A typical question seen when a company is contemplating a Sales Development program is basic, but very important… Why?
The answer to this varies in every scenario, but it really becomes a discussion of scaling, efficiency, growth and optimization.
First… Should You Even Bother?
There’s a standard reaction to dismiss the value of integrating Sales Development as an unnecessary layer in your organization. We get it… a fully ramped and producing sales team is a thing of beauty. When someone expresses an interest in your products/solution, your team is knowledgeable, helpful and motivated to turn that inquiry into a deal as soon as possible. Those same reps are also hitting the phones, networking and creatively getting in front of new prospects as well to generate pipeline and bust through their targets.
If this is your situation, congratulations! Your team is firing on all ends, and hopefully being compensated accordingly.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…
Not necessarily… high performing teams hitting existing goals without a Sales Development layer are almost certainly an ideal scenario in which Sales Development can drastically increase your working pipeline and set you up to scale.
Although your team may be seemingly firing on all cylinders, you are almost surely missing out on some attractive efficiency improvements by segmenting responsibilities through a Sales Development team.
So, if your results are good enough, and you aren’t interested in proven methods of increasing efficiency and pipeline, then Sales Development could be like throwing gas on a wood fire.
Now… When You Definitely Should Care
Assuming the statement above doesn’t describe you (because you don’t want adequate and good enough… you want to be amazing and crush goals), it’s time to think seriously about Sales Development.
Sales Development can in reality be described as a means to sales acceleration and optimization. What you really want is to have your sales team spending their time engaged in quality conversations with qualified prospects. By offloading the lead generation and qualification processes to specialized roles, you free their time up to focus on where they can add the most value for your business.
What Does Sales Development Solve?
Some typical issues facing organizations for which a sales development layer can be a solution include:
- Increased leads through outbound campaigns
- Increased conversion rates for inbound and other warm leads (more attention, more touches, better results)
- Failure of sales representatives to follow up with prospects
- Stagnant growth and inability to break into new accounts
- Low percentage / unqualified leads and opportunities filling your pipeline
- Your prospects are moving to competitors
This doesn’t happen without work, investment, organization and support though. With the right planning and support, your team will be structured for growth and success.
So… Who is Sales Development For?
Sales Development, is an essential layer for any growth focused company to implement. Similar to a manufacturing line that realizes cost reductions and speed/efficiency improvements through segmenting tasks and using specialized processes and tools for each need.
If your Sales team is not swimming in new sales appointments and have a completely full calendar, consider Sales Development.
In a typical start-up, you’ll probably have one or two salespeople handling end-to-end sales. But as the business scales and it gets busy, just having a couple full cycle a salespeople starts to crack.
With leads coming in at the top of the funnel and a sketchy sales process, it becomes increasingly challenging for salespeople to find the time or energy to actively prospect. No judgement here, it just happens as they are busy closing deals. Leads start falling through the cracks.
Not to mention, now nobody is spending the time needed to target and approach target accounts. Symptoms of lacking SDR team in your company:
- Your sales representatives fail to follow up with prospects
- Your sales team isn’t breaking into new accounts
- Your sales pipeline is filled with unqualified leads
- Your prospects are moving to competitors
You’ll need to have a strategy that gets potential buyers in your pipeline and nurtures them, and another sales strategy that closes the sale. At this point, it may be time to split your two primary sales roles in to SDRs and Sales Executives.
SDR (Sales Development Representative) are inside sales representatives who focus solely on sales prospecting by reaching out to new leads, qualifying them and pushing them further down the sales funnel and finally setting up sales qualified appointments. They also focus on cold outreach to target accounts you’d love to break in to.
After setting up sales qualified appointments, sales executives can take it from there and work toward closing the deal.
The role of an SDR is twofold – inbound and outbound sales prospecting:
Inbound SDRs nurture leads who have shown interest in your solution and have already engaged with your company through its marketing channels.
Outbound SDRs reach out to potential customers who have never engaged with your company’s product or solution through cold prospecting.
SDR can help in plenty of ways :
- It will ensure you a healthy sales pipeline with a fast-moving leads through the pipeline and clear of junk and dead leads.
- When your business encounters a growth stage, your SDR is going to have time to classify leads and follow up with warm and cold leads, cross or upsell to existing customers and engage with new customers.
Increase growth with two separate sales roles, your sales representatives have time to follow up with warm and cold leads, cross or upsell to existing customers and engage with new customers.
adopting SDR team will increase productivity and efficiency meaning that your sales executives will solely focus on closing deals and SDR will focus in delivering qualified leads to the sales executives thereby saving time and increasing the overall sales team productivity.
What makes an ideal SDR?
Sales Development Representatives (SDR) have to be quick on their feet, master the sales game, excel in having online conversations, be great content finders, and overcoming bad interactions by having a positive outlook. And all this can be formatted in the following steps:
Prospecting skills: SDRs should be familiar and a master in the language of sales – What are the buying signals to watch out for? What words to use that makes customers buy? When is the right time to ask the right questions?
Art of listening: SDRs should actively listen to each conversation with the prospect, interrupting when they need clarification and ask probing questions that allow them to explore the buyer’s mind.
Product knowledge: Sales representatives should have adequate knowledge about the features, benefits, and weakness of your product before creating effective pitches and connecting customer’s needs to your solution.
Time management: Ability to optimize time improves sales productivity and creates an environment for high performance. This soft skill coupled with CRM Software and other technologies delivers significant ROI for any business.
Communication skills: Good at building rapport and starting a conversation over phone and email. Effective communication also helps prevent objections by providing clarity into how your solution can solve business problems.
Sales team is at the heart of any business. We’ve all heard it before. You can have the best product in the world, but if your sales team dosn’t do any good, you’ll get where you want. Great products don’t sell themselves great salespeople do.
Recruiting top talent requires tremendous effort, but it’s worth it.
Keeping top talent is even more difficult than recruitment because talented people are demanding! You have to make sure they stay motivated, that they continuously learn and see a purpose in what they do.
Becoming a Sales Development Representative (SDR) is often a starting point in a sales career. Which often means that SDR’s are young. Our sales development team is made of people aged between 20-25 years old.
It’s our job to make sure they’re happy so they work with us as long as possible. Especiall