The SDR team should not be tasked with qualification. Most companies make this error – and, more strangely, with not defining the true target market by turning their market description into an actual list. 

To me, this is a simple abdication of the CEO and Exec teams responsibility to define the market AS A LIST, not as a bunch of words left to mostly junior SDRs to interpret. 

By making this simple shift, then the “product” becomes the meeting (which is all an SDR should be selling), and everyone on the list is qualified (worth having a discovery meeting with). Any other approach simply induces massive thrash, and feeds the classic marketing/sales alignment war.

The signal that drives product/market fit adjustment MUST come out of discovery calls, not appointment setting calls. Only in discovery do you have a reasonable chance of getting a true confession of need/pain/desire/whatever. While being pursued, the prospect will rarely tell their truth; when they come to you, they usually will. 

I don’t know why this is so hard for folks to grasp except for one obvious fact: they believe they have defined their market when they have described it. There is a difference. Product/market fit is not an abstraction. It is a condition that is demonstrated only by uptake of the product in the market, first as a meeting, then as a demo or other experience, then as a transaction, and finally as a series of renewals. 

The most efficient way to do this is to USE the SDR function to efficiently create targeted meetings for the purpose of testing the current hypothesis. Having SDRs do additional qualification simply ruins the science by introducing a wide variety of opinions, each with attendant goal conflict, into the equation. In the resulting chaos, all we are left with is more opinions.

Chris Beall is the CEO of ConnectandSell. Contact him at for a free consultation.

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