LinkedIn is the go to place for hiring in today’s business environment. Other companies have been successful in finding candidates for specialized jobs such as Sales Development Representatives on Facebook and other social media platforms.
In order to figure out what a Sales Development Representative is tasked with, we must first look into the sales process. It all starts with a lead, that with time becomes a qualified lead. A qualified lead can now become a customer. It is really straightforward. Leads are coming in, but you need to weed them out and figure out which ones have potential. When you identify the ones with potential, you turn them into clients. Super easy and straightforward.
The tricky part comes in when you need to be able to distinguish between a “lead” and a “qualified team”. What information and knowledge make them go from unqualified to qualified? And who does that exactly happen?
Well, you probably guessed it. This is where the sales development representative will come in and qualify the lead for you. They find contacts, and they interact with valid contacts.
What exactly is a Sales Development Representative?
An SDR is an inside sales rep that only deals with outreach, they get emails, conduct prospecting, and qualify the leads. They do not close the sale because that is not their expertise. However, if you want to get in contact with as many leads as possible while also being able to figure out their worth, it is exactly what the sales development representative will be key at.
SDRs are capable of educating, answering questions, and sending resources to leads they consider to have potential. They get in contact with every available lead, and due to their experience and capability of figuring out if that lead can turn into a client, or they simply need to be discarded.
The only key performance indicator that a sales development representative has to tackle is just how many leads he can push through the pipeline. They will receive a commission that will depend on the number of closed deals. Most sales representative jobs also have a target or quota before the commission starts building up.
Where Will an SDR Fit Within the Sales Structure?
SDRs are mostly entry-level positions. Within a sales department, the SDRs would be placed at the base level. They have to interact with every lead while filtering out the ones that cannot generate revenue for the company.
Once the potential client has been in contact with the SDR and has been qualified as having potential, it will be passed on to other departments within the company. Higher ranking sales reps like account representatives (ARs) and account executives (AEs) will start interacting with the lead in order to close the deal and make a sale. SDRs will be closely linked with the business development department and its representatives (BDRs).
The difference between SDRs and BDRs is that the latter will be focused on lead generation via outbound, and the others will have to tackle inbound leads.
They both have the purpose of maintaining a steady flow of pre-qualified leads that are to be offered to the ARs and the AEs. If the SDRs would not be present to undertake the qualification process, it would make the whole sales cycle much longer. You do not want to send out the people that will only be focused on closing the deal to a lead that is not interested in becoming a client right at this moment. However, the lead we have just mentioned might be willing to become a customer within a month.
Aggressively trying to close a customer that is not ready to purchase, will most of the time cause those leads joining the competition when they will indeed be ready to become clients. Interview questions on SignalHire can prove instrumental in figuring out if a lead is willing to become a customer.
Interact with as Many Leads as Humanly Possible
The first hurdle an SDR needs to overtake is having the lead’s attention. They have quite a diverse portfolio of approaches they can implement in order to make contact:
– Setting up a phone call
– Sending an email
– Leaving a voicemail
– Connecting over LinkedIn
– Getting in contact via Direct mail
– Sending a personalized video
– A message over on social media
– In-person at various events
A good SDR will tackle all the avenues we have listed above to figure out which one converts the best and where they can improve. If they need more help, they can perform one of the above-mentioned ways of contact twice for the same client.
What makes an SDR better than other SDRs? Successful SDRs are amazing at establishing first contact. This can be improved by doing their due research on the customer, making their first message as inclusive as possible. Both market search and searching for the individual they are trying to target are vital and need to be improved by an SDR that wants to become better at their job.
Market research has the purpose of identifying the target audience that could be a good fit for the product the AEs are going to sell on. It has the ability to figure out who the ideal customer could be and knowing what issues such customers may have. Knowing the issues, they stumble upon will also enable the SDR to offer a solution. This, in turn, will grab the leads’ attention, and if they are actually interested in purchasing a service, they will be more than happy to let it be known. Information like this positions the SDR within both the outreach and the conversation. If they require more information about the particular lead without actually asking them, they can access that link to get some ideas on how they can achieve that.
Individual prospect research is the task the SDR has to undergo; that will require them to do research on a single specific lead. This preparation will improve the SDRs’ confidence and will show the lead that they are dealing with a person that will not shy away from taking the time to learn their issues and tribulations. Credibility is grown, and rapport is established.
SDRs usually conduct their research over on LinkedIn, because all the information is readily available there. Such sites will offer information regarding the lead’s field of expertise and their specific role within a company. Google search is also a widely spread tool that can be used to get even more information on the business and maybe even the actual lead.
They Educate and Qualify All the Leads They Interact with
Qualification is composed of two elements: learning and educating. The SDR’s purpose is to gather as much information as possible from the lead prior to sending it further down the sales pipe. An SDR is tasked with learning the business processes within the company they are targeting. They need to figure out if they can address the needs that may arise from each and every lead. They need to figure out if the product they are offering solves pain points that have been shared by the lead. They need to find a way to estimate the budget that the lead has. They also need to figure out if the current service they are offering is required right away, or is it just something the lead would like to have in the future? Once they have answered all these questions, they are capable of turning a lead into a qualified lead. And the AEs are hungry to make a commission sale.