Unanet has a growing business development team tasked with qualifying inbound leads, making unexpected sales calls, and attending networking events. As Business Development Associates (BDAs) often are, the members of this team were relatively inexperienced with outbound sales calls and emails. So, Unanet enlisted Funnel Clarity’s Fearless Prospecting© training program to improve outbound connection rates and increase their team’s comfort making initial sales outreach, helping to grow the team and increase the impact of the outbound sales development function across the board.
In November 2016, Unanet was growing as a company, searching for more efficient methods to generate leads and convert them into customers. Historically, the business development team had contributed to these goals but was expected to assume more responsibility as the company expanded. Heather Hopwood, now Manager of Business Discovery at Unanet, was one of the original members of this fledgling BDA team. She recalls striving for more authentic opportunity generation through cold calls, specifically aiming to “raise the conversion rates of our cold calls to the point where we could have a substantial discussion.”
Therefore, cold call conversion rates and establishing a better rapport with prospects were identified as particular areas where the team wanted to see improvement. An additional focus was to help the growing team establish consistent and repeatable processes for new members to adopt as they joined. Unanet’s clients consist of a wide range of project-based organizations, from Fortune 500 companies to non-profits, consultants and digital agencies, so the need for a sound, widely applicable outreach process was essential.
Beginning in December 2016, Funnel Clarity trained Unanet’s BDA team on prospecting and outreach skills through a combination of on-site and virtual methods. Using the Fearless Prospecting© model, BDAs at Unanet learned how to gain access to the right people, establish credibility, pique curiosity and secure commitment to sales meetings.
After the first round of training and initial successes, several members were promoted to higher positions of authority in the sales organization, including Heather, who credits the effort she put into Funnel Clarity training for paving the way to her new role. As new hires were made, Funnel Clarity continued to train new BDAs and support existing trainees with a comprehensive reinforcement plan.
Our modular virtual training platform equipped the team with tools to practice and refine their skills at their own pace. A combination of coaching calls with sales experts and frequent check-ins from Funnel Clarity account managers ensured that the team always had the resources they needed to keep improving.
This combined virtual and on-site method proved to be particularly effective for Unanet, as Heather detailed, “Reading about effective ways to make unexpected sales calls is one thing, however, it is another to actually go through training in order to truly understand HOW to do this. Funnel Clarity’s commitment to continued reinforcement demonstrates our investment in helping clients succeed.”
The most immediate impact of Funnel Clarity’s training is a sea change in the way that Unanet’s business development looked at sales outreach, and specifically, unexpected sales calls. Instead of offering an internally-focused sales pitch, BDAs are able to put the emphasis on the prospect and use relevant information to establish credibility. Heather added, “making these calls still can be nerve-wracking, but now there is more confidence when picking up the phone because we are not just selling, we are engaging with the prospect.”
BDAs are able to use the methods taught by Funnel Clarity to quickly connect with prospects through email and over the phone. These skills have led to increased email opens, and more meetings scheduled from cold calls. The BDA team has also been able to use Funnel Clarity’s training with warm leads from webinars and other marketing activities and see higher rates of conversion than before.
Looking forward, Heather feels assured that the relationship with Funnel Clarity will continue to yield results, “Funnel Clarity provides a great platform in teaching new practices and techniques, proving the evidence to back up the success these techniques have, and continuing to provide training, webinars, etc. even after the training program is done.”