Although most people don’t usually think of business development reps as closers, they do play an important part in the process. Their cultivation of new business gives sales reps (SDRs) the resources and insight they need to close more deals and make more conversions for your business. Without them, the entire sales process would come to a screeching halt.
We know what you’re thinking—aren’t BDRs and SDRs essentially the same thing? The short answer? No. The longer answer is what we’ll discuss throughout this guide on how to maximize your BDRs and improve your sales as a result.
Business development reps are the ones that make the new connections. As their name suggests, they’re responsible for drawing in new business and driving strategic initiatives for the business or organization for which they work. It’s all about driving new opportunities so that the SDRs can foster the leads and close the deals. That’s why it’s such an integral part of improving close rates:
You can’t close more deals if you don’t have new leads in the first place.
BDRs provide value because they handle all manner of cold calling, prospecting, social selling, etc. They make sure that all channels are optimized and leveraged to provide steady leads in all markets and with all audiences. Basically, the BDRs are essential to your inbound strategy because they seek out new, untapped opportunities that can help you find new markets and audiences.
These are essentially the people on the front line of the sales funnel. They’re the ones showing the people the way to the funnel and introducing the solution that your organization offers. They find and qualify a lead and then pass them along to the next person in the sales funnel.
Business development reps and sales development reps (SDRs) are two different roles in your company, or at least they should be. BDRs are the ones who find the leads and cultivate new business. Once they’ve got leads that are solid and worth pursuing, they pass them along to the SDRs, or sales reps. While BDRs are prospecting, researching, and doing a lot of cold outreach, SDRs are following up, helping leads through the pipeline, and doing more warm outreach.
If the sales funnel were an assembly line, the BDRs would be first in line to get the products started in the first place so that the rest of the line has work to do. The SDRs work on the “products” as they come down the line, already sourced and started, waiting to be “finished.”
If you are going to maximize your close rates with internal business development reps, you need to understand their role and responsibilities. There are six key tasks that all BDRs are responsible for.
1. Research: Reps will look for new channels, verticals, and markets to find more customers that you may not have found. They will utilize existing customer data, analytics and insights, behavioral data, and other information to find opportunities to generate leads.
2. Lead Generation: This is the primary focus of business development reps. They spend a lot of time building lead lists and finding new ways to get leads coming into the business.
3. Cold Calling: Even in the 21st century, cold calls are still a part of business for many organizations. BDRs are the ones who will do all this calling. They are experts in cold outreach and know how to get results, so they are more successful here than SDRs.
4. Cold Emailing: Again, reaching out to people in cold prospecting is not for the sales reps. This is work that the BDRs will handle. They will send emails to reach new clients and markets, try to get people’s attention, and craft winning campaigns that get results.
5. Networking: Networking is another big responsibility of business development reps. Using networking is a great way for them to build relationships and make connections with potential prospects. This is how they find leads and cultivate those leads to pass off to the sales team.
6. Social Selling: Today’s business development reps also have to be well-versed in social selling. They need to be able to choose the right platform and method of engagement for each target, and they need to know how to use social media to reach their audiences effectively.
Because of this long list of responsibilities, BDRs typically require a lot of unique skills to get the job done. They must be diligent and fearless. They should be capable of being told no 100 times and still give the same, excited and energetic pitch to the next lead. They should be eager to get turned down so that they can cross off that prospect and move on to the next.
They should be creative and capable of reaching out to various audiences. Your business development reps will also need to have active listening skills so that they can hear their prospects and find out what people really need. Persistence and adaptability also help here; you’re going to hear a lot of “no’s” as a BDR. It helps to have a resilient spirit.
With the right resources, you can create a whole new strategy for developing new markets and prospects using your BDRs. This will help you close more sales because you have more leads in the first place, and it will help your business grow in as many ways as possible.
At Smith.ai, we know you’ve got your hands full with managing your sales team and running your business. That’s why we offer a full team of virtual receptionists to serve as your 24/7 answering service so you never miss another lead. Plus, we can also assist with lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even your outreach campaigns to draw in the leads in the first place.