6 Ways to Arm Your SDRs to Use Intent DataPosted on 23 Feb
Are you looking for ways that your SDRs can use Intent Data to drive more sales conversations in Q2?
Join Jake Biskar and Tukan Das as they show you how to start using intent data for a competitive advantage.
In this this webinar you will learn…
- Which Intent Data Triggers and Insights You Should Be Automating
- How Do You Integrate Intent Data Into Your Current Sales Development Process
- How to Use a Multi-Channel Approach When Using Intent Data
- Sales Messaging Best Practices to Drive High Engagement Using Intent Data
- What Are Some KPIs to Track for Outbound Sales Development
- What Are Some Realistic Expectations for Intent Signals
TRANSCRIPT OF THE WEBINAR
Tukan: Thank you everyone. Thanks a lot for your patience for waiting with us. So, today’s webinar topic, which is actually a very, very relevant and a super interesting one. Is about, you know, how can you actually arm your SDR team to leverage intent data. My name is Tukan and I’m joined by Jake Biskar. Jake’s the Manager of Sales and Business Development at flurry. I believe Flurry is owned by Verizon. I’ll let Jake give a high level overview and introductions about himself. Without further ado, Jake, take it away.
Jake: Hey, so sorry again everyone. But, my background is primarily in sales development. I’ve done it at several different small companies, usually pre-series and up to about series B. The goal is always the same, get from about 1 million recurring revenue to 10 million recurring revenue and scale up a sales development team, as needed. Sometimes that requires more bodies, sometimes it requires more tech, and sometimes we’re sort of right in the sweet spot of doing both when we get the right tools and right people. And that’s always the goal. So, I’m a huge advocate for the SDR function and that’ll probably come through in more ways than one when we’re having this conversation today. So I love jumping on calls like this and just seeing, you know, what we can get into and what we can discuss and what people find helpful.
Tukan: Awesome. Cool. So to begin with, I guess what we’ll cover in this webinar, this session, would be the first thing is we’ll talk about, you know, can intent data help sales development reps, the wholesale development process they’re on, we’ll talk about actual actionable steps to implement intent in the whole sales development process. Third, we’ll talk about, you know, what kind of metrics should we expect, what kind of expectations should we have with intent? And then we’ll wrap it up by saying, you know, asking Jake three reasons why he thinks intent data should be used by sales development reps. So without further ado, I guess I’ll start off by asking Jake just this question. Intent data is one of the hottest buzzwords for the last year or so. This year more than ever. Every B2B SaaS company, we hear them talk about, yeah, we need to look at intent signals to figure out who to go after and all that things. Typically, a lot of that task is being tasked to the marketing teams, but at the same time, the majority of the times what we notice is marketers buy this intent tool, but it’s a lot of the legwork or heavy lifting is done by the sales development team. So with that being said, what has been your experience, Jake, with intent and your thought process around it, around the whole idea of intent and sales development? Where do you see that? Like, can it help SDRs?
Jake: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, as somebody that’s in sort of like the SDR space constantly something that we’re always talking about is conversion and, you know, how can we increase conversion? And it’s always this conversation that ends with like marketing getting a lot more money to spend on stuff that we think improves conversion. We just don’t have any other way to spend that money. Right. And I think as you take a step back and you start to think, okay, how can we make a SDR more successful? It’s really arm them with leads that we think are going to convert at a higher probability. And so marketing says, Hey, I think that if we, you know, improve our landing page, then we’ll start to see a higher probability and closing. Or if we start to, you know, spend some money on sales enablement tools, maybe we’ll do some training for the SDRs. I see that a lot, but what happens is we’re only as good as the leads that are in our funnel. And so SDRs spend a lot of time prospecting. You see companies try to outsource that prospecting. You see them do a lot of things to try to save the SDRs time on prospecting. For me, I think intent data sort of sits right there in the sweet spot where SDRs are still in charge of their pipeline. They still have leads that they’re going to be working, but they’re not going to be having to work leads that are MQL. They’re going to work leads that they decided that they want to put in their pipeline, meaning they’re not going to work eBook leads. They’re not going to work webinar leads. So they’re still too early on in the pipeline. They’re going to work leads that are a little later on in the pipeline and that’s what we would consider an SQL or something that the sales team has gone into qualified. So sort of in a roundabout way, the way that I view intent data is that we have something that comes in, you know, maybe we’ll get a list of 50 leads for that week. The SDRs can go out and they can pick the ones that they want. They can convert those to SQL and then they can work those and that’s a higher probability lead, right? We’re just trying to win the probability game. And if SDRs are cold prospecting versus getting some intent data, that’s usually the best way to win that probability game.
Tukan: That was great. So let me ask you a question. You mentioned something around working intent leads and generating SQL from it and versus, you know, working webinar leads or ebook leads, which are not necessarily… There is some form of intent because they came to your website and downward, but they might be very top of the funnel. In your role as a SDR lead, when you’re leading your team there, Jake, do you tell the SDR team to say, you know, this percentage of your time should be spent on the inbound leads we got versus your own prospecting, you intently there or is it one or the other?
Jake: Yeah, that’s a good question. Like how should you spend your day to get… To me, I leave that up to the SDR. Like the number one thing that you want to optimize for as an SDR manager is how do you motivate your SDR team, period. What are you doing as a leader to motivate them? A lot of times that means introducing a new tool that shows that you kind of have their back, that you’re going to go to bat for them at the executive level and you’re going to say, Hey, we’re going to introduce this tool right now. And I think that with this tool, you’re going to get some leads that, you know, in our mind have a higher probability of closing. I think the fastest way to discourage an SDR team is to give them leads that they have to work or a lead inside of Salesforce to say, Hey, these are actually MQL leads. We spent a lot of money on them as a company, we need you to go through and qualify or disqualify them. To me this is just a breeding ground for creating a very demotivated SDR team, which is the worst thing and the recipe for disaster when you’re trying to scale a business. So, to take it one step further. I sort of view the SDRs, their time. That’s their time, right? And what am I doing as a manager and what are we doing as an executive team to make sure that we’re empowering them to use their time the most effectively. And using their time doesn’t mean that you’re putting calendar like call blocks on their calendar. It doesn’t mean that you’re putting lead views that they need to work through on their calendar. It means that you’re saying, Hey, I think that we should explore this, explore these leads that we think have a higher probability of converting, and then let’s have a conversation about it at the end of the week and run some reports and see what we find. I think that’s a good way to keep an SDR team motivated.
Tukan: That’s great. Cool. So we answered this question that, you know, yes, you’d think as intent signals can help SDRs. Now that was sort of a given, given what we know. But now the biggest challenge that we see is how to implement this intent. So the executive team, whether it’s marketing or the sales development leading team, leaders say, alright, we have implemented this tool. We have purchased this tool which is going to on a weekly basis or a daily basis feed me a list of leads that are showing intent. That’s just one piece. Can you walk us through some actionable steps of, you know, how can then an SDR team, take those leads and work it?
Jake: Yeah. So this could be a wordy answer because I want to add context please, which seems to be the theme thus far. But, so for me, when I’m thinking about how I want to use this data, again, as an SDR, you’re just trying to humanize yourself, period. You do that primarily through email. At least a lot of the SDR works that I’ve been running. Email is sort of the foundation. And so to humanize yourself through emails is really tough, especially as it gets a little bit noisy. People want to put you in this bucket as just another person that’s sending spam into their inbox. So we use intent data to kind of humanize that first line, right? That’s sort of like your lead in and if you sat there and you’ve written an email copy, you know how tough it is to write a good intro first line. It’s really easy if you’re happy with Hey, hope Tuesday or insert date variable is treating you well or Happy Valentine’s Day, then it’s easy, right? But if you’re really trying to go in and you’re trying to prove some value and you’re trying to tie that initial line into the value prop for your company and what you offer, intent data for us has been really, really valuable. We use whatever signal we have. Maybe it’s showing that they’re evaluating some type of software or something and we put that in the first line. It doesn’t need to say specifically, but it is something along the lines of like, you know, I noticed that you may be in the market for blah blah blah or you know, congrats on the recent acquisition of blah blah blah. And then, and then you use some other intent data signal to go off. It really depends on what your company is doing and how you get creative around that is how you’re going to make your money as a SDR and SDR leader. But that’s sort of what we use the intent data for is that first opening line.
Tukan: To add to that, what would the theme of messaging, because I think that is one of the most important things. You might have the best signals, but if your email copy or your phone call script is awful then you’re not getting a response back. I totally get that. One question that comes across as let’s say, you know, using an intent tool, likely LeadSift or something else. You figure out that they are evaluating or they’re engaging with a competitor or top competitor of yours, how do you approach that? Like do you take the approach of saying, Hey, notice you are talking to competitor X or would you say something like what you mentioned, think you might be evaluating a new automation tool?
Jake: Yeah. And again, this comes with sort of humanizing yourself. And I think that if you talk about that trigger just very blatantly I think that’s fine. And, and you kind of tell people, you say, Hey, we, we have some pretty cool software that says that you may be evaluating blah, blah, blah. Is that accurate? And then I think people will be very candid with you. We’re in this day and age where, you know, if you just so happen to reach out to somebody while they’re sort of evaluating stuff with cookies and the way that people are being tracked on the internet to not be straight forward and no one to one human interaction, I think is so disingenuous that it could kill you right from the jump. So, being as genuine as you possibly can, I think is the fastest way to humanize yourself. Maybe a little self-deprecation here and there. I think that’s going to get you a long way with your buyer much more so than you have in some really crafty lead in that’s a little bit ambiguous in several different areas. That kind of leads them to being more curious and not really understanding what you’re selling and just saying, Hey, like, are you really evaluating JP or did you really sign up for a free account or interact with some of their content on, you know, whatever Avenue. To me I think it is much more informative.
Tukan: That’s brilliant.
Jake: We can argue about that.
Tukan: I think that there’s merit to it. I think being transparent makes total sense. There’s a fine line between I guess transparency and being creepy. But, I absolutely agree with your point.
Jake: I think you walk that every day as an SDR already, you know, in several different areas. Especially like when you call, people know, how’d you get my direct dial? You know, just tell them the software that you’re using to get direct dials. You know, and then that’s going to go a lot further than saying, Oh, I looked at the website and then I went down the phone chain and whatever.
Tukan: Yeah, sure. No, that’s, that’s great. So let me ask you another tactical advice from there. So you get the leads, you craft out your email copy, but let’s say you found out, you know, you’re selling to the IT team, or software engineering department, and let’s say it’s as a director of software engineering was showing intent signal. Do we just go after that person? Because you know, that person was talking to a top competitor showing intent or how do you go about that as an SDR?
Jake: Yeah. Without trying to go down the account base rabbit hole. Which I definitely don’t want to do. I think if you reach out to an account, you need to be reaching out to, you know, three or four people within the account. I think that that is key to you being successful. What you’re trying to do is create conversation internally. Period. You’re trying to have one or more than one. You’re trying to have two or three people say, Hey, this is a pain point within our organization. How can we fix this? If you just have one person, that’s not going to be a very good deal cycle and it’s probably going to be a very slow deal cycle. That other person has no accountability. It has to be an internal initiative. So that starts with them having conversations internally and stuff. For that reason, I think that you should chat with three or four people and it doesn’t need to be you sending the same message to every single person. You can even talk about the fact that you are trying to reach out to other people within the company and even drop names if you want. I think that that again goes along with transparency and that’s gonna create the conversations amongst the right people. Because as SDRs, if you’re a good SDR, you can go in and you can build that org tree in your head and you can say, okay, here’s the VP of it, here’s director of it. Oh, here’s the manager of procurement. He’s probably to those guys as well. Let’s try to get these guys all conversing with each other. That to me is critical.
Tukan: No, that’s brilliant. So now the next piece is, okay, now you know who you’re trying to reach out to. Your four or five. How do you, and you have the copy written, the messaging. Do you, how do you go about, what channels do you go about engaging them with? Is it just email or a combination of email with LinkedIn, phones? Like what, what is it, what’s the Flow?
Jake: Yeah. I mean I think phone, so emails are based just to get that out of the way. Email is sort of like the basis, that’s the summit for the foundation. It’s everything that we do. And a lot of our follow-up, we use outreach for that now, which is a great tool. A lot of our follow-up is through, you know, manual emails or automated emails if we don’t deem them as you know, a level one. And then from there it’s really, you know, get as creative as you possibly can. If you see that your buyer is on Twitter, I’m not saying go on Twitter and tweet at them, but liking stuff that they post, sharing their stuff that they post on LinkedIn. Again, you’re trying to humanize yourself and then recognizing your name is going to be far better than you sending somebody tweets to them, trying to get on their radar. Because really we’re still in a business conversation and people want to communicate. In my opinion, people want to communicate through email. And that goes with the phone as well. So even on the phones we’re saying, you know, Hey, it’s not even, is this a bad time? It’s just not sure if you saw my email, would love to get your thoughts. If you have a second go through and put a few links in there that I thought could help you kind of educate yourself on the space. Considering it seems like now might be a good time for X company. Something like that, you know, and we’re trying to personalize the call as well. But again, I think people really prefer to educate themselves these days much more so than you’re going in and value propping. Because again, that’s the fastest way to dehumanize yourself, period. If you start value propping, in my opinion, unless you have a, maybe like your average deal size is, you know, around five to 10K, and you’re trying to get a quick close, I would stick away from the value propping unless it’s through email where they can sort of click on some links. And see what you’re all about.
Tukan: Got it. Okay. Oh, that’s great. So now one thing that we notice as, so let’s say you followed up with 50 people that were showing intent and you went and got them to a sequence email and multiple touches. But let’s say they, none of them, well, a certain percentage that didn’t open them or certain persons have clicked on the links but didn’t reply to you, didn’t book that meeting. If that is primary, the call to action, like that’s the goal. What do you, what do you do about it? Do you just say, you know, screw this, these intent signals are bad, or like what’s the process then? Like what would you suggest as a best practice?
Jake: I guess this is much deeper than just intent data. It Is sort of like, I guess, pipeline theory. I don’t know. Let’s give it a fancy name to make it sound superficial. For me, the number one job that you’re trying to do again is humanize your company, humanize yourself and move people down the funnel. Again, sales development teams, they’re up against timing, period. They’re constantly trying to figure out, you know, when is the best time for this company to buy? And you’re just trying to stay relevant. You’re trying to stay top of mind to them. So that’s why intent data comes in helpful at times because it implies timing, but also it doesn’t, right? Like it may just implies that this person might be very early on in the discovery process, but regardless, you need to have a really good clear sales operations and revenue operations structure so that you’re able to keep following along with these leads. So for us, we’re putting leads in what we call SDR working. So maybe we reached out to them with some intent data and they said, Hey, this is a good email, but now now’s just not the right time and you’re not going to be pushy. You just say great. Like, well, if you don’t mind, I’ll just keep you updated with relevant information within our company. And maybe when the timing’s right, we can pick up the conversation. And so monthly because you have a really good flow, you have them in SDR working. And so what I say to my SDRs is initially you’re going to get, you know, five to six meetings a month through email, right? And this is different for every company starting with numbers. You know, you’ll get a percentage from your email that’s going to be your largest percentage, net new leads going into sequence. That’s your largest percentage of meeting set. And then you’re going to maybe get a couple that come in through marketing that may be as a SDR, you’re lucky enough to be on the company chat or maybe somebody comes in that’s in your territory through an inbound and you work them through the process, qualify them, but then there’s going to be this other chunk of people that you’re just constantly following up with right there in SDR working. And we see that a lot. You know, I’d say about 30% of a SDR’s quota is coming from leads that are in SDR working, meaning you sent them a compelling enough email that they granted you the privilege to continue following up. And that to me is the most powerful thing about intent data. You’re just filling your pipeline with the leads that you know, you’re not wasting your time on. Because I think the reason that, and I see it a lot now is that the usage of SDR time is a huge conversation right now. Right? It’s like what should SDRs be doing? It’s because so much time is being wasted with leads that we shouldn’t be going after. And how are we to know, you know, there’s no way to tell. It’s just, we call it like a numbers game, which I do agree with to some extent, but it’s also sort of like an organization game. And I think that’s where it comes in really handy to, to tag your leads and all that good stuff.
Tukan: I love it. That’s great. So moving on to the next item that I have is, and this is something that we come across, we chat a lot, is what kind of metrics should we expect? There is, I say this, there’s a silver bullet kind of theory. Sometimes customers haven’t and for good reasons because they would come in and saying, cool, so you’re telling me these people are showing buying intent, meaning they’re looking to buy my solution or one of my competitors right now, obviously if I’m following up with them, you’re going to buy it from me. And they would reach out and let’s say they did buy them within the next 30, 60, 90 days. Then there’s this saying, well this is, this is not right. So with that being said, if someone is trying to implement intent data, what kind of metrics should they be looking at? Some realistic numbers? Like what is a good number or what should they be looking at?
Jake: Yeah. So first and foremost, as a manager, as a director, you’d go to bat for a piece of software. It usually requires a couple of, not necessarily arguments, but you’re trying to make some value props and you know, with that you’re going to, you know, make some promises and then you want to have quick results. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen that when we’ve implemented LeadSift within 60 to 90 days, we’ve had a couple of leads that we’ve tagged, LeadSift as as delete source, convert into closed one deals and then, and then everyone’s happy and no one really cares about the ROI for their own. To me, I think the most intriguing thing is again, the time saving. So I’m looking at conversion rate and usually in a pretty heavy outbound shop, our conversion rates around 1.8% to, you know, maybe 2% and a lot of that’s product market fit. A lot of that is sort of, you know, who the SDR is working. There’s, there’s a lot of variables in there. But just roughly speaking about 1.8% to 2%.
Tukan: And conversion, what do you mean by conversion Jake?
Jake: Reaching a conversion means that a lead turns into a sales qualified opportunity. So that’s purely what I mean.
Tukan: Something we would assign a dollar value to that would contribute to the pipeline.
Jake: Yeah. Well actually I’m sorry. So the way that I define conversion is we have a sales qualified opportunity and then that’s in stage zero. They get a dollar dollar value once they go into stage one. Yeah. So it is a little wonky the way I describe it, but we do that so that we create an opportunity for everything. So again, we have a pipeline that we can keep nurturing. So, that would be a sales qualified opportunity in terms of converting to a dollar value. I think that that’s a variable that’s much more in the account executives hands than it is in the SDR hands. So I try to keep the top of funnel a little more fragmented in that area.
Tukan: Stage zero is a conversion for you?
Jake: Stage zero would be a conversion. Yeah. They agree to a meeting. And you know, as the SDRs, we’re vetting them out and they’re in our company ICP. It’s not just like we’re throwing crap over this app. They’re in ICP. So, for me, about 2%. What I saw with LeadSift at at a couple of different companies, one I think where it was extremely successful, a rainforest QA, we use you guys and we went from a conversion with any thing that said LeadSift on it, it’s as the lead value or lead source, I’m sorry, it was around like 3.5 to 3.8, which was just awesome. And that’s on the account level. So I’m not saying this, we put in a hundred leads that you know, like 3.8 of them took that initial meeting. I’m saying that at the account level, so if we have a hundred accounts in there that we knew that, that in that initial swing that it was at, so I think that was actually at the lead level of 3.8%, now to think about it because we’re at 1.8. Yeah. So that was at the lead level. At account level. I think it was even higher. Well, but we didn’t have clear companies now.
Tukan: Okay. That’s great.
Jake: So yeah, at the lead level, because 1.8 at the lead level, is I think pretty typical and a lot of people see that.
Tukan: Cool. This is brilliant. Awesome. So those are very good metrics. I’m going to clip this and share it moving forward.
Jake: Yeah, and I think the big thing about that too is that was, that’s always in like a net 90 days when we would run that report. And then you see leads in your pipeline, you know, a year out that are still converting. So, but that’s just net 90 what to expect.
Tukan: And that’s something that we hear from a lot of our customers are saying is like, in the net, there’s a 90-day window where you’re tracking this conversion. The impact line, however you measure it. And then, they were saying, Hey, there was an account that you picked up a signal eight months ago, I just created an opportunity last week and I close them this week. That always happens. Attribution quickie, which is a 90-day window or is it forever? So that’s a whole different question there. So with that being said, that is the final thing and we’ll do a little bit of a Q&A if we have time and people are asking questions. So if you have to say, Jake, you know, three reasons why a sales development leader should be considering ruling out intent data for their sales development team. What would be those three reasons?
Jake: Yeah. So number one is saving SDR cycles, period. Like you’re hiring humans who are very skilled, usually college educated, awesome at their job. How can we save them cycles and keep them happy. Right? And number two keeps them motivated in my opinion. And that one and two are kind of combined. So say cycles keep motivating. And then three is just increasing the conversion rate. Like if you take a step back and you say, what would it do for my business to go from like a 1.8 conversion rate to 3.5 conversion rate on the lead? That’s a massive impact on the business. And to get to those conversions, right, you have to be pretty detailed in the way that you’re sort of building out your triggers that you want to go after and you have to be a focused sales team. But if you can actually focus as a sales team, you will increase the conversion. So yeah, again, like SDR cycles, keep them motivated and then increase the conversion on the pipeline.
Tukan: Awesome. So any sales development leaders listening to this, you have your three reasons why you should deploy intent data. Let’s see if there are any questions? We’ll just open it up for any questions. Folks that are in there. Are there any questions from the attendees? Let me see. There’s a dozen of them. Any questions from anyone before we wrap it up?
Jake: Well, Oh man, we laid it all out there too much, man. We should have been more intriguing.
Tukan: Fair enough. No, I think there was a lot of actionable value. That’s what I was expecting from a practitioner like you. So this is brilliant. One question that I have for you, Jake, is in terms of bare minimum tech stack that sales development team, that is trying to reach from a million to 10, 20 series A, series B, what would be a minimal tech stack that they should have?
Jake: To me, I think, I think the first one is going to be outreach. I think that’s really good. I think the second one, I think list buying is super overrated unless it’s a good targeted list. Meaning some people just want access to like Zoom info or something. And I think that that, I’ve always said it, I think that’s sort of the Trojan horse to any good SDR team, right? You’re thinking you’re getting this like a beautiful package of data and then it comes in and just like implodes you from within because you have SDRs just wasting all this time on data that’s not that great. So something to prospect off of LinkedIn with, very important. Usually the Salesforce is already in place when I get there, but it just as you mentioned Salesforce is a good one. Obviously. And then, yeah, so that’s the minimum and then maybe something to make some phone calls with something super lightweight. Kixie. I’m a big fan of kixie. If you guys haven’t heard of Kixie. Yeah. So, it just gives you a little bit more functionality than like the outreach styler and then, yeah. And then if you’re really taking it to the next step, we’re doing gift cards and stuff with Sendoso. And then, yeah, man, and bringing you guys in.
Tukan: Awesome. So a couple of questions we have. So one question is, do you use a tool to avoid contacting the same lead in terms of different salespeople working on different intent data sources?
Jake: Yeah. So I think everything should be done by territories. And so territories are sort of like the easy answer to that. I get that some companies like to verticalize a little bit more. And so I think that’s kind of where this question is coming from. But to me, creating a territory is probably one of the most critical parts that you do early on. And not by region, usually just by alphabet. And then as your team gets a little bit bigger, then break up by alphabet and region. It’s pretty easy. But once you start getting into like California and stuff, the lowest common denominator for it becomes zip code. And then all of a sudden, like, you need a sales ops person and you only have four SDRs. So you’re like, Oh, what do we do? So anyways, hopefully that answers your question.
Tukan: That makes total sense. There’s another question that someone has asked saying, are you layering in the reference of intent in all of your follow-up emails? Meaning you mentioned that in the first email when you’re reaching out, you mentioned the intent in the follow-up. Do you layer in the reference to intent?
Jake: No. So again, you’re just trying to humanize like, I guess I think I said that word too many times, but the initial one, is just a lead in and that’s sort of, that’s the real time, that reason to trigger. The second one, you’re just trying to talk about them pretty much. Nobody really cares about the company they work for just as something I’ve found over time, unless, you know, maybe it’s a founder and you’re talking to about the success of LeadSift, but, to me, just talk about other people. So like, like I said, the first customization is going to be the intent data. It’s the lead in. And then the second one is usually just about them, you know, Hey, you know, given that you’ve been at the company for X amount of time or you know, whatever you want to talk about with them is shown some relevant articles.
Tukan: Cool. Well that’s great. I think that those were the two questions we had and I think we a little over time. Jake, thank you so much.
Jake: Yeah, thank you. I’m sorry. Sorry, I was just having technical difficulties.
Tukan: No worries. No worries. It’s all good. Hopefully for the audience that attended, hopefully this was helpful. We are going to record this and share it internally, you know, with you people, everyone that attended and Jake, I thank you again. Thanks a lot. I’ll, I’ll follow up with you later. I have to cancel a meeting. But, okay. Thanks a lot man.
Jake: Thanks guys. Appreciate it. That was fun. Bye bye.