Strategic Prospecting Tips | Insider Advice From Zendesk


Strategic Prospecting Tips | Insider Advice From Zendesk

2020 has been full of challenges – especially when it comes to leading a sales prospecting team.

We got fifteen SDR leaders in the B2B SaaS industry to tell the stories behind their recent pivots. In each article in this Strategic Prospecting Tips series, you’ll find real, unfiltered advice from one Sales Development Leader that’s influencing the B2B SaaS industry worldwide. 

Today we’re hearing from Kier Johnson, BDR Manager at Zendesk. Let’s jump on in! 

Tell us a bit about yourself

My business development philosophy is anchored by a belief in outstanding client service and value proposition coupled with proactive, focused sales strategies.

How has COVID affected Zendesk?

It’s been a wild ride since the start of the year, but thankfully COVID hasn’t slowed us down much. Perhaps at a micro-level, if you go into specific verticals – but we have had no layoffs whatsoever here at Zendesk.

Naturally, business has slowed in some areas, but overall we have managed to sustain the growth that we have seen over the last couple of years. Being a BDR has been a challenge; there’s no doubt about that. But as some markets wane, others seem to appear out of nowhere.

How changed your sales development team in response?

There haven’t been many significant changes honestly. We have been able to sustain our growth rate, with inbound, and have been able to carry on as usual.

There is always a demand for customer service software, so while some of our typical clients are in the travel industry, we have seen new industries like contact tracing and government bodies pop up. But what really matters is getting the right products to the right team, which has allowed us to grow exponentially.

What’s the most significant pivot you’ve made?

Our pivot was not pivoting. A lot of companies are out there trying to do different things, but we thought, ‘Let’s not make any rash decisions here.’ We knew that in three or four months, we would have to do a major change to go back to what we were doing before, which we know works.

We have to accept that results will naturally go down a bit for a while, but when things go back to normal, we’ll be ready because we will already be in touch with those potential clients. We changed our messaging a bit to support that, as well as a shift to going after the lower-tier customers.

After BDRs struggled to get traction with larger enterprise companies, we decided to do something we wouldn’t typically do and go after lower-tier customers – and it’s been working for us.

Usually, our BDRs focus on acquiring new business. But, as that was affected by recent world events, we aligned them to lower value customer accounts to see if there were opportunities for upselling. We also doubled down on outbound and kept calling and emailing even though it was tough. We had a solid finish to the quarter – our efforts paid off in the end.

Want all 15 actionable prospecting tips? Download our latest ebook featuring advice from some of the best SDR leaders in the game.

Sales Prospecting Tips Ebook | OppGen

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