When watching professional golf tournaments, you may see the golf pro and caddy pointing and discussing how they should approach the next shot. More often than not, you might see this around the actual golf hole AKA “the green”. For our not-so-experienced golfers out there, this is what they call “reading the green.”
Even the world’s best golfers still routinely converse with their caddy for advice and insight into the next move. If you think about it, SDR outsourcing is similar to caddies in golf tournaments—they may not be closing business deals, but they help companies be successful by teeing up high-quality leads.
Now, we aren’t here to advise what clubs you should bring with you to the course. However, we can tell you:
A sales development representative (SDR) is a sales professional responsible for generating leads and setting sales appointments. Sales development reps are tasked with actively reaching out to prospective businesses that meet your company’s ideal customer criteria and pitching them your product or service. As a result, the SDR aims to schedule a sales meeting between key decision-makers (KDM) and an internal sales executive.
An SDR handles nurturing relationships with leads in the sales pipeline and scheduling their appointments with a member of your internal team.
While setting appointments is the end goal of the SDR team, lead nurturing plays a crucial role in guiding leads through the sales funnel. Since most leads don’t agree to a sales appointment after the first phone call or email, lead nurturing is essential for building and maintaining the relationship between the KDM and your company.
Lead nurturing looks different for every SDR team. However, if you want to get the most out of your appointment setting efforts, it would be beneficial for your SDRs to make follow-up phone calls and send sales emails with relevant content attached. Using various platforms for lead nurturing gives your SDRs the opportunity to catch the right leads at the right time and ensures you’re not missing out on any significant business opportunities.
In many sales enablement teams, SDRs are the “closers” when it comes to securing appointments and making sales. However, the business development representatives (BDRs) are the ones helping set the SDR up for success. While SDR and BDR roles are often intertwined, there are some differences that should be noted.
For starters, BDRs manage sales tasks like prospecting and list building. In the prospecting stage of the sales process, BDRs discover businesses that meet your ideal customer criteria. BDRs find these prospects online through social media platforms or search engine results. Many SDR teams also find prospects through third-party data enrichment tools, like ZoomInfo or D&B Hoovers.
Once BDRs build lists of prospective businesses, it’s time for them to qualify the prospects. After a prospect is qualified, they become a lead and are turned over to the SDR for them to set the sales appointment. BDRs practice lead qualification by confirming a KDM’s name, job title, email address, and direct phone number. BDRs also must qualify leads by asking questions like:
- How many full-time employees does your company have?
- What is the square footage of your commercial space? (specifically for commercial companies like cleaning, roofing, HVAC, etc.)
Depending on your company’s qualifiers, other questions may be needed for a high-quality sales appointment. For instance, commercial cleaning companies may need to ask the number of times a prospective business has its office cleaned in a week. This is because many commercial cleaning packages start with a minimum number of days they need to clean per week.
Most Important Skills of a High-Performing SDR
SDRs are more than appointment setters—they’re relationship builders. To be successful in the SDR role, your employees must have the soft skills it takes to build and sustain a predictable sales pipeline.
For a person to be a good fit in the SDR role, they must be:
- Resilient: The SDR role is no easy gig. SDRs get told “no” a lot, so they should know how to accept rejection from KDMs and take it with a grain of salt.
- Adaptable: If an SDR gets a lot of rejection from KDMs, they may need to make adjustments to their pitch to secure more sales appointments.
- Sociable: SDRs must be sociable and know how to keep a conversation going with KDMs. They should be aware of all the right questions to ask.
- Active listeners: While being a good talker is a key trait of a high-performing SDR, so is listening. SDRs must be active listeners so they can submit the proper responses.
- Ambitious: SDRs should be ambitious and seek success. They should be competitive with their colleagues and always aim to be the best salesperson on the floor.
- Self-aware: SDRs must be self-aware and know when the conversation is over. If a KDM refuses to schedule a meeting, thank them for their time and follow up later.
- Organized: To keep the sales pipeline clean, SDRs must be organized and know what stage to put each lead in. This ensures each KDM receives the best sales materials.
- Coachable: No matter how skilled an SDR is, there is always room for improvement. A high-performing SDR must be coachable and always seek professional growth.
SDR as a service is when a company hires an outsourced outbound sales team to help them enhance their business growth efforts. Like an internal SDR, they’re responsible for prospecting, qualifying, nurturing, and setting sales appointments with leads in the sales pipeline.
However, it’s important to know that outsourced SDRs do everything traditional BDRs and SDRs do. While outsourced SDRs cannot close deals with leads, they can set your company up for success by finding the best leads and pitching them until they’re toward the end of their buying cycle. This ensures that your sales pipeline stays healthy and yields sustainable results for a positive ROI.
When you invest in SDR as a service, you’re not only paying for a single SDR—you’re paying for an outsourced SDR team that’s specialized in a variety of sales and marketing tasks. Here’s a breakdown of the types of sales team members you get when you invest in SDR as a service:
- Implementation managers: These sales professionals are responsible for onboarding new clients and ensuring that each pitch held by SDRs meets the client’s expectations.
- Email marketing specialists: Email marketing specialists are tasked with crafting the perfect sales emails for each lead in the sales pipeline, particularly lead nurturing emails.
- Content creators: The job description for these experts is to design high-quality marketing collateral that helps guide leads through each stage of the sales funnel.
- Data and operations analysts: Data and operations analysts are the list builders of outbound appointment setting and consistently add new prospects to the sales pipeline.
- Sales development representatives (SDRs): As we mentioned before, these people qualify and nurture leads until they want a sales meeting.
- Sales training specialists: Outbound sales best practices are changing all the time. The role of sales training specialists is to ensure SDRs are up to date on the latest appointment setting best practices to guarantee clients receive the best services.
- Quality assurance managers: To make sure clients are getting the best sales meetings, outsourced SDR teams have quality assurance managers to grade appointment calls to guarantee they meet the client’s expectations.
- Client success managers: These sales experts are responsible for retaining client satisfaction. If a client has any concerns with their SDR outsourcing program, client success managers address them and make adjustments as needed.
- Sales managers: Sales managers are the leaders of the SDR team. They make sure SDRs hit goals for their clients and stay motivated to secure more sales appointments.
While many B2B companies choose to internalize their sales efforts, hiring an outsourced SDR firm delivers significant benefits to growing small to medium-sized businesses. If you’re not financially prepared to expand your internal sales team yet, consider SDR outsourcing to lend a helping hand in the meantime so you can grow your business before growing your sales team. Investing in SDR outsourcing to work alongside your internal sales team enables you to:
Improve the Quality of Your Sales Pipeline
Outsourced SDRs are trained and well-equipped to move leads through the sales pipeline effectively and ensure clients get the most out of their outbound appointment setting program. From prospecting to qualifying and nurturing, outsourced SDRs know when they need to push leads to the next stage of the sales cycle.
For an outbound sales program to be effective, SDR teams must use various tools and technologies. Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are vital for a healthy sales pipeline because they help align sales and marketing efforts and prioritize leads that are closest to the end of their buyer’s journey. This ensures that each lead SDRs contact will likely result in a high-quality sales appointment.
Reduce Sales Employee Turnover
Unfortunately, turnover in the sales industry is high. When you invest in SDR outsourcing, you reduce the risk of employee turnover, which wastes your company’s time and money.
Outsourced SDR firms are constantly growing and training new SDRs, so you’ll always have an SDR for your company’s business growth efforts. While you and your account executives focus on making sales, an outsourced SDR firm will prioritize finding your next big business opportunity.
Have Access to the Latest Best Practices
Outbound appointment setting best practices are changing all the time, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends. If you internalize your business growth efforts, you risk taking away valuable time from your salespeople for ongoing sales training. This is crucial time that could be spent selling high-quality leads and retaining relationships with existing clients.
Investing in an outsourced SDR firm ensures that sales experts are always up to date on appointment setting best practices. As we mentioned earlier, sales trainers play a significant role in the success of an SDR team. Without consistent training and knowledge of sales development best practices, you risk a negative ROI.
When it comes down to it, the role of a golf caddy is to add value to the game for the golfer. Like how the caddy brings value to the golfer’s game, the role of an SDR is to bring value to a company’s sales appointment, increasing the opportunity of a closed business deal.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our outsourced SDRs help clients find prospects, qualify leads, build and nurture relationships with potential buyers, and set high-converting sales appointments.
When you’re ready to “sink the putt” with SDR outsourcing, contact the sales reps at Abstrakt Marketing Group!