Ahh, Chapter 4 from the new hit series “The Wins, The Woes & The WTFs” takes us down memory lane once again.  This time to a time that was too good to be true and yet even in the goodness, there was a touch of woe, perhaps a hit of WTF and that is why this lands squarely in the middle. (Unrelated note: that’s a decent Jimmy Eat World song that takes me back.  But I digress)

The story goes a little bit like this.  The marketing team sat upstairs, the sales team sat down.  A large staircase and a slide separated the two.  Yes, no high flying tech startup is complete without a cool slide.  

One afternoon one of our BDR’s walked up stairs to have a conversation with me about the # of meetings we had been generating. Now, here is where an important detail comes into play, the BDR team reported in through marketing.  I have always viewed the business development team as an extension of our marketing efforts and as members of the marketing team, they help do 2 important things:

  1. With close communication, they can offer us real-time feedback on the sources of conversations and meetings, what’s working and what’s not.

  2. They extend marketing’s reach further into the funnel, creating a close linkage between marketing and sales.  

As the conversation kicks off I realize quickly that this was not the conversation I was expecting to have.  It starts with, “hey, I’m getting too many meetings too quickly, I need more time to prepare for them.”  Me: “I’m sorry, come again?”  Meetings are our business, it’s what we do, the more the merrier, right?  Wrong.

I quickly adjusted my tune and dug in to learn more.  Often in Demand Generation it’s feast or famine.  Following a large event, a successful webinar, a viral post, feast.  In the slower summer months, relying on organic traffic, much of which is on vacation, famine.  And while we need to make hay when the sun shines, we must do so with the prospects’ experience and our team’s experience in mind.  Sure, I love seeing a calendar that is full of prospect calls, people interested in how we can help solve their problems.  But not when it turns into a numbers game and quality is eroded.

We talked and this person was right.  There were some adjustments we needed to make so that our team would be more successful.  Both as a team and individually.  Here’s what we learned:

  1. A recurring theme in many of our lessons, communication is paramount.  In marketing, it’s our job to educate the organization on what we’re doing, why we’re doing and what to expect from it.  And that includes everyone on our team!  There was room for improvement in the way we communicated with our business development reps.  “Hey, more leads on the way, going to be short term, here’s where they come from and why they matter.”  Easy said, less often done.

  2. There’s a long list of tools from technology to enablement that can help create efficiencies for our teams.  So long it’s at times overwhelming.  We needed to do a better job arming our team with what they needed to be more efficient, giving them time back in their day.

  3. Everyone is different and manages their work differently.  When we were in “feast” mode coming off a large event, we needed to understand each person’s “capacity” to deliver a quality experience to our prospects at a pace that fit their style.  As we understood that, we could better manage lead flow and set them up for individual success.

So there you have it, a woe?  A WTF? An opportunity to improve?  Let’s go with all three.

Demand Generation is HARD.  It takes patience, communication and long-term dedication.  Listen to the lessons happening all around you, adjust quickly and communicate often and you’ll have a leg up on discovering success.

At 4AM we have a BDR (Business Development Rep) calculator, that helps you quickly understand how many BDR’s you would need to further qualify your MQL’s (Marketing Qualified Leads). Contact us to learn more.

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