Why Your Talent Pipeline Might Be Affecting Your Sales Results.
SaaS models are helping to optimise processes, create efficient operations and increase collaboration in a huge dynamic of industries. From disruptive services in marketing to payment systems and CRM tools it’s the industry to be in and talented graduates are looking to make their mark.
So, what does graduate sales talent look like and how do you secure it for your business?
Your sales team as your sales strategy
A strong sales strategy is business-critical to ensure continued growth and expanding market share; having a sales team who understands the value your service will offer to clients is essential. Great salespeople know that they need to understand their clients’ needs first before trying to be understood themselves, which is why sales talent is so essential to your sales strategy.
Every business has critical initiatives that are their priority, particularly as the previous year is being scrutinised and decisions about the most fruitful places to prioritise spend are being decided. If your team knows how to uncover these initiatives and how to communicate how your SaaS product will help them achieve these goals; then they can clearly explain the value proposition and secure the sale.
This is why a team of trained Sales Development Reps (SDRs) can change the game and propel sales growth.
Why SDRs are the perfect partners for selling SaaS products
When you start to consider growing your existing teams or even bringing in your first SDRs you might be asking yourself the question – should I go with an experienced salesperson, or should I go with a talented graduate who can be shaped within the business?
You might not be surprised to hear that time and time again, our SaaS partners come back to us saying that graduate hires are outperforming their existing sales teams. Why? Well, talented graduates are not only hard-working, motivated and driven to succeed, but they are GEN Z digital natives. Today’s grads have grown up with technology at their fingertips and can understand complex software systems and how they work, quickly and efficiently. Not only this, but they are eager to do well, and are coachable to fit in with your business initiatives.
Being able to communicate complex systems is vital for selling software services and coupled with advanced sales training, a graduate can make the ideal SDR.
What skills does a quality SDR need to have?
Drive, dynamism, grit, discipline and organisation. All of these skills are key for your SDRs to succeed, and as we know, in the B2B world they’ll have a tough challenge. They will face a shed load of rejection and need to be inventive when it comes to lead generation. An SDR will be asking so many more questions than they are answering as their role is to get past the gate keeper and to the decision maker. As such, they need an inquisitive nature that is backed up by core skills that they can rely on when they make it through to the person who can give the green light on a sale.
Organisation is also fundamental, SDRs have to be able to proactively follow a strong sales cadence that is focused on analysing data, research, planning and making data-driven decisions. 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the initial contact, but 44% of sales people give up after 1. The best SDRs are structured with their prospecting, they know their ratios and don’t leave anything to chance.
Attitude is everything when it comes to sales. Not only should your next hire have a fantastic work ethic – they need to be coachable and willing to learn too.
In a B2B sales role an SDR will inevitably face knock backs. Having the drive to keep chasing down new leads in the face of rejection is absolutely key – the best hires will be willing to put in the work and go the extra mile, whether that means staying later some evenings, getting in earlier to catch prospects or being inventive when it comes to approaching new conversations this will be a huge asset for an SDR. However, it’s not all about raw self-confidence, a quality SDR will be self-reflective, coachable and willing to learn from others when they need to.
Many SDRs open opportunities at C level within enterprises – so, they need to be bright, agile and able to confidently explain products, particularly if they’re making an education sale. Many SaaS products’ benefits might not be immediately clear to the MD or VP you are trying to engage with – SDRs need to be able to articulate and demystify the service and coherently explain how the service will add real value and offer solutions to the business challenges.
Not only this but they need to be confident – this doesn’t mean extroverted but it does mean they need to be comfortable answering questions and speaking with decision-makers.
Graduates are ideal for SDR positions in SaaS companies. Not only do they have to be digital-natives to sell the product or service clearly, but they will need to be comfortable using complex CRM and tech stack systems to maximise their organisation and efficiency.
When a SaaS company finds success with an idea, it doesn’t often take long until imitators and competitors follow suit – you need your salespeople to be able to show why your product stands out against the rest with a unique business proposition.
SDRs need a wide range of skills to enjoy success. Yes, telephone skills are still fundamental for productive cold calling, but as well as this SDRs will need sound writing skills in various styles to fit with emailing and also social selling on platforms like LinkedIn. They will also need to have confidence in their skills and the knowledge of their product to ensure they can network and approach relevant prospects at events and in meetings.
So, how do you find the top SDR talent?
If your business needs quality SDRs to propel your SaaS sales, or grow your existing team then Pareto can help attract, assess and place talented individuals straight into your company.
The LinkedIn Global job seeker trend report highlights that “75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job” so it’s important to remember that to attract the top talent, you need to stand out from the crowd. The market leading sales training we have been providing for over two decades can help your business lead the competition and attract the very best sales talent to drive success for your business.
All our graduates receive industry-leading training to ensure success and maximise ROI. We place 70% of our sales graduates into the tech industry across the globe and they are thriving in their roles. Many of our graduates achieve 100% of target (see here) within their first 6 months - based on over two decades of our expert recruitment and training.
Find out more about our talented graduate sales recruitment processes here, or call us on 0808 291 5867