By Anna Ribas, on 18 January 2023
Traditional sales strategies are giving way to more customer-centric models, where the marketing and sales processes are closely aligned.
It is no longer about finding the most convincing sales pitch and repeating it, but about understanding what the customer's real needs are and building a long-term loyalty with them.
The sales team must also change and make room for new professional profiles. This is the case with the Sales Development Representative or SDR.
What Is a Sales Development Representative?
The Sales Development Representative serves as a bridge between the sales team and the marketing team. Their job is to contact the leads generated by marketing and convert them into sales opportunities. In other words, they focus on qualification and nurturing to improve conversion rates.
The rise of this role is due to the book Predictable Revenue by Marylou Tyler and Aaron Ross, which highlights the importance of SDRs in the business world. According to a study by The Bridge Group, 40% of software companies are currently implementing this position.
Having an SDR within the enterprise helps improve lead tracking, leverage the use of CRMs and ultimately make sales reps receive more qualified leads that are more likely to convert.
In addition, the emergence of the SDR makes the different roles in the sales department clearer and more independent. SDRs focus on prospecting marketing leads, account managers continue negotiations to close sales, and customer success managers focus on post-sales follow-up.
3 Skills That Make a Successful SDR
According to Jeremy Leveille, Sales Development leader at LeadIQ and winner of the SDR of the year award at the Sales Development Conference, an SDR must have 3 key capabilities:
Business acumen: a good SDR has to be able to understand the customer's needs and respond appropriately.
Determination: as is always the case in sales, an SDR should not give up at the first objection, but know how to insist in an appropriate way that adds value.
Creativity: SDRs must be able to break the usual patterns of the sales process to find new solutions.
Inbound SDR vs.Outbound SDR
Finally, let's look at the two main types of SDR:
Inbound SDR: the main task of this position is to reach out to contacts who have left their data through a form on the site, for example.
Outbound SDR: the main task of this position is to contact potential customers who have never contacted the company to get them interested in the brand.
In this way, an SDR can have a place in both inbound and outbound sales teams.