June 13, 2017 by Ashwini Murthy

CEOs and co-founders sell better than the SDRs in a company. This isn’t just a statement. It is a fact. Why wouldn’t it be? Say, you identify a pain point and come up with a stellar solution. You then go ahead and make a prototype and convince people to invest in your idea. Then, you build a company and offer the solution to companies who are suffering from said pain-point. Wouldn’t that make you pretty darn good at selling, too?

So, is that what it takes to sell better? If so, how can non-founder sales reps do as well or better than founders?

Point a good SDR towards a qualified prospect, he may or may not close it. Give him enough context about why he’s selling it to them, there’s a very good chance that he closes the deal. Context is an insight based on market research, a point of view that comes out of experience or a data point that’s factual.

Say, your company takes care of fulfilment for e-commerce companies. You have software that integrates with offline, web and mobile systems of your client to keep track of the orders. You immediately reach out to the CTOs of e-commerce companies. Because, hey, you sell tech and who better than the CTO for decision-making, right? Nope.

Knowing whether an e-commerce company has an offline presence or its own warehouse will help you customize your pitch better. Finding out which fulfilment company already works with them tells you whether to spend your time on that account or not. Once you delve into such insights you’d realize that a CTO is merely someone who helps make the decision but the one who cuts the cheque is the head of e-commerce operations or logistics. Sounds obvious in the hindsight, right?

What makes the founder a better sales rep than the actual sales team? Context. The former knows why s/he is selling the product.

Founders know what makes their product a great match for their client. They research and look at the data like you wouldn’t. They connect the dots by intuition.

Context isn’t just extra information to help an SDR sell better. It is to help them empathize with the prospects and understand their problems better. A prospect is like somebody you’re dating. They should feel understood. Nobody wants to be ‘sold to’. They want you to think about them and their problems all the time instead of your sales quota.

One of PipeCandy’s clients was receiving less than 1% response rate for the email pitches. This was mainly because all they did was pitch their software. We helped them identify prospects who used competitor’s products. Then, we helped them write specific emails. It helped their prospects understand what they’re missing by using a competitor’s product. The tone of the campaign was around how their problems could be solved if they use our client’s software. Response rates increased by 5x. 25% of the responses were positive and 30% neutral.

Good prospecting starts with the right questions. To ask the right questions, you need context. Contact data is the ‘how’. It’s the workflow. Context data is the ‘why’ and it’s the intelligence that separates you from the guy who called your prospect five minutes before you.

This applies even for cold email campaigns. A “hey I notice you use this product. Here’s why we can suit you better” works way better than “Hi, we do this and this. Can we give you a demo?”. With enough context, you can give the email response rates a boost.

What if the prospect is already using a product like yours? Then, tell them how your product can give them a better solution.

Insights can influence the buyer’s perception of you and your product. After all, a prospect needs to open her mind before opening her wallet.

Ashwini Murthy

Content marketer @ PipeCandy

A writer by day. Illustrator by night. Currently trying to conquer the B2B marketing world one baby step at a time. Loves everything outside her comfort zone.