If you have been following our blogs, you would have come across some on cold emailing and cold calling. While these blogs used examples of how we do prospecting at Freshworks, we thought, why not hear exactly how we do it from our in-house Sales Development Representative (SDR), Nawin. Nawin works for the US shift and has made over 5000 cold calls in one year as an SDR at Freshworks. Here’s a description of what a typical workday looks like for Nawin in his own words.
A day in the life of Nawin
8:00 AM: Arrive at the office
As soon as I reach the office, I grab a cup of hot coffee, catch up with my colleagues and head to our daily scrum. Here we discuss what’s in our pipeline and the accounts we are going to target that day. Of course, we also celebrate small wins to keep us pumped and motivated.
Once a week, I talk to my Account Executive (AE) and strategize on the verticals to target, accounts to focus on and provide updates on the progress of interested prospects.
8:20 AM: Check and respond to emails
Check Freshsales CRM for prospects who have responded to my earlier email. If they are requesting for additional product information, I immediately send a reply with the required documents. At times, prospects ask me to remove them from my mailing list or aren’t interested in continuing the conversation further. So I quickly add a note and take them off my list so that I don’t contact them again.
8:40 AM: Plan my day
Now it’s time to prioritize my activities for the day. I open my calendar and check for calls scheduled on that day. This is really important as even the most seasoned SDRs miss appointments with prospects because they weren’t aware of the call scheduled, or they rush for one at the last minute. So I make it a point to check if I have any meetings lined up for the day and be prepared for it.
8:45 AM: Follow-up with hot/warm leads
Next, I reach out to my hot leads — those who I had earlier reached out to and have requested for a demo or signed up for a trial. I follow up with them (if I’ve any for the day) over the phone after which I start focusing on the rest of my sales pipeline.
9:00 AM: Cold calling time!
Now it’s time for some hardcore cold calling. The best time to cold call, and what’s worked for me is 1 hour in the morning, exactly after an hour I reach the office, and 2 hours before I leave office. In the first slot, I make about 20 calls and get about 3-4 proper 4-5 minute conversations. It’s a myth that the best days to cold call and set-up meetings is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday because I’ve called prospects and had opportunities on Mondays and Fridays as well.
10:00 AM: Send follow up email to prospects
I quickly send a follow-up email to prospects with whom I had a conversation, either by summing up our discussion and confirming the appointment or with documents they requested.
10:15 AM: Break!
After the first round of cold calling, I take a break for a cup of coffee and snacks. In this time, I catch up on industry news, what’s new in the competitor software and read other sales-related articles.
10:45 AM: LinkedIn prospecting
It’s time to start my LinkedIn prospecting. I use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to get a list of my ideal customers by filtering based on industry, geography, department and job title. Once I have the list of prospects, who are primarily decision makers, I send a connection request with a note that explains why I would like to connect with them.
12:00 PM: Break for lunch
After sending about 100 LinkedIn connection requests, I take a break, relax and grab lunch.
1:00 PM: Send personalized emails
After lunch, I send personalized cold emails to C-level Executives, VPs and Directors. I try to send at least 20 personalized emails; most of my research from LinkedIn.
2:00 PM: Cold calling time again
Now I start the next round of calls. This is the best time to cold call because there’s a high chance that you might end up talking to people who you’ve missed in your first round of calling, and also because they are most likely to be available post lunch. In this slot — between 2 PM to 4 PM — I make around 30 calls with an assured 4-5 conversations with prospects.
4:00 PM: Check LinkedIn
Towards the end of the day, I check my LinkedIn to see if I’ve had my connection requests accepted and send a detailed message on what we do and why I offered a connection.
4:20 PM: Prepare for the next day
I start preparing for the next day by organizing my Accounts. For instance, if I’m going to target a particular vertical, I work on getting the list of prospects to call and email tomorrow.
5:00 PM: Wrap up, go home
After all the hard work done, I now pack my bags, go home and relax.
#1: Cold calling is better than cold emailing
I believe that the best way to prospect is to cold call than to cold email (except to C-level prospects). When you send cold emails, there are chances that the prospect won’t open your email and you can’t really convince them for a meeting. It is also time-consuming. But when you cold call, there are more chances of getting the prospect to talk to you, and even if the person isn’t interested in carrying the conversation further, you can probe and find out the exact reason and maybe convince them for a meeting.
#2: Enter all activities in CRM
Make sure every activity is entered in your CRM. If you don’t have a CRM, you can maintain an account book where you can enter your day-to-day activities. This helps you focus on the task for the day, avoid confusion and ensures timely follow-up with prospects.
I also make a note of the exact time a prospect is having a conversation with me so that the next time I follow-up, I make sure I call the prospect at the same time.
#3: Cold call in slots
Cold calling in slots helps you focus on just calling up your prospects at the designated time. It not only develops discipline but also cultivates a sense of rigor and the best SDRs know that it is only wise to push themselves continually. If you’re making 50 calls a day, make it 55 the next day.
Cover illustration by Udhaya Chandran
Thanks to Radhika Bhangolai, my co-author on this blog.