Home Sales Prospecting Techniques for Sales Development Reps

Sales Prospecting Techniques for Sales Development Reps

New sales development reps (SDRs) are born into this world inspired, energetic souls. They win a job they really don’t know much about based on the belief they’ll be able to smash through walls for the sales team. At some point, ambition meets reality.

The SDRs realize sales prospecting is more about chipping away at that wall — rather than flinging themselves against it.

In this blog post, you will find some successful sales prospecting techniques that may be just what your SDRs need to attack that wall with a sharp pick, and strike it for maximum impact.

What structure should be around the SDR function?

Our primary goal with the techniques in this blog post is to put some structure around the SDR function, to help Sales better describe the SDR mission and provide guidance on the sales tools and methods they should employ to get the job done.

What are the responsibilities that sales development representatives?

Closing leads is not one of them. Instead, SDRs find leads, connect with them, and determine whether they can turn into potential customers. An essential part of their job is finding businesses and identifying their needs. The second step is understanding how the company they represent can cater to those needs through the product they offer. Some of the next steps are:

  • Demonstration
  • Strategy call
  • Fit assessment
  • Consultation
  • Technical call

After educating and sending resources to potential customers, SDRs decide who will become a viable customer.

Then, the SDR will pass along these contacts to sales representatives, who eventually close the leads. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as Chess — but the process does require some thought and strategy to be properly executed.


The SDR Mission

From the start, make the SDR mission clear. Maybe your SDRs already know this, but it helps them focus. So, what is their primary mission?

Sales development representatives should know that finding the right opportunities is the big chunk of this job. To achieve this mission, they will need to reach accounts on a monthly basis and identify leads that are approaching the sales cycle. It is also critical for sales management to ensure the strategy is in place to achieve these goals.

SDR Goals Front and Center

Sales are always pretty clear on goals. Get the sale. Period. SDRs need the same clarity because their goals are a little more nebulous and diffuse. They need to support deals, generate opportunities that will become those deals and interact with enough people to make that all feasible. So, lay it all out there nice and simple for the SDRs.

Some of the most common goals for sales development representatives are:

  • Generating new opportunities
  • Getting introductory meetings setup
  • Hosting demos
  • Creating semi-qualified meetings
  • Passing fully qualified opportunities

Garbage in, Garbage Out

Some of the best guidance you can provide an SDR is around building a strong prospecting foundation. Without the right database volume or the right contacts in that database, your SDR will be set up to fail. But with regular guidance and checks on their prospecting database, you can ensure every SDR has a snowball’s chance.

Its a team effort to organize and get the most of your database.


Go With the Flow

Inbound marketing leads – a creation of content and campaigns that bring in website visitors and convert them into leads, will be an important part of your SDRs job. You need to think of them as a liaison between your marketing and sales operations.

Sales development representatives must understand your marketing funnel and customer journey map to be able to connect with potential customers. On the marketing side, some of their responsibilities can be analyzing the pages their target leads have viewed, marketing emails they have opened, and much more.

This information will allow them to learn early on how the lead flow works and how to properly handle Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).

The Proper Response

As SDRs interact with prospects you’ll want them to properly triage the leads. This helps keep the prospecting database clean and ensures you’re able to track the success of each SDR. You’ll want to keep this process as simple as possible. Resist the urge to introduce nuanced categorization of leads. You don’t want a bunch of judgment calls clouding your data and slowing down your SDRs.

Use BANT to Qualify Prospects

Before we dive into ways BANT can help your SDRs identify qualified prospects, let’s discuss what this term stands for. BANT is a sales qualification method that lets your SDRs determine whether the potential lead is a good fit based on their budget, ability to buy, need, and timing.

  • Budget. It is important that your SDRs know that the budget should not be a blocker if the potential lead fits the other important criteria. To make it work, they can offer the potential customer a more affordable monthly subscription.
  • Authority. When contacting a prospective lead, your SDRs should ask themselves if the person on the other end is in a position to make a decision.
  • Need. Remember – people will be interested in buying a product if it directly caters to their needs or solves their problems. Therefore, your SDRs should always be aware of the obstacles their potential leads are facing to be able to find common ground with them.
  • Timing. To be able to better understand prospective customers, SDRs should know in what timeframe they are looking to implement a solution.

How Can Your Company Benefit From an SDR Team?

Some people are not sure if their organization needs an SDR team, and some also assume that salespeople can carry out the responsibilities designed for sales development representatives. So, do you really need an SDR team? If yes, how can they contribute to your company’s success?

To begin with, you should know that finding prospective customers and reaching out to them takes a long time. In fact, it can take 60-90 dials to get an appointment with a prospect. Moreover, not all salespeople are trained to identify the right customers and generate interest. As a result, the productivity of your sales representatives will suffer, as they spend most of their time on finding the wrong leads and not being able to close them.

Having a successful sales development team means having a higher conversion rate. As a matter of fact, it has been recorded that a company that has an optimized SDR team converts leads at 40%. This can be explained by the fact that when employees have clear responsibilities they tend to perform better.

If you already have an SDR team, the above-mentioned techniques will help your employees improve their work performance and increase efficiency. Besides these techniques, your SDRs should also keep in mind that the keys to sales success is being patient with their prospects, listening to their concerns, and offering a viable solution.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Joe Martin
VP of Marketing

Joe Martin is currently the VP of marketing at Scorpion, a leading provider of technology and marketing to help small businesses grow. Formerly he was CloudApp’s GM and CMO and a Head of Marketing at Adobe. With over 15 years of experience in the industry and tech that makes it run, he provides strategic guidance on how to build and use the right stack and marketing for businesses to grow. Joe believes marketers need smart training and leadership to scale company growth. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @joeDmarti.

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