What Is an SDR (Sales Development Representative)?

what is an sdr
  • Copied

One thing about sales development has become more and more evident as the manager of an inside sales team.

Depending on what your company calls them, the typical sales process for business development representatives or sales development representatives is to call, leave voicemails, call again, and so on. But, unfortunately, it’s no longer operating effectively.

SDRs have a unique chance to close deals by assisting account executives. While the conventional approach to outreach may be practical for some companies, there are some hard and soft skills that SDRs can use to help your inside sales team be even more successful.

Sales development reps (SDRs) are sales team members who concentrate on prospecting, reaching out, and determining if a lead is qualified or not. In addition, SDRs handle the grunt work of approaching qualified leads for more seasoned salespeople.

 what is an sdr in sales

The sales development representative (SDR), once a specialist profession used in a select few IT organizations, is now a crucial position in countless businesses across all industries. This article will assist you in determining whether or not you should work as a sales development rep and, if so, how to differentiate yourself from the competition. We’ll also talk about the hiring criteria that sales managers should use.

Let’s begin with a brief explanation of sales development representative (SDR) sales if you are new to the position or are managing a new team of SDRs.

What Is a Sales Development Representative (SDR)?

To create a sales funnel for the rest of the team, an SDR is primarily an inside sales position focusing only on outbound prospecting. The position is typically seen as an entry-level position that doesn’t call for years of expertise and is generally regarded as a decent way to begin a career in sales.

Before contacting potential prospects, sales development reps often research them to accomplish this. Their specific goal is to deliver sales leads that satisfy predetermined criteria to an account executive or account manager for closing as sales-qualified leads (SQLs).

This procedure is called outbound sales, in which SDRs locate potential customers, establish contact with them, and then transfer them to another sales team member. In contrast, inbound sales occur when a lead or prospect approaches you first after learning about you, for instance, through word-of-mouth or viewing a marketing team effort.

The account executive usually takes over once the SDR has guided the prospect through the process of scheduling a meeting. In other words, the account executive’s primary responsibility is closing deals, whereas the sales development representative (SDR) sales function focuses primarily on outreach and qualifying leads.

Businesses continue to favor sales development because it enables them to create departments within the sales organization that are experts in a specific step in the process. In addition, sales teams can use a divide and conquer strategy thanks to this focused and compartmentalized effort, which eventually streamlines procedures and maximizes value.

Businesses continue to favor sales development because it enables them to create departments within the sales organization that are experts in a specific step in the process. In addition, sales teams can use a divide and conquer strategy thanks to this focused and compartmentalized effort, which eventually streamlines procedures and maximizes value.

Inside sales professionals focused on sales prospecting are known as Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) or Business Development Representatives (BDRs). SDRs reach out to new leads, qualify them, and move them further down the sales pipeline as opposed to sales executives (quota-carrying salespeople) who close new deals.

What Do Sales Development Representatives Do?

SDRs may be expected to find outbound leads, or they may solely deal with inbound leads (also known as marketing qualified leads, or MQLs) who have previously expressed interest, depending on the firm. Some sales companies choose to use both.

SDRs develop a strong awareness of the market and sales process by arming themselves with well-researched data about target prospects and your business to start meaningful conversations. As a result, they devote much of their time contacting prospective customers at the early stages of the sales funnel, either getting them ready to speak with a closer or determining whether they want to buy. Check out some finest sales funnel templates.

 what is an sdr sales

Lead Generation and Lead Qualification

A possible sale often progresses from a lead to a qualified lead to a customer, with SDRs finding the initial leads. As an SDR on any sales team, you must connect with prospects through inbound or outbound channels. However, you’ll need to conduct some study before doing that. Prospects with characteristics like industry, firm size, role, etc., in common with your best existing customers are more likely to fit the bill.

You should, for instance, take into account:

  • Does the potential customer(s) fit the buyer persona of the business?
  • What is the prospect’s order of importance?
  • What do they hope to accomplish?
  • What are the most urgent problems they face?
  • Who are the decision-makers for their business?
  • What resources do they currently employ, if any, to find a solution?

Check out the detailed guide for the lead qualification checklist.

Initial outreach

Once you have identified a potential lead, you may utilize your research to decide how to approach the person. Then, depending on where they are available or spend most of their time, you may contact your leads via cold email, cold calls, or social media.

You’ll be able to take a variety of possible actions within each of those channels:

  • Will you send a video message or a plain-text email?
  • Will you leave a voicemail for them or speak with them on the phone directly?
  • Will you remark on their Facebook post or send them a LinkedIn connection request?

In most situations, having many touchpoints across multiple channels is the optimal course of action instead of choosing one.

Your research will help you customize your message regardless of your channels. This requires going beyond learning about the industry and conducting a focused study on the particular lead and the business they work for.

But it’s not just a matter of adding a “FirstName” or “CompanyName” merge tag; your email should be pertinent to the difficulties your prospect is having when they get it. Additionally, instead of sending the identical message to everyone on your list, including small facts from your research, show that you took the time to check them up.

In essence, you balance effort and individuality while managing your time. Although sales development representatives must cast a wide net, you should still focus on the small things and give the lead a sense of value as a potential customer.

Lead Nurturing

After just one call, even the most passionate inbound leads are unlikely to be prepared for a meeting. Other times, the possibility may be a fantastic fit, but the timing may be off. So you now need to nurture those new leads and continue to educate them about your good or service.

Pitching is distinct from this. The prospect is unlikely to be impressed if everything you say sounds salesy. Conversely, the prospect will be more likely to trust you and think you’re genuinely interested in attaining a good end for both parties if you can provide actual value and assist them with their most pressing difficulties. In other words, they will believe you are contacting them because your offering would benefit them.

Moving Leads Through the Sales Process

The account executives are notified after the leads have been suitably qualified. Since this is the primary goal of the SDR position, most sales companies reward SDRs based on metrics that demonstrate this, such as the number of scheduled meetings with target prospects who satisfy the criteria for sales (SQLs).

Sales Development Representative Job Description

This job description is a great starting point if you want to recruit an SDR and need one. Then, you can customize it by adding your requirements and specifications.

An outbound Sales Development Representative is responsible for the following:

  • Identifying sales opportunities from marketing campaign leads
  • Contacting potential prospects through emails and cold calls
  • Introducing the business to prospective clients

Job Description

A results-driven sales development professional must actively explore new business opportunities, interact with them, and build relationships with potential customers. For every prospective customer, you will offer comprehensive and valuable solutions to increase top-line revenue growth, customer acquisition levels, and profitability.

Asides from the job description, there are responsibilities an individual must be able to carry out to become a successful SDR.

Responsibilities

  • Identify sales opportunities from leads generated by marketing activities.
  • Contact potential prospects through cold calls and emails
  • Present the company to potential prospects
  • Determine the needs of the prospect and make suitable product/service suggestions.
  • Create enduring, trustworthy connections with potential customers
  • Proactively seek new business opportunities in the market
  • Set up meetings or calls between (prospective) customers and Sales Executives
  • Report to the Sales Manager on sales results

Requirements

  • Experience working as a sales development representative, sales account executive, or in a comparable position.
  • Practical knowledge of various sales prospecting strategies, including cold calling, cold emailing, and social networking.
  • Track record of meeting sales targets
  • Working knowledge of CRM software such as Sloovi Outreach
  • Decent knowledge of sales success metrics
  • Excellent negotiation and communication skills
  • Possibility to make compelling presentations

Skills and Qualities of an SDR

SDRs must be nimble on their feet, adept at engaging in online conversations, knowledgeable about tools, excellent content finders, and possess a positive outlook unaffected by harmful contact. The following are some of the abilities that each SDR in your team must have.

Time Management

Time management skills increase sales productivity and foster a culture of excellence. Any organization will benefit significantly from this soft talent using CRM software like Sloovi and other technologies.

 what is an sdr radio

Communication Skills

Good at initiating a discussion over phone calls or email and developing rapport. By making it clear how your solution can address a business issue, effective communication also helps to avoid objections.

 what is an e-sdr

Product Knowledge

Before making persuasive presentations and matching customers’ needs to your solution, sales representatives should understand the company’s products’ characteristics, advantages, and weaknesses.

No matter what your company sells, you need to be highly tuned to the words and phrases that suggest a potential customer would be a suitable fit for your offering.

 what is an sdr manager

Prospecting Skills

SDRs should be fluent in and a master of the sales language. What are the warning signs to look out for when buying? What language to use to entice customers to buy? When should the right questions be asked?

Find the detailed guide about sales prospecting.

Webinars

Webinars are a great lead generation exercise since they demand participants to give their email addresses. Regular webinars with timely themes and top-notch speakers can help your company establish a strong brand.

Art of Listening

SDRs should pay close attention to every conversation they have with prospects, interrupting when necessary to get more information and use their inquiries to eavesdrop on the buyer’s thought process.

 what is an sdr team

Why Do You Need an SDR Team

Increase in Productivity

SDRs free sales executives from prospecting so they can concentrate entirely on closing deals, which increases productivity and saves time.

Healthy Sales Pipeline

You not only have a well-defined sales process with designated sales representatives handling prospecting, but you also have a fast-moving pipeline free of dead ends and garbage business.

Increase in Growth

Your sales reps will have more time with two distinct sales roles to follow up on warm and cold leads, cross-sell or upsell to current customers, and interact with potential new clients.

When Should You Hire a Sales Development Rep Team?

In a growing company, end-to-end sales are likely handled by one or two sales reps. Hiring a single sales rep will no longer be sufficient as your company grows. It becomes more difficult for sales reps to prospect exclusive deals when leads flood the top of the funnel and the sales process is unclear. There are significant chances that your rival will outperform you in their capacity to woo leads effectively due to leads slipping through the gaps and your sales funnel full of trash offers. This will be detrimental to the health of your business.

You require two sales strategies: one to attract potential buyers and nurture them, and the other to clinch the deal. Your sales reps should have SDRs and Sales Executives to accomplish that.

When you realize you need to recruit an SDR team.

  • Your sales representatives are not following up with prospects
  • Your sales representatives prioritize closing deals above prospecting.
  • Nothing is being cross-sold or up-sold by your sales reps.
  • Your sales pipeline is overflowing with inactive and useless deals.
  • Your prospects are switching to competition because your sales representatives aren’t following up when they should be.

SDRs vs. Sales Executives

Listed below are the distinctions between a sales executive and a sales development representative job.

  • SDRs are “finders” since they contact fresh leads generated by inbound marketing or outreach efforts. Sales executives, also known as “Closers,” concentrate on qualified leads, build deals, and advance those deals towards closure.
  • SDR is a salesperson who qualifies leads and schedules meetings with sales executives while the executives attend demos, submit bids and sales proposals, negotiate, and close deals.
  • Sales executives should have well-researched information and good knowledge of the product they sell and its use cases. In contrast, SDRs should know enough about the customer’s world and the product they sell.

Tools Used by SDRs

To set up qualified leads and transfer them to sales executives so they can seal the agreements, sales development agents must put in a lot of effort. SDRs have more on their plates than just that, though. Before contacting a prospect, sales pros must do some additional research on them. They must also follow up with cold and warm leads and respond to those who have shown interest.

SDRs require productivity solutions that can expedite their process because sales prospecting can be a lengthy and taxing procedure. In addition, because SDRs cannot afford to waste time on training and adaptations, these tools must be straightforward and user-friendly.

Let’s quickly review three essential tools that boost sales representatives’ efficiency.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

SDRs require a variety of sales productivity tools so they may accomplish their goals without wasting time or effort. And no SDR should exist without LinkedIn Sales Navigator. To receive lead referrals from LinkedIn Sales Navigator, SDRs must set up preferences. Then, SDRs can generate a list of sales leads, choose the ideal prospect to contact, and send them InMails. Before having the first interaction, use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to discover and contact prospects.

Technographic Tools

You must know the technology your prospects use to make B2B sales. Furthermore, free programs like Datanyze, BuiltWith, and Ghostery are excellent at achieving this. Datanyze, one of these, monitors a much more comprehensive range of technologies and can provide business data like staff count, revenue range, and industrial and social activities. With technological tools, SDRs may approach prospects with helpful information and begin productive conversations.

CRM Software

Sales reps need a centralized database to store and access lead data when necessary because most of SDRs’ work involves communicating with prospects. In addition to other things, a CRM is an excellent tool. SDRs can build and send campaigns, track email open and click rates, make phone calls, schedule meetings with sales leaders, and use a CRM, which also functions as a sales engagement platform.

One such CRM is Sloovi Outreach, which includes all the functions mentioned above in addition to reporting, deal management, lead scoring, automation, and more.

 what is an sdr role

NOTE: Enrolling your sales representatives in an SDR training program is crucial.

Why Become an SDR?

Low-pressure, high-impact sales development. Sales development doesn’t require face-to-face interaction compared to other sales positions. Being a sales development rep would be a better option if attending sales meetings causes you anxiety or nervousness than another sales position.

A stepping stone is the development of sales. The SDR role can serve as a springboard for sales representatives who want to transition into other sales roles. Sales jobs can be quite lucrative; SDRs can make an average salary of close to $50,000 per year. A sales manager, sales executive, and vice president of sales are positions above SDR that pay considerably more.

Being an SDR requires you to learn new things and develop your existing abilities continually. For example, sales development agents practice the art of persuasion orally and in writing. Outside of the office, these are valuable life skills.

Ready to try CRM software designed for SDRs?

Try Sloovi Feedback to help collect data to stay connected to your customers. This gives you a chance to know what they feel and need. In addition, it allows you to track feedback and have one-on-one conversations with customers.

The biggest CRM tool is Sloovi Outreach. A sophisticated outreach system can shorten your sales cycle and increase income. Automate the task you despise doing the most while tracking your sales efforts at every point of interaction.

 what is the role of an sdr

Get started today with Sloovi and watch how you multiply leads, delight customers, supercharge sales, and increase.