Top 5 Ways to Upskill Your BDR Team

Samir Sampat
|
2023-02-17

Business development representatives, or BDRs, are an integral part of your organization. They drive growth, increase conversions, and build the business of your organization one opportunity at a time. These professionals are in high demand, and for good reason. You must take the time to train and upskill your team to keep them sharp and at the top of their game. That way, your business will stay at the top, too. 

Your business development reps have a lot of different duties. They are typically all related to identifying, cultivating, and creating opportunities for the business, including long-term relationship building and nurturing leads to move them through the sales funnel. Other common tasks of BDRs include:

  • Cold calling 
  • Lead prospecting
  • Identifying target markets
  • Market research
  • Identifying opportunities for improvement

So, how can you make sure that your team is always ready to take on the opportunities that are out there for your company? Make sure that their skills are sharp and focus on developing their individual skills and competencies based on what each team member excels at or finds challenging. 

Here are five ways you can make sure that your BDR team is always ready to step up their game and get the results that drive your organization. 

Train them in market research and prospecting 

This is the basis of everything that BDRs do. If they don’t have these foundational skills, they are never going to find success in their roles. To identify and cultivate leads, your BDRs need to know how to perform market research and prospect for leads. That might even include a little training in data mining and strategic planning. Whatever you can teach them to help them learn how to become students of their market first and foremost. 

When your BDR team knows how to research and prospect for leads, they will have a much more successful time. They might also be able to identify other ways to generate leads or target new markets based on the information that they find. This can all help your business set itself up for success with business development. 

Communication and relationship building 

Your BDRs spend a lot of time with prospects, leads, and customers. They are usually the face of the organization, and they need to represent it well. That includes embodying the company’s values, USP (Unique Selling Proposition), and other elements. Consumers today are demanding a much more personalized, connected buying experience. That requires your BDRs to excel in communication and active listening. 

Listening is a big part of the “miss” category for BDRs and other sales professionals—too often, people listen to respond rather than trying to listen just for the sake of hearing what someone has to say. Teach your team to put the sales deck down for a second and just sit back and really hear what people are saying. 

Utilize free online training courses 

The Internet is full of free information and training that you can utilize. No matter what type of sales you’re in, you can find courses for BDRs, sales reps, executive account managers, etc.—the options are nearly endless. Feel free to look around and find courses that you want all of your BDRs to take. You can even ask them to seek out their own training opportunities and let you know what they want to do or which courses and programs they want to learn. 

This costs you nothing but time. If you give them an hour a day to spend on training, they will have the tools and talent to maximize the rest of their hours seeking out leads and opportunities for your business. You can even offer an incentive for completing these courses or seeking out other training and development opportunities to encourage ongoing growth within your team. 

Make sure that product training is on-point (and ongoing)

Product training is essential for BDRs. As much as they need to know the target market and potential leads, they need to know what they’re offering those people. It’s more than just knowing the product(s) or services that the company offers, too. It’s about knowing and understanding how those products/services can be the solution for your prospect’s problem.

This is the time to let creativity shine. Encourage brainstorming and collaboration. Teach your BDRs to think outside of the box and find unique ways to get more prospects or educate their existing ones on the company and what it has to offer. As new products and services become available or existing ones change, provide ongoing training to ensure that they stay informed and ready for anything. 

Create the “ideal” BDR profile 

This is partially helpful for training your existing team, but it also allows you to hire better BDRs in the first place. The role of a business development representative is diverse and complex at times. That can make performance hiring difficult, which is why many companies hire based on character rather than professional experience. 

Your organization needs to have an ideal BDR profile that includes all of the traits you are looking for in rockstar reps to add to your team. That profile should include things like:

  • Competitive drive 
  • Motivation
  • Coachability
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Positive attitude
  • Resilience
  • Outgoing personality
  • Creativity/strategic thinking

When you hire based on these elements, you’ll be starting with better BDRs in the first place. And, when you utilize these elements to create the profile, you can utilize it to help further develop and train your existing team, too. 

Are you ready for all those new leads?

Surely, once you start implementing these tips and strategies with your BDR team, you’ll see an increase in leads, calls, and questions. Are you ready to meet that growing demand? If you enlist the 24/7 answering service offered by Smith.ai, you’ll be able to handle every call and so much more. 

In addition to making sure you never miss an opportunity, our virtual receptionists can even help with outreach campaigns to get the leads in the first place, as well as lead intake and screening. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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