What is a sales development representative?
The key to an ever-growing company lies mostly in the effectiveness of the sales team. A sales development representative is the first and most vital component in sales. The sales development representative’s job description is to scout for potential customers who can benefit from the products and services of a company through the use of virtual platforms such as calls, emails, and social media. After thorough screening and scrutiny, potential clients are then handed off to account executives or closers of the sales team.
What does a sales development representative do?
At the initial stage of the sales funnel (the journey that potential customers go through to the purchase), sales development representatives research potential customers, connect with them, educate them on the company products, and qualify leads before handing them over to sales closers. The two main sales processes undertaken by sales development representatives are outbound sales and inbound sales. Both sales processes involve reaching out to customers through phone calls, social media, or emails.
Inbound sales are directed toward prospects who have shown interest in the product or service by reaching out to the company or salesperson through phone calls, email, or social media. Outbound sales processes are directed toward customers who have not shown any interest in the company's interests.
- Qualify and nurture quality leads until they are ready to make a purchase.
- Seek out new customers proactively and efficiently through the current technologies such as phone calls, emails, social media accounts (e.g., LinkedIn), etc.
- Come up with outbound lead generation campaigns to improve the company’s brand name and target new prospects.
- Set up meetings between customers that have been screened and sales closers to seal deals/make purchases.
- Perform regular follow-ups through phone calls, emails, or social media to retain the existing customers.
- Meet the predetermined company targets on the sales quotas and exceed them at times.
- Maintain and manage a pipeline of prospective customers.
- Report on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis the results to the manager.
- Work closely with other sales teams to develop a long-lasting relationship with prospects.
- Act as an expert on the company's products in delivering messages to prospective customers.
- Pilot attendance for webinars, live streams, promotions, and other special occasions for the organization.
- Research thoroughly target customers and develop strategic approaches to increase the customer base.
- Keep up-to-date records of all interactions with prospective clients who are a good fit for the company’s products.
- Provide reliable data to management to assist in decision-making for launching new products.
Sales development representative skills
To be a proficient sales representative, one must have a wide range of soft and hard skills. Soft skills are personality traits that cannot be taught at school, and hard skills are learned at various learning institutions. The combination of both skills allows sales development representatives to be diligent in their work since the job requires research and convincing simultaneously. The necessary skills are listed below.
It is an emerging technique. The sales development representative uploads a short video that is 2–4 minutes long. It targets prospective customers and outlines the company’s products, ensuring a personal connection with the potential customer.
A sales development representative must have excellent active listening skills. That is the ability to listen carefully to verbal and nonverbal cues in a conversation. It allows the representative to respond with informative and helpful answers.
Resilience is key. Since the interactions are done virtually, prospective customers are at times ruder. It would, in turn, result in low energy and end up affecting performance. An SDR should be able to bounce back to another phone call in whatever situation.
To convince a prospective customer, one has to be confident about the products. One should be able to answer any question relating to the products without a single sign of doubt.
Communicating with a total stranger over the phone requires one to be highly organized in laying out the facts. Also, organization is required in terms of noting work down to allow ease in assessment by executives of the company.
One should be well acquainted with emerging technologies and software, such as CRM, as most work revolves around using technology.
One should be familiar with the art of conversation to determine whether the prospective customer can be processed through a sales pipeline or handed off to a sales closer.
Problem-solving is a major component needed by customers. An SDR should be a critical thinker, giving solutions to customers instantly, thus allowing relationships with prospective customers to be easily built.
Once a product is ready, the customers must know that the product exists for them to buy. It is one of the sales development representative's duties to bring awareness of the product to prospective clients. Therefore, the sales development representative is essential in generating leads to be converted to paying customers.