Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)
Vlad Kovalskiy
October 29, 2021
Last updated: October 29, 2021

If you've been searching for a new selling strategy to apply, you must take a closer look at adding sales development representatives (SDRs) to your team. As a relatively new phenomenon in this field, SDR's definition and role remain a little unclear for the majority of companies. However, a knowledgeable SDR can become a valuable addition to your business when it comes to moving prospects down the pipeline. Let's study exactly how these new team members can contribute to making your selling process more effective.


What is an SDR?

Sales Development Representative (SDR) or Business Development Representative (BDRs) is the first person who your leads and potential clients meet because SDR deals with inbound and outbound prospecting.

Professionally speaking,

Sales Development Representative (SDR) contacts the new leads, communicates with them through e-mails and calls to warm them up and qualify, then hands them over to sales executives (quota-carrying salespeople) so they can close the deal.

Basically, the algorithm looks like this:

  1. Marketing team finds the leads
  2. SDR carries them through the early stages of the pipeline
  3. Sales executives close the deal.

This way, the selling process is organized effectively because everyone can concentrate on their part of the job instead of trying to cover all aspects. As a result, your sales department will be more productive and will increase your profits.

SDR is the face of your company, so you have to make sure this position is occupied by a skilled professional that understands the foundations of the sales process. It should be a specialist who can examine the information on potential clients, company, industry, competition and then use it to motivate prospects to engage further.

Role of an SDR

Now it's clear that the sales development representatives (SDRs) work with leads at the early stages of the sales cycle. But what are their responsibilities and what input do they provide? Let's find out.

Generally, the primary task of every SDR is to study prospects, communicate with them, qualify them, and deliver them to quota-carrying salespeople. But, they need to approach cold and warm prospects differently.

Overall, SDRs should reach out to leads or pursue the potential clients that have displayed interest in your company's services via every available channel, including e-mail, phone, and social media. To fulfill a job correctly, every SDR should complete these three steps:

  1. Gather and study all the data on prospects
  2. Analyze it and determine if this lead actually needs your product or service
  3. Engage into conversation and provide your potential customer with the information on what company you represent and how its products can solve their problems by improving the quality of their lives.

SDRs' role isn't easy and they need to prepare in advance and be persuasive. Professional SDRs always:

  • Make sure that they know the prospect. SDRs use their extensive knowledge on the lead's interests, needs, business model, sales process, competition, and market position as tools to make communication more effective.

  • Approach everyone. Experienced SDRs understand that the more leads you approach, the higher the chances of scoring a deal. Thus, they contact every prospect that is on their list (both warm and cold) via e-mail, social media, phone, and other channels that are at their disposal.

  • Have meaningful conversations. During the communication process, SDRs should educate the potential clients on the company's background and pursue them with the solutions they need, determine if these leads are qualified or unqualified, and arrange a meeting with the sales executives for qualified ones. To accomplish these goals, SDRs can use such techniques as writing down key points and questions or even scripting potential dialog.

  • If you have a sales development representative vacancy, this is an example of an SDR's job description with basic requirements and responsibilities so you know what to look for and the candidates can understand what to expect/ determine if they are fit for this position. If you're hiring an SDR right now, feel free to use it as a template that you can edit and customize to match your company's needs.

Job Description

If you are a sales development representative who can always find promising business opportunities, enjoys providing potential customers with the most suitable solutions, and constantly strives to achieve the best results then we've been searching for you. We can use an SDR specialist like you to build long-term relationships with clients, improve customer acquisition levels, and boost profits.

Responsibilities

We long for an SDR who can:

  • Gather and study leads that are interested in our services

  • Contact cold and warm prospects through e-mails, calls, social media, and other available channels

  • Provide potential customers with information on our company's mission, products, and services

  • Present our business as reputable and trustworthy to lure the prospects in and retain them

  • Analyze the prospects' data, identify their problems, and come up with solutions for them

  • Qualify leads to determine if they can be turned into sales opportunities

  • Arrange meetings or calls between promising leads and sales executives

  • Report your results to a sales manager.

Requirements

Our ideal SDR should have:

  • Actual work experience as an SDR or other sales related position

  • Expertise in applying major selling techniques such as cold calling, cold emailing and social outreach

  • Familiarity with various CRM systems

  • Track record that proves you can achieve required sales quotas

  • Understanding of basic sales performance indicators

  • Communication and negotiation skills that allow you to deliver attention drawing presentations and have meaningful conversations

Skills & Qualifications

The SDR position calls for a variety of qualifications and qualities. Some of them, like communication skills, are common for all sales representatives, while some are solely useful to the SDR's job. Let's take a look at the list of qualities a good SDR specialist should possess:

  • Expertise in using selling techniques and sales software. SDRs cannot fulfill their duties efficiently without knowing how to approach a lead, what questions to ask and when. Plus, they need to be skillful with their selling tools to find, contact, and analyze leads.

  • Ability to listen and understand. SDRs should have a clear understanding of when to listen and when to speak. By listening, they can acquire information from prospects, and by asking questions they can analyze the information.

  • Extensive knowledge on a company, its products and services. Your SDR can't present the company's product as an effective solution to potential clients without understanding its features, advantages, and disadvantages.

  • Time management. This skill is important for everyone, not only for SDRs. If you organize your working process effectively, you can be more productive and approach more clients.

  • Communication & negotiation skills. The success of the SDRs' efforts depend directly on their ability to start a conversation, be attentive, and respond to objections.

Motivation and positive attitude. If your SDR gets discouraged after every failed interaction, it will affect your sales rates in a disappointing way. Positive attitude will help your SDR to move on and strike a new deal. Plus, prospects will surely find a welcoming and engaging approach more attractive.

Why you need an SDR team

Among the allocated roles in the sales process, SDRs are responsible for qualifying leads while sales executives close deals. This allows you to receive plenty of benefits, including:

  • Fast movement of prospects through the pipeline. SDRs identify deals that won't go anywhere and remove them at early stages of the pipeline, so only promising leads can move forward.

  • More leads and more deals. While both SDRs and sales executives don't have to accommodate the entire sales process, they can reach out to and nurture more prospects together by approaching existing customers.

  • Increased productivity: Both SDRs and sales representatives can be more efficient because they can focus directly on their responsibilities instead of wasting time and resources on other tasks.

When to hire an SDR team

When your business is small and you don't have to deal with a growing number of leads, you can handle the sales process with a couple of salespeople. But if you see that your funnel is filled with unsorted prospects leaving dead deals stuck in the pipeline- causing you issues and resulting in lost potential clients- you should consider splitting your sales personnel into sales development representatives (SDRs) and sales executives (quota-carrying salespeople). Here are the signs indicating that you should add SDR specialists to your team:

  • Your sales representatives don't have enough time to reach out to leads or follow-up with prospects.

  • Your sales team prioritizes closing over prospecting.

  • Promising deals get lost or stuck in the pipeline because it is filled with dead deals.

  • Your competitors manage to approach potential clients faster.


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