One of the biggest debates for the modern business is whether to hire salespeople or to outsource. Of course, there are several variables involved in that decision, including many that are specific to each situation and company in question. If you do choose to add internal SDRs to your team, they can be a great asset. However, you have to make sure that they’re properly trained and ready to deliver the best outcomes.
Just having a team of sales development reps isn’t enough. You also have to give them the tools that they need to succeed. They should understand the larger goals of the business and how that impacts their goals of developing new sales and cultivating leads that can turn into long-term customers.
The first thing that any manager or supervisor can do to help their sales development reps is to truly understand their role and responsibilities within the organization. This may vary slightly from one organization to the next, but typically, SDRs are responsible for:
These responsibilities can be divided amongst the team as you see fit, but a typical SDR will handle their own set of leads so that you are reaching maximum prospects.
During the onboarding process, there are several teaching opportunities. New sales reps will use this time to learn from their mistakes, refine their strategies, and learn the ropes of the organization. Sales managers need to be part of this process so that they can provide the right support and resources to the SDRs along the way. You should set aside time daily for feedback and guidance at first.
Make sure that your organization has a refined onboarding process for your new sales reps. This will ensure that you can give everyone the same type and quality of training and that you never drop the ball. It also helps create a streamlined process so that if you’re not available, someone else can pick up where you left off.
Perhaps the best way you can improve closing rates is to invest in your people. That includes taking the time to train them and provide opportunities for future development in their field. You can’t just hire and onboard SDRs (or any employee, for that matter) and expect them to do well. Times change, customers change, and your team needs to be able to keep up with that.
If you’re hiring internal SDRs, make sure that your budget includes room for training and development. Otherwise, you’re going to wind up with a stagnant team that struggles to keep up with changing trends and best practices. And in today’s highly competitive landscape, that’s not going to cut it.
There is a lot that you can do to set your SDRs and your organization up for success when you’re using internal resources.
Sales reps have to find their own way to a sales pitch, but you can coach them on how to effectively drive conversions. This means they need to learn how to steer conversations and interactions with customers and prospects so that they go in the right direction. The best way to make sure this is happening is to make sure they’re asking the right questions.
Change yes/no questions to open-ended questions that give people choices and show that your reps are paying attention. These should be conversation starters, like “how could you benefit from more storage space?” or “what keeps your team from meeting its goals?”
There’s a certain energy required for sales. You need to make sure that your sales reps have that. Set aside time for practice calls and interactions. While this is happening, watch the energy that the SDRs have and see how they carry it through the conversation. See if they can keep up the right level of energy to get the outcomes they desire, or if they need a little more work.
New reps often struggle to set the right pace because they want to rush through the calls and get to as many leads as possible. However, you have to teach them how to set their own pace so that things don’t feel rushed or forced.
One of the best ways that you can motivate your SDRs and make sure that they’re doing their best work is to encourage time for self-reflection. When people can step back and look at their progress, they can often see their own areas of improvement without being prompted. This also encourages growth and feedback, which is good for any organization.
In the same regard, it might also be a good idea for you to practice some self-reflection of your own. Make sure that your coaching strategies are right for the SDRs in question and that you’re creating actionable plans that people can follow. You can even review your own coaching sessions and see where you can make improvements, or get feedback from your reps for future needs.
Managing a sales team is a full-time job of its own. You have a lot on your plate and the last thing that you need to worry about is whether the phones are getting answered or leads are being followed up with. When you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, we’ll take care of that all. For starters, we can serve as your 24/7 answering service so no more leads are missed. We can also offer assistance for lead intake and appointment scheduling, and support your outreach campaigns to generate the leads in the first place.