I work with a lot of SDR’s (also called BDR’s, Inside Sales Reps and more) and one of the things I often see is how many of them can’t wait to get promoted to account executive. For many SDRs, the role of setting appointments and being the first line of qualification is less than glamorous. Often, it’s not just the SDR’s who feel this way; it often pervades an entire organization’s culture, perpetuated by management.
For many SDRs, the role of setting appointments and being the first line for prospect qualification is less than glamorous. Often, it’s not just the SDR’s who feel this way; it often pervades an entire organization’s culture, perpetuated by management.
SDRs are seen as the grunts too often, and that’s a shame, it needs to stop.
The world of sales has changed dramatically in the past ten years and at the center of this shift is the addition of sales development reps. These reps are responsible for picking the good from the bad AND teeing up the good.
It’s this latter part that I focus on most and use to differentiate great SDRs from average SDRs.
Whether from a marketing download or a from a cold call, the job of the SDR is to convince a prospect to have a meeting, to sit through a demo, etc. It’s the SDR’s job to create demand, enough demand that the prospect is not only willing to meet with a salesperson but wants to meet with a salesperson. There is a big difference between willing to meet and wants to meet and the best SDRs get prospects to want to meet with your sales people.
Ya don’t think there is a big difference between wants and willing? How different do you think the call is gonna go if the prospect was willing to meet with you vs. wants to meet with you. Yeah, I thought so. I’ll take wants to any day of the week.
Getting prospects or buyers to want to meet starts with recognizing that the meeting, the demo or whatever action you want the buyer to take IS the sale. Great SDR’s understand that the meeting they are trying to get the prospect to take is their closed deal. It’s their sale and therefore, like any other sale, they have to provide enough value that the prospects says; yes, I will trade my time for your information, demo, or whatever it is you’re offering for their time.
Don’t think this is a small effort. In today’s world time is just as valuable and in many cases more valuable than money. Unlike money, time is finite. In some organizations, it’s easier for a buyer to get budget than it is for them to prioritize the time to pay attention to you.
Make no mistake, sales development reps are sales people. Instead of product or service and dollars being the consideration, it’s time and information.
Great SDRs have to figure out how to create a large enough value proposition to get buyers to trade their highly guarded, highly in demand time for your information. Give that some thought for a second. Don’t just brush right over that. People’s time is so highly guarded these days. If an SDR is unable to demonstrate why the information your Account Executive has, or the demo will highlight or . . . is worth 15, 30, 45, 60 minutes of the prospects time, they’re not gonna give it the SDR or Account Executive and that my friends is a lost sale.
SDR’s are legit sales people, with a legitimate sales cycle. It may not result in ultimately winning the business, but the business can’t be won without that first sale — getting that first meeting.
SDRs, if you’re feeling like you’re not a real salesperson cut it out, because getting people to give up their time, is the real deal. Get good at the fundamentals and learn how to get prospects to want to meet with your account executives, not just be willing to. Get good at knowing what questions to ask to uncover opportunities. Get good at positioning the value of the meeting. Get good at positioning yourself as an expert, the first line of expertise in solving the pressing business problem your company can solve. Get good at these things and you’ll quickly realize there is nothing remedial or entry-level about being and SDR.
Selling is selling, and whether you’re selling a $500,00 SaaS solution or a 45-minute demo, the rules still apply.
Is there enough value in what you’re offering your prospect for them to give up their time? There should be!
Remember my SDR friends, there is no sale without you, stand tall, be proud and get damn good. You are worth your weight in gold.