In sales, first impressions often play a critical role in helping the prospect begin his or her buyer's journey. However, far too often businesses fail to remember that a Sales Development Representative (SDR) plays an entirely different role than an appointment setter. Failing to understand the key differences between these two roles can lead to fewer conversions, a limited number of prospects in the beginning portions of the sales funnel, and inevitably fewer sales. The good news is that understanding the following four differences can help businesses maximize their approach to contacting new prospects and warm leads.
Sales coaching vs. sales training. These two terms are often tossed around by C-level executives without truly understanding a) what their teams need to succeed, and b) how they can best help managers support their teams to increase sales and meet established quarterly goals. The challenge of course with the latter statement, is that many C-level executives don't like being told that they are not only wrong, but that they are doing their team a disservice. After all, when you have risen to the highest levels of power within your company, you like to think that you understand every aspect and that you, as the leader, are best suited for making all decisions. Unfortunately, appointing managers the task of being the "sales coach," is like accelerating in a no wake zone; not only is it dangerous, but you are inevitably dooming the entire ship to a disastrous ending.
As a C-level sales executive a major component of your job is to lead. However, another major component of their job is to inspire their sales team. Being an effective leader is about more than giving a pep talk; it requires the understanding that training is not simply for onboarding new sales representatives. Instead, by embracing the benefits of sales training and sales coaching, leaders can not only inspire their team, but they can help them reach new levels of success.
A strong sales development team is a great way to quickly increase revenue. These reps focus on taking unqualified leads and contacts, putting them through a qualification process and moving them through the sales funnel.
What can happen when you have a strong sales development team nurturing leads for your sales reps? Studies show these benefits:
- Nurtured leads generate almost 50% more revenue than non-nurtured leads.
- Nurtured leads generate this revenue at 33% less cost.
- Overall, companies focused on qualifying leads see an increase in revenue of at least 10% within only six to nine months.
No self-respecting sales development rep (SDR) has ever said, “I have enough business.” Even those crushing their sales goals crave more, and it would be nice if it came faster and easier than most deals do.
Every company, or at least every company that we talk to here at Maven, is looking for ways to generate more leads. Not just more leads, but more qualified leads. Sourcing qualified leads is what a sales development team is all about. It’s what gets them excited to come in to work every day – cranking out phone calls to follow up with potential prospects and qualify them for the sales team.