sales development reps best practices

Best Practices for Sales Development Reps (SDRs) in 2018

Written By
Rahul Thakur

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Defining the Work of Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)

By moving the leads effectively through the sales pipeline, SDRs are more towards lead generation, appointment setting and focus on prospecting. This way, they specifically help with lead qualification process and let the account executives focus on closing the deals. Pioneered by technology companies like Salesforce and Oracle, the concept of sales development has since emerged as a proven tactic for reaching out key decision makers and penetrating target accounts.

That one word or a gesture nicely slipping through the conversation, maybe that confident tone that was maintained throughout the pitch, got the client hooked on the deal from the very beginning. High time we shift the spotlight from the ultimate deal closers to the Sales development reps (SDR) as they are the real go-getters of the sales and marketing world. I mean, what are the off chances of you being able to strike a conversation with a complete stranger and get him to give their busy hours, in just a few minutes of talking?

Gone are the days of pushy, slimy and aggressive ways and truth be told, it takes a lot of zeal and confidence to get them to talk. So, a lot of skill is stored, and a lot of learnings can gather from an SDR. They are the first ones to interact and directly approach the clients with the product and service. At times, the whole marketing plan can just be based on the insights from an SDR and would do better than ever.

SDRs As the Educators 

SDRs are the educators who offer insights to solve the problems of the customers and improve customer experience. But, the problem is no-one wants to talk to them. If you peek into the life of an SDR, they devote most of their time in devising tactics to make their customers talk and following up from where they left last. The diverse approach that they take in connecting with every new client gives way to further market the product and services.

Many big and small organizations are actively getting into a team structure as the use of sales development team is pacing up and turning out to be a game changer for success. According to a 2015 Bridge Group survey of 303 B2B companies, 63% of respondents reported having created a dedicated sales development team to front-end their closing reps with qualified opportunities. This team primarily focuses on driving the sale cycle and fetching qualified appointments. The idea has been around for quite some time but, suddenly came into the limelight as these players are at the forefront and are actually capable of changing the growth graph with direct interaction.

Aaron Ross, the bestselling author, and consultant who helped Salesforce grow from $5m to $100m ARR has been very outspoken as to why companies need to get on board with this type of thinking. He says specialized roles within SDR teams create “true experts…not dabblers,” allow more “teamwork and collaboration.” and ultimately generate “a structure for repeatable success.”

Sales development team has been given different names and been divided into various roles to complete the sales cycle. They are required to behave more than just telemarketers and focus on more than just getting leads. There is a set procedure to work and make a definite impression on the client. People are now informed enough to hang up on unimportant interactions and in order to crack the first meeting, creative communication is becoming the key to progress.

The Three Primary Channels That SDRs Use to Stay on Top of Their Leads Include: 

Social Media: A great platform for reaching out, it helps in introducing yourself while finding leads through research.

Further, adding them to the network and starting a conversation makes it an effective and constant way of communication.

Emails: A well-versed email definitely gets a response. There is a way to work with words and it should work well with no spamming. Personalization can lead to greater response rate with enticing subject lines and impressive body copy.

Phone calls: This part is crucial for any company as this is where leads are generated. The more genuine the conversation sounds, the more likely the decision makers will be interested in sharing their needs.

This, in turn, ensures good leads get added to the pitch and bad leads are filtered out in the process. For the effect, only right people can get the team to meet the goals.

Specialization is the key to score numbers in sales. This means the teams are required to focus and optimize each role instead, or just closing the deals. Prospecting will get them to achieve positive appointments and a channelized way to work towards the goal. They are always on the move to seek better productivity and keep experimenting with new ideas and communication for the better result. Not, every sales strategy works for every client so there is constant innovation with inputs for the other members in the chain and marketing section.

With this article, we are here to give you a first-hand experience in the sales development world as explained from the understanding and functioning of claimed SDRs from various sectors. The focus is on reaching as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. These two mentalities may seem incompatible, and in a very real sense, they are. But here’s the thing: each of these mindsets is essential to you — the Sales Development Reps (SDRs) and your success in the role.