What does teaching someone how to ride a motorcycle and training a new inside sales rep have in common? On the surface they may seem worlds apart.

Inside Sales Training, Basic Inside Sales Skills, 10 4 Ed

For many years I have been involved in training new motorcyclists, coaching them on the basic skills required to ride a motorcycle and eventually more advanced skills, but all built on a foundation of the basics. There are important things to know before a new rider begins to get the wheels rolling; like how to put the helmet on, what to wear while riding, knowing where the controls are, how to operate them and how to start the bike. There is a logical process and each skill learned allows the student to progress to the next basic skill. They’re building their foundation in a safe learning environment. The individuals who come to our classes range in age from 16 to 70 years old. They are all hungry to eventually experience the thrill of riding on the open road. As a rider-coach, I can only assist students in their learning, but it is up to the individual to use the information to be successful. Usually if a rider is having difficulty with a new skill it is likely they need some remediation and to remember the basics. It is easy to forget what they just learned because there is so much information to process. Usually a minor correction and they are on their way.

This is where there are similarities with training a new inside sales rep and training a new rider. There needs to be a process where basic skills are introduced. Most won’t ever get rolling if you just throw them the keys; if you do take this approach, be prepared to help them off the ground a lot. Invest in a good helmet because they will be banging their head against the wall or their desktop..

So what basic skills are required? There are more obvious ones; using the phone or computer, navigating the web effectively, being resourceful, using a CRM, email calendar, and technology skills-great got those covered. Let’s go a bit deeper. I have read a few blogs recently about listening skills. I do agree listening to your prospect is key. But I think there is a skill that precedes the ability to listen affectively. How can you help a new business development rep learn the basic skill required to simply get the prospect to pick up the phone? When they pick up the phone, how can you get them to engage in a conversation so they can use their two ears? Seems like a valuable skill to possess. If this skill isn’t present, it is highly unlikely that the rep will have much success. Are you helping your new BDRs with this basic skill?

Many of our clients feel that their only points of contact while prospecting should be the decision makers; CIO’s, CFO’s,  SVP’s and VP’s. The problem is they are extremely busy and it is incredibly difficult to get a scheduled call on their calendars. Using the top down approach is effective but many times you’ll run into the roadblaock of not getting those high levelindividuals on the phone. They won’t want to talk with you unless you have something that is important and beneficial to them. How can you find out what’s important? By asking a lot of questions and talking to several other employees within the company.

Reps need to know who else in the company would be a potential target to prospect. Who else in the company would use the product. Who else could benefit. These individuals are not who your BDR will pass but they are the individuals that will likely talk with your rep about what they do and don’t like about their current technology. This is a very effective way for your BDR to pick up small pieces of information about the company/ account to determine if there could be a fit for the solution. Each conversation should be about  gathering information; any time a BDR has a conversation, some critical piece of information about the company should be attained. Through this approach, the BDR will be armed with the best information about what is going on in the company, which ultimately should be used to get your target prospect on the phone. And when you get the DecisionMaker on the phone, your rep knows enough about the company and their challenges to have a meaningful conversation and ultimately pass a lead.

Enjoy The Ride!