How the Right Coaching Can Turn Your Callers into All-Stars
Cold calling prospects for lead generation campaigns can be a daunting task for business development representatives (BDRs), especially if they’re inexperienced. From an awkward greeting to the wrong tone of voice to a lack of knowledge of the clients’ services, there are multiple blunders that can derail the conversation.
However, the best lead gen organizations understand that you can’t have successful BDRs without first identifying quality candidates, and then providing them with the proper tools they need to thrive. They know that the more comfortable and confident a BDR is, the more productive they’re going to be—and the better results they’re going to deliver for the client.
With this in mind, VSA has always prided itself on creating a positive and nurturing work environment. The efforts have not gone unnoticed by our employees, who have once again named VSA one of the best places to work in the greater Philadelphia region this year.
But we’re not resting on our laurels. In recent months, we’ve added initiatives to ensure that our BDRs are not only adequately prepared to start calling from day one, but are also constantly receiving the support they need to hone their skills. Here are some of the strategies we’ve employed:
1. Intensify the new hire training process: Initial training that once took three days now lasts two weeks, with a dedicated team working directly with each group of new hires. A least once a month (or more often, depending on need), a new group of BDRs is brought in for a thorough onboarding process that fully prepares them to be productive appointment-setters by the time they start making calls.
The extended training period also allows VSA team members to identify which BDRs might not have the necessary skills or makeup for the job before they start making calls. (Let’s face it, cold calling isn’t for everybody.) Most importantly, clients don’t have to worry about the experience level or professional background of the BDRs working on their campaign—every caller is a quality caller.
2. Expand the coaching: Just as a football team wouldn’t win many games if it only practiced or reviewed films once a month, BDRs would struggle to improve if they only occasionally received feedback on their performance. Our BDRs now receive coaching and performance feedback on a weekly basis, regardless of tenure.
A football coach also wouldn’t succeed without assistants. Rather than one coach responsible for all BDRs, we have created a complete Quality and Training team, ensuring that calls are monitored with greater frequency and that the entire BDR team receives the necessary coaching.
In addition, program managers, junior program managers, and team leads have all recently undergone QA training beyond their program-specific training, expanding the size of the BDR coaching staff even further.
3. Develop new training programs: Whether it’s learning new skills or refreshing old ones, there are always ways for BDRs to up their games. We are working on developing training curriculums that will address specific elements of the job—complete with “VSA Graduation” certificates when all requirements are passed.
The Quality and Training team is also launching refresher training that will focus on everything from general sales strategies to program-specific goals.
4. Increase BDR hours: VSA has always provided flexible scheduling options for employees, and we continue to do so. But we also know the more experience a BDR amasses, the more comfortable they’ll be on the phone.
That’s why we’ve recently increased the minimum expected weekly hours for both existing and new BDRs. It allows us to better meet our clients’ needs, while also giving our BDRs added time to strengthen their techniques, familiarize themselves with more programs, and receive more training.
All of these strategies are designed to empower our BDRs to get the most out of their abilities, so our clients, in turn, are receiving the best possible services and results we can provide.
It’s already paying dividends. BDRs who were previously average performers have become much more self-assured and effective. And it’s not just inexperienced BDRs who have benefitted from the added support. One already-strong caller followed up a recent morning coaching session by setting multiple appointments that afternoon.
Not only is this enhanced support strategy making callers more efficient, it’s inspiring them to want to perform better—they aspire to prove to their coaches and trainers that they took their lessons and advice to heart.
All of it makes for a better experience for everybody—the BDR, the prospect, and the client.
Want to learn more? Give us a call. We’re happy to share our support.