The ABD’s of Sales Development

Being a Little Different Goes a Long Way

Sales Development isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of job. That email template you have which worked perfectly for one prospect might not be a fit for the next. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again here — personalizing your emails isn’t just a way to separate yourself from the pack, it’s a necessity in today's world. There are enough SDRs out there reaching out to the same accounts you are to warrant a need for differentiation. That means the old mantra of Always Be Closing doesn’t really hold up anymore — instead, you need to ABD: Always Be Different.

Sorry Alec, times are changing

Imagine a VP of Sales Enablement at an enterprise-level company. How many calls / emails do you think they get on a daily basis? How many of those SDRs try to “close” them by asking for time to hop on a product demo? Probably hundreds, and that’s just one day! To be different first means you have to NOT be closing — attempt a different CTA to open up a dialogue. Use research tools to gain relevant and compelling information. Send them coffee. Separate yourself from the rest of the pack to increase your chances of getting a response. That’s the easy part.

The hard part, and where a lot of SDRs get held up, is consistently being different. The trade-off for all of this is time. As stated, personalized emails are better than generic templates. They also take more time to craft up, and that means you send out less of them. Generic emails, on the other hand, take up less of your time and you can send out more of them, but they’re usually inferior in terms of quality. Striking a balance between the two and finding out the best way to attack these accounts will come after a lot of trial and error, but once you find that sweet spot you’ll have a much easier time of things.

Start by taking more time to research an account before diving in; small chunks at a time will help you mitigate the serious dip in quantity while steadily increasing your quality. Once you start to feel like the number of accounts you’re touching is too low, dial back the personalization a bit. Find the spot where you can hit enough accounts with your more personalized message, and that’s your sweet spot.

Another great medium to test personalization on is a target account list. A lot of organizations will break up their prospects into “nice to have” customers, and “we really want these” customers. Call them A and B, respectively. When reaching out to group A it might be ok to utilize tools like mail merges and generic email templates to increase activity levels. When you transition to the B accounts and the stakes are higher, that’s when you need to make sure you’re personalizing every touch of your call plan. The combination of the two allows you to keep your activity level up while at the same time crafting up highly targeted messaging.

It’s tough sledding at first, but once you shift your focus from closing to being different you’ll see the results are worth it.

Agree or disagree? Have you tried this out with any success? Sound off in the comments, and make sure to check us out at!

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