If you have seen ads from agencies, promising 100-300 booked meetings every month, and you wonder how to hit those kinds of figures consistently without losing yourself in the process, this blog will show you how.
You will learn underrated yet highly effective secrets of high performers – that could allow you to turn almost any cold prospect into a warm lead who is ready to close high-ticket deals…
You will find advice that will shift the gears of your performance, allowing you to run at breakneck speeds and efficiency – more than what you thought possible.
And you will find proven frameworks that remove the guesswork from your outreach, allowing you to work with more assurance of hitting your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
What Does Being An SDR Mean?
SDR is short for Sales Development Representative. Sales Development Representatives, also called Business Development Representatives (BDRs) or Appointment Setters, are people within an organization who hunt for cold prospects, turn them into warm leads (Sales Prospecting), and push them down the sales funnel.
They create awareness and drive initial interest in the company’s product or service by calling and emailing prospects, getting them through the initial stages of the sales funnel, and getting them ready to speak to a closer who seals the deal. The Key Performance Indicators could be the number of outreaches, conversations, and most importantly, the number of Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) made every month.
As the forerunners of companies, SDRs need to be incredibly grounded with well-researched information about the prospect or company. Additionally, they also need to have the most solid grasp of the industry, their company’s offer, the competition, and the USP to make for smooth conversations.
They essentially have the toughest Marketing job there is.
And to reflect that importance, they’re paid very well… the next picture shows how much SDRs get paid.
The average Sales Development Representative earns $50,000 – $70,000 base salary + 100 – 300% in commissions per year. But top SDRs earn much more than half a million dollars by adhering to the next few principles.
How to Become a Top-Performing SDR
Sales Development Mastery is a game of the mind. Representatives that give themselves clear Personal Assessments succeed as opposed to those who aren’t self-aware – who jump in believing that they are good at everything.
Here’s how to objectively set the stage for your success.
- Finding Your Strengths and Your Weaknesses
SDRs work with tens (maybe even hundreds) of different channels and processes. But your concern should be with just one of these channels.
As soon as you decide to make real progress as an SDR realize that you need to master one out cold emails, cold calls, Social Selling, paid traffic, or even Direct Mail. This reduces the time spent
- Company Identification
The best way to focus your energy and streamline your efforts is by creating A DEFINITE DESCRIPTION (AND AFTERWARDS, A LIST) OF THE TYPES OF COMPANIES YOU REACH OUT TO.
Your description could be a statement as simple as…
“I target 9-figure eCommerce companies who sell renewable goods.”
But the list should contain the company name, the contact information of the decision-makers, products and services they sell, the opportunity gap they could be interested in, and the number of employees at the organization.
This isn’t the normal list you compile and keep. When you have a subset of this list containing about 10-15 people, lose yourself in it.
You will understand some things that other SDRs overlook. And this is what will help you make a great impression.
For instance, you’ll understand the budget they work with, the severity of the tasks they handle, how busy they are, and the kinds of things they connect with.
This will help you construct your message into a piece they will read, be impressed, and act on: Something different from the fluff they are used to.
- Building Your Schedule
Being an SDR can make you lose your mind. If you work with big corporations where your KPI expectations are massive – you have to reach 100 to 400 people every day, there’s a big possibility of losing yourself.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Your schedule is your power. And when it is done right, it becomes your secret to working efficiently at high speeds.
Here’s how you could do it.
You could carve out 2 hours every day to follow up on existing conversations, 2 extra hours to initiate new outreaches , 1 hour to learn something new about the art of prospecting, and the remaining work hours for spurious tasks that need urgent attention.
The Secret of Sales Prospecting
This is where you’ll learn how to make an impression on the companies in your list. Because it involves intrusion of people’s private space, prospecting is a very delicate issue. And as such, it needs CAREFUL ATTENTION.
- The Not-so-good News: There is no shortcut to convincing your prospects to do business with you. You have to make them want the service. But you deal with human beings – the creatures with the most dynamic needs, wants, thoughts, and emotions in creation. And so it may be difficult figuring out what each person wants.
- The Fantastic News: High performers in the SDR field redefine the boundaries and the possibilities by simply implementing unique solutions they thought of themselves.
So can you! Here’s the starting point to get it done.
Understanding your buyer
No one wakes up craving cold emails from complete strangers (unless of course, you’re an SDR and the person just sent you the most awesome sales message ever). Understanding that basic truth about the buyer is essential to making your campaigns work.
Moving on, you must also understand that your buyers have 3 levels of problems
The Problem (pr1) (AND THE UNIQUE PROBLEM (pr3) THAT CAUSES
THE PROBLEM (pr2)… that causes the problem (pr1))
Frustration and anxiety is a problem anyone can face (pr1). Lack of money is the problem that causes the pr1 (This is the second level pr2). Working 9-5 for a system that neither values nor appreciates them is the UNIQUE PROBLEM (3) that causes the problem that causes the problem.
Knowing these 3 levels of problems common to your prospects almost guarantees that your message resonates with them. Because, then, you would know what they’re looking for.
We’ll touch on it a little more in the next section.
Age, height and values and beliefs are important, but take it a step further. Find out…
- Their income bracket
- The circumstances they face
- The kind of place they live
- The kind of things they like
- The Kinds of things they hate
Go beyond the standard descriptive parameters like “Executives” and “Lawmakers” to really know the problems that bind your group of prospects, and you may just find the goldmine that gets all of them interested in your service.
Prospecting 101 – 3 Untold Secrets
- The prospect has to want your solution more than you want to sell it. In fact, they have to want it for you to sell it in the first place.
- The prospect is a human being and must be treated as one. Talk like you would to people you just met. In fact, test your approach on real people in person and know which ones work best before implementing it in your work.
- The most effective points of contact are business email, social media, or phone. In order of increasing efficiency.
As an SDR, your job is not only to reach out to people and get them interested in your service. It is also to scout for new groups of prospects who may have interest and initiate campaigns targeting them.
A myriad of tools find red-hot prospects with laser-focused efficiency. of these include LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Semrush, Hunter, Rocketreach etc.
Coming Up With Creative Techniques
To sum everything up, SDRs work in extremely dynamic environments where things change by the second. And so, in order to always produce results, they have to be extremely inventive and experimental.
You must too.
Mastering Cold Outreach
The average Cold Outreach response rate is 1%. This section will help you smash it.
Crafting a Strong Introduction
If you remember only one thing from this blog, make sure it’s this: “Personalized introductions lower the Prospect’s guard by 30%.”
When a prospect comes in contact with you 50,000 words against even the slightest p
Building Your Script
Being able to message each prospect personally would be nice. But when it is put at scale, that is, you message 400 people everyday, it becomes very difficult.
A script is of the essence
When developing your message script be sure to stick to any known framework that increases conversion.
The most popular of these is the AIDA Framework:
- A – Attention – When you interrupt the normal processes in their brain and force them to pay attention to you. (Saying “STOP” doesn’t work anymore)
- I – Interest – When you give them a reason to get excited.
- D – Desire – Transforming the excitement into real desire to know more. Either sparking their curiosity or convincing them that they need you.
- A – Action – The most important. Where you tell them what to do.
The mind wanders. For a prospect to leave what they are doing and pay attention to you, and more importantly, to keep their attention on you, you will need to call their mind back occasionally.
The easiest way to do this is to include their names at random places throughout the message.
Another way is to include personal questions halfway into your message.
Effective Cold Emails Template
Here are some simple templates…
Cold message template
SL- (name), Quick Question
Really impressed by your (something very particular about them)! That is why I absolutely must let you know about some extremely unique opportunities for you and your business which you might be interested in.
I represent (business niche). We work with top (group of people) to help them (powerful benefit):
– bullet 1
– bullet 2
– bullet 3
– bullet 4
We literally offer guaranteed (extra powerful benefit), something no one else in this industry offers.
Explain the value of the benefit.
(Service) is a natural and necessary step for anyone looking to take their personal brand and business to the next level.
Would you be down for a call, so we can discuss this in detail, and see if we’re a good fit to work together?
Check out more tips to writing effective Cold Emails and read
Think of this one
Handling Sales Objections
Before you even send your first outreach message, you should already know the major objections prospects have.
If you don’t already know what it is, Sales Objections are concerns or questions that prospects raise as barriers to their decision to buy from you. In most cases, these concerns make you highlight more details of the offer and its advantages than you initially anticipated.
The major forms are:
- Why should I trust you? (Trust)
- Why you and not someone else? (Trust)
- Why is this important? (Urgency) (Need)
- Why your price? (Budget)
Every time you initiate an outreach message to a prospect they have all 4 of these questions in their minds. Starting with who you are and what you do, and then telling them to work with you JUST WON’T CUT IT.
But that’s the topic of the next headline.
Pitching vs. Conversation
What would you do if someone you just met jumped in front of your face and asked you to do business with them?
You would ignore them right?
So would your prospects if you barge in trying to force your product on them.
It is always better to engage in a conversation with prospects, and to put yourself in the shoes of the person you are speaking to before you even bring your service in the conversation.
Simplify to Win
We’ve probably read 10 billion cold messages, and one comment pops up for about 95% of them: they try too hard to be cool or sophisticated. But in the end, the messages come off as fake.
When you craft your message, don’t overdo it.
There are 3 impressions that convert best:
- Confident and friendly
- Unique and exciting (to drive curiosity)
- Experienced and observant (to be used when you advise instead of pitch)
Keep the clarity. Don’t mix things up. And don’t give them a reason to deicide that you are not worth their time.
Just as you get busy, the people you message are busy too. They may miss your message, or they may have read it without replying, or they may have replied and gone cold when you initiated conversation.
Following up is the way to ensure that you don’t lose valuable prospects before they even hear what you have to say. But that’s where the hitch comes in.
Since there are no defined rules for the number of times people should follow up, some SDRs take it way over the line. The next section will show you how it is meant to be done.
Frequency and Limits of Follow-ups
There’s a very fine line between being persistent and being annoying. And you do not want to cross into the annoying zone.
That’s when the prospect may blacklist you, spread word about their bad experience, and you have lost them forever.
3 is a safe number to work with. That is to say, in order to not be annoying, you have to reach out every 3 days and pack up by your 3rd ignored message (if you know that they read it).
Some people operate other variations with great success. So… this is just a baseline of what widely works.
The Importance Of Social Selling
Social Selling is the practice of using social media channels to connect with prospects, drive engagement for the brand, create genuine interest and enquiries, and generate sales on autopilot from an inflow of customers given for free by algorithms.
You read that right? I said that you could create interest from prospects on autopilot (that means without extra work) by leveraging the power of social media.
For that reason, Social Selling is the most important tool in the arsenal of an SDR.
Because of the drive to have a social presence, social media doubles as the most effective tool for researching prospects.
No one wants to be a recluse who has no friends. No one was to be left behind. And so everyone, including your prospects, share posts about their work, life and values. It means that you can find them, learn about them, and stay up to date with them – the only thing that will get their attention when you reach out.
Take LinkedIn for instance. You could find key decision makers at any company by searching the name of the company and going through the “People” section of their page.
Using content to drive engagement
Special social media content formulae have been proven to drive the most likes, comments, and most of all, buys. And what’s better? These formulae work with every kind of business.
To make it work though you would have to create content that appeals to people’s most primal instincts: using story, examples and news.
It takes consistency to build momentum enough to pull hundreds of thousands…. And even millions of people to your posts.
But the good news is…
SDRs have shown that it is the most effective form of outreach – the one with the best return for effort. Take advantage of it.
But You Know What?
Even with all this said…
Being a Sales Development Representative is challenging. Because even though it is probably the fastest-paced job on the planet; and it deals directly with people who change in the blink of an eye; unfortunately, there are few tools and training out there dedicated to helping Sales Development Representatives stay ahead of the game.
It’s like sailing the ocean on a canoe.
That’s why we created a community of high-caliber Sales Development Representative coaches, and curated the best practices in one place just for you… to help you turbocharge your career.
SDR Nation is an exclusive, membership community dedicated to helping sales development reps who want to …
- Nail Their SDR Role
Through SDR Nation’s training, guidance, and community, you can take your career to new heights.
- Connect with Other Top SDRs
Being an SDR can be a lonely job. SDR Nation offers a community so you’re never alone in your career path.
- Get Personalized Career Coaching
SDR Nation’s coaches are sales experts who know the challenges you face and the strategies that will help you earn that next promotion
And much more in one place.
If you’re thinking about starting a career as a sales development representative, we can help you get to the level you want to achieve.
Click on this link, check out what we have to offer, and check what other Sales Development Representatives just like you have to say about us.
And if you too want to feel pure exhilaration, joy, and fulfillment from hitting your goals as you become a Freakishly Good Sales Development Representative, then it would be a pleasure to see you inside.