The sales development team plays a pivotal role in lead generation. You see, they are that first contact point with potential customers. The representatives have the task of connecting with and nurturing relationships. That is why their role starts early in the sales cycle.
The sales development representatives (SDR) guide the potential buyer through the sales funnel. At this stage, they are also qualifying the leads. Only the promising or hot leads will move on to the sales team for conversion.
The benefits of using SDRs are easy to see. They offer great relief to the sales team. Do you, for instance, know how many meetings SDRs have with potential customers? Research shows that the number could be as high as 21 per month. It is worth it though because the conversion rates are as high as 62%.
SDRs also have a critical role of follow ups to ensure they do not lose any hot leads. Without a doubt, the work is time and resource-intensive.
With that in mind, the company must do all it can to make the sales development team shine. We will explore some workable ideas in the article.
1. Get an In-House Outsourced SDR Team
Sales development has been around since the early 80s. Yet, companies like Oracle and Salesforce were forerunners in using this specialized department.
Unfortunately, sales development fell off the radar for some time. It is only recently that companies are reviving its use. Now, therein lies a significant challenge. Lack of enough knowledge about sales development can be a stumbling block.
One fantastic solution is to learn from the experts. Sales development companies specialize in leads generation for clients. They can avail outsourced SDRs to become an extension of the in-house team. They become an integral part of the department. That way, your employees get the opportunity to learn.
And, since you outsource the service, you only keep them as long as you need them. That frees the company from the attendant cost of hiring more in-house staff.
The company must also invest in ongoing training because learning never stops. You equip the staff members with relevant skills to make it in the competitive market.
2. Equip the Teams with the Right Technology
Technology provides a fantastic solution for business growth. The resources you avail from the SDRs will help them shine. Such tools include CRMs, lead capturing apps, email automation, and much more.
The teams can achieve higher efficiency in their processes. Turning over repetitive jobs to automation will save time and money. The SDRs can then concentrate on lead generation.
3. Have an Active Online and Offline Presence
71% of customers place great importance on knowing the brand before buying from them. Interestingly, the same applies to 82% of investors. Name recognition and brand strength impact their decision to invest in a company.
An active online and offline presence will generate brand visibility. In the end, brand awareness amongst target audiences will be higher. The SDRs will have an easier time pitching products or services to potential clients.
The fantastic news is that marketing has many avenues to generate brand visibility. These include:-
- Content marketing to establish industry authority by sharing expertise. Some strategies include the use of blogs, whitepapers, research findings, and newsletters
- Link-building strategies go hand in hand with content marketing. Placement of links on high authority sites is a sign of a reputable and trustworthy company.
- Search engine optimization for good rankings on the search engines.
- Strategic use of social media platforms to reach a broad audience base
- Email marketing that allows for specific audience targeting
- Public relations strategies like media and community relations. Others are influencer marketing and the use of customer reviews/testimonials.
Brand awareness creation aims to open doors for the SDRs. Take the example of B2B lead generation. It will make it easier for them to cold pitch and even set up meetings with potential customers in corporate settings.
4. Teach the Teams to Focus On the Customers, Not Products
Do you know why sales development is so effective? The answer is quite simple. The teams focus on connecting and nurturing relationships.
The typical salesperson will go straight for the kill. It is all about the product or service and not much else. An interesting article highlights why customers do not like salespeople. The reasons include not listening, talking too much, lack of knowledge, and follow-ups, to name a few.
Whether the points are valid or not comes down to individual perception. You may agree with the sentiments or not. But, you are probably guilty of shunning one or two salespeople in your lifetime.
The SDRs take time to understand the customers and their pain points. Any reference to a product or service comes from a solution-providing angle. The potential customer gets empowerment and knowledge from the relationship.
Astute SDRs know it is not about convincing customers. Rather it is about gently nudging them into making the right decision.
One may say that such strategies are tricky and can take long. Indeed, we cannot argue about the veracity of their position. But, building relationships gives you one thing quick wins cannot, which is loyalty. A loyal customer will always come back. And, they will refer other clients to the business.
We go back to our point on training above. Teach the SDRs the right approaches, and they will achieve a lot of success.
Sales development is that vital bridge between sales and marketing. The teams take on the arduous task of lead generation, capturing, and qualifying. The success of their job depends on their ability to build and nurture relationships.
But, to achieve success and shine in their roles depends on some strategies. An in-house outsourced sales development team is one option. It allows you to create an extension of the in-house team and learn from their expertise. SDRs also need the right technology to perform.
The marketing team must step up its brand visibility to increase market awareness. These activities will make the SDRs work much easier, thus allowing them to shine.
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