The role of the Sales Development Representative (SDR) is to decide whether a hot prospect is qualified enough to pass on to an Account Executive. In more technical terms, the prospect would go from the status of Marketing Qualified Lead to that of Sales Qualified Lead.
To find out, the best solution is to get the prospect talking during a call. We will see how to guide the conversation in order to qualify a lead quickly.
The SDR is a sales auditor
When he decides to contact a prospect, the SDR knows that the prospect has already shown an interest in his product or service. However, it is impossible to qualify this interest at this point, and to know whether this interest can be converted into a purchase, so the prospect can be transferred to an Account Executive. To find out, the SDR can use an unbeatable technique: become a sales auditor!
The SDR’s objective is not to sell at all costs, but to help the prospect himself identify the pain points the product/service can solve. The telephone audit should take place in 3 steps: presentation needs analysis, and recommendations.
The SDR must remember that he is contacting the prospect to allow him to take advantage of his expertise in the area, for free. He is absolutely not calling the prospect to make a sales pitch, but to allow him to benefit from such a high-quality service, that it is worth paying for! At this stage, the SDR must not insist on his product or service, to avoid breaking the relationship of trust. In order to be perfectly frank, he can let his listener know right away that he will make some strategic recommendations at the end of the conversation.
The SDR asks questions to guide the conversation
We must remember that the Sales Development Representative is there to offer a solution to his prospect’s problems. So he asks open-ended questions in order to discover the company’s internal workings and organization:
How are you internally organized for…?
What are your priorities for…?
Have you already set up…?
How do you take care of…?
Thus the prospect will become aware of the internal issues on his own, and in the end, he will look for a service/product to answer these questions.
Of course, the SDR must always remember the BANT qualification criteria in order to guide and keep control over the conversation:
Budget: does your prospect have the budget required for deploying your project?
Authority: is your prospect the overall decision-maker for deploying your project?
Need: does your prospect really need your product/service?
Time: how soon does your prospect plan to deploy?
At the end of the discussion, the Sales Development Representative has all the information necessary for helping the prospect understand that the proposed product or service is the ideal solution. If all of the BANT criteria are positive as well, then this prospect is now an SQL (Sales Qualified Lead), ready for a meeting with an Account Executive!
A good way to ensure that your SDRs are following your scripts is to use Shadow Calls.