SDRs: Where a loved tactic can go wrong and what to do about it
If you have used a free-trial or happen to own an email account, it is very likely that someone has reached out looking to sell you something. They are better known as sales development representatives (SDR), a concept many of you are probably familiar with!
Viewed as the first line of attack, the SDR’s role is to do prospective selling—to simplify the customer experience and be a gatekeeper that determines if the account executives can close a deal.
These reps do the gritty work of understanding customer needs and pains within organizations. Not only do they try to solicit new players, but they also advocate to expand existing usage to increase a large customer’s budget. This often results in 50-60 calls a day with only about 5% turning into leads.
SDRs can be a critical asset for improving conversion rates, ACVs, and overall brand image if used strategically, and have helped many SaaS companies grow time and time again.
However, they are not a magical solution. The number one mistake is hiring SDRs without a defined purpose. It is not very effective to hire recent graduates to become email spambots.
Create a plan. Have SDRs sit down with your product team to be an expert on the value proposition and understand the message. Who are the best audience(s) to target? How can you diagnose customer problems? What is the barrier to adoption?
Empower your SDRs to fully comprehend the accounts they are calling, and not just become a cog in the process. This way you train your SDRs, your customers find increased value, and you can even upsell accounts.
Your SDRs can excel through repetition and being a resource for your customers. Eventually, it will not be uncommon that the best reps can close the smaller deals without relying on the account executives.
A well-trained SDR is a secret weapon for your organization. Just ensure that the process does not evolve into automation, but more so thoughtful selling.
This article is a collaboration between Archit Bhise and Sebstian Duluc.