Author: Ayzia Vizcocho

Breaking Into Sales: A Day in the Life of a Successful SDR



In the “Breaking Into Sales” series, you’ll learn actionable tips and fundamental sales techniques to climb the SDR ladder and close more deals. 


Qualified leads are essential to a sales operation. There’s no point in talking to people who aren’t a good fit for your product. However, qualified leads don’t just appear out of nowhere. The process begins with thorough research and careful nurturing, and that’s where sales development representatives, or SDRs, come in.

In this article, we explain what the SDR role involves, why it’s so important, what a typical day looks like for an SDR, and actionable sales advice from Ernest Owusu, sales leader and senior director of sales development at 6sense.

 

What is an SDR?

An SDR is an individual who specializes in finding and nurturing new prospects, and determining whether those leads are a good fit for the company.

SDRs research potential customers and reach out to them to see if they’re interested in the company’s products and services. However, they don’t actually close the deal—it’s only about getting qualified leads ready for the next stage of the sales funnel.

 
Sales funnel and sale pipeline graph
 

What does an SDR actually do?

An SDR’s job is focused on lead generation and qualification rather than making the sale. Their primary responsibilities are to connect with and qualify as many leads as possible.

SDRs use a combination of market research to define the target audience or ideal customer and individual prospect research to learn about (Read more...)

How to Create a Competitive Sales Compensation Plan



This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and we are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc.


Your sales team drives your company’s revenue with its lead generation efforts. However, sales teams tend to have high turnover rates (34% on average). If your compensation plan doesn’t motivate team members to hit their numbers and stay with your organization, you won’t see business success.

A sales compensation plan is more than just commissions—it’s the total package. It should include a base salary, commissions, benefits, bonuses, contest perks and nonfinancial rewards (such as remote work opportunities, paid time off, etc.). Most importantly, the plan has to be simple enough for representatives to calculate how much they will make by closing sales.

If your sales compensation plan is too complex or lackluster, it won’t drive the sales activity needed to accomplish your goals. But with the right plan, you’ll be able to better incentivize your sales team and forecast budgets based on consistent performance.

 

4 things to include in a sales compensation plan

When creating a sales compensation plan, you need to work backward by determining the cost of a sale and the maximum payout you can afford to give a sales representative. Once you determine (Read more...)

The Lead List: 15 Hot Companies To Sell To In June



The Lead List is a monthly series that analyzes key buy signals from new additions to the Crunchbase Emerging Unicorn Board to help you fill your pipeline with new opportunities.


Despite the overall fall in VC funding in May (from $45 billion in April to $39 billion in May), 15 companies closed on fresh funding and joined Crunchbase’s list of emerging unicorns.

Why emerging unicorns should be on your radar: Emerging unicorns are private, high-growth companies valued between $500 million and $1 billion. Why should these companies matter to you? These not-yet unicorns (unicorns are private companies valued at $1 billion or above) represent a sweet spot for salespeople. They’re established, cash-rich, growing and solving a business problem that could make them the next billion-dollar unicorn. 

These newly minted emerging unicorns span a variety of industries, including foodtech, car sharing and cybersecurity. In this edition of The Lead List, we’ll take a look at these high-growth startups and equip you with all the information you need to sell to them in June.

Hot tip for salespeople: In contrast to unicorns, which get all the attention, emerging unicorns may not be as inundated with sales pitches.

 

Add these rapidly growing companies to your CRM 

Now Pro and Enterprise users can sync accounts directly from Crunchbase to Salesforce, speeding up their prospecting workflow and reducing time spent on manual data entry. Check out this Crunchbase list and add these emerging unicorn companies to your CRM.

 

Methodology

(Read more...)

The Perfect Talk-Listen Ratio in Sales That Will Help You Close Deals Faster



This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and we are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc.


Working in sales involves a lot of talking. It’s often referred to as the “gift of gab” when someone has the ability to chat to people effortlessly and create genuine connections to get them on board with what they’re offering. 

Talking less and listening more is a good rule of thumb when it comes to sales. Why? Because it offers the other person a chance to be heard, and allows the salesperson to build good rapport with the customer. 

 

What does it mean to talk less, listen more?

Listening more is a skill that virtually everyone can benefit from. When we are actively engaged in a conversation it can improve productivity, enhance negotiations and allow you to persuade the other person more easily. In addition, you can avoid conflicts and any future misunderstandings, because you have listened attentively. 

In today’s climate, communication is more important than ever, particularly when many of the conversations we’re having aren’t face-to-face. Listening intently has become a coveted skill, which can highly benefit those in customer-facing roles. 

It can help to create and build solid relationships, solve problems, resolve any issues and improve (Read more...)

How Investor Swarnali Mitra is Helping Entrepreneurial Women Build Venture-Backable Businesses



The Crunchbase “Investor Spotlight Series” is comprised of stories, Q&As and thought-leadership pieces from investors making a difference in the venture capital ecosystem.


Swarnali Mitra, an early-stage investor at Anthemis, aims to cultivate change in the financial system by investing in female-founded fintech companies in the pre-seed and seed stages.

As an individual who has lived in different parts of the world, Mitra has seen firsthand how much impact financial systems play on various areas of society. These life experiences influenced her personal mission of helping build a financially inclusive world, which eventually led to joining Anthemis, a global financial platform Mitra found closely aligned with her own values. Now through her role as an investor, she is able to support, invest and cultivate female entrepreneurs across the financial services ecosystem through the Female Innovators Lab

In this Q&A, we asked Mitra the story behind joining Anthemis, what she looks for when considering a company for investment, and the advice she’d give to founders pitching to investors. 


Q: What made you join Anthemis? 

My background is a hotchpotch of product and engineering, payments, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and public policy. I care deeply about economic mobility, inclusion and social justice. Through my journeys across the world, I have been able to closely observe the financial system’s impact on all of these areas. So when I came across Anthemis, it wasn’t hard to uncover that the work I would do would align very closely (Read more...)

Breaking Into Sales: 15 Best Google Chrome Extensions for Sales Reps in 2022



Being a successful salesperson starts with keeping yourself organized. It can be a battle to stay organized amidst sales calls, emails and meetings. The good news is, with Chrome extensions, you can leverage sales tools to help you cut down on tedious and repetitious tasks and keep your sales workflow effective and productive. 

In this article, we’ve listed 15 of the best Chrome extensions for sales professionals that offer powerful shortcuts to help you stay on-task and streamline your sales workflow. Let’s jump in:

 

Search less. Close more.

Grow your revenue with all-in-one prospecting solutions powered by the leader in private-company data.

 

Chrome extensions with CRM sync

CRM Chrome extensions are essential to a sales tech stack. A good CRM Chrome extension for sales reps improves sales performance and automation by keeping track of and organizing your contacts, so you never miss a message or lead. With a CRM sync, you can quickly push and categorize customer needs and potentials based on priority. That way, you can use your time efficiently and keep everyone on your sales team on the same page.  

HubSpot Sales logo

1. HubSpot Sales: HubSpot is a sales Chrome extension that connects to a salesperson’s Gmail account to help them track emails and connect with leads. Hubspot Sales also features useful sales productivity tools such as the ability (Read more...)

Stuf Storage Co-Founder and CEO Katharine Lau on Going After the $48B Self-Storage Industry



The Crunchbase “Female Leader Series” is comprised of stories, Q&As and thought-leadership pieces from glass-ceiling-smashers who overcame the odds and are now leading successful companies.


Katharine Lau is CEO and co-founder of Stuf, a next-generation self-storage startup recently recognized as one of Fast Company’s list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2022. Stuf partners with real estate owners to monetize underutilized space in commercial buildings as inviting, tech-enabled storage powered by hospitality-inspired service. 

Lau is passionate about reinventing consumer experiences in the physical world and leads the company’s vision and overall strategy in transforming the self-storage industry. Prior to founding Stuf, Lau led supply growth at Industrious, the nation’s largest premium shared-workplace provider, and pioneered an “industry first” asset and liability-light growth strategy. 

In this Q&A, Lau shares her journey to entrepreneurship, advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and her experience simultaneously running a startup and growing her family. 


Q: What inspired you to start your company? 

I lived in Hong Kong and Shanghai during my teenage years and saw entire cityscapes change overnight. I have been drawn to real estate ever since and made a career out of it. What I learned early on is that there are tons of underutilized real estate in commercial buildings all around us; and more often than not, it has set empty for years. That revelation inspired a years-long search for the right idea to breathe new life into these spaces. 

The “aha” moment came during the pandemic. Spring (Read more...)

How to Overcome Sales Objections



This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and we are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc.


Hearing “no” over and over again can take a toll on anyone. As a salesperson, you’re used to hearing no in all its forms: 

  • “We’ll get back to you on that.”
  • “We’ll call you when we have more time to discuss.”
  • “Now isn’t a great time for our company.”

And you’ve probably heard dozens more just like that. 

So how do you overcome sales objections? In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to overcome sales objections, share tips on how you can respond to prospects, build a solid sales objection strategy, and close more deals. 

 

Building your sales objection strategy

Winging your sales objection strategy is one option, or you could follow the steps below and build a sales objection strategy that works.

1. Listen to your prospects

It’s easy when you’re in the midst of the sales process to jump to your next talking point when your prospect starts objecting to your pitch. But it’s critical that you slow down and listen to their objections. Think of it this way: Even though they sound the same, no two common sales objections are alike. 

Not only (Read more...)

5 Reasons Your Startup Needs an SDR (and How to Recruit One)



This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and we are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc.


Sales is one of the most important aspects of any business, but it can be especially challenging for startup companies. Startups typically have limited resources, which can make it difficult to invest in sales and marketing initiatives. 

Startup owners often have to wear many hats and may not have time to focus on generating sales. They are more likely to use their time to seek funding and develop their products. Additionally, they may not have the necessary connections or experience to generate sales leads.

Despite these challenges, there are a number of things startup owners can do to improve their chances of generating sales. One of them is to recruit an SDR or sales development representative. 

 

What is an SDR?

An SDR is responsible for finding and qualifying potential leads for the sales team through cold calls, emails, social media and websites. They interact with prospective customers to understand their needs and determine if they are a good fit for the company’s products or services. 

Some people use the terms SDR and sales representatives interchangeably, but they are not the same. 

Although they both work in sales, they (Read more...)

How To Control the Risks Associated With Hyper-Growth for Responsible Scaling



Are you a startup founder who didn’t scale fast enough to outrun your competitors? I’ve been there, but you can turn it around quickly–don’t lose hope. Did you later try to scale like crazy and lose money? Many startup leaders have. 

We entered the era of startup hyper-growth over seven years ago thanks to a combination of dramatically expanded global markets, access to unprecedented later-stage private growth capital, and the ability to scale organizations with remote talent.

Therefore, many startups often seek to scale rapidly to outrun their competition to expand service offerings or products faster. Realistically, as startup founders, the message we have been fed is “it’s not first to invent but first to scale.” Naturally, that puts pressure on startups to develop faster than ever before. 

Hyper-growth startups, however, are often confronted head-on with challenges and failures when trying to scale their operations. So, how do you know when you’ve got the right innovations to grow from 25 employees to hundreds in nine months, like Paypal did? 

As the CEO of a robotic sidewalk delivery startup, the most important lesson I’ve learned is to be socially responsible with stakeholders and communicate with the communities you’ll be impacting. With this in mind, a new version of scaling is emerging on the horizon: responsible scaling. It’s a balance between money, good processes, resources, culture and networking. And here’s how to navigate it all.

 

Leave important and unimportant things for later 

Reid Hoffman, an American internet entrepreneur, venture (Read more...)