In my own experience as an SDR (some organizations call them inside sales) I discovered that the SDR role primarily prepares sellers to work in outside sales. It’s a position designed to keep you hungry and to transition you to outside sales where you would learn to find your own opportunities.
I wanted to get out of the SDR role, but I had to prove myself first in order to meet my goal of becoming an account executive.
This episode of The Sales Evangelist is a reboot of a 2017 episode, but all the concepts apply to SDRs today.
The following 5 steps helped me succeed as an SDR.
If you’re an SDR you have to understand the rules that govern your work. It’s also important to recognize the two different objectives that SDRs must address.
Setting appointments involves finding people, listing information, and booking meetings.
Creating opportunities demands more of your effort because it demands that the SDR qualify the individual and to do a little more digging and a little more prep prior to the AE taking over the account.
For a complex sales process, qualifying people ahead of time decreases the chance that the appointments will flop. When the SDRs clearly understand their objective, they will be more likely to succeed in their efforts to generate new opportunities.
Some sellers use a “dialing for dollars” approach, and there’s nothing wrong with that technique if it works effectively. In my own experience, I found that setting specific times to prospect helped me be more successful because there were certain windows of time where my efforts worked best.
I discovered that the best time to make phone calls was between 8 and 10 a.m., then again between 12 and 1 p.m., and finally between 4 and 5 p.m. I strategically called during the times when I knew they’d be most likely to answer.
Then, I used the windows of time in between to send emails and engage in other outreach activities.
Don’t be governed by your role as a seller. Instead, you govern your role.
Determine which SDRs are doing really well in the company and mirror what they do. You’ll learn terminologies, tactics, and strategies that you didn’t previously know.
Be open to learn from others who are successful in the role. Try things that look worthwhile and disregard the others. Be a sponge, and if you see a better way of doing something, just try it yourself rather than correcting their efforts.
Check your ego at the door.
When a prospect tells you “no,” don’t read too much into it. He isn’t insulting your family line; he simply isn’t ready for what you’re offering.
Set rejections aside and move on to the next prospect. If he isn’t ready right now, put him into a drip campaign and stay in touch with him until he is ready for what you’re offering.
“No” also helps you disqualify people so you can focus your efforts on those prospects who are ready for what you’re offering.
It sounds counter-intuitive, because as an SDR, your job is to put numbers on the board. When we get greedy for numbers, however, problems often occur. We’re so hungry to schedule something so we can meet our KPIs that we get desperate and let everyone pass through the process.
Oddly enough, when you seek to disqualify, you’re better able to qualify the right people.
If the person doesn’t meet the qualification, don’t pass him on to the next level. Being selective improves your odds of success throughout the process.
If you’re setting appointments for an AE, sit down with her regularly so you’ll know where your focus should be. Are there certain industries you need to focus on?
By working together, you’ll both be aligned to achieve success.
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Today, I’m going to share with you FIVE things to help you become a better sales development rep (SDR) or help you work better with your SDR.
First off, let’s briefly define the role of Sales Development Rep. SDRs are also referred to as your inside sales team. They help to qualify or bring in some opportunities and get some introduction meetings.
Make sure you know what rules the game is governed by. Some SDRs in certain companies may have two objectives.
(1) Creating opportunities – This means creating opportunities for the Account Executive by qualifying individuals. It requires a bit more digging and to prep them to make sure it’s ready for the account executive to take over the role.
(2) Setting appointments – This means listing information, finding people, and setting the appointment.
Check out the book, The Sales Development Playbook where they teach you how they extensively define these roles. Clearly define what your role entails to make sure you’re doing your job right.
Use your time wisely. Some sellers just dial for dollars but to be more effective, schedule the times when you can prospect most effectively. Personally, the best time for me to make phone calls would be mornings at 8-10 am or lunch time 12-1 pm or in the afternoon at 4-5 pm. Then in-between those times can be allocated for sending emails.
Be on top of your planner. Don’t be governed by your role. You govern your role as a seller.
Shadow those who are really doing well in the company. You get to learn strategies, tactics, and terminologies that you don’t know or have never heard of before. Be open to learning but don’t be telling. Be a sponge who’s willing to learn. Take insights while checking your ego at the door.
Don’t worry about prospects saying no. They probably just don’t want to be bothered at this point. Put rejections aside. Move on and go to the next one. If someone isn’t ready yet, set them up for the next round. The more no’s, the more opportunities are going to be there for you to get yes’s. No’s are also helpful for you to disqualify people.
As an SDR, your job is to get numbers on the board. However, we can get so greedy and hungry that we want to put something up so desperately that we let everybody go through. So make sure you’re able to disqualify people. When you seek to disqualify, the better you’re going to be able to qualify people.
Lastly, make time to sit with the Account Executives you’re setting appointments for at least once a week to find out what things they’re working on and what industries you need to focus on. It’s all about working together so both of you are aligned to achieve success.
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