Sales Prospecting Playbooks: A Guide for SaaS SDRs & AEs
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Sales Prospecting Playbooks: A Guide for SaaS SDRs & AEs

Wissam Tabarra

Wissam Tabarra

Mar 01

Sales Prospecting Playbooks: A Guide for SaaS SDRs & AEs

Efficient sales processes are invaluable for SaaS companies. Under the wide umbrella of sales fall various plays - outreach, lead qualifications, demos, sales prospecting, and follow-up and close plays, to name a few. 

A vital ingredient in the SaaS business success recipe, sales prospecting can uncover revolutionary new business opportunities through calling, emailing, and LinkedIn invitations to connect. 

Read on as we dive deeper into why sales prospecting works in favor of scaling SaaS companies, and how a sales prospecting playbook might fit your business model and needs. 

Sales Prospecting, in a Nutshell

Behind every successful sales rep, there is a carefully designed sales prospecting playbook. As part of the wholesome sales picture, sales prospecting playbooks teach you how to target potential leads and turn them into valuable purchasers. Sales prospecting enables maximum efficiency and divides prospecting tasks among designated teams of BDRs, SDRs, and AEs, who then aim to close qualified and tested leads. 

With a clearly defined sales playbook, SaaS companies can fortify their sales funnel as a whole and strategize their next sales move far better - without missing out on the important factors. 

The Benefits of Sales Prospecting

Some of the leading advantages of sales prospecting for a SaaS include:

  • More clients. When you do it right, prospecting will save you the trouble of losing customers. Prospecting ultimately retains more buyers under your company’s belt and gives reps a chance to do their best work and attract a strong client base.  

  • More revenue. With prospecting, you help grow the number of buyers and increase your performance as a salesperson.

  • Qualification. A key part of prospecting is qualifying the prospects themselves. This is done by devising qualifying criteria to help you determine who earns you the most profit as a prospect. This allows reps to boost their sales game where it counts the most. 

  • Collecting data. A qualified prospect does not mean a definite sale. Often, reps will use prospecting as a means to gather data alone or to do more detailed market research. Be it via text surveys or emails, there are useful tools to collect valuable and specified prospect data based on which you’ll develop future sales strategies. 

The Benefits of Sales Prospecting Playbooks

Some of the perks of relying on a reputable sales prospecting playbook are:

  • You get to implement already tested formulas which helps cut time for BDRs and AEs.

  • You create less content and dedicate your time to selling products and services instead.

  • You emphasize and better implement the most efficient sales sequences and methods.

  • You get a step closer to becoming an elite seller. A playbook is the best tool for BDRs and AEs looking to master prospecting and take their strategies to the next level. 

Where to Look for Prospecting Playbooks? 

Looking for what has worked for others is always a good start. BDRs, SDRs, and AEs can do the same and start with these resources - 

  • The online realm. PDFs, visual presentations, articles, guides - you name it, the Internet has it. With many reliable sources online, professionals are not shy to explore new venues and use online prospecting playbooks for guidance. 

  • Looking at the competition. Sales reps can look at what other leaders in the field do in terms of prospecting. They can borrow one another’s tricks of the trade and keep up with the latest trends on how to turn leads into vital relationships. 

  • Looking at teammates. Reps can also look at their company peers for inspiration. After all, learning firsthand and from someone who you share a vision with is the fastest track to mastering prospecting as a salesperson. 

  • LinkedIn. More than an employment platform, LinkedIn provides handy guidance on reputable prospecting playbooks to use. Tested, tried, and approved, LinkedIn is the goldmine for many reps who wish for a fresh take on prospecting.  

  • Courseland. From Udemy to field experts, prospecting playbooks have never been more accessible to those willing to learn the ropes. Affordable, brief, and certifiable, online courses do the trick in informing you, training you, and setting you up for success.   

The Challenges of Implementing Playbooks 

Not all is rainbows and glitter in the business of sales prospecting. Some of the challenges that come with implementing a prospecting or a sales playbook include:

  • Difficult to create. 52% of professionals across 144 organizations agree that prospecting playbooks are a tough nut to crack. Every organization is different, so it all lies in the specific details the playbook ought to incorporate.

  • Update complications. 60% of surveyed pros noted that creating a prospecting playbook is hard to keep updated. The trick is to prioritize what needs updating the most. 

  • Different outreach channels. Outreach channels are not the same between different companies, so using someone else’s practices is not always a possibility. 

Established Sales Prospecting Methods to Try 

There are quite a few star sales representatives on LinkedIn and other channels and we have compiled a list of the best sales prospecting playbooks according to us. 

The JMM Playbook 

If your goal is to maximize outreach tactics, the JMM Playbook should be a go-to. 

The Justin Michael Method features the following steps:

  • Touchpoints should be coordinated two days apart - no more. In practice, it will take 2-2.5 weeks to go through 3 email clusters supported by phone calls. 

  • Keep a calm speaking tone and write in a casual tone. Don’t depict yourself as overly confident and avoid differentiating.  

  • Keep product or service claims clearly directed. Value your prospects’ time.

  • Put emphasis on phone action. Use the Route-Ruin-Multiply method as part of your cold calling efforts. 

  • With Visual Merchandising, lead with your name and number.

  • Following the first phone call, move on to emailing. If there is no response, be sure to engage with a follow-up email within two days.  

  • Create an initial reply bump (eg. “Thoughts?”). Next, create dynamic diagrams, product GIFs, report screenshots, etc.  

  • Keep your emails no longer than 3 sentences - or less. The shorter, the better. Put an accent on the prospect’s pain - then offer a CTA solution. Include a practical example. 

  • Gentle yet defined CTA works the best. A conversational and casual tone works wonders. 

  • Practice the process with 3-5 insiders - VPs, Directors, etc. 

  • If there are no favorable results in 2 weeks, change the lineup with a connection to the person you excluded. 

The Fanatical Prospecting Playbook by Jeb Blount

This Jeb Blount playbook depicts the well-trained sales leader and makes a case for consistency, performance, and putting a few neat tricks into action. The Fanatical Prospecting Playbook derails from traditional prospecting and offers a view into how cold calling techniques - among others - can lead to fruitful prospecting. 

  • Cold call. Use a list of hot leads and interrupt them - it’s the essence of selling and interacting. Do the same with existing customers as well.  

  • Aim for a 25%-30% contact rate. For example, if you dial 100 prospects, between 25-30 people will answer the call. After all, phones are attached to users these days and aren’t only office-based, which increases the pick-up rate, sometimes even up to 80%.  

  • By doing 30% pick-up rates, or around 50 dials, 2-5 of those conversations will turn into definite deals. 

  • Ideally, you want to dedicate 3 power hours per sales rep. After powering through these calling hours, take 30 minutes to update your CRM. Don’t multitask, but rather be consistent with your dials. Take the noise out and focus only on one goal at a time. 

  • Prospect early in the morning. 

  • Know your prospects instead of generalizing through them. Run a list of prospects close to buying a deal or extending their former one. A prospecting block can be useful to build a better attitude, grow more confident, and ultimately, sell better. 

Thibaut’s Upsell Playbook

Upsells can make or break the process of generating revenue. To get a proper hang of how upselling works and how it can boost your prospecting strategy, peek inside Thibaut’s Upsell Playbook

For step-by-step guidance, here’s what to pay attention to:

  • Identify 5 customers you worked with. Compile a list of buyers, determine the services they purchased, and assess the values they earned you. The top 5 on the list should be your most valuable customers or those who purchased more than one product/service.   

  • A thank you email comes next. Once you have a grip on who to reach out to, craft a thank-you email with a focus on the product/service the customers purchased. Address them personally - by their first name - and be specific about what your thanks are concerning. A greeting plus a 3-4 line thank-you message works best for the first part. 

  • Target a problem - offer a teaser solution. Ask customers if they know others who are having problems similar to theirs. Then, tease a possible resource to the problem. Be specific about the issue you are offering a solution for. 

The 5X5 Method

The 5x5 method requires no particular math - you pick 5 accounts and 5 prospects and focus on each account per week. You can even use Truebase to implement this method faster:

  • Plug in your ICP definition in Truebase.

  • With smart filters, identify 5 accounts in your ICP. 

  • Use personalization tags alongside research in sequences.

  • Use persona-based sequences by using roles in Truebase.

  • Choose multi-channels for outreach. Get a LinkedIn profile, phone, and email from Truebase to run a multi-channel campaign. 

Truebase’s Playbook 

We at Truebase do a lot of outreach ourselves and have achieved reply rates above 10% with our in-house playbook. Here are a few steps that have landed us great results:

  • Use a clear ICP definition to get accounts that fall in your circle of competence. 

  • Define buyer personas and identify their roles within the buying committee.

  • Use smart filters like keywords describing your prospect’s business to find similar companies. 

  • Acquire recommendations in your ICP based on companies that converted from your previous campaigns. 

  • Implement personalization to craft a relevant message and connect with leads across multiple channels like email, LinkedIn, and mobile. 

With so many proven playbooks to test, want to save some time on prospecting? We’ve got you covered. Try out Truebase to quickly find quality prospects that are truly in your ICP with the most advanced filters in the market. Get started today without putting your card on file. 

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