So with Vendasta’s relationships, we’ve grown a lot and we’ve learned over the last number of years working with closely with our partners. Our platform is now being used to buy over 500 agency partners and we’re servicing over 400,000 local business, and many of them who are working directly with our in-house agents to help improve their online reputation. Recently at Vendasta we broke our solutions into two areas: platform and products. Our platform helps partners prospect and sell to current or potential customers, while our products are used by businesses to manage and build their online reputation. We also refer to this as the business’ virtual doorway. That being said, any of our partners are able to utilize our digital agency, no matter how they use or integrate our products and platform.
And also if you want to keep up-to-date on all of our upcoming features and new products, don’t forget to sign up to the Vendasta Product Insider. It’s so helpful as well. I know myself, I subscribe to it because I’m not always aware of everything that’s being developed. And I saw recently that we will send out review notifications immediately after it’s found by our system. That’s fantastic. That’s going to allow your clients to respond to their reviews in a more timely fashion. So you can find the links to register on the side panel of all of our support articles or talk to your account executive in any of our success teams and they can sign you up.
Another great piece to find valuable information is through our blog. Sign up for a blog for great tips and keeping up to date on leading industry knowledge. If you want to get new releases before anyone else, you can enroll in our beta program. Just contact your account rep within our success teams and they’ll help you set this up. We’ve also recently introduced a new webinar series. It’s going to focus solely on product updates. So, if you want to stay informed, please attend, and it’s on every Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
Today we’re going to talk about how we have set the stage and continued to build and refined our world-class SDR and BDR teams. But I think we have to take a look back as to why the two teams. In January of this year, 2016, we split our sales teams into two groups: Sales Development Representatives, or SDRs, and Business Development Reps, or BDRs. I will use SDR and BDR interchangeably, so again, Sales Development Reps, SDRs, Business Development Reps, BDRs.
The specialization of each group has allowed a more focused approach for each team. The SDR team, which is the team that I had, we focus on calling inbound and outbound in their pipeline so any of the inbound and outbound leads that are assigned to the member. We qualify these leads and we schedule these presentations with those leads for our Business Development team. And Todd’s team, which is the BDR team, they focus on presenting our re-brandable software solution to qualified prospects. They reach out to potential partners who have already been presented to and close these prospects by signing them on as a Vendasta partner.
So I think we can go into some specific…some of our specific responsibilities for the sales development team, they include assessing and qualifying new prospects from inbound/outbound leads, which are generated by our marketing department, working under a daily call, and presentation booked, and completed goal, and striving to exceed those goals, booking and introducing presentations for our business development reps, and building a pipeline of leads and following up on any missed presentations with the goal to reschedule.
For the Business Development team, Todd’s team, their specific responsibilities would include preparing unique presentations for each prospect and delivering world-class presentations, preparing and professionally delivering formal presentations to those key prospects using our ever-evolving script. Negotiating and closing all phases of engagements, including review and preparation of a channel partner agreement, and diligently following up on pending agreements that are out there. I should also add too, in preparing and delivering world-class presentations, Todd has always been a stickler for the script and when he trains his team and reminds them, he says to follow the script like your life depended on it.
Todd is such a believer of this statement and so am I. It helps our business development reps to keep on track, deliver our solution in a fun way, but also in a way that is easily understandable. We can also pick parts of the presentation that our potential partner or prospect wants to hear about. So if they just want to hear about reputation management, our BDR can just take them through that. We more or less follow a script to the T and it just helps our reps to keep on track delivering the solution to a potential partner.
Now, oddly enough, while we have specific responsibilities which are unique to each team, what Todd and I have found is there’s also similarities between an SDR and a BDR, as you can see by this list. While we’ve specialized it, there’s also a lot of similarities. I’m not going to go through all the list here but if you can see: sales experience, being able to roll with the punches, excellent phone, written, organizational, interpersonal skills, hungry, motivated, upbeat personality. So my team is the farm team, the Sales Development team is the farm team. So when I am interviewing potential candidates, it’s not only for my team but I also have to think ahead and also remember that, hey, this person could potentially be a possible candidate for Todd’s BDR Team when he needs to add to his team in the future.
And quite often Todd and I will interview a candidate together with the notion, more often than not, we let them know they’re going to start out as an SDR and then maybe in the future be added to the BDR team. When Todd has an opening or he has a vacancy or he’s been told by our VP of Sales, “Hey, Todd, you need to get the two BDRs by the end of the month,” Todd will look at my team and talk to me and see if there’s any potential candidates that I feel could move into that role and that Todd feels could move into that role as well.
If you’re a sports fan, specifically a basketball fan, you may recognize this face: this is Greg Popovic, the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, who have won the NBA championship five times. I’m a big sports fan and Greg Popovic is one my favorite coaches of all time. He’s noted for his longevity and consistency with the Spurs franchise. They’re probably the model franchise of the NBA. But also Greg Popovich provides coaching moments each and every game and even in the press. He provides coaching moments for his team on every game and in every press conference. Sometimes he can be a little curt or a little short but also too, Greg Popovic stands behind his team no matter what and is a brilliant, brilliant coach and trainer.
Why I bring this up, Todd and I training our teams is an essential part of our duties and really is the key to the success of our teams. If we’re not providing training or coaching moments, we’re doing a disservice to our team by not allowing them the best possible chance to succeed by offering those coaching moments or offering the proper training. As an example of a coaching moment, Todd and I tend to call these “on-the-fly moments.” So when a BDR or an SDR gets off the phone, whether it was a good call or a bad call, we like to talk them about it and we review it and we go through it. “Hey, why did that call go so well?” “Well, I asked the right questions, I was able to ask how man sales reps this agency has. I noticed that they do SEO and websites. I asked them what their interest in Vendasta was, were they interested in reputation management or social. Also too, found out a little bit more about when they want to ramp up their other products and services like the ones Vendasta sells,” so important questions like that. And that goes and we can utilize that into training.
With Todd’s team, he may talk about a presentation after one of our BDRs do a presentation and he reviews with them for a couple minutes or so. “Hey, how did you feel that went?” “Oh, it went really, really well. These guys are really qualified. They’ve stated interest that they want to get going in about a month’s time.” So, those are teaching moments that Todd and I would like to provide each and every day to our staff. Because it helps us that we can go forward and refine our training techniques.
Part of the coaching and training starts with an idea that Todd and I stole from our Director of Digital Agency: a playbook. So each of us have created an SDR and BDR playbook. So, this is an example of my team and my playbook. What this does is it acts as an introduction to Vendasta, new hire onboard procedures, and acts also as a standard operating procedure for use for current team members. What we’ve also done too, Todd and I, is we’ve developed a 120-day onboard plan for any new hires for each of our teams.
Now, keep in mind, with the SDR, if they move into the BDR role, Todd will refine that onboard to make it a 30 or 60-day onboard plan because they’ve already been with us for maybe 2 or 3 months or even maybe more. Todd will apply his onboard plan as to the experience of the individual. If we’ve immediately hired a BDR, then Todd does implement a 120-day onboard ramp-up. What that involves is, the goal is, after 30 days, after they’ve gone through Vendasta University, after they’ve been introduced and took a tour of the building, after they’ve gone through with their peers to sit on calls, they’ve sat in digital agency to learn how an agency runs their business on an everyday basis. Sit down with team leads to go through scripts, procedures, practiced making mock calls and mock presentations, and also go through our one-on-ones, start ramping those up as well, and attend complete company trainings, daily standups.
So the goal is, after 30 days, is to have a BDR or an SDR doing a presentation or getting on the phone and talking to prospects, phoning outbound leads. For the SDR team, the 60-day, now we’re next to the 30-day, is we review all metrics that they need to meet. Also, they start getting outbound leads. Now, they start getting outbound leads because these are ones we learn best from because outbound leads are leads that they haven’t expressed interest in Vendasta yet. They quite often don’t know who Vendasta is and may view us a nuisance for calling them. But by calling them and actually booking presentations with an outbound lead, that actually gets us learning a lot about how we can incorporate better techniques to get them on presentations and to even incorporate those into our inbound leads.
And then after 90 and then 120 days, what the goal is is to have the SDR or the BDR be fully integrated into the team, doing world-class presentations for the BDR team, or with my team, they start getting inbound leads, slowly integrating into the inbound leads, and clear understanding of their pipeline management. So that’s what we go through as well is a clear understanding of what their pipeline is and who they need to call on an everyday basis. Also within the playbook we have our SDR/BDR metrics, scrips, and collateral for both teams that they use for prospecting and presenting and inbound/outbound lead-handling procedures.
This is an example from the playbook, and note that Todd’s team would be much the same. We have sales training two times a week. On Mondays, we have dedicated sales training specific to an SDR, or in Todd’s team, BDR duties, listening, dissecting recorded phone calls and presentations, going over scripts, best practices. And then on Fridays, the whole sales team plus our success teams participate on more sales-focused items, again, best practices. We also like to celebrate our successes and learn a little bit more about the competition for Vendasta.
Todd and I encourage feedback and participation. This time is very, very valuable and we want to make the most of it. Each member of the team, when they feel that they’ve contributed, they feel a contribution has been made when their ideas are shared. So, we encourage full participation within our team and no idea is bad. Every idea is listened to. And quite often, we incorporate those ideas shared by our team members. Todd and I are firm believers in listening to recorded calls and reviewing them during sales training or one-on-ones because we can dissect the phone call, we can see where our team has gone right but also too where maybe we need to fix some areas where maybe we didn’t get that presentation, maybe we didn’t offer enough value, or maybe we didn’t ask the right questions. Maybe in Todd’s team’s case, when he’s listening to a presentation, maybe it felt rushed. Maybe we didn’t present it to them in a very engaging way. Maybe there is not a lot of interest on that prospect’s part.
So maybe that falls back to my team, who maybe didn’t qualify them enough, and we can go through that. We can dissect phone calls. So, so important. And I would urge you guys, if you do have a sales team, go through phone calls. It really, really helps when you listen to it with team members. They learn a lot from it. Quite often our team members want phone calls to pull so that they can learn from it and we can go through it and it provides another teaching moment.
Also our development team holds sprints every Friday. This is where our company gets to learn about new updates to our platform and what’s coming up on the roadmap. So, they split them up into two bazaars. We have a product vision bazaar and a sprint bazaar. The product vision bazaar, this is insight into what we’re planning to take our products into the future. This is a look at what we’re planning to build. The sprint review bazaar is a look at what we’ve just built. Its stakeholders and customers examine what the teams have built and what we’ve just built and we’re going to incorporate. So this decides the direction of where the product goes.
And our sales teams are able to provide feedback to our developers and it gives us, gives Todd’s team, plus it also gives my team something to talk about with our prospects. It’s a great way to add value and it’s a great way to plan an agenda for each and every time we do a call. Maybe we have to do a follow-up call, sometimes you gotta call six, seven, eight times to get a hold of someone. You guys know that. What better way than to offer something of value? “Hey, did you know that you’re going to get immediate alerts to reviews?” So, very, very important that we keep on track of this as well.
Todd and I are also big believers of one-on-ones and quarterly meetings. Our one-on-ones are held each week. We review metrics that have been set to meet. We talk about also the wins that the members have accomplished during the week. We also offer some feedback into some things that maybe we need to work on and maybe some topics to look at for the next one-on-one. And also too, what we’ve incorporated is there is a section within the one-on-one that each team member is able to fill out. And they fill out what they can improve on, what they felt some of their recent wins, what their goals are for the upcoming week for the next one-on-one, and any roadblocks that they feel that need to be addressed.
So that’s very important, critical feedback that Todd and I can take so that we can provide, again, we can teach, we can keep on learning, but also too we may need to take it to other areas of the company to say, “Hey, we have a roadblock here.” Say for instance, our phone system is down constantly, we need to fix it. So that gives us some feedback that we can take to people higher than us to address. Also too, their feedback has our members engaged in their own success. It makes them very, very invested in their successes. So that’s very, very important as well. What team member doesn’t want to be invested in their own success? It’s money in their pocket, right? Plus, it’s sense of accomplishment as well.
Right here is a picture of my team’s sales development leader board. This photo was taken yesterday at around noon on July 12. This is what it shows: it shows daily and monthly metrics that we’re striving to meet, calls per day, presentations per day that we’ve booked. It also shows there presentations to date for the team. We want to hit 200 or more per month. We also would like to hit 10 per day combined for presentations, with presentations booked. And we have a running total for each individual as well.
And also too, with this leader board, we also talk about the calls per day and the talk time. We have four scheduled meetings per day. We have one standup that’s at the beginning of the day where we review the goals for the day plus offer some coaching tips if we need to or coaching moments. And three call-up dates that we have each day to review these metrics and if the team is on pace to meet those metrics. Todd and I, we feel this is very powerful when we update the board on each of the call update meetings that we have or on the fly, where Todd’s team — and I’ll show his board in just a minute here — but on the completed presentations we do a running total because that’s what our team gets paid on. This is very, very motivating to the team.
And also too, you can’t hide. The board is out there for everybody to see. There’s nowhere to hide. It’s accountability, so if you notice there that some team members maybe are lagging behind with the presentations that they’ve booked to date, well, they want to catch up to the guys that are in double digits. It’s very, very motivating. It’s accountability that they gotta do better and they want to do better than the next guy. They want to keep up, they want to keep up the pace. We feel that the metrics board…it’s accountability. There’s nowhere to hide. Our CEO can come down. Our VP of sales can come down. Our Chief Marketing Officer, Jeff Tomlin, can come down. Mike Brennan, who is our Chief Financial Officer can come down at any time and they see this board. There’s nowhere to hide from anybody in the company. Our success members can come down and see this board, nowhere to hide. Also, it’s very, very motivating when each member goes up and they book the presentation and they can update it themselves.
This is Todd’s team, this is their metric board. This was also taken yesterday as well, on July 12. And it shows their total closes per month, total units per month, the presentations that have been completed per month. Sorry, what it shows is the closes and units per month and it shows the talk time and the calls and setup fees that they’ve collected. But also Todd has a metric that they have to meet, which is 25 presentations completed per month as well. And they also have four scheduled meetings. They have a standup, where Todd’s team, they will review their goals they have set for the day but also too what they have in their pipeline. Todd may ask, “Hey, what pending deals do you have on the board today? How many presentations do you have today? Are you close to closing business today?”
And they also have three call-up dates per day as well, like us, to go through the calls, to talk time, and just to talk about and discuss how some of the presentations have gone. And again, this is very motivating for Todd’s team. It’s accountability, there’s nowhere to hide. And when you see here Todd, who has two closes in the month, and you see someone like Justin, who hasn’t gotten any yet, that’s very motivating for Justin because now he wants to go in and close business. Or Jeff, who is tied with Todd, that’s very motivating, Blair, Ryan, and Craig, who are one behind Jeff and Todd, they want to catch up to those guys. So again, they see that board each and every day. And again, it’s very, very motivating. Nowhere to hide. We’ve created a culture of success.
We always to like focus around here, Todd and I, about the wins. And the wins are very important. Yes, there’s always some things that we have to work on, but we also want to focus on the win. And it’s very simple, here’s the win: if my team books a presentation, it’s one bell ring. If Todd’s team, anybody off of Todd’s team, if they close a partner, if they sign on a new partner, it’s a multi-bell ring. Todd and I live for this. When we hear the bell ring, this is a big, big smile across our face. While we have individual goals to meet, everyone on the sales floor celebrates when an SDR or BDR rings that bell. There’s applause, shout-outs, way-to-gos, it’s very, very motivating. Guys stand up and high-fiving, it’s awesome. And that’s what we are trying to build, is we want to build celebration, hey, we want to build wins. That’s what we’re here for. We want to book presentations for our BDR teams and we want our BDRs to sign on new partners.
I got a picture here. I took one actually earlier today of Todd, who is the BDR. He’s in the white shirt there. As you can see, he had a very busy day. He loves presenting our re-brandable software solution to our partners. And there’s Myron, who is one of our newest BDRs in the background there, he’s also on a presentation. Our SDR team has done a great job of keeping these guys busy and our BDR team would not have it any other way. They love being on presentations. Our teams work hard and Todd and I wouldn’t be where we’re at without each member doing their part. Their drive really gets us excited.
So, after six months, with specialized teams, with the SDR and BDR team, and we have to give a shout-out to our marketing team, who works hard alongside us to deliver qualified leads. What have we done? We’ve developed a winning culture. And with this winning culture, our teams have been breaking records as a result of the hard work that Todd and I have done to align expectations and help to develop talent. So, we have reason to celebrate. Just to cite some examples here, last month Todd’s team closed 36 new partners. That is huge in the month of June. That was very, very exciting. And among those 36 new partners that were signed, the two newest members of the BDR team, Craig and Myron, their first full month doing presentations, slowly being ramped up into the regular rotation, they signed three partners each. And they’re back at it again. They are signing new business again this month. So it’s very, very exciting to see the BDR teams breaking records.
And also, my team, last month we booked 202 total presentations, that is a record. And in the month of April, we had 158 completed. So, that’s our magic number is 158 completed. We want to over that sometime. And I just want to reiterate again why we built, where we’re at with this and where we’re going to go with this. We built the winning culture. Todd and I, we don’t want to have it any other way. Our staff comes in each and every day to work hard, to bust their butt, and close business or book presentations and they’re hungry, they’re motivated, and we’ve built that into them. It’s what keeps us striving every day to be world class and we’re going to keep striving to be world class.
SDR Team Lead
Rich Seaward can usually be found planning ways to win from behind the bench as a head coach for his home town's senior hockey team, making that key defensive play in the infield, punching out a timely hit on the baseball diamonds or on the golf course trying to hit "that shot."
Rich brings that same focus to his role as an Account Manager here at Vendasta, ensuring partner success.. An avid reader, Rich likes to add to his growing library with autobiographies, historical events, poker strategies, sports events and sales focused material. Rich is eager to put his planning and coaching skills to work helping current partners grow their existing business in the online presence and reputation management space.
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