What is an SDR and what is their role in the sales team?

Traditional sales strategies are giving way to much more strategic and customer-focused models, in which marketing and sales are part of the same process and need to be aligned.

It is no longer about finding the most convincing sales speech or “sales pitch” and repeating it behind closed doors, but rather about understanding what the client’s real needs are and building a long-term bond with them.

Within this new culture, the sales team It also has to change and make room for new professional profiles. It is the case of Sales Development Representative or SDR. Join me in getting to know him a little better in this article.

What is an SDR or Sales Development Representative?

The Sales Development Representative is a professional profile that serves as a “bridge” between the sales and marketing team. Your job is to contact the leads generated by marketing and convert them into sales opportunities. That is, it participates in the qualification and nurturing processes to improve conversion percentages.

The rise of this role is due to the book Predictable Revenue (“Predictable Income”) by Marylou Tyler and Aaron Ross, in which they highlight the importance of SDRs in the business world. According to a study by The Bridge Group, 40% of software companies are currently implementing this position.

Having an SDR within the company helps to improve lead tracking, take advantage of the use of CRMs and ultimately ensure that sales representatives receive more qualified contacts that are more likely to convert.

Furthermore, the emergence of the SDR makes the different roles of the sales department clearer and more independent: SDRs focus on prospecting marketing contacts, account managers continue negotiations to close sales, and those responsible for Customer success focuses on after-sales follow-up.

The 3 skills to be a successful SDR

According to Jeremy Leveille, Sales Development leader at LeadIQ and winner of the SDR of the year award at the Sales Development Conference, this professional profile must have 3 key capabilities:

  • Business vision: A good SDR has to be able to understand the customer’s needs and respond with appropriate messages.

  • Determination: As always happens in sales, an SDR must not give up at the first objection, but must know how to insist in an appropriate way that adds value.

  • Creativity: SDRs must be able to break the usual patterns of sales processes to find new solutions.

SDR inbound vs. SDR outbound

Finally, let’s see what the two main types of SDR are:

  • inbound SDR– The main task of this position is to contact those users who have left us their data, for example through a form on the site. That is, it goes directly to the leads.

  • SDR outbound: The main job of this position is to contact potential customers who have never come into contact with the company to spark their interest in the brand.

Therefore, the SDR can have a place in both inbound and outbound sales teams.