There is no ignoring the fact that the pandemic changed how B2B companies communicate with clients. Everything from prospecting to closing deals. Significant changes are here to stay.
Our biggest takeaway - access and speed. Clients and prospects are more available than ever before. The winners are those that can reach them using the best people, process, tech and tools.
Throughout the pandemic, SEG has helped over 40 B2B companies navigate one of the most difficult and unpredictable times in the history of running a business. During this time, we noticed businesses tended to fall into one of three buckets.
Sales Model Completely Disrupted
Companies who relied heavily on tradeshows, in-person, and/or field sales had their entire sales outreach model disrupted in a matter of weeks. These organizations came to us with the goal of setting up a virtual sales team. And to do it fast.
Sales Model was Already Virtual, but a Host of New Challenges
These organizations already had a BDR or SDR team (or just one BDR/SDR), but they all normally worked in the same office (we were in this camp too, our 90+ BDRs went from being in one location, downtown Chicago, to all spread out working from home). Suddenly there were questions about how to manage a remote sales team.
- How do we support reps in a role where in-person coaching and team camaraderie are so essential?
- How do we setup performance tracking?
- If our team is working from home, can we open our recruiting search to candidates all around the country?
Prior to COVID, there were some organizations who were hesitant to work with our outsourced “farm system” model because BDR/SDRs wouldn’t be working out of their physical office. But a few months into the Pandemic, these companies saw that managing over Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams was not as much of a hurdle as they’d originally expected.
This raised the question: “If we’re managing remote anyways, would outsourcing the BDR team effectively increase our speed to results?”
Business was/is booming
Especially in the packaging, logistics, healthcare tech space, demand was through the roof. These organizations needed to scale their sales teams faster to keep up with all the new opportunities.
Survive and Rebuild vs. Time to Grow
Apart from the “Business was/is booming” bucket, most businesses went through 2020 in pure survival mode. In some cases, investors and boards showed a little grace knowing that numbers would be down. The goal of 2020, and really Q1 and Q2 of 2021, was primarily keeping the lights on, rebuilding, and getting ready for the next chapter.
We’d argue that this next chapter, the “Time to Grow” chapter, is happening right now. Companies are hiring sales reps at a rapid rate. As highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article, the number of sales job postings are through the roof. There’s a war for sales talent and it’s a very competitive landscape.
At Sales Empowerment Group, we’re never shy about using a few sports analogies. Right now, the sales job market is like the free agency period in professional sports. In a month or two, a lot of the top candidates/prospects will be settled into new roles and likely won’t be looking at a new job for at least another year, if not longer.
Is your business in Rebuild Mode or Growth mode?
On average, it takes 2 months to hire a new BDR/SDR. If you're trying to grow the team by 5-20 people, this could take almost two years to execute well.
It also takes 30 days for the BDR to get up to speed and another 90 days to reach top performance. This holds especially true for BDRs/SDR’s right out of college who are adjusting not only to the role itself but to their first full-time professional job (even harder in this strange working world we’re in right now).
If a company has just recently put together their BDR/SDR job description, or posted their job in the last two weeks, we’d say they’re still in the rebuild mode. As shown above, if it takes 2 months to hire and another 3-4 months to train, these new hires won’t significantly impact new opportunities and quota til 2022.
Companies in Growth Mode hired their BDRs back in May and June. Their BDRs will hit full stride in September/October, impacting this year’s sales numbers (especially for those seasonal businesses who see their highest sales numbers in Q4).
Is it too late for 2021? How do we catch back up?
Not at all, but you do need to move fast in August.
One thing we’re offering right now is a Job Description / Hiring strategy check-up. You can book time with us and we’ll review your BDR/SDR job description (or show you some examples of ones that work if all of this is brand new to you). We’ll also help you create your ideal candidate profile and share some tips on how to rev up the hiring/training process. The ultimate goal is to have reps impacting your bottom line here in Q3 and Q4 all while building a great foundation for the start of 2022.
The time to grow is now and if you’re not working a strategic outbound cadence using the best people, tech and tools you could be missing the boat. We’re ready to help make the process simple. Let us help get you moving faster.