Whether you’re trying to build an SDR team from scratch or take your existing team to the next level, there are a lot of factors that play into your sales team’s success.
But starting with the right tools and plans can help your sales department maximize their productivity and work together better as a team, starting with a prepared, well-supported set of SDRs.
Here are 7 things you can do to help you get the most out of your SDR team.
1: Choose a Clear Strategy: Lead-Based vs Account-Based.
One of the first distinctions to make is whether you should use a “lead based” or an “account based” growth strategy.
A lead-based strategy is great for large markets that are made up of many small accounts. This kind of strategy works well for building prospect lists quickly.
An account based sales strategy is better for more competitive markets with mostly large accounts. This strategy focuses on precision, customer targeting, and market analysis. A sales strategy based on accounts will require you to know your target market inside and out.
Which one suits your business?
2: Recruit SDRs Who’ll Go The Extra Mile
While your leadership can take a team from good to great, you have to start by hiring the right people. Once you’ve figured out what your sales strategy is, that can help you figure out which qualities are most important for your team.
In our time helping to build over 50 different SDR startup teams, we’ve noticed a few personal characteristics that serve SDR teams well, based on the kind of sales strategy you choose:
But regardless of your sales strategy, all successful SDRs should have a strong work ethic, natural curiosity, and a unique personality.
To find the best candidates, you can try reaching out to the sales teams at other companies, ask your best SDRs for referrals, or post on the Vouris Startup Sales Job Board.
You can also read more about how to hire a sales rep here.
3: Update Your Onboarding & Training Plan
You should have a clear, actionable plan for your new employee’s first few days and weeks weeks on your team. Think carefully about how much information your new recruits can take in at once, and make sure you scale up their duties appropriately as they get comfortable in the role.
Here’s a sample of a basic training plan you can use:
4: Incentivize Performance With A Motivating Compensation Package
The right compensation plan can motivate your team and encourage them to stick with the company. An SDR is typically compensated through a combination of an annual salary, sales commissions, and related performance pay.
A basic rule of thumb to follow is that an SDR’s base annual salary should be between 60-70% of their total pay, and never less than 50%.
As for variable compensation, first you need to decide what to incentivize. You can reward SDRs for:
- the number of meetings booked,
- pipelines created,
- sales accepted opportunities (SAO), or
- total generated revenue.
At Vouris, we recommend 70% of an SDR’s Variable Compensation be tied to SAOs. We also recommend tying 20% of variable commission to meetings booked.
Second, you should determine the payout for each KPI. Finally, add accelerators, which can lead to an increased payout as SDRs hit more targets.
5: Define Your Sales Development Process
A sales development process helps your team members know what kind of information they need to gain prospects, make contact, and book appointments. Every sales development process can be broken down into 3 stages:
Identify: Understand who you’ll target. This could cover industry, location, company size, annual revenue, and job titles.
Engage: Describe how you’ll target them. This addresses channels, messages, frequency, and time between contacts.
Qualify: Create questions for your team to ask prospects to see if they’re a good fit. Lead qualification could rely on: budget, authority, pain points, business goals, motivation, scarcity, and the company’s priorities.
6: Maximize Productivity with Tools
Using tools to streamline the administrative side of an SDR’s position helps give them more time to spend finding leads, making contact, and screening. Here are some of the most important types of tools to use:
Data Providers, such as ZoomInfo, Infotelligent, Seamless.ai, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator help SDRs find a potential prospect’s contact information. (Here’s more on picking the right tech tools for your team).
Central Records Management (CRM) tools create a central database to keep track of all your data and prospects. We recommend HubSpot.
Sequencing Tools manage all your rep’s activities, telling them who they need to reach out to on a given day. Some of the best are Lemlist, Salesloft, and Outreach.
Agent Assisted Dialers allow you to have a team of trained agents to dial for you. When a prospect answers, they’ll forward the call to your SDRs. We recommend Koncert.
Lead to Account Matching Tools help with account based strategies. LeanData is especially effective at organizing your account-based sales.
7: Focus On The SDR Metrics That Matter
There are 6 key metrics that really matter to an SDR team:
1. Total Number of Calls Made (and Their Outcomes)
Your SDRs need to be tracking the number of calls they make on a daily basis.
They also need to make note of the outcomes of these calls, which include:
- No answer.
- Initial meeting scheduled.
- (any other outcomes you’ve defined).
2. Total Number of Emails Sent (and Their Outcomes)
Like calls, your SDRs should be tracking the total number of emails they send on a daily basis.
They also need to keep tabs on the outcomes of each email. These can include:
- No reply.
- Initial meeting scheduled.
- (any other outcomes you’ve defined).
3. Number of Meetings Scheduled
You should have a clear idea of how many activities it takes for each rep to get a meeting scheduled.
It’s a great way to identify specific strengths and weaknesses.
1. Number of Future Meetings
This one’s like a simple health check. Does your team have a lot of meetings on the books? Great - keep them motivated!
Is the pipeline looking dry? Sounds like you need to jump in and get them motivated before things get out of hand.
2. Sales Accepted Opportunities (SAOs)
This is one of the most important metrics to track! It’s a great way to judge the quality of your leads.
Here’s the definition: an SAO is a potential deal that was scheduled by an SDR.
So, if the # meetings booked : # of SAOs ratio is high, you’re in great shape with your lead quality.
If the # of meetings booked : # of SAOs is low, you might need to revisit things.
You should have a clear idea of the revenue each SDR drives.
Ultimately, we’re running businesses and we need to be able to justify our costs, make smart decisions about future investments, and reward individuals for their contributions in a transparent manner.
It's not easy, but with the right toolkit and plan, anyone’s capable of building a world-class SDR team. If you want help scaling your SDR team through the roof, schedule a chat.