Solid leads are foundational to effective selling — and creating an ample supply of them relies on a sound generation strategy.
As a senior enterprise sales development representative at San Francisco-based TripActions — whose platform assists companies with managing business travel — Daniella Schuh uses resources and techniques like LinkedIn research and cold-calling to identify and cultivate relationships with potential leads.
“It's very important to build rapport from the start with the right leaders to get buy-in,” Schuh said.
To help convert those leads, Schuh makes sure to brief account executives on pertinent info to ensure “full alignment” between both parties. According to Schuh, tools like a “pre-call document” equips teammates with relevant intel.
“This step has been very important because it helps the AE deliver the most value based on the customer’s needs and pain points,” she said.
And, like a developer might take an iterative approach in order to improve software, so too can lead generation strategies be refined and tweaked to bolster effectiveness.
“There’s definitely a learning culture here to leverage these deals — closed or not — to better understand what worked and what didn’t in order to iterate on strategy and improve for the future,” Schuh said.
Ultimately, the exercise is one of teamwork and collaboration.
“Together with the other SDRs on my team, we’re constantly sharing ideas and wins with each other for continuous enablement and improvement,” she said.
Here’s how Schuh identifies leads, creates rapport to drive relationships forward and empowers her teammates to ultimately move the sales needle.
What's the most effective lead generation strategy you've tried?
Most of the meetings I generate start with LinkedIn. I’ve leveraged LinkedIn to research companies and potential prospects, as well as build relationships by engaging with their posts and articles in order to better understand them and create warmer connections.
I’ve found it effective to leverage my personal and professional network as a way to engage with leads. Once I’ve made a connection, I give them a call as soon as I can to keep myself top of mind for them. This strategy has been effective for opening the conversation with a warm introduction. I’ve been able to build better relationships in the first conversation, helping to then land a next meeting with the appropriate business stakeholder.
Cold calling is a huge part of our role as SDRs. During our team cold-calling sessions, I also play an active listening role to learn from the different approaches and strategies we use in our conversations so that I can implement them in my future calls.
It's very important to build rapport from the start with the right leaders to get buy-in.”
How do you gauge the quality of the leads you're generating? What CRM technology are you using to capture this data?
I gauge the quality of leads I generate by looking at the company and persona I schedule meetings with. If it's an ideal customer profile (ICP), recognizable logo or a larger company, I consider it a win, especially when it’s the trifecta of all three. When crafting my lead generation strategy, I like to target C-level executives, VPs and directors in finance or procurement, given our industry. It's very important to build rapport from the start with the right leaders to get buy-in.
We use Salesforce as our CRM. It’s definitely rewarding to see my leads move through our sales funnel and ultimately to “close-won.” There’s definitely a learning culture here to leverage these deals — closed or not — to better understand what worked and what didn’t in order to iterate on strategy and improve for the future.
It’s a true team effort with the camaraderie and supportive culture of our team.”
How do you work with the sales team to convert leads and refine your lead generation strategies over time?
I work closely with AEs to prepare and share as much context as possible before the calls I schedule for them. I usually create a detailed and organized pre-call document and schedule one-on-one time with them to make sure we have full alignment. This has been effective in bridging the gap and ensuring a warm introduction between the prospect and AE. This step has been very important because it helps the AE deliver the most value based on the customer’s needs and pain points.
Together with the other SDRs on my team, we’re constantly sharing ideas and wins with each other for continuous enablement and improvement. It’s a true team effort with the camaraderie and supportive culture of our team.