Sales Development Representative (SDR)

Sales Development Representative (SDR) aka Business Development Representative (BDR) is a member of a sales or marketing team in charge of communicating with prospects and setting up an appointment.

This is an entry position in sales. But most SDRs nowadays don’t stay in the role for too long viewing it as a comfortable launchpad for their career. According to the Bridge Group Report of 2018, the average tenure of a rep is 1.4 years.

Why is the SDR role important?

Sales cycles have become longer and the number of decision-makers involved in one deal has increased. In addition to that, new channels of communication have emerged. It has also become increasingly difficult to get through to a prospect.

At the beginning of the sales pipeline, there are many potential clients but few of them will make it to the purchase stage. Meticulously reaching out to them via several channels of communication requires large significant amount of time of a sales manager.

As a result, the need for sales specialization emerged. Teams introduced an SDR role to process dozens of leads every day, sort them out and set appointments with the good-fits.

SDR responsibilities

The key goal of any SDR is to talk to potential buyers, understand if they’re a good fit and pass them to the sales managers. In addition to this, SDRs need to deliver the unique and personal value to each prospect they reach out to in order to demonstrate that their company and product are valuable.

The responsibilities of SDRs, however, are different depending on their type.

There are two types of SDRs:

1. Outbound SDR is a person in charge of outbound campaigns. Their responsibilities include:

  • actively engage with potential buyers by reaching out to them via various channels (email, phone, social networks)
  • communicate with prospects and deliver value
  • sales intelligence and personalization
  • operations in the CRM
  • appointment setting
  • reporting

Inbound SDR is a person who waits for leads to engage with the company via inbound channels (website, telephone, email, social networks). His responsibilities are:

  • receive incoming messages from prospects, talk to them and drive value
  • score and qualify leads (MQLs)
  • set appointments or pass the leads to the sales team
  • sales intelligence and personalization
  • operations in the CRM
  • reporting

KPIs of SDRs

Meeting quota and in some cases, the number of deals is the main SDR KPIs at certain companies. However, we don’t think it’s a healthy practice. Both meeting quota and deals heavily depend on the work of other members of a sales team.

For example, meeting quota will be impossible if the ICP for the outreach is wrong or the list of leads is inaccurate. The underperformance of a sales manager can have a severe impact on the number of deals closed.

That’s why we suggest that the KPIs for SDRs should focus on daily/weekly/monthly activities that SDR makes. 

There are two types of KPIs: 

Basic

These are must-do activities for an SDR:

  • Emails sent per period
  • Dials/Phone calls made per period
  • Voicemails left per period
  • Messages on social networks sent per period
  • The time of answering the prospect’s email, message
  • Following-up all the conversations that stoped for some reasons
  • Appointment reminding to both parties
  • Timely reporting

Example: send 50 emails, make 50 dials, answer all the inquiries.

“Extracurricular”

Any activity when an SDR goes the second mile to win the prospect:

  • Sales intelligence
  • The quality of conversations with prospects (via all channels)

Example: look up a prospect on the Internet and find out more about their company, current situation on the market, industry trends, etc.

Articles on the CIENCE blog dedicated SDRs:

Industry stats by The Bridge Group

Outbound SDRs daily routine

Summary:

SDRs play an important role in a sales team. They work at the very beginning of a sales pipeline. Outbound SDRs own the outreach and secure appointments with good-fit potential customers. Inbound SDRs filter incoming inquiries with the same purpose.