The Secret of top-performing SDRs (Transcript below)

  • 24th Mar, 2024


So the other day I was asked a question that I had never been asked before. Josh, imagine that you’re a new SDR expected to make cold calls, but you’re not getting much training. How would you go about doing it?

Rather than telling you let me show you so imagine intercom hires me as a new SDR and I’m not getting much training. On day one. I’m going to answer these five questions to the best of my ability. Day number 1), what’s one “specific” title that I’m selling to. Not a persona, just a specific title?

2) What job are they trying to get done every single day?

3) How are they getting it done today? Specifically?

4) What terrible no good, very bad thing happens if they keep using their current solution. Why terrible? No good, very bad. Because products have no value without problems. So I’m gonna problem train myself. Instead of product training myself

And finally, number 5), What changes for the better after people give intercom money? What superpower do they give the customer? What can customers do because of intercom that they can’t currently do? How do I get the answers to all those questions? If im not getting much training? Google search, search the intercom website.

And after doing that, I found a wonderful illustration that answers all of these questions. I’m going to share that with you. So you can get some context and then show you how I applied what I learned to a talk track that I would use if I was making cold calls.

So who am I selling to imagine there’s this person and their job is to manage a bunch of customer support agents. There’s like 30 of them sitting in a room and what they do all day is they respond to problems customers have with the software in chat and email. That’s all they do are trying to resolve these issues for customers. Let’s take a look at how they do this.

Before intercom Let me switch my screen over to right now. A customer will start a chat with an agent and they will say something like this.

Customer: Hey, I can’t create a report

Agent: sorry to hear that. What happens when you try?

Customer: it gives me an error telling me I need to delete one

Agent: Ahh, I see. What plan are you on? What’s your account number?

Customer: How do I check

Agent: go to Settings, account plan

Customer? I’m on the basic plan.

Agents: ahh the base plan only allows for five reports. So you need to delete one. Are you the account owner?

Customer: I’m not sure

Agent: Do you see manage my plan?

Customer: Nope.

So you can see the issue here where they’re getting it done today is they’re going back and forth. The agents trying to collect a lot of information to troubleshoot the issue. The terrible no good, very bad thing that happens if you do that is it takes a long time to collect all that information multiplied by all the customers and all the agents – so resolving tickets is expensive.

The other terrible thing that happens is if this takes a long time, customers get frustrated and they can start to complain on social media. And when people complain a lot, the sales start to suffer.

So now we have a picture of the job how they’re gonna get done today. And the terrible no good, very bad thing that happens if they continue with their current solution. Now let’s see the superpower. That intercom gives the agent.

So here’s the same customer asking the question but this group has intercom and the customer asked the question, intercom is automatically able to pull up some relevant information about the customer without the agent having to ask. For example, who the admin is, what plan they’re on and how many reports they’ve used.

So rather than going through all that information on the left hand side, they can simply say this, your current plan which was the basic plan allows you to have five reports this would be number six, so you need to upgrade. Just ask Alex James your account admin to do so. And settings, account and plan and the customer says, got it, Thanks. Notice how much faster it is when you have intercom.

So now that I am armed with the answer to those questions, and I can see the infomercial in my head in a very specific way, I can now start to construct a talk track. Let me show you how I would do that.

So the first thing I would do is I would actually extend the mini invitation to the person that I’m speaking with. Because when people accept my mini invitation and give me permission to talk, they’re more likely to hear me out a little bit.

There’s a couple of ways that I’ve done this over the course of 15 or 20 years. Here’s a few of my favorites. I’m a little playful on a cold call. So I might say something like this. Hey James, you’re probably going to hate me, because this is a cold call full transparency. Do you want to hang up or roll the dice? I’ve had a lot of good success with that, but it suits my personality.

Here’s another one that I’ve used. Hey, James. Josh with intercom we’ve never spoken but I was on your LinkedIn and was hoping I could ask you a couple of quick questions at the outset. And as sort of low tone, low key voice.

Here’s another one that I’ve used quite a bit. It feels good for me. Hey, James. Josh with intercom we’ve never spoken but I was hoping you can help me out for a moment. It’s less about what you say here and more about your tonality. Kind of have one I have a relaxed, low key matter of fact.

From there, what I’m going to do is I’m going to do a little discovery call. I’m not going to be a salesperson, I’m going to be a scientist. I’m going to understand how they’re getting the job done today.

Here’s what that might sound like. So John, um you know, support teams that I speak to typically use a combination of automation like chat bots, and humans to tackle support tickets. If I’m not overstepping, how are you folks tackling tickets today? And then I’m going to shut my mouth and listen, having expectations or any assumptions, and the customer is going to talk and tell me that they’re using X, Y and Z.

From there, I’m going to poke the bear. I’m going to ask a question that gets the prospect to think a little differently about their current solution. So when your customer agents are starting live chat are they able to see all the contacts they need immediately? Like if their customers and admin or what type of plan they’re on? Or do they have to ask a bunch of questions to get that information?

I’m not leading people to any desired answer. I’m a scientist having a hypothesis and poking the bear and then I’m going to listen to what the customer says, without having to try to push them anywhere.

From there, I might say something like this, called a future state cliffhanger. So with intercom your agents are able to start a live chat or email and get all the context they need without having to ask for it, so they can resolve issues faster. And then I’m going to wait and listen to see if the prospect leans forward and says well, how did that work? And now I’m in a conversation.

So hopefully this gives you an idea of how to prepare for a cold call, and how to nail the first 35 or 45 seconds. Intercom if you’re listening to this I am volunteering to work with one or two reps on this talk-track to see if it helps you make more progress when your reps are on the phone.

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