The most common comp-based KPI BDR’s are held to is the number of appointments created per month. Securing a qualified appointment is often the primary goal of the BDR, so using this as a significant KPI makes a lot of sense.Or does it?
Believe it or not, using meetings created as a primary way to incentivize often motivates BDR’s call strategy to be less strategic and consultative. The call strategy often turns into an arm-twisting type of conversation, where the BDR seeks for any type of verbal que from a prospect to get them to “commit” to taking a call from an Account Executive (AE).
Listen, I’m all about the assumptive close. I am in no way suggesting BDR’s should become soft on the phone and hang up after the first, second or third no. However, there is a very fine line between seeking to secure a qualified opportunity vs. trying to meet quota.
Let me give you an example of the arm-twisting close:
"I understand timing doesn’t make sense right now and there’s not an immediate need, BUT...”
But what? How this sentence should really finish is:
“…but I really need to meet quota, just agree to 5 minutes of time with my AE. It doesn’t matter whether you even show up, I just need to be able to create an opportunity in Salesforce. It’s the last day of the month!!”
Starting to get the picture? Now here’s the REAL scary part. This is just the start of the snowball of issues that follow this approach. What naturally comes afterward is a high percentage of no-show meetings now requiring the BDR to reschedule while they attempt to meet quota the next month. Where do you think the BDR will spend their time? Exactly.
And even when those arm-twisting opportunities do occur, we often find the prospect telling the AE the exact same thing that he initially communicated to the BDR, which results in the AE sending a follow-up email with information and sending it back to the BDR to nurture. All wasted time & energy from the BDR & AE.
Solutions and Strategy
Now that we have thoroughly established the problem, let’s talk about one of my favorite subjects. Creating solutions and being strategic.
To begin, your BDR Team needs a clear expectation of what their BANT (Budget, Authority, Need & Timeframe) is for a qualified opportunity. This is something you should spend a considerable amount of time thinking through, as making it too loose can motivate BDR’s to pursue “low hanging introductory call” fruit which can quickly become the majority of leads generated.
Making the BANT too detailed can place your BDR in an uncomfortable position on the phone with a prospect where they may get fielded questions they can’t address and begin impeding on the role of your AE. Ideally, you want to find the middle ground in-between both of these scenarios. Using clear & transparent BANT definitions will help guide your BDR in the right direction.
I’ve come to realize the comp-based meetings created KPI doesn’t really get me excited from the lens of a sales leader. The meeting HELD KPI…now that’s something I can dig my teeth into.
With that being said, using the meeting held KPI requires total and complete buy-in and participation from your AE’s. To translate, if the meetings are not occurring due to the AE showing up late, not showing up at all, or canceling right before the call, the BDR should not be penalized.
One recommendation is having the BDR schedule a Teams or Zoom call to introduce the AE to the prospect and once the hand-off is complete, gracefully bowing out or staying on occasionally for continual education. Live transfer processes can be a solution here as well.
When you shift the focus of your BDR’s to meetings held vs. meetings created, it becomes a complete game-changer. Your BDR becomes intensely focused on making sure each prospect shows up to the appointment by sending confirmation emails and even calling if necessary. If additional meetings are needed with other decision-makers from the original opportunity, the BDR has now created their own set of “warm leads” to follow up with. A win for the BDR, a win for the AE.
Take It To The Next Level!
Want to take it to the next level? Give the BDR a “piece of the pie” for whenever their opportunity results in closed business. The first time your BDR gets a taste of that pie, they will be the ones that push back and nurture the prospects they originally would have arm-twisted into a call. It will completely change the way they prospect, work their pipeline and qualify opportunities.
There’s obviously a lot more than can be said on this topic, but I hope I’ve given you enough to get the juices flowing and gears grinding. If you're ready to refocus your BDR Team to motivate them the right way, take the first step today. Each day this is put pn the back-burner just adds to the pile of unqualified leads being sent and energy spent working them into a black hole of no profit.