The next 20 episodes will focus on the conversations about BDRs and SDRs. We will be talking about tips, strategies, and ideas about how businesses can prospect better and connect with potential clients. Today’s episode will discuss the differences between a BDR and SDR in terms of what they do, how they do it, and how they earn.
In the previous episode, Donald was joined by his sales coaching client, Scott Romney. They talked about how businesses can realign and adjust their message to create offers that are irresistible for the prospects, even in a time of crisis. Our level of empathy must increase as we look for ways to understand where people are coming from. Strategies are needed that will help organizations overcome the crisis that many industries are facing in this season. Scott talked about being mindful and sensitive while thinking of opportunities where salespeople can be leaders to their prospects, especially now.
A BDR is a business development rep and an SDR is a sales development rep. Prior to predictable revenue, their job was to qualify and set appointments for outside sales reps; however, over the past 20 years, the definitions have evolved. Even before these BDRS and SDRs came to exist, there were only sales reps and everyone was responsible for every stage of the selling process.
Being a salesman for an organization meant that you were responsible for finding your own leads and nurturing those leads. Your job included going to trade shows and cultivating accounts. Eventually, sales managers realized that if you break down these processes you get to have more functionality and you can have experts in the different parts of the sales process.
As a result, the inside sales team was created to do the research, generate lists, and find the people. Their job is to update the CRM and become an assistant to the account executives.
Over the years, their job extended to setting the appointment and qualifying the leads. Aaron Ross was working with SalesForce when he realized these functions could be broken down further. There are now inbound people who are responsible for the inbound leads, the leads that are coming in via your websites or those who are calling your business phone number. The outbound team is the people who go after the potential client list and send them emails. They are the ones who are reaching out to clients.
BDR and SDR can be used interchangeably but based on the definition given by Salesforce, the BDRs are focused on prospecting for outbound leads while the SDRs are focused on qualifying inbound marketing leads.
The SDR doesn’t have to do the hard work of finding leads. Instead of looking for people, the SDRs job is to qualify the inbound leads, follow up with them, and make sure they’ve been qualified for an appointment. They may get a little less in commission than the BDRs because BDRs are tasked with looking for cold leads and turning them into warm leads.
Some companies start their salespeople as an SDR because it’s easier. This role helps to train sales reps on how to ask the right questions and it offers a transition to becoming a BDR and then to an account executive.
For Donald, the business development role is one of the hardest of the sales roles. It’s their job to look for people and find new business. While they may meet many people, not all of them will convert. Only a few will decide to make a purchase because not everyone is ready. At any given time, only 3% of people are ready to make a purchasing decision. If you look at it from a business perspective, the BDRs role is to look for that 3% wherever they may be and convince them to purchase.
Part of the BDRs job is to educate prospects and get them interested in wanting to do business. A talented business development rep builds relationships, connects with people, and shares with enough value so when a client is ready, that prospect will come back.
The tenure for a business development rep lasts around 14 months and after that, they usually transition to become an account executive or take an entirely different route. The same is true for an SDR, who can also get a promotion. Both of these roles have about 14-18 month terms.
The length of time is influenced by the depth of training. This is where The Sales Evangelist comes in. We help sales reps ramp quicker and perform much faster. If it takes a sales rep to improve his rate in three months, the TSE training will help you do that in two months. The training will help sales reps become more effective at a much faster rate.
Like any other sales roles, the secret to success is to think of it like it’s your own business. The structure of your day is critical. You need to make sure you understand the purpose of having a plan so you know who you are going after, who your targets are, and your goals are set for the day.
A sales rep needs to stick to one industry in a day or per time period. If you spend your morning prospecting the financial industry, then you should stick with that industry until the afternoon. This will let you focus your messaging and help you deliver the information more consistently. If you are a BDR, this structuring is particularly important.
Here are final tips:
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Make sure you understand the product or service you’re selling. In fact, I recommend that you actually use it yourself. If it’s an enterprise software SAP or something large like that, you won’t likely buy it for yourself, but you should understand how the system truly operates. Know how it will help the customers you’re pursuing.
If you’re a BDR, you’re probably not chasing every single customer. You’ll probably have a territory or a certain kind of client. Look at industry reports to understand your customers and how your solution will help. Ask previous clients why they like your solution so much.
It will also help you speak their language and be more confident in your conversations. Know the problem that you’re able to solve for your buyer.
BDRs must make sure to follow their company’s process, and then they have to go a step further. They must know their ratios.
Keep track of these numbers. Email me and I’ll share my own prospect tracker with you.
When you have these numbers, sales becomes more of a science. Each day, you can specify how many new opportunities you want so you can get to a demonstration.
You won’t be as successful if you aren’t intentional.
Become an expert at listening. Listen to the things your prospects say as well as the things they don’t say.
Read case studies, find out what some of your current customers are doing, and understand their problems. If you listen closely, you’ll begin to notice when they aren’t telling you the real issues. Be a silent expert.
Sellers sometimes want to appear knowledgeable, so they talk a lot. Instead, focus on the caliber of questions that you’re asking.
Make a list of these questions you can ask your prospect. Also, prepare a list of follow-up questions. If, for example, your prospect says that he already has a solution in place, you must be prepared to respond to that. Maybe something like this: “I’m not here to break up great relationships. I do, however, know that contracts end and that people typically will look for new vendors. Would you be open to see if we could benefit your organization?”
Lead with the intro, “Out of curiosity” to soften the edge on a question like, “Why are you waiting until next year to change?”
Make sure you find great opportunities for your team.
Take advantage of video to personalize your approach. Depending on the type of business you’re in, use a tool like BombBomb to make a simple video to the prospect and include this in your flow process.
If you’re sending emails and reaching out on LinkedIn, your personalized videos will help you stand out among the other BDRs. Personalized videos will help you connect with the right clients and produce better results.
Compete against yourself. If you did 15 appointments last week, set a goal for 17 this week. Push yourself. Don’t compete against your teammate’s goals. Constantly seek to improve.
Success will naturally come if you constantly out-hustle your previous performance.
If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register!
You can also connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or try our first module of TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.
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