For many businesses, the Sales Development Representative (SDR) is the lifeblood of your sales operation. These phone warriors are the ones who make the thousands of connections necessary to drive revenue growth.
So the true question remains: why are we sending our warriors into the proverbial gunfight with sticks? Any general worth their salt knows that the war is won and lost on the front lines. Without strong direction and proper weaponry, you can only expect one result: failure (or in this case: high turnover).
According to a DePaul University study, replacing a sales rep costs companies $97,690 on average. That’s a high price to pay on a “sink-or-swim” business model.
SDRs have one primary objective: to set meetings with qualified leads. They identify prospects by calling and cultivating their lists over the phone. Once a meeting is scheduled, the SDR hands the decision-maker over to an Account Executive who works on converting the prospect.
The SDR role is a numbers game. Reps have a certain number of dials they need to make every day. From those dials, a percentage will connect and become conversations. Finally, the goal is to have those conversations turn into scheduled follow-up calls or demos with Account Executives. SDRs truly power the sales pipeline.
Dials --> Conversations --> Meetings Scheduled
With how vital SDRs are, it's shocking how they are often neglected.
Let's consider a few questions to see if your company prepares SDRs to be successful:
- What tools do your SDRs currently use?
- How much time and effort does your organization invest in your SDRs?
- Is a training program in place?
- If yes, how well are reps trained?
- Are phone calls recorded?
- If so, is the communication analyzed?
- Are SDRs coached to improve their calls?
- Do reps have the tools to track progress on their calls?
Several of these questions (or maybe all of them) might have stumped you. Maybe your answers were, "we could be better at that." Or you realized that your company is doing everything right, but you want to take it to the next level.
The fact is, outbound prospecting can be grueling. Most people SDRs call do not want to talk with them. On top of that, not all sales leadership provide the right environment for SDR teams to thrive.
The Bridge Group identified coaching, ongoing training, and onboarding as key SDR management challenges. Why is this? Most companies refuse to invest in these practices knowing they only get 15 months of peak productivity before SDRs are moving up or out. This is circular logic.
Your SDRs need support, and they deserve the right training. At Pickle, we see the incredible results when managers can focus on coaching their reps through the context of their calls, not just the number of dials. Not only do SDRs perform better, but they also stay with their companies longer. Imagine what heights you can reach without worrying about retention and constant onboarding.
Because organizations literally depend on SDR’s, we are publishing a series of articles and tools dedicated to arming your phone warriors with every weapon available to be more awesome. We'll cover topics as micro as cold calling best practices and as macro as the data that improves the SDR onboarding experience and overall retention rates.