The SDR has a very important role in routine sales of any company. Sure, selling is good, but selling to the right customers who are ready and safe to buy is even better.
The leads generated by your company, no matter where they come from, need to be well taken care of.
First, because you don’t know the degree of maturity and need they have at the current moment of the buying journey.
Second, if your company has a large volume of leads in its sales funnel, how can you act assertively? How not to let it cool down for lack of action, thus losing the sale to a competitor?
These are important tasks that cannot be neglected. And that’s where the work of SDR comes in. He is a support, the right-hand man of the sales team itself.
After all, the seller cannot have two distinct concerns. It is called the closer. He needs to be calm and armed with information to find the right trigger and close the sale.
But how can he do that if he has to contact countless people to find out if they really want to buy?
Therefore, if your company deals with many contacts, it is essential to have a team to qualify them in advance.
In this article, we’ll talk about what SDR is and how it works. More than that, we’ll explain why it’s important to have it in companies and how to know how many you need.
After all, more than selling more, you have to sell better, isn’t it?
Stay with us.
What is SDR anyway?
The SDR team (or Sales Development Representative) is responsible for pre-sales at the companies. It is he who qualifies the leads that are generated, regardless of whether by inbound marketing strategies, or by outbound marketing.
The intention is to make them ready, safe and educated to effectively become customers.
In other words, SDR’s job is to pass the best contacts on to the sales team.
They are the ones that allow the salesperson to invest their time only with the prospects that are most likely to become customers.
Without wasting time on unskilled leads, salespeople increase their productivity.
In this way, they generate value for the company’s ideal customer profile (ICP) and, consequently, leverage commercial results.
Why hire (more than) one SDR?
Before reading, if you prefer, listen and understand the importance of pre-sales in your company:
CRM PipeRun: Importance – Of – Structuring – the- Sector – of – Pre – Sales
Many companies structure the customer acquisition process and, only based on the data provided by their landing page visitors, approach the potential customer and try to sell something to him.
However, the truth is that 50% of leads have the potential to buy, but it’s not yet time to decide, and only 25% of leads with valid information are eligible to advance into the sales funnel.
The others should continue in the marketing nutrition process, according to a study by Glister Research.
On the other hand, a survey by the Inside Sales portal showed that between 35 and 50% of sales are closed by the supplier who responds first to an interaction and request from the potential customer.
That is, there is a dilemma.
If your sales team approaches every lead, it will spend a lot of time and resources with a lot of people who are not ready to buy. On the other hand, if you are not one of the first companies to respond, your chances of converting are considerably reduced. What to do?
The SDR enters the picture
The solution is to hire a Sales Development Representative. He is responsible for making the first interactions with leads, better understanding their needs, evaluating their moment in the customer journey and qualifying them or not for the sales team.
When pre-sales (SDR) is used, conversion possibilities will be greater. They also increase the chances of reaching the number of sales necessary to reach your financial goal, as the focus is on serving those who are really ready to buy.
Sellers should not act as pre-sales as it is expensive and does not generate productivity. Focus is lost.
However, it is common to have doubts when hiring professionals for your SDR team.
After all, if they are few, the problem of filtering out a large number of qualified contacts will not be solved.
On the other hand, hiring more people than necessary, there won’t be enough lead for the whole team to work and the business will be charging for marketing.
Therefore, the first step in building an SDR team is to establish a sales strategy that allows you to estimate how many leads you will reach.
This will only be possible by calculating the number of professionals needed to meet the stipulated target for your action.
But first, we need to understand exactly what role SDR plays within the pre-sales team. After all, hiring these professionals is strategic and you cannot go wrong in this task.
The Roles of an SDR in Inbound Sales
SDR can be used in three different ways. We explain each one so that the sales manager can understand the best way to structure his team.
1. Qualification of marketing leads
Using only the phone, internet and email, SDR assesses whether the information left by a lead is valid. He researches his company, analyzes the person’s profile on social networks and finds connection points to create a close and personalized contact with him.
When talking to the potential customer, the SDR uses the qualification criteria aligned between the marketing and sales teams. So he manages to decide on the quality of it. Its critical mission is to be quick in service, to be extremely close to the potential customer and to validate the qualification criteria.
2. Conducting webinars
Another way to use SDR is by allowing it to make an online presentation about your products and services. In other words, your mission will not only be to assess customer needs, but also to act as and Inside Sales. And this can happen through webinars.
But this role should only be played in companies where the sale has a low average ticket and the lead generation volume allows the SDR to play another role, without compromising the fast service of new potential customers.
3. Active prospecting
The last possibility is to offer tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator or acquisition of lists of companies that act as Big Data in the market or promote prospecting actions via social networks.
This ensures that in times of low amount of inbound leads to qualify, the SDR has a strategic role to play in the outbound model.
The end of SDR’s work is the transfer of the lead to the sales area.
Many companies consider this time to be when a face-to-face or online meeting has been scheduled for the seller.
This optimizes the sales team’s time and productivity with opportunities that actually have a high conversion potential.
Does your company want to reinforce the alignment between marketing and sales? Increase your conversion rates and ensure the success of your inbound strategy?
Then consider hiring an SDR!
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Structuring the pre-sales team with an SDR
To define your goal, you need to measure how many opportunities are needed to achieve it.
When a qualified lead is serviced by the sales team, it is worked on with a focus on closing the deal. Therefore, it ceases to be a lead and becomes an opportunity.
The next step is to turn that opportunity into a sale. Let’s say that at this moment the conversion rate to end customer is 50%, for example.
This means that for every deal closed, two opportunities are needed.
But what if the conversion from qualified lead to opportunity is 25%? This then means that each sales member needs to present the product to at least four of them to close a deal.
By doing this simple math, it becomes clearer the number of SDRs you should have on your team.
But for that, you need to have activity-based sales within your business.
So how many SDRs does each vendor need?
Let’s continue with the first example above. Suppose salespeople have a goal of 2 sales per day, right? To do this, he will need to contact 4 opportunities, which came from 8 leads qualified by the SDRs.
If each SDR is able to qualify 4 leads per day, each salesperson will need to have at least 2 SDRs working with them. Thus, the chance of hitting the company’s goals increases, increasing the profitability of the business as a result.
Of course, each company can have different conversion rates. Therefore, it is essential to calculate yours well to define the number of people who will be part of the pre-sales team.
The importance of SDR in filling in data and using CRM
As we highlighted earlier, SDR is an important professional for your company to achieve success. And it’s also vital for filling in customer data and using CRM strategically.
See how this collaborator can be even more useful for your Inside Sales strategy, by making use of CRM and customer registration!
Difficulties in the lead qualification process
The objective of every company looking to sell products or services is to have a responsible sales team that is able to contact leads and convert them into customers.
Despite being a seemingly simple process, it should be designed so that salespeople make better use of their time and close more deals.
As soon as information about leads arrives in the company’s database or CRM, they are forwarded to the sales team so that they can be contacted and the conversion process started.
However, not all leads are qualified to become customers and, for this reason, it is necessary to qualify between good leads and bad leads, based on the information registered in the capture forms.
The lead qualification process ends up consuming a lot of time for the sales team.
The SDR and the Rep
The SDR is the professional in charge of making the first contact with leads, analyzing them and distinguishing those that have the potential to become customers.
After identifying the ideal leads, the professional contacts them, by phone or by email, in order to understand the reasons why they asked for information from the company or downloaded some material that was made available.
If the lead really shows interest in purchasing the product/service, the SDR must refer it to the Rep, the professional responsible for servicing the lead and for carrying out the business. That is, the SDR and the Rep salesperson must have aligned goals and work together for the good of the company.
In this context, it is worth remembering that the qualification process can take around 1 or 2 hours. This time can be equivalent to up to 2 meetings of a salesperson. By putting Reps to perform this task, the chances of sales will be reduced.
SDR and CRM
The SDR should use CRM to manage the initial stages of the sales funnel. When a certain lead goes through the prospecting process, it can already be considered a sales opportunity.
CRM is the most appropriate tool for SDR to approach, seek answers, record follow-up and, if necessary, further qualify the opportunity.
The features of CRM
CRM provides a number of features that can be put to good use by SDR. It offers personalized views, referring to the registration of customers, the personal data of each one.
Through contacts, it is possible, for example:
- schedule meetings;
- record the dates on which contacts were made;
- rank leads as they have more or less conversion possibilities;
- divide them by regions (territorial separation);
- Automatically send the emails.
Properly using CRM resources, SDR has the opportunity to conduct a good individualized conference of each lead, with enough data and in a timely manner, in order to qualify those with whom it pays to schedule a meeting.
Does your sales team already have the work of an SDR? And is SDR already wisely using the resources provided by CRM? How is your Inside Sales strategy? Tell us in the comments.
By following all of the above points to generate qualified leads with inbound marketing, you will ensure that leads are converted to real sales much more quickly and accurately. And so, it will be much easier to ensure the customer’s success with the solution he purchased from your company.
So, how can we help you?
Enjoy and read two articles that may be useful for you.
The first covers 17 sales tips for sellers to be able to sell more and better.
The second talks about what a sales leader needs to lead a successful sales team.