A sales development representative (SDR) is an individual who focuses on prospecting, moving, and qualifying leads through the sales pipeline and then delivers those leads to individuals who are responsible for closing sales. SDR’s allow the employees that close a sale to focus their time and effort on the leads with the highest potential to close.
Sales development representatives are educators who assist prospects in identifying solutions to their problems. They do this by developing an understanding of a prospect’s needs and then providing relevant solutions, ideas, and information, without “pitching” a product.
A key task is for SDR’s is to identify and screen out individuals who do not have any interest in purchasing a product and eliminate them from the pipeline to avoid wasting future resources.
Sales development representatives utilize a variety of communication forums when performing their function such as:
- Social Media - to share knowledge and establish themselves as an expert on platforms such as LinkedIn (for example, posting white papers and webinars) and to identify potential targets and initiate introductions.
- Email - to initiate conversations with prospects to educate them further and to establish an initial rapport.
- Phone outreach - to have a more in-depth interaction with a prospect. Phone outreach is the most challenging forum as a result of the skills required of the sales development representatives including active listening skills, knowing how to overcome objections, and having self-confidence.
SDR’s work behind the scenes to accelerate the sales process for others. They must focus on quality in addition to quantity. Outreach efforts must not be blind and too broad. SDR’s should be able to identify and address specific challenges and issues.