How to Ace Your Initial Phone Interview

Courteney Olenzak
July 19, 2018

The following article was written by LS Alum, former BDR, and current Account Executive, Ian Salter.

Congratulations on accepting your new role as BDR at the next unicorn start-up. Modern sales is growing rapidly and you are on the forefront of an emerging field.

You’ve certainly signed up for an exciting career path in which you’ll be tasked with arguably one of the most impactful functions in any company - business development. It will be your responsibility to gain the attention of executives who get hundreds of emails, calls, LinkedIn messages, and gifts on a daily basis. The tool set that you will adopt and master will be new, exciting, and fundamentally different from what you’re used to. So how do you give yourself an edge above your colleagues & droves of other companies clambering for their attention?

In my own sales career, starting as a BDR and eventually moving onto enterprise sales roles, I’ve found specific technologies to be crucial in the pipeline generation process. These technologies are no substitute for good old-fashioned effort, but will give you a running start.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn is the largest repository of professional information in the world. Sales Navigator gives you functionality such as advanced search, undetected viewing of profiles, additional InMails to prospects, and account & prospect management. I’d recommend Navigator to do a detailed search of contacts within your territory (i.e.: if you sell to CIOs in the retail vertical with HQ solely in New Jersey, you can quickly determine the folks you need to be reaching out to). A clever way I’ve seen this used is to create a list of people who share a similar experience to you, such as a shared college, then leverage that "Rutgers" pride to get their attention.

Alyce: Alyce is a platform that allows you to run personalized gifting campaigns. You upload your contact list on the Alyce platform, then they will scrape your prospects’ publicly available social media accounts to determine a personalized gift. Alyce’s team does all the coordination so all you need to worry about is scheduling a time to discuss, if they accept your gift. Your company only buys the gift if your prospect agrees to a conversation so money isn’t being wasted to send gifts into the abyss.

Yesware: Yesware’s platform orchestrates email campaigns & provides tracking. If you need to send out a large volume of emails to various stakeholders in a prospective account, you upload your messaging for each email stage, schedule when you want them sent, and Yesware automates that entire process. Set once & forget! You’ll receive a notification when someone opens your email or clicks an embedded link. My favorite technique is to follow up an open notification with an immediate call so you know that they are at their desk or by their phone. This is a sales intelligence platform that does many things. I’ve found it to be the most accurate repository for company hierarchy, roles, & contact information, especially for larger enterprises. You can also search by relevant opportunities in your area (i.e: if you’re selling a phone system, you can search by telecom). Additionally, if you’re selling a sexy new technology, you can generate an account list of companies currently using the stodgy competition that your company has had success displacing.

Lusha: Lusha offers a Chrome extension that will scrape LinkedIn to give you a lead’s personal information such as work email, business phone, or mobile phone. I hear all the time, “email just goes to spam & nobody picks up a cold call.” Well SMS still has response rates above the 90 percentile, so find some cell numbers, and send out those texts.

Please note, many of these tools will require licenses at the company level so speak with your sales operations team to understand which tools you have available.

-Ian Salter