The role of an SDR has evolved from the days of cold calls and product pitching to a modern, more comprehensive and personalized approach to selling. Today, SDRs are very much aware of their potential client’s needs. Sales reps have taken on the role of thought leaders and influencers, in a bid to earn the most important buy-in in today’s sales process: trust.
Today’s SDRs are professionals, strategizing and executing their sales plans to obtain maximum results for their organizations. And like never before, SDRs are leveraging technology such as sales management software to assist prospects in solving their pain points in a better, more efficient way.
Let’s take a quick look at the most important skills of a modern SDR.
Having a clear understanding of the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is a must for any sales development representative that wants to effectively sell their product or service. To define a sales strategy, you must first know the ICP and what characteristics embody your customer base. The modern-day SDR is very clear about who makes up their target market and how their product or service will benefit them. Personas identified in an ICP have diverse traits, pain points and needs. A competent SDR will differentiate themselves by knowing exactly how their product or service will fulfill a prospect’s needs.
You can’t sell something until you know what it is and believe in what it does. You need to be confident in your explanation for the purpose and benefit of the product. You’ll never be able to get someone else to buy something if you aren’t convinced yourself.
You may have the best product on the market, but if your sales team doesn’t know how the product brings value to the target customer, you will lose the battle before the fight even begins. Not only are modern SDRs aware of their product features, they also have impeccable understanding of how their product fulfills the need of their target customer. They apply this knowledge by presenting the product to prospects in a way that emphasizes the solution to their major problems.
SDRs know that they must work efficiently and be as persistent as possible if they want to succeed in sales. As a result, they should do everything within their power to execute a consistent and scalable sales outreach process. Sales development platforms are being leveraged by most companies to help their SDRs adhere to a prospecting and follow up workflow that is consistent and organized across the entire business. It is smart to engage prospects through channels they are comfortable with and by following an outreach plan through a number of different channels, such as phone calls, social media outreach and email campaigns. This ensures a better chance at reaching a higher conversion rate by sending personalized and context-driven messages.
Focusing solely on qualifying a prospect versus helping your ideal customer solve a problem will not earn the prospect’s trust. It’s extremely important to build trust if you want to cut through the noise and find out what it is exactly that a prospect needs. Earning the trust of a prospect takes a lot of time, effort and persistence; it doesn’t just happen overnight. The strongest tool that an SDR can employ is listening. It may sound simple, but actively listening to a prospect is your greatest ally. You can find out what the prospect needs help with by asking smart, open-ended questions that encourages them to think about their situation and help them realize the value of your offering.
Without doubt, personalizing messages is a smart move in sales, and an SDR should excel in this area. Today, a lot of information about prospects is available on the web, which when utilized appropriately, can do great things for your conversion rates. For example, social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have provided new opportunities for salespeople to find out more about their prospects. Since SDRs are the first human point of contact between the prospect and the company, they need to be able to effectively connect with the ideal customer on a personal level. Modern SDRs are socially active and understand the importance of opening conversations with a personal touch.
Following up with new leads in a timely manner is important to making a sale. It’s key to capture your prospect in their moment of interest (or as close to it as possible). This is when your brand and message is on top of their mind.
Even if they don’t respond the first time, be consistent and persistent in following up and engaging with your prospect while they are likely to be thinking about the issues that your product or service addresses. Put on your concierge hat and engage them as a courtesy to make sure they were able to successfully download the materials provided. Before you let them go, ask them what caused them to click on the material and wait for their response. Although, remember to be careful of pushing too hard if the timing just isn’t right.
Interested in learning more about what makes a top performing SDR? Download our guide of the complete 22 characteristics of great sales people and how to interview for them.