Building and Managing an SDR Team

Sales ‌• September 26, 2017

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To maximize your organization’s efficiency and output, dividing your sales teams into two groups, the prospectors and the closers, provides many advantages. With the optimal team structure, you can unlock additional revenue that doesn’t require hiring more people or spending more on marketing and additional leads.

Introducing a sales development representative (SDR) team into your corporate structure to handle researching, outreach prospecting and lead qualification, while letting account executives and managers handle closing will yield better results for your sales team.

Of course, that may be easier said than done.

If you want to build and manage a revenue-driving team of SDRs, here are a few tips to help you succeed.

Knowing the Importance of the SDR Role

The better your company becomes at prospecting, the better your company will be at closing – in other words, sales development is an imperative role on your sales team. If you don’t think that’s true, examine your team’s account executives who never seem to make quota. It’s most likely because their pipelines are small and they don’t excel in prospecting like dedicated and focused SDRs do.

It doesn’t matter whether they’re inbound- or outbound-focused, an SDR can be one of the toughest jobs in sales. That’s why recruiting the right people for this crucial role is as essential as it is complicated. If you hire the wrong person, you run the risk of losing a prospective account, which can turn into a costly lost opportunity.

Understand Who to Hire

The first step to building a premier SDR team is to recognize the strengths that make a strong salesperson.

Are you hiring people for the right reasons? Are you hiring them for their skills, experience or results? Well, stop it. All of those are lag indicators, they don’t predict success. You should instead be looking for qualities like attitudes, beliefs and values, their ability to adapt, adjust and learn on foot, the habits that they have, as well as their strengths.

Ensure that when you’re building an SDR team, you don’t keep hiring too many people that are the same type of personality. Find people whose strengths make the weaknesses in your team irrelevant. Build a diverse team that’s flexible and resilient that’s able to adapt, so you can place different people on different types of accounts. If one person isn’t working out, perhaps someone else will.

You will only do that if you recruit a diverse range of people with a diverse range of strengths. So what qualities make a great SDR? Overall, you should hire candidates based on your core values. The list below provides a few ideal traits that should get you started:

  • Excellent listener
  • Full of curiosity
  • Highly creative
  • Articulate speaker
  • Very coachable
  • Appropriately competitive
  • Highly Passionate
  • Shows humility

Efficient and Effective Onboarding

To ensure your new SDRs have everything they need to hit the ground running, make the onboarding process as quick and effective as possible. First, provide them with a playbook that lays out your entire process, from prospecting, making calls and sending emails. For the first month, adjust the new employee’s quota lower, so they have time to adjust to the new role and gain confidence.

Invest In Quality Training

While quick and effective onboarding is crucial, a good sales manager also needs to put the right resources towards training and growing their SDR team. Your reps shouldn’t simply be handed a playbook and let loose – rather, have them sit in on demonstrations, practice cold calling with various members of the organization and teach them how to wield sales tools effectively. When they have the right training, they’ll have much more confidence when approaching prospects.

Invest in Systems Designed for Today’s Modern Prospectors

When you are onboarding new SDRs, they need the right tools to do their job.  These tools should be purpose-built for supporting all the workflows they must do to be successful at pursuing today’s modern buyers.  They need a system that organizes their day, enables them to engage with prospects in their moments of interest, and automates the various touch points required to get engaged with today’s elusive B2B prospects.

Be Smart About Compensation

Sales development is inherently driven by metrics. Engaging conversations are the key activity that drives SDR success.  Making engaging conversations happen requires research, inbound lead follow-up, cold-calling, emailing, and smart outreach. It’s crucial that you compensate your SDRs based on the metrics that matter most to your and their success. By building their incentive compensation around these important metrics, SDRs are much more likely to rise to the challenge and achieve your objectives..

Need more help scaling your SDR team? Contact OppSource today. Our platform is more than just a piece of technology, it’s a crucial component of your business success. Our sales development platform gives your SDRs all the tools they need to execute a sales plan to perfection.  Get in touch with one of our representatives.

Sam McCue
Inbound Marketing guru, avid fisherman, and all-around backcountry enthusiast.

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