For mid-market organizations looking to expand their opportunities and generate growth, creating a team designed to guide early-funnel prospects through the initial phases of the purchasing journey is a great solution. Sales development reps can nurture buyers through the sales funnel, helping ease the transition between marketing and late-stage buying. With this additional step, senior sellers can focus on later-stage sales and closing opportunities instead of guiding potential buyers through the sales funnel. Having an SDR guide the conversion between original marketing content and the deal’s close is a fantastic way to expand sales and increase close rates with prospects while refining and efficiently allocating resources.
Developing an SDR team:
When crafting your organization’s SDR team, deciding whether to utilize an account-based or lead-based strategy is crucial. The method this team uses will influence the target characteristics and KPIs of the group, with an account-based role naturally requiring a more significant deal of personalization and customization than the typical lead-based structure. Likewise, depending on the sector and industry of the sales solution you provide, one might be naturally more efficient than the other. And of course, account-based structures are typically a better long-term strategy than the traditional lead-based model.
Even after determining the account or lead-based strategy, SDRs can and should be further divided into inbound or outbound sellers, as these roles will naturally focus on and provide different options for the prospect. Inbound sellers encounter prospects once they’ve entered the sales cycle by consuming content or researching solutions to an already identified problem. Because of this existing dynamic, you can assume the role of an inbound seller to be more of a guide, using existing knowledge and awareness of the seller to push them through the sales funnel to best fit their identified needs. However, initiating the outreach for outbound sellers means the seller is likely unaware of or has failed to determine the full extent of their problem. Thus, outbound SDRs will need to identify and explain a proper solution.
When structuring a team, consider the benefits and pay structure for the sellers and progression within career and leadership opportunities. Because SDRs will typically be newer sellers looking to expand their sales skills and opportunities, using this position as a method of further training and leadership experience will be a powerful motivator for success.
Use content marketing to fuel SDR success and impact:
Whether your SDR team prioritizes inbound or outbound prospects (and hopefully, it’s a mix of both), content marketing is a primary way to efficiently nurture and educate your audience to continue them through the sales funnel. Content marketing can be a myriad of resources, from blog posts and explainer videos to podcasts and downloadable white papers. These pieces of content, if created well, will be the supplementary material an SDR can put in front of a prospect upon identifying a certain problem or pain point the prospect has. Especially for SDRs, who are typically new in their careers, this is a simple but effective way to ensure the conversation continually adds value and addresses the prospect's needs. The content is designed to expedite the education and awareness of your business solution while prepping a prospect for purchase.
While theoretically sound, remember that content marketing has propagated itself on doing more harm than good, primarily because it is implicitly laced with bias and conflicting views. The vast amount of content available on the internet means you can find different and opposing viewpoints for virtually any and every point your company might try to make. Therefore, the name of the content marketing game isn’t quantity; it’s quality (with a dash of quantity.) High-performing content will simply be the content that people consume, meaning mass-produced content will likely never outperform engaging content aimed at specific pain points the desired audience has. In creating a content marketing strategy for SDRs to use as they nurture buyers to the latter stages of the buying cycle, outlining the content that specifically addresses those areas will prove the most effective.
Of course, the SDR’s selling strategy isn’t exclusive to content marketing. Identifying and aligning the prospect’s vision of the solution (based on the consumed marketing content) and corroborating that vision with the expectation set by a latter-stage seller is by no means an easy feat. However, by identifying common pain points and buying stages, and then creating high-quality content around those areas, an SDR team can be well-defined and nurture inbound and outbound leads. As you build your SDR team further, you should look to establish other sales tactics that focus on person-to-person communication, which is the primary factor content marketing fails to meet. However, a content-based approach to an SDR team effectively adds value to buyers regardless of their specific needs.