6 ways to get past the Gatekeeper with ease


Do you picture the gatekeeper as a vigilant Asgardian who doesn’t miss anything? Yes, they’re impressive people, however, if you’re working in sales you’ve got a job to do as well.

The gatekeeper, is it a term used to describe the person responsible for getting in your way towards a successful sale? The answer is: No and it doesn’t need to be.

We all know that awkward moment when the gatekeeper asks: “why are you calling?”, “what’s your message?” or “it would be better if you sent an email”.

The ball lies in the sales development reps(SDR’s) court, to come up with amazing ideas and tactics to get past the gatekeeper. So what should you do? At Cloudlead we’ve compiled an interesting list of tips and tactics you can use to get past the gatekeeper.

Ask a Question

Your method of getting past the gatekeeper needn’t be so conventional. They aren’t subject to listen to you. So, ask a question like “Hi {name}, how’re you?”

If you start by talking really fast like any typical SDR chances of going ahead are low. Great questions to ask while in order to get past the gatekeeper are as follows:

  1. “I’ve been calling regarding our ERP solution. I’m not really sure who to connect with, could you help me here?” – I know, it sounds like your confused (and that’s the point of this question). Chances are you’ll receive empathy and get forwarded to a relevant person. Your objective may be to get past the gatekeeper but remember they’re humans too and this point is a testament to it.
  2. “Hey Max, would you know someone in sales who can talk to me about how you guys are managing your inbound lead scoring?” – You’d be surprised at how knowledgeable your recipient can be. Specific questions may get you a direct transfer to someone who can answer in said company.
  3. “Hi Jillian, would you happen to know how you guys are forecasting your sales at this time?” – The gatekeeper has a wealth of knowledge. The last thing you need to do is underestimate them. This is like a mirror of point 2. Asking specific questions could either get you a forward or more information (which can help you target better).

Therefore, while targeting a company for B2B leads, asking the gatekeeper a question like “how are you sourcing leads at this time?” got us the name of the competitor they were working with and when the contract was due to end. That was valuable intelligence in terms of sales prioritization and scoring.

Respect the person(Please!) and sound confident

Being polite and respectful matters immensely. So, use the person’s name (yes, their official name isn’t gatekeeper!) and say only what you need to say. Most of the time you’ll learn that this is the best way to get past the gatekeeper. It’s about understanding their situation. They receive 100’s of calls a day, they don’t have time and all their looking for is a reason to forward the call.

So, if you sound legit, chances are you won’t be asked many questions. Think of it as another day in the office. Directly ask them to forward you to your desired person (sound like you know that person).

Try multiple entry points

Multiple entry points are necessary. There is the main receptionist, sales department, HR and customer service desks. If your product improves sales, for example, call directly to that department and ask “Hey is {name} there?”. This is why it’s important to have the right data points to fuel your pipeline. Literally, you’ll be multiplying your chances of getting past the gatekeeper.

For example, at Cloudlead we use our own data to fuel our outbound and enrich & score our inbound leads. We require sales and marketing roles and having those direct extensions to those departments matter a lot. Here’s a basic list of departments you need to keep a look out for:

  1. Sales – The sales department is responsible for bringing new business to the table, period. If you have a product that influences the cycle of pre-sale, sales and post-sale, this is your department. This is a high-pressure department meaning they don’t have time to waste on calls because they want to talk to clients.
  2. Human Resource- Hiring and firing isn’t the definition of the HR department. This department is responsible for all functions related workflow balance, hiring turnover, employee and employer satisfaction and many more. Having products that can improve employee performance, streamline the hiring process would be worth selling to this department.
  3. Marketing- Although I’ve added it separately here, there is an increasing trend of having both functions operate within one function. Sales and marketing alignment is becoming really important. This brings to the table the inception of the growth department. Marketing + sales = work that directly impacts the growth of an organization
  4. Supply Chain & production: This department is responsible for all activities related to producing a good. Supply chain alternatively is responsible for all activities from production to final delivery to the end user. How can you make their life easier? Sell solutions that make it easier to: Make purchases
  5. Accounting and Finance: This department keeps all the books intact. Furthermore, they are in close liaison with all the departments because they have to manage and approve all of the expenses.
  6. Research and Development(R&D): This department is involved with all the activities related to product innovation, product diversification, research studies and more.

That’s why its really important to choose wisely before going ahead with a b2b data provider. Read more on Stop! do these 5 things before choosing a b2b data provider.

Use a reference

Going in with a reference works with most things. It’s no different when your objective is to get past the gatekeeper. However, the reference should make sense. Examples of such references can include:

  1. Asking someone you know for an introduction instead of going pure cold: Are there any mutual connections who can make introductions? Not only would you get past the gatekeeper but chances are you wouldn’t even need to have that chat.
  2. Send an email, then call and use the email as a reference: Yes it’s old school but it still works. Get past the gatekeeper by saying that “we lost touch on email and I wanted to see if he/she has time for a quick chat”.
  3. Cross-tabulate with marketing or check the lead score: This point means that you need to check if the visitor downloaded any marketing content or was engaged with you in any way
Don’t use a script

To properly implement the above points, you need to remember that using a script won’t help. A modern SDR has a playbook to work with and guidelines. However, to get past the gatekeeper it would take more than a linear script.

You’re not meant to sell to the gatekeeper anyways so there’s no point abiding by the script. Instead, you can use impulse thought powered by the methods mentioned above to get you through to your decision maker.

Just skip past the gatekeeper (using Cloudleads direct dials):

Having a human verified direct dial would be the cure to all your woes. You needn’t bother the gatekeeper, go directly and talk to the decision maker. Getting a human verified lead with the direct dial is one of the most difficult things to get in the market. Why? because it guarantees your call will go through, that’s pretty tough information to find. Also, old ready-made lists just don’t provide that value add.

The best thing the head of sales would need is to not be worried about the data being used to capture those deals. If sales reps struggle with invalid and bad records it’s tough to pinpoint how you can improve your sales.

However, we all know that outbound sales prospecting is a numbers game.

Let’s assume you have the following stats on the table:

  • 5% – cold call to meeting conversion rate
  • 10% –  meeting to the customer acquisition rate
  • Also, 20% of your direct dials are wrong or invalid (this is a generous stat by the way)
  • Average customer pays $1000 a month
  • A typical SDR dial in 3600 prospects a month @150 a day(150*24 days)

This translates to:

720 invalid or incorrect dials– calculation: 3600*20%

11 lost potential meetings– calculation: 720* 1.5%

1 lost potential customer- calculation: 11*10%

$1000 in lost valuation per month– calculation:  1*$1000

This means if you have 15 sales representatives in your organization, you’re losing at least $15,000 per month thanks to bad data. That’s crazy, even using these generous numbers that don’t include inaccurate email and job role data. Comment below or sign up with your conversion rate and we’ll tell you how much money you could make with correct data.

So now that you know some crazy tips to get past the gatekeeper all you’ll need is the right data to fuel your outreach activities. Overall, we need to always realize how resourceful and helpful the receiver can be. That’s why being strategic will get you crushing your quota

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