In years past, the sales development representative (SDR) role was simple: make phone calls, send emails, leave some voicemails. But as the sales process has changed over the years, so has the SDR role.
The role of an SDR is to help account executives find qualified leads who are ready to buy. While the traditional outreach method of finding and closing may be mildly successful for some companies, it’s not for most. SDRs are essential because they can use their hard and soft skills to build valuable relationships with leads until they’re ready to set a sales appointment.
To be effective in the SDR role, it’s essential that you follow sales development best practices. These best practices include:
- Follow a Routine
- Adapt to Change
- Use Sales Enablement Assets to Your Advantage
- Understand Your Prospect’s Needs
- Personalize Messaging
Let’s jump into what goes into each of these best practices.
Follow a Routine
SDRs have a lot of daily responsibilities: writing emails, making calls, following up with hot leads, inputting notes in a CRM, conducting market research, and more. To complete all these tasks, an SDR must follow a sequence and ensure every prospect gets the attention they need. Following a sequence assists SDRs in tracking daily tasks to ensure everything is checked off on their daily to-do list.
Here are some ways SDRs can manage their time effectively:
Tracking Their Time
Some tasks are more time consuming than others, so it’s important for SDRs to track their time for each task to ensure they’re using their time effectively. While they could do this on their own, there are some other ways SDRs can track their time management skills, such as using CRM software. This allows them to see where their time is and what can be done to achieve more in a shorter amount of time.
Distractions are all around us, making it difficult to focus on one thing at a time. But everyone has their own preferred work environment. As an SDR, it’s important to put yourself in an area where you work best, whether that’s in a quiet space or somewhere with mild noise.
Taking Regular Breaks
While we may ideally want to keep hustling through our day, taking regular breaks is essential for keeping the momentum rolling. Without breaks, you risk falling into the same mindless routine, which could result in burnout. For SDRs to stay motivated, it’s essential that they take regular breaks to go to the restroom, fill up their coffee, or grab a snack.
Making a Plan for the Day
SDRs must make plans for their days if they want to feel accomplished. Setting a game plan is essential because it encourages them to achieve everything they have set on their list. This helps them feel motivated and that they have something to work toward. It also helps SDRs stay on track and hit their necessary metrics.
Adapt to Change
An SDR’s role is not constant. Responsibilities and best practices may change for an SDR over time, so it’s important that they’re able to easily adapt to change when new things come their way.
Change isn’t easy for everyone, but there are ways it can be made easier. For an SDR to be able to adapt to change, they must be a perpetual student. Top-performing SDRs are always seeking the latest information on how to be a good SDR and yield results.
While SDRs like having a talk track when speaking to prospects, not every conversation is as simple as asking your two probing questions and getting the appointment. Sometimes, it’s a bit more challenging. When things appear to be complex, an SDR should make an effort to further connect with the prospect and understand what they’re looking for in a product or service provider. The best SDRs are masters in their field and can effectively break down hard topics into easy-to-understand concepts for both them and the decision-maker they’re speaking with.
Use Sales Enablement Assets to Your Advantage
An SDR’s words are important, but sometimes they’re not enough. High-performing SDRs often use sales enablement assets to effectively guide decision-makers to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. These pieces of marketing collateral can include:
- Sell sheets
- Case studies
- Promotional videos
- And more
Marketing collateral is a great asset to an SDR’s outbound email marketing efforts because it gives the prospect something to look over and further explains what their company does and why it should be important for them.
Additionally, these assets can be posted on a company’s social media platforms or embedded into a website for maximized digital engagement and increased SEO value.
Understand Your Prospect's Needs
When it comes down to it, SDRs are relationship builders. To build a relationship with prospects, it’s important that SDRs have a firm understanding of their needs and what they’re looking for in a potential product or service provider.
Understanding a prospect’s needs is essential for having a productive conversation and an overall seamless sales development process. To understand a prospect’s needs, it’s essential that an SDR practices active listening and only makes value statements that align with their pain points and concerns. The more empathetic an SDR is, the more likely they are to get the information they need to qualify a lead and secure the sales meeting.
Personalizing calls and emails is the top SDR best practice and it’s here to stay. SDRs are missing a significant number of business opportunities if they don’t personalize their pitches. In years past, a “talking script” may have worked for lead generation. However, times have changed and you must show your prospects you know what they want and demonstrate how they can get it.
Decision-makers receive sales emails all the time, so it’s essential that you gain and maintain their attention to boost open and response rates. Here are some ways to make your sales email stand out among the rest:
- Personalize the email subject line
- Point out prospect similarities
- Celebrate the prospect’s success
- Mention your outstanding client base
Many small businesses have limited resources, time, and money to hire internal SDRs. When they don’t have the bandwidth to internalize their sales development efforts, they seek help from outsourced sales and marketing companies.
At Sapper Consulting, our SDRs are well-equipped to follow the latest SDR best practices and effectively guide leads through each stage of the sales funnel. If you need an extra hand with your sales development efforts, contact the lead generation specialists at Sapper Consulting!