Rethinking Sales Strategies: Insights from the Frontline with Will Taylor

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November 29, 2023

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Will Taylor is an experienced sales strategist and leader in the field of technology partnerships. Based in Ontario, Canada, he has a vast understanding of the tech space, drawn from his unique professional journey that spans roles in sales, partnerships, and currently as the leader of a media company creating content for the technology industry. Here’s his take on lessons in the sales and partnerships world and how a Nearbound strategy is the future of generating revenue:

Realizing the Limitations of Cold Outreach

Cold outreach, though a mainstay of traditional sales strategies, has begun to show its limitations. As a sales strategist, I've observed that even the most personalized emails might only see slight increases in response rates. The problem can be traced back to a couple of things: growing trust issues with potential customers and the overwhelming influx of communications across various platforms.

Leveraging the Power of Referrals and Influencer Marketing

What's working effectively in today's scenario, is leveraging the influence of experts within the field. Here are the steps I would follow:

Identify key influencers and experts: Spend time researching who are the thought leaders in your field and start following their work.
Engage with them: Share their work, provide valuable comments, and start discussions. Show genuine interest and demonstrate your knowledge.
Reach out: Once you've established some level of interaction, reach out to them. The goal here is to build a relationship, not to sell right off the bat.

These are the first steps to starting a Nearbound strategy. If you’d like to read more on a summary of Nearbound and how you can dive further, check out this blog post by Will.  

Redefining the SDR Role

The role of an SDR is evolving. Today, it's not just about one-to-one sales but about engaging with the wider community or ecosystem. Here are some steps to consider:

Identify where your prospects congregate: Find the forums, Slack communities, or online spaces where your potential customers spend their time.
Immerse yourself in these communities: Don’t just be a bystander. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and offer help where you can.
Build trust: Be honest and authentic in your interactions. The goal isn't to sell but to build relationships.

Breaking Into Selective Communities

For SDRs new to a job, gaining access to selective communities or influencers can be a challenge. Here's my approach:

Start with open groups: Groups like RevGenius are great starting points for networking and learning, especially for those selling sales tech or martech software.
Adopt a learning mindset: Enter these spaces with the intention to learn and network, rather than sell. Over time, this approach builds trust and establishes you as a peer rather than a salesperson.
Engage with respect: Remember that you're a guest in these spaces. Be respectful, listen more than you talk, and always strive to add value.

Sales Roles Constantly Change

As we navigate the evolving sales landscape, it’s crucial to adapt our strategies and move beyond traditional cold outreach methods. Leveraging the power of influencers and experts in our fields will open new pathways for effective sales. Building genuine relationships, immersing ourselves in the communities where our prospects congregate, and shifting our focus from direct selling to providing value can establish the trust that is so crucial in the sales process. By engaging with prospects and thought leaders alike, we can position ourselves as trusted peers rather than just another salesperson.

Moreover, it's essential to acknowledge that sales development roles are evolving. They are no longer just about one-to-one engagement but rather about becoming a part of the larger ecosystem. SDRs are becoming networkers and learners, focusing on building relationships rather than just making immediate sales. This change requires us to immerse ourselves in the environments where our prospects operate, from Slack communities to online forums and influencers' circles. By aligning with trusted voices in the community and understanding the ecosystem where our competitors operate, we can successfully navigate the new sales landscape and attain success in our endeavors.

P.S. For a more comprehensive guide about how Nearbound drives sales and revenue, read this summary.