It’s all the rage nowadays. Build a team of Sales Development Reps (or SDRs) to multiply the productivity of your salespeople.
Thing is, as anyone who’s watched Boiler Room knows, this is not exactly a new idea. Boiler Room features a New York bucket shop that uses a call center and high-pressure sales techniques to move stocks of lesser-known companies. In the movie, junior salespeople make hundreds of calls, attempting to engage prospects, then, once they have engagement, they transfer those prospects to more experienced closers.
Today’s SDR is the same basic idea, with a fresh lick of paint (and a cool infographic). From the customer’s perspective, the experience is comparable. And from the organization’s perspective, SDR’s are a needlessly expensive way to improve salespeople’s productivity.
I’m a fan of applying division-of-labor to sales (after all, I wrote the book that advocates that). But I’m not a fan of the SDR idea.
Two reasons why:
- Your most valuable prospects find junior salespeople’s qualifying questions insulting and resent that these individuals cannot (or will not) answer technical questions
- Because SDRs churn through hundreds of prospects, your approach to the marketplace ends up being totally untargeted
The qualification fallacy
The SDR idea appeals to those sales managers who believe that you canqualify sales into existence. That is to say that they believe the essential nature of the sales process is to filter-out all those prospects who will not buy — leaving only the sure things, standing, with their credit cards at the ready.
In most environments, though, prospects cannot be qualified into purchasing — they need to be convinced, or actually sold. And the most critical selling conversation is — you guessed it — the very first one.
My advice, then, is that you should insist that your experienced, capable salespeople have those critical initial conversations with potential customers.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking! How do you avoid your salespeople’s limited capacity being consumed by people with no potential to purchase (non-prospects, in other words). Continue reading “If you really like wasting money and annoying prospects then, go ahead, hire a team of Sales Development Reps” »