Business development reps (BDRs) face more challenges today than ever before, with high meetings-booked goals and many prospects not in the position to make purchases. When getting a “yes” can seem like an impossible goal, working within unambiguous, proven methods of success is critical. While you no doubt use data already, these methods are different in their intention. Rather than representing what’s happening on a given day, they’re designed to combine the intelligence from your historical data with the actions your team does every day, making your team more efficient and successful. These methods are what set data-driven BDR leaders apart from the pack.
5 ways to coach BDR teams with data
1. Take cues from your top performer
On your team, at least one person excels at hitting goals efficiently. Everyone else on the team should learn from what they do. Data-driven BDR leaders share weekly reports of that person’s activities by number, type, and cadence. Beyond what they actually do, the team should look at the actual messages they send and listen to recorded cold calls. Perhaps even more than tips about what that top performer thinks is working, this practice helps others learn from their actual methods. This practice helps the team internalize best practices and it fosters healthy competition. Who’s on top will change week to week, giving the team opportunities to continually learn from one another.
2. Use historical data to set activity targets
Data-driven leaders always connect the things their team is expected to do with things that have actually worked in the past. Do you keep efficiency metrics? For example, have you looked at the number of phone calls it typically takes to book one meeting with an enterprise account in the software industry? Once you have those metrics based on the past six months, turn them into activity targets for the current month. The big benefit here is the stress reduction that comes with working toward targets rooted in success that, when followed, result in reaching goals more predictably.
3. Create ICP and multithreading scores
Particularly when meetings aren’t generating sales qualified opportunities, data-based guidance on the accounts to prospect and the contacts to engage with help BDRs use their time wisely. To provide that guidance, data-driven leaders use ideal customer profile (ICP) and multithreading scores.
An ICP score validates that a rep is engaging the right companies. Set it up by assigning points against your ICP criteria – if your desired industry is software, weigh it high and assign it 10 points. Weigh undesirable industries low and assign them 1 or 2 points. Total the numbers and assign scores based on ranges (0-5 = 1 star, 5-10 = 2 stars).
A multithreading score looks at the optimal number of contacts a BDR should engage per account type, ideally against a list of desired titles. Just like you used historical success to set activity targets, use it to find the target number of contacts. Then score accounts against the target.
These scores offer both a way to stay on track and a way to dig in when goals aren’t being met. If you can easily see that ICP and multithreading were on point, you know to look elsewhere for the cause.
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4. Use data to drive weekly 1:1s
Good BDR managers excel at the kind of coaching only humans can do, like helping BDRs craft creative outreach or role playing various cold call scenarios. When you add data-driven coaching, you’ll see more gains in rep performance that mean you’ll spend less of your 1:1 time managing inputs. Start your sessions with each team member by looking at how they’re tracking toward goals, specifically calling out their activity targets and efficiency. This is a great time to check in on ICP and multithreading scores as well. Pairing qualitative feedback with quantitative shows your team that you’re deeply invested in helping them succeed and the ritual helps new team members ramp faster.
5. Build cross-team visibility
It’s time for sales, marketing, and customer success teams to stop operating in silos. Customer-centric revenue organizations need to understand and track the entire journey from top-of funnel through renewal. Data-driven coaches advocate for connected data across teams and systems. With all touchpoints in one system, they set up functionality that automatically shares information. For example, a BDR gets an alert when one of their contacts signs up for a webinar. Achieving cross-team visibility is worth your effort because it has a direct effect on your team working more efficiently and leads to a better customer experience, bolstering revenue protection efforts.
Data-driven coaching in action
Incorporating these data-driven methods will ultimately help your team be more productive, efficient, and effective. When you’re confident about what the team should do every day to reach goals based on their recent success, you free up more of your time to coach how they do it rather than managing their tasks. The team will be more confident, too, knowing that their targets are unambiguously derived from what works.
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