For many people, the concept of sales may be quite simplistic. You imagine walking into a shop, making a purchase, and leaving. But there is a lot that customers do not get to see happening in the background.
How do you get that customer to walk into the shop? When is the best time to convert interest into sales? And, what happens beyond the exchange of goods and services?
Indeed, proper sales requires understanding the market, buyers, and best practices.
That is why sales development is so critical. It is about constant evolution to meet the ever-changing customer demands.
Let’s explore sales development and why it is crucial in an organization.
Understanding Sales Development
Sales development is any process that taps into the initial stages of the sales cycle. Do note, the role of the sales development team is different from the sales team. Their aim is not to close deals, which is the job of the sales team.
Neither do they do the marketing job of promoting products or services. Rather the sales development rep’s (SDR) job is to find the right connections and qualify leads.
Sales development is becoming more relevant. And it requires a specific skill set to realize its potential. Companies that do not have in-house capacity to handle this delicate task can benefit from outsourced SDR services.
These companies use a combination of science, technology, people, and processes to achieve their goals. They take on the demanding role of finding and turning prospects into actionable leads.
The outsourced sales companies will also qualify inbound prospects or use outbound techniques to generate new leads.
For the company, the outsourced marketing teams can be a godsend. They allow the sales teams to focus on making conversions. It frees them from spending hours qualifying the available leads.
And the company saves by not having to get an in-house team. The cost of recruiting and onboarding one employee is over $4,000. That does not factor in training and retention. Imagine the overall cost of a full sales development team. Smaller companies may find it cheaper to outsource.
With that understanding of sales development, let’s look at the benefits to a company.
1. Better Connections with Prospects
Many customers do not like salespeople for one reason. They tend to push products or services in a rather aggressive manner.
They start talking about their offering without knowing what you need.
Sales development representatives (SDRs) come with a different approach. For them, it is about building relationships.
Through customer research, they understand the pain points. From this, they position the brand as a solution provider.
The SDRs gently nudge the customer along the sales funnel. By the time they get to the final stage, they have more trust in the brand.
It is vital to have proper guidelines and structures in sales development. This should be the roadmap that guides all the team’s processes.
2. Higher Conversion Rates
If you have ever been in a sales position, you know how challenging the job can be. You start by identifying prospects. Cold calling can take hours or days before a customer gives you a few minutes of their time.
And, of course, some will need more than one call to start changing their minds. Now, add on other communication methods like emails or social media.
The sales development team has training specific to building connections and interests. As we said, their job is not to close the deals, which belong to the salespeople. They focus on getting the prospect to take the right action, which is to convert.
The SDRs take time to understand the buyer’s goals or objectives. They delve into factors like status quo and customer challenges and issues.
B2B leads generation services should not focus on product features prospecting. Rather, it should be problem-focused or buyer-oriented. All these have a significant role in achieving conversions.
3. Bridging the Gap between Sales and Marketing
The sales development team is that intermediary between sales and marketing. The SDR plays a critical role in bridging the gap between the two. The lead generation process begins with the marketing team. They then hand these over to the SDR.
The SDR qualifies leads so that only warm and hot leads move along the sales funnel. They also connect with prospects to create relationships. What they had over to the sales team are leads that are ready to close.
We also can’t ignore how much time the SDRs save the sales and marketing teams. The sales team no longer has the role of finding new accounts or initiating contact. The SDR takes up such tasks.
The sales team can then concentrate on closing hot leads. They can also spend time doing follow-ups.
A company will lose conversion opportunities from a lack of follow-up. Yet, the potential customer filled out a contact form because they wanted to connect.
The SDRs also ensure the CRM is always updated with new customer information. When the marketing team hands over the leads, they qualify and clean up the data. Such CRMs are critical to sales and marketing activities.
4. Better Sales Forecasting and Analytics
It is easy to forecast and analyze with proper sales development structures in place. The reports at every stage of the sales cycle provide invaluable insights. The teams will, for instance, know the conversion rates at specific points within the sales process.
It becomes easier to set KPIs to measure performance. But that’s not all. The same insights are critical for performance analysis. It becomes easier to know what needs improving to get optimal results.
Companies that want to achieve conversions appreciate the role of sales development. These teams provide that critical linkage between customers and the sales teams. The buyer-centered approach removes the focus from pushing product features.
The SDR must truly understand the different nuances that make up a customer. It is not only about selling products, although this should be the end goal. Rather, it is becoming a solution provider.
Customers are more likely to have more loyalty to a company that understands them. Even without an in-house team, the company can look into outsourced SDR services.
The experts take on the task of lead generation. What comes in are qualified leads for the sales team to close.
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