For a long time, sales had a very simple approach. A business would hire a salesperson, who would then go out and find clients for that business. It was the salesperson’s job to figure out who might have an interest in their product or service, then convince them to become a client or customer. Now, many businesses are breaking up the responsibilities and hiring what are known as Sales Development Representatives (SDRs). If you’re looking for a way to improve the efficiency of your sales team, you’ll want to consider bringing SDRs to your team.
Who are Sales Development Representatives
So, what exactly is a Sales Development Rep? Here’s how we define it:
Sales Development Representative (SDR) is a member of the sales team that focuses only on outbound prospecting and lead qualification.
When you hire SDRs, you’re essentially breaking your sales efforts into two specific groups – the SDRs and the Account Executives.
How Sales Development Reps Differ From Account Executives
The biggest difference between Sales Development Representatives and Account Executives is that SDRs don’t worry about closing deals. Their task is to find prospects and decide how strong of a lead they are. Then the Sales Managers can focus their energies on the best leads, allowing them to use their time more efficiently.
Once an SDR finds and qualifies a lead, their work is essentially done. It’s the Sales Manager that works to close the deal with the prospect, then spends time with them after managing the account. SDRs do the leg-work while Sales Managers are more client-facing.
What Is The Difference Between an SDR and BDR
SDRs and BDRs (Business Development Representatives) often get confused with one another, and for good reason.
For starters, SDRs will typically get their starting information from the marketing department. As an example, someone might sign up for the email newsletter your marketing department set up. The SDR would then be responsible for learning more about this lead and deciding if it’s a good prospect or not. Or your SDRs might be given a database of local businesses, in which case they would research each one to further evaluate if they would be a good prospect.
BDRs on the other hand typically start from scratch. It’s their job to go out and find leads, rather than having another department start them off. This creates more work, but also more freedom, as the leads can come from anywhere.
Another big difference is how these two roles engage their leads. SDRs will typically use more automation and a softer touch. For example, after someone signs up for that email list, they may receive an automated email asking for more information.
BDRs take a more active approach, aggressively reaching out to prospects via cold outreach. Their prospects haven’t shown initial interest, so BDRs must use more aggressive tactics to try to make contact and learn about them.
What Is The Role of SDR in the Sales Process
To better understand the role of an SDR in the sales process, let’s look at exactly what it is they do.
A typical SDR might start their day checking email responses from the prior day. For example, if someone responded asking to be removed from the mailing list, the SDR would mark that down as a poor prospect and go ahead with the removal. Or if the person responded with a request for more information, the SDR would then mark that as a stronger prospect and add them into the sales pipeline.
They may then move onto sending out the next batch of emails for the day. This is based on the leads you received from the previous day or overnight. The SDR will take time to ensure all the info is accurate in these emails before sending them out.
After finishing with their emails, the SDR will then have to update their prospect information. SDRs track the status of every single lead. This allows your salespeople to know which leads are ready to be contacted and which ones to avoid altogether.
The SDR may then spend the rest of the day responding to follow-up emails, scheduling meetings, conducting additional research, or having meetings with the other members of the sales team. These meetings are important to ensure everyone is on the same page so that the SDRs know how to properly qualify their leads.
At the end of the day, hopefully, the SDR will have plenty of new, high-quality leads in the sales pipeline, and will have their databases up to date so that they can repeat the process again the following day.
Sales Development Rep Responsibilities
- Prospect and qualify new leads
- Work with Account Executives and the Marketing Department to better understand your business’s Ideal Customer
- Send out initial emails and follow-ups
- Call prospects to gauge their interest and learn more about them
- Schedule appointments between strong leads and the sales team
- Keep an accurate record of each prospect’s status
4 Reasons Why You Need a Sales Rep in 2019
Dividing up your sales team into two roles provides some great advantages. Here are 4 of the biggest that you can expect to get if you go this route.
#1 – Make Life Easier for Your Account Executives
One study found that salespeople rate prospecting as the most difficult part of their job. If you can delegate this task to an SDR, either to an in-house or an outsourced SDR,, you’ll enable your Account Executives to focus on closing deals.
#2 – More Efficient Use of Time
Another study found that it takes on average 18 calls to connect with a buyer. On top of that, one study showed that you should ask between 11 and 14 questions during each call for maximum effectiveness. Each of these calls takes time, especially when you have to ask so many questions – time that your Account Executives could put to better use.
Hubspot conducted research about salespeople and they found that only one-third of the day was spent talking to prospects. Half of the day was spent on writing emails, prospecting leads, and scheduling calls. Leaving them little time to actually talk to the prospects and close some deals.
#3 – Allows for Specialized Training
Turning a lead into a prospect requires a different strategy than turning a prospect into a sale. By splitting up each of these goals, you can provide more specific training. Rather than training one person to do both things, you can split it up and ensure each person excels at their individual task.
#4 – Better Data
Your SDRs will spend a large part of their day working with your CRM. As a result, the data within it will be up to date and useful. Salespeople aren’t always the best at keeping accurate data, because they simply don’t have the time. SDRs, however, use this data constantly and are better suited for maintaining it. Your marketing department and other sales staff can then use this data to make better decisions.
When You Should Divide Roles
How do you know if Sales Development is right for your business? There are two scenarios to look for that will suggest it’s a good time to divide the roles.
The first is when you have a great team of closers, but not enough leads for them to act on. Your current sales team is spending most of their day trying to find new business, but when they do find a lead, their conversion rate is high. In this scenario, SDRs would help to fill up the pipeline for your Account Executives, so that they can just focus on closing deals.
The other is almost the opposite – it’s when you have too many leads coming in. There are so many leads that your salespeople don’t know where to start. They end up either spending their time trying to qualify these leads or talking with low-quality leads. SDRs would help in with lead qualification and appointment setting, so the AEs could focus solely on sales.
Take some time to really study how your sales team currently spends time. How much of it is actually spent on closing deals opposed to all the leg work required to get them there? Then do the math.
For example, let’s say your team has the time to talk to 10 prospects each day and has a 30% closing rate. Then assume you hire an SDR team, allowing your Account Executives to now talk to 20 prospects a day while retaining their 30% conversion rate. Would this additional 3 sales justify the costs of the SDR team? Think about the numbers for your own situation then decide if an SDR team seems feasible.
The answer will depend on your specific business, but in many cases, the answer is yes. SDRs provide tremendous value to their companies by ensuring that Sales Managers always have high-quality leads and the time to close the deals.
Ready to Start Closing More Deals?
When you’re ready to start closing more deals, contact the team here at TaskDrive. We can handle the entire Sales Development process for you so that your sales team can then focus on closing rather than prospecting. To stay ahead of the competition you need your salespeople focused on closing deals. Not wasting their time on the time-consuming tasks. Contact TaskDrive today to schedule a free consultation and see how we can make this a reality.