Outbound Sales Development Reps (“SDRs”) are the linemen of the sales organization. They don’t score touchdowns, but are tasked with one of the most important responsibilities in the game of sales. SDRs don’t ordinarily carry quotas, nor are they primarily responsible for closing deals. Instead, they focus on moving leads through the pipeline so that closers can spend more time selling to qualified leads. By delivering highly qualified leads to account managers (the “quarterbacks”), they create opportunities for them to score touchdowns and emerge atop of the competition.
Just as great athletes have an arsenal of tools (nutritional supplements, sports gear, personal coaches, and the like) to assist them on the field, so too do today’s great SDRs.
SDRs continue to rely on the age-old practice of phone calling to connect with prospects. As competition becomes more intense and consumers become more informed, it’s becoming more difficult to identify the most promising prospects. It’s not only a question of whom, but also a question of when and how to deliver the most effective messaging. Five9 offers a useful platform to streamline this process. Five9’s outbound contact center assists SDRs with prospecting (by automating list priorities), qualifying leads (by leveraging web callbacks and scripting), nurturing leads (by using automated agent callbacks and redialing features), and converting leads (by helping manage workflows with alerts and tailored campaigns).
SalesLoft is another popular tool used by SDRs to increase phone conversion rates. It is considered one the most efficient sales dialers on the market today. With SalesLoft’s time zone intelligence, SDRs can better tailor conversation cadences and contact the right prospects at the right time. SalesLoft auto-populates time zones so SDRs know when best to call prospects so as to optimize connect rates. Prospecting is a science today – prospects, for example, are 4x more likely to answer a phone call when the displayed number is local. Using SalesLoft, SDRs can also save time by automatically logging calls, recording tasks, and integrating information directly, thus eliminating the need to manually capture and track call efforts.
To succeed in sales today, it’s not enough to rely only on phone calls calling to generate leads. In reality, only about 9% of outbound calls result in a conversation. A combination of phone calling and emailing is essential. Using HubSpot Sidekick, SDRs can pinpoint which leads have opened the emails they’ve sent, so as to better gage interest. Hubspot Sidekick has the added advantage of integrating with several platforms, including Gmail, Outlook, Google Apps, and Apple Mail.
Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, SDRs can search LinkedIn’s vast network, identify the most lucrative prospects, and pitch them. By offering many filters, Sales Navigator allows SDRs to zero in on high-potential contacts (visibility extends as far as 3rd degree LinkedIn connections). Rather than wasting valuable time searching for emails, SDRs can also use LinkedIn’s InMail feature to email prospects. As well, SDRs can monitor prospects’ LinkedIn statuses and content updates to inform conversations and build rapport.
Sales is becoming more and more competitive. SDRs have no choice but to arrive at the playing field prepared and having done a lot of research on prospects. With the aid of Insideview, SDRs are able to tap into a database of tens of millions of B2B companies and decision-makers across the world. They can use Insideview’s market intelligence to uncover news and insight pertaining to prospects. The tool also enables SDRs to identify new and emerging opportunities in real-time. Insideview boasts a database that is informed by approximately 40,000 sources to help ensure accuracy.
A successful football team needs a star quarterback to win games. All players, however, must work together such that the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. To succeed on the playing field, SDRs must leverage the tools at their disposal to secure a competitive advantage and best ensure that their sales team is primed for success.