Working as a sales development representative at a startup can sometimes feel like you're swimming in a sea of "nos.” Hang ups, unanswered emails, and even the frequent angry rebuff are all common in the SDR world. It is especially frustrating because we know that SDRs pour their blood, sweat, and tears into finding the right leads and making the right connections.
But getting that “yes” and welcoming a new client knowing that you were the one to make it happen can make you feel like the stars you’ve been reaching for are closer than ever. All that time spent shepherding clients along the sales funnel has led to the potential for exciting opportunities ahead.
At Biscred, our SDRs understand the challenges of this role, but they are also committed to informing sales teams in commercial real estate-adjacent industries about this cutting-edge CRE enablement platform that can help make their lives easier.
And while Biscred SDRs are no strangers to the more-than-occasional hang-up, they have also experienced the incredible highs that can come with this job, from the company's high-energy culture to having the opportunity to perform 200 product demos since July 2022.
Biscred SDR P.J. Trahon said that on a typical day, he reaches out to as many as 500 contacts via cold calling and emailing. When he’s not contacting prospective clients, he is digesting digital newspapers and CRE publications to stay informed about the latest industry updates, scouring LinkedIn for new names to add to his never-ending contact list, or performing demos of the platform.
He said that while most days are heavy on the prospecting, the team can also join in on marketing meetings, contribute to Biscred campaigns or perform quality assurance in Salesforce to ensure they are calling the best decision-makers.
“It’s all hands on deck and you’re wearing so many different hats in the role,” Trahon said. “We do many things outside of what a traditional SDR would be doing, like going to events, networking, swapping business cards. I think having these experiences will help me in my career.”
He explained that when a prospective client agrees to a demo, the SDR will loop in the account executive. Following the demo, if the client is interested in proceeding, Biscred offers them a trial period. From there, the SDR internally sets the client up with an account. Once the trial period ends, Biscred regroups with the clients and if all goes well, the account executive is on hand to close the deal.
Rolling With The Punches
Biscred SDRs work as a team, and this strategy has major upsides, including having a shoulder to lean on after receiving yet another rejection email — something that Trahon said is far from abnormal.
“The ‘no’s’ tend to sting because you put so much effort into the correspondence,” Trahon said. “It’s an attachment to the process. When it doesn’t go your way, it can get a bit frustrating, especially if the no’s rack up over time.”
Biscred SDR Benny Marcus said that one of the challenges that SDRs can face is getting a pulse on which clients are worth following up with.
“You could end up focusing on a potential prospect that is giving you pushback, which takes time away from someone that's actually going to take a meeting, or is better qualified,” Marcus said. “There are also times when you could be focusing your energy on the wrong target audience. It's always important to be in tune with the market and keep up with the account executive to know which follow-ups are going well.”
Both Trahon and Marcus agreed that gaining clients is mainly about contacting the right people at the right time.
“In the world of sales prospecting, a yes means ‘good to go’, a no means ‘maybe’, a maybe means ‘not interested’ and no response is ‘yes, until maybe’,” Trahon said. “Even if a company said “no” a couple of months ago, their circumstances could have changed, and now they have an interest in the product and the money to spend. The key is to stay connected.”
At times prospecting can even result in some surprise wins — and also some surprising assumptions.
Trahon said that he received a resounding “no” from a client, along with some unexpected feedback.
“Once I got an email from a lead who urged me to take charge of my life and move forward with contacting others, without waiting for them to tell me ‘no’," Trahon said. “Instead of taking it personally, I just figured they didn’t have a need for a sales prospecting platform at the moment.”
Marcus said that the verbiage of his email caught a lead’s attention and allowed him to think of creative ways to approach client reach-outs.
“A client responded to my email, saying that it was one of the most compelling emails he’s gotten, and asked me if I used ChatGPT to create it,” Marcus said. “I thought it was funny that they thought I used AI to write an email. But it did get my gears turning, thinking about how I can utilize AI to my advantage.”
Trahon added that clients’ responses can be a good antidote to what would otherwise be a stressful day.
“It can be funny when someone answers an email with a creatively aggressive way to tell us to stop following up,” Trahon said. “We can get through some problems more easily by joking about them.”
Keeping The Buzz Going
The Biscred SDRs ensure that they take the time during the workday to engage in casual conversation, play a few rounds of ping-pong and occasionally go out for drinks and dinner after work.
There may also be times when it’s hard to take off the prospecting hat at the end of the day and thoughts of work can creep up out of nowhere.
“As an SDR you never stop prospecting, whether you’re in the office during office hours or when you’re walking down the street and looking around you,” Marcus said. “You never know what ideas or potential leads you can get just by working and always thinking and being aware of the market.”
The SDRs’ commitment to keeping their eyes open for new leads and staying resilient in the face of rejection can make adding a new client that much more exhilarating. Their determination and passion for the process is the fuel that allows Biscred to continue growing.
“The energy I feel about being with the team and thinking about my contribution to the company is what attracted me to Biscred and why I’m still here,” Marcus said. “I’m gaining a lot of experience and look forward to seeing the company’s success.”