The role of sales development is growing everywhere it has been the hottest driver in many organisations worldwide. It is an obvious as a company grow, you fuel the growth even further by adding more sales development reps to set up appointments and help the company clear more deals than ever before. To research potential clients and setup meeting appointment sounds simple, but is it?

Below is 7 reasons why your don’t gain the maximum value from your sales development team.  Find the right audience, identify those with need, and get them interested in learning more. So If you’re managing a sales development or sales development representative (SDR), make sure the following seven common errors aren’t dragging down your results.

1. Lack of Discipline
Sales development can be a very difficult job and it can be harder to keep morale and discipline if you don’t setup your mindset and expectations. Being an SDR you are required to make a lot of outbound calls, keep your concentration at peak and perform all day. Getting no after no and fight for that yes can be hard, if you don’t keep yourself together. Training SDR’s and build a culture around the team is fundamental to your team’s success. Helping your reps and give them the ability to focus and execute – can alone significantly increase their capacity and results.

2. They don’t understand your ideal customer profile or targeted industry
Training new hires to understand the true value proposition is crucial for your success, if they can’t articulate and understand what makes you unique for the prospect, you are set up for failure. Training your reps to understand who they are speaking to and resonate with them, is a must. Your should ask yourself:
Do they know their language, their acronyms, their slang? Do they understand the calendar cycles of their industry such that they can speak credibly, build rapports, and continue the conversation, do they understand how to address the pain point for the customer?

3. Bad data, the list is out of date
When companies subscribe and buy into legacy systems they will get legacy list’s and this will kill the morale with the sales reps. The better data the more likely your reps will perform.
In many companies SDRs are given lists that marketing says are fine, but in reality cause a dramatic drop in their productivity. Marketing Qualified leads(MQL) is not Sales qualified leads (SQL) which the SDR’s generate. The Marketing qualified leads may “appear” fine when used to send email, because the resulting response metrics look fine. But if you require an individual rep to call each and every prospect, they’ll end up wasting time with a high value (VIP) prospect that don’t exist, are the researcher and not buyer, or take five times too long to reach simply because the data hasn’t been updated in forever.

4. The pitch is to scripted or not practiced (It sucks)
Companies often provide the SDR team with a  pitch and tell them to learn it and read loud from it. The problem is here, most companies are different and the pitch can change. Furthermore it is often obvious when the SDR reads a pitch and has little knowledge. Most SDR’s forget to understand the pain point from the prospect and tend to focus to their script, and when asked outside the script from a potential customer they often do not know how to respond! Remember understand the prospect and listen to them, great pitches aren’t about product, they’re about people and products.

5. SDR’s Lack motivation
If your SDR’s lack of motivation and drive, then it is impossible to make them exceed your expectation. Motivation is quite simple, often to basic. It can be a bottle of wine for each demo booked on a Friday. It can be recognition in front of their peers, social recognition works with millennials. It can be the little things that help jump-start behavior and create habits. If you think motivation is “well, they have a job and our compensation plan is solid and they get a higher pay with us”, you’re missing an opportunity to not just drive greater productivity but retention and loyalty as well, this is a fact!

6. They’re Pushing Prospects Too Far, Too Fast
Often when companies rely on MQL, they tend to do the following.
“Thanks for downloading our white paper about Plastic Prototyping, would you like to see a demo?”  This is desperation, you need to warm up the prospect, think as it as dating, you don’t sleep with a person on the first date? If your VP of Sales is counting as the core metric for SDR’s as demo appointments, you might be moving too fast for your prospects, and burn leads before you get a chance to close them. Appointments are fine, but up front they should be positioned based on the prospect’s needs, not your product pitch if you get this part right, the sales will drive up over a short period of time.

7. They Lack Empathy and Customer Understanding
Most people are too focus on their own metrics, so they forget to understand the prospect, and have empathy for their situation. If the SDR’s cares and nurture their prospects, you got it right, they are building trust and empathy for their prospects and this will turn into sales over time.

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