Once your fast growing B2B SaaS company has a Sales team of about three or four members, you may be ready to invest in building a Lead Generation team. The introduction of a Lead Generation team is a key step in the specialization of roles within your Sales group.
Why Build a Lead Generation team
Lead Generation teams act as hunters for the Sales team. They are part of a system of specialized roles that recognize experienced Sales team members are often better farmers than hunters and, in some organizations, senior team members may be unable to shift away from a culture of acting as order takers. While not ideal, this latter point is the reality for many organizations.
The Sales Development Representative
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), also known as Enterprise Business Representatives (EBRs), are Lead Generation team members that prospect and qualify leads before handing them off to the appropriate Sales rep. Often we recommend SDRs vet and qualify leads using the BANT lead qualification methodology. For more information on BANT (budget, authority, need and timeline) check out this blog post.
In addition to a modest base salary, SDRs are traditionally compensated for each qualified lead they hand Sales and then receive an additional small percent of the value of the resulting sale. SDRs tend to be young, hungry and are willing to aggressively hunt leads in order to prove themselves. They are also technically savvy and adapt easily to the realities of today’s digital selling world.
It is often difficult to motivate traditional Sales team members to hunt new prospects when they can more easily go to their existing well. SDRs help by doing the work Sales won’t and also by setting a good example that can motivate Sales team members. Finally, SDRs are a low-risk way to introduce young blood to an organization and groom them to graduate up to a more senior member of the Sales team. While the number varies by organization, a well trained, effective SDR can generally feed qualified leads to three or four Sales team members.
How to get Leads
When it comes to prospecting, start by leveraging the resources you already have. If you’re a large organization with an existing underworked database, that should be your first source of leads. Similarly, if you have a list of inactive accounts, one Lead Generation team member should begin to vet and re-qualify those accounts. Pulling lists and then lead scoring each account is a painstaking process. However, it can yield leads that historically the Sales team has overlooked.
Another method of kickstarting a Lead Generation role is to pull lists of desirable targets, say 200, and hire someone on a platform like Upwork to research and flush out details like email addresses, titles, phone numbers and prepare a CSV of fresh data to import into your CRM.
What a Day in the life Looks like for an SDR
One of our all-time favorite videos about SDRs is made by Sales Hacker. It takes you through what a typical day looks like in the office, includes tips, things to avoid, and a timeline of the day. This is a great resource for onboarding a new SDR and will give you insight as a founder into what an SDR’s day should look like.
Earlier in this blog post we talked about how there should be a structure around how many qualified leads are passed from an SDR to Marketing and a way for that SDR to be compensated. We also strongly recommended this role also have measurable and meaningful KPIs. A great resource for KPI guidelines for your SDR can be found here.
Looking to hire an SDR? Find a free SDR job description template in our Marketing, Sales and Support Job Description Templates bundle here.
In our next blog post we’ll talk more about how to develop your Lead Generation team. Specifically, if your SDRs should report to Sales or Marketing and how you develop a contract between Sales on Marketing about how many qualified leads will be passed over the fence each month.
Have questions? Disagree with us? Let us know!