: I’m sure it happens to you – it happens to me every day. Probably a dozen times a day someone says, “here’s what we do, I want to get time on your calendar.” Time is the most valuable thing I have. I sell time and expertise for a living. So, why? What’s in it for me? Not only what’s in it for me, but what do you know about me already? Have you invested in figuring out whether we’re even a good match?
Prospecting isn’t a swipe left or swipe up for a discount. Prospecting is about knowing who my ideal customer profile is. I know what their typical challenges are. I know how we’ve addressed them for other people – and here’s how I think I can address them for you. That’s value.
GN: Wow. I wish you could have told that to a company I was on a call with yesterday. I ended the call. I told the SDR on the first call that we are trying to move away from being classified as a ZoomInfo or a CRM company, and we want to move towards sales intelligence. And the AE gets on the phone and he’s talking to me about CRM… that was the opposite direction of what we’re looking at.
TB: You raise a good point; that’s a process issue. That’s another thing where sales development breaks down. The sales development rep did their job. They got you on the phone with the AE. The AE did not do their job, or the manager of those groups did not do their job by setting the process that allowed relevant information you communicated to be captured and delivered to the AE.
A lot of times we’re like “oh, that call wasn’t any good.” And the SDR gets thrown under the bus. Well, perhaps we are looking at the wrong end of the donkey.