It doesn’t matter what product or service you’re selling, in today’s competitive market, every sales organization should have a dedicated team of Sales Development Representatives (SDRs). It’s no longer enough to just have talented salespeople. If you want leads that are qualified and to grow your pipeline (and thus your business), you need SDRs.
The concept of a team of SDRs is still fairly new to the B2B lead generation world; however, if you haven’t been paying attention to this concept, it’s time to start. Sales development teams have become an essential part of sales organizations; and by tracking the right metrics, you can see how SDRs are contributing to the overall sales process and tell whether or not your B2B sales reps are performing to the best of their abilities.
First off, what is an SDR and why should you even care? A Sales Development Representative (SDR) is an inside sales representative who focuses solely on prospecting and moving prospects through the sales funnel. Once a lead is qualified by the organization’s standards, it moves to a sales executive/B2B sales rep who closes deals. Essentially, it is an SDRs job to take a prospect through the early stages of the sales pipeline.
A sales team has a 56% greater chance of attaining quota if they engage buyers before those buyers have a need to contact a seller. This is the reason for an SDR team—to engage prospects and build a relationship with them before it’s actually the right time for them to buy. It’s also an SDRs job to reach out to new leads and qualify them. So, a prospect’s first impression with your company is usually with an SDR.
In addition to having great communication and time management skills, SDRs also need to be very knowledgeable about:
- The prospect’s industry
- Your organization’s sales process
- Your product and how it can add value to other businesses
- The right questions to ask on a call
- Qualifying and disqualifying leads
- Other compelling events to make for good conversation
- How to get the prospect to speak NOW (helping prospects realize urgency for your product or service)
The role of an SDR is to set up quality meetings and appointments so that the executive sales reps can spend the majority of their time talking to highly qualified leads.
Why Do I Need An SDR Team?
Now that we know what an SDR is and the role they play in sales organizations, let’s look at reasons why you should have an SDR team. Any growing business should have more than just salespeople, they should have dedicated SDRs. Without them, leads will fall through the cracks and sales reps will feel overwhelmed.
A dedicated SDR team will help you:
- Schedule qualified appointments. This is probably the single most important thing that an SDR team provides a sales organization—the ability to schedule qualified sales appointments. The true value of your SDR team is realized in revenue from deals sold from the pitches that they schedule. Because SDRs are highly skilled and committed to building great relationships with qualified leads, your sales executives have better appointments, better companies to pitch to, and bring in more revenue from the deals that they close.
- Produce a healthy sales pipeline. Having a dedicated SDR team isn’t just about improving your sales process, it also creates a healthy pipeline. When you have team members who solely focus on prospecting, your pipeline is less full of unqualified leads and dead deals, resulting in more opportunities and more closed deals. The process of having SDR’s continually reaching out to the top prospects you want to do business with keeps you with a continuous funnel of qualified leads month after month.
- Increase growth. By taking prospecting and lead nurturing off their plates, your sales executives can focus on perfecting their craft: selling and closing. This will result in more deals, thus increasing growth for your organization.
- Increase productivity. Without an SDR team, sales executives must deal with the burden of prospecting. This slows productivity and prevents them from doing what they’re really good at. So, save your salespeople time and let them close deals while your talented SDRs prospect and guide customers through the sales funnel.
- Improve your nurture process. Using your SDR team to nurture deals that don’t close immediately is crucial. This frees up your salespeople to nurture their own ‘top 50’ prospects and allow the SDR’s aligned with each sales executive to continue to nurture those that wanted to buy, but couldn’t immediately. Just because the timing was off doesn’t mean you should completely disqualify a lead; this is the reason for an SDR team. By having a dedicated team of SDRs and building up this process of nurturing leads, you’ll start compiling nurture deals each month to contribute to your sales goal.
We’ve established the importance of an SDR team, but there are also key SDR metrics that your sales team should care about. Once you have a fully functioning SDR team as a part of your B2B sales organization, here are the SDR metrics that should matter to you:
Key decision-maker (KDM) pitched to appointment ratio. This will tell you how good your SDR’s are at engaging a prospect right off the bat. A good ratio would be 2:1; for every two KDM’s they pitch, one appointment is scheduled.
Dials to appointment. This tracks the efficiency of dials and SDRs’ ability to find a KDM and get them on the phone. This is important so that SDRs know how many dials they need to make to hit appointment goals.
Show rate. Show rate is an important metric to track because if it’s not high enough, you need to change something. A good goal is to maintain a minimum of a 50% show rate for every appointment set.
Cost to acquisition. How many deals are you actually procuring from your SDR team in order to grow it and justify the cost? The cost to acquisition metric shows you the overall contribution your SDR team is making to your organization.
There’s a lot of work that goes into building an SDR team. Once you have a team, there’s even more work involved—aligning SDRs with sales reps, tracking metrics to achieve sales success, and getting to the point where nurtured leads are regularly closed each month. To understand the value of an SDR team to your organization, what it really boils down to is this:
Excellent prospecting = higher quality leads = appointments specifically within your ideal customer profile = higher show rate.
The higher your show rate, the more at-bats your salespeople have in order to sell and attain more revenue.
More revenue = business growth.
Why hire a team and build your own process when you could work with a team of B2B appointment setting experts? At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our Sales Development Representatives take a strategic and thoughtful approach with every prospect so that we can set quality appointments for our partners.
“We have made our SDR team at Abstrakt the largest part of our overall Sales Enablement structure and plan. We are the first ripple effect in convincing a prospect of their need for a sustainable, ongoing pipeline and the leverage to have exclusivity in their market. I’m proud of what my team does to represent our company, and ultimately, we will continue to grow our sales numbers and revenue each year because of their work!”