Cold Calling. The phrase elicits the same shudder as the now infamous TPS quote from Office Space. We all got the memo. Cold calling has changed; it's no longer the same fanatical rite of passage for unpaid interns who are hoping to get the coveted slot on the paid sales team. However, for as much as cold calling has changed, it is important to note that it is not gone, nor is it demand generation.
Companies of all sizes, types, and locations need quality leads to continue to grow. In order to acquire those quality leads, companies can leverage a multitude of tactics, including using appointment setters and Sales Development Representatives (SDRs). While both appointment setters and SDRs have a vital place in sales, the key to building the most effective team is to understand which role will fit best in your sales process and subsequently support your buyers on their journeys. In fact, selecting the wrong discipline for your sales process can lead to poor conversion rates, a negative customer experience, and a lack of growth. The good news is that we are here to help you build your own SDR team, so that you can enjoy all of the benefits of a winning sales team.
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.
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.
With the popularity and necessity on the rise for successful Sales Development Representatives (SDR) and Departments, being a former SDR I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of what the day-to-day of an SDR looks like. First, props to all the Sales Development Reps out there! It’s a very tough job that doesn’t get the praise and acknowledgement it deserves.
Briefly, why has the SDR role become so vital to company’s sales success? They are the lead gen engine for their pipelines. They also play a key role in the Marketing effort of inbound leads (a SDR’s best friend by the way). In addition, they create alignment between Sales and Marketing.
When the average person thinks about the sales process, they picture a hard-core sales person cramming their product or service down an unwilling buyer's throat. If you are in the selling business, you know that in most scenarios, that's not the case.
While there are sales people and cold-calling and other components present in today's selling process, there are other, more strategic ways of accessing buyers and landing new, profitable business. We are talking about inbound sales as opposed to outbound sales. Both have merit and can produce results, but they are completely different animals.
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.
No matter where you go or what you read, if you are in the sales and marketing profession, you have heard folks talking about sales and marketing alignment. While there are different levels of alignment and even different definitions of alignment, it is something demand generation teams are striving to achieve.
Did you know that highly-aligned organizations achieved an average of 32% year-over-year revenue growth – while their less aligned competitors saw a 7% decrease in revenue? (Source: Sales Enablement: Fulfilling the Last Frontier of Marketing-Sales Alignment, Aberdeen Group, September 2013).
One of the most important ways to keep your sales development reps (SDRs) focused on growing their pipeline is by using a sales cadence. Now, if you are not familiar with this term it simply means a defined schedule indicating when reps should reach out to the prospects that they are pursuing. Every sales organization has a slightly different approach depending on the tactics they are using but a typical cadence may include calls, emails, social media activities, webinars, or all of the above. The important thing is that a cadence exists. Defining your sales cadence and sharing it gives sales managers and executives a certain level of comfort knowing that the SDRs are taking the necessary steps to accelerate leads through the buying process.
You’ve worked hard putting together content that you felt your buyer persona would find interesting, valuable and want to download. Then call you craving more information and be ready to buy. Unfortunately, although this does happen occasionally, that is certainly rare behavior and not the norm.