Sales development reps (SDRs) are an essential component of an inside sales team. They are hunters, navigating through uncharted territory, capturing leads with laser-targeted sales pitches. Great SDRs can open opportunities into new business that would have otherwise flown far under your company’s radar. But you’ve heard the phrase “Always Be Closing?” Make no mistake about it: SDRs should almost never be closing deals.
Coffee Isn’t Just for Closers
If you’ve seen the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, you’re likely familiar with the phrase “coffee is for closers.” The idea is that a salesperson is only as good as the last deal they closed. This is the reality in a lot of inside sales organizations.
Sure, seasoned account executives (AEs) who can close complex deals are often worth every penny of their often high salaries. But it’s just as important to have reps dedicated to successfully opening big accounts. And guess what, the rep that’s the best at hunting for new leads is almost never the rep that’s the best at closing deals! Virtually every inside sales organization can be far more successful with a team of dedicated prospectors. And when SDRs are adding huge opportunities to your sales pipeline, you’re going to want to save some coffee in the pot for them.
Divide and Conquer
One of the top mistakes that companies make is expecting AEs to prospecting for their own leads AND close deals. I’ve met very few seasoned account executives that also enjoy prospecting. Most salespeople want to spend their time giving product demos or talking on the phone with leads who are sales-ready. Sure, some of these leads can come from marketing. But marketing casts a wide net. Think of all the business that might be getting left on the table by not hiring a team of sales hunters. At several companies I’ve worked for, I’ve found that some of the most lucrative accounts haven’t interacted with marketing. Instead, they needed to be told directly by sales about our solutions.
To maximize success, you should divide your sales team into teams of specialists. Here are three specialty inside sales roles that can work together to keep your sales engine running soundly.
Sales Development Reps (SDRs)– These are reps that hunt for new sales leads.
Lead Response Reps– Inside sales reps that respond to leads that have downloaded content, filled out forms or placed inbound calls.
Account Executives (AEs)-Dedicated closers who only sell to sales-qualified leads
New Rule: Always Be Opening
Of course you want your AEs closing as much business as possible. But to maximize the revenue that your AEs close you should also be maximizing the amount of opportunities in your pipeline. Here are three ways to open more business with a dedicated sales development team.
- Have SDRs become experts in targeting specific industries. You might have one rep specialize in targeting financial services companies, while another rep targets marketing agencies.
- Purchase lists of leads to aid your SDRs’ prospecting efforts. Make sure that qualified leads are handed over to AEs.
- Utilize inside sales tools like RingDNA that help SDRs connect with more key decision makers, while minimizing time spent leaving voicemails and entering data in Salesforce.
Download our free eBook How to Fast-Track Revenue with a Dedicated Sales Development Team and quickly learn how to kick your outbound prospecting efforts into overdrive!