There are so many people vying for prospects’ attention each day that getting someone to agree to a meeting is more challenging than ever. Yet, prospecting remains a critical part of the sales process.
The average company loses 10-30% of their customers each year – so how do you seize the leads your company needs to not only maintain its customer base but also grow?
That’s where Sales Development Reps (SDRs) come in. Marketing has their own way of getting clients with an inbound approach that brings customers to you, and sales has their SDRs out on the hunt reaching out to prospects.
But what exactly does an SDR do? And how can your organization use them to its advantage? Here’s everything you need to know.
What Are Sales Development Reps?
A sales development rep (SDR) is a type of inside sales rep whose responsibility revolves around outbound prospecting and qualifying leads.
Notably, SDRs aren’t focused on closing business. Instead, they focus on connecting with as many leads as possible so they can determine if they’re a good fit for the company’s product or service. They do this by answering questions, sharing educational resources, and hopping on calls to talk through potential improvement opportunities.
Once a lead is qualified, the sales development rep will set up appointments for an account executive who’s ready to close the deal.
When sales reps get qualified leads, they’re less likely to spend additional time and effort on elaborate pitches or long demo calls on clients who aren’t going to purchase. That means fewer unnecessary costs and a better allocation of human resources.
What’s the Difference Between an SDR and a BDR?
Although they sound like similar terms, they’re quite different and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. The main trait they have in common is that they’re generating leads.
The difference is that business development reps focus on qualifying inbound marketing leads. Inbound marketing leads come from all sorts of places, from social media campaigns to newsletter sign-ups.
A sales development rep, on the other hand, focuses primarily on prospecting outbound leads. They use lists of potential prospects, typically provided by the company, and reach out through cold email, cold call, and social selling methods such as LinkedIn.
How do Sales Development Reps Benefit the Company?
SDRs are helpful in more ways than one. Arguably, their most important quality is the speed at which they qualify leads and set up appointments for account executives. Some other notable benefits include:
- Qualifying leads more thoroughly and therefore increasing the quality of leads
- Creating an internal pipeline to staff your future sales team
- Freeing up bandwidth for account executives to focus on closing
- Creating a consistent client experience throughout the discovery process
Now that you have a better understanding of the SDR’s purpose, you may be wondering what the day-to-day actually looks like. Let’s take a closer look:
What Does the Day-To-Day of an SDR Look Like?
A typical day for a sales development rep starts with a standup meeting either with the SDR team or their assigned account executive.
The stand up is essentially a daily huddle that motivates the team to do their best work, provides accountability for activities, communicates business updates, and reinforces training.
After the standup, the day typically consists of:
Preparing for the day early
As an SDR, you’re vying for attention. That means a good part of your day is cold outreach. With enough success, you’ll find that your day starts to fill up with customer calls. Customers who show even the slightest interest will always take priority over your pipeline.
That being said, most days start by reviewing your calendar and doing the prep work required for customer calls. Once the prep work is complete, you’ll read through emails and send replies or follow-ups, and perhaps spend a little time reviewing social media for notifications or profile visits you can follow up on.
Switching gears with an outbound blitz
After you get settled, it’s time to fire up the calendar again and block time for your outbound campaign. As an SDR, you typically have a list of companies to call upon, and it’s up to you how you want to sort through them. Here are some factors to consider:
- Immediacy – if a prospect read your email or showed interest recently, they should get the first touchpoint of the day.
- Persistency – Sometimes, it’s the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th call that does the trick, so make sure you’re not discounting clients just because they’ve dismissed or ignored you in the past.
- Relevancy – There’s a good chance your list will have some long-shot prospects that don’t have the best product fit and some clear winners. Focus on the winners first.
- Timing – Depending on your territory, it might behoove you to reach out to those you have the best chance of catching.
Or, if you’re missing out on some key data, it may be wise to fire up your email campaigns or start making phone calls and figuring things out as you go.
Prioritizing the future
As your day winds down, you’ll likely want to set yourself up for success tomorrow. That means scheduling some follow-up tasks in your customer relationship management software (CRM), using software like Mailshake to automate tomorrow’s email blitz, or using Voila Norbert to verify your prospecting list for the next day is accurate and full of potential.
Last but not least, carving out time for a little training is never a bad idea. As an SDR, you likely have high hopes of moving into an account executive role one day, and the best way to get there is by shadowing calls, attending training sessions, and exposing yourself to more and more unique situations that’ll hone your skill set.
With that in mind, what’s been the most beneficial sales training experience you’ve had in your career? Share your story in the comments below: