By Dean Clarke
By Dean Clarke
Here’s some real talk–you hire great sales people and before you know it, they’re getting bogged down by internal meetings, prospecting, cold calls, training, and reporting. They’re stretched so thin that they don’t have time to focus on their main job: closing deals. This is where a Business Development Representative, or BDR, comes to the rescue.
BDRs are often touted as a vital part of your business’s sales team and an absolutely necessary part of your company’s growth strategy. But what is a BDR, and why exactly do you need one, you ask? Well, keep reading.
It’s a tale as old as time, the majority of sales representatives out there are juggling too many roles, which results in them not having enough time in the day to get everything on the to-do list done. So what can a sales rep do? Adding more hours to the day isn’t possible and it’s usually tempting to hire another sales rep, but that’s costly and time consuming. What your business really needs is a Business Development Representative who would step in to tee-up great prospects to the sales reps so they can spend more time doing what they’re truly good at: closing deals. How do they do this? A BDR’s sole focus is to hand off warm leads to your sales team. A BDR is any potential lead’s first point of contact with your company. Their role focuses on prospecting and nurturing relationships with leads until they are deemed qualified and ready to hand off, allowing your sales team to focus their time on prospects who are actually ready to talk and make a decision.
Studies have shown that companies that utilize BDRs convert about 40% of their leads into sales opportunities. This is an impressive figure in itself, but when you consider companies where leads go straight to the sales team have about a 5% lead conversion rate, the 40% is significant. Especially in today’s world where prospective leads might be more than halfway into the buying process before they get to a sales representative, BDRs are more important than ever.
Most sales reps would agree that the hardest part of closing a business deal is finding it in the first place. And the fact that finding business deals can be extremely time consuming further supports the reason your BDR is a crucial part of your sales team.
On average it takes 12 calls to connect with a lead through a direct number. If you have a verified email address, at least six emails are needed for a response, and in general three connections are needed to get a meeting. All this calling and emailing adds up: the average is about 75 calls or 40 emails per one meeting with a prospective lead.
For a sales representative who needs to meet a quota, this is a nightmare. With all the time used in searching for, and verifying potential leads, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do this job well.
BDRs nurture deals and do the research to keep time consuming activities away from the rest of your sales team. They also get to know the prospective leads so that sales can do what they do best, close on the deal. You’ll be hard pressed to find a thriving organization without a successful BDR.
Time is finite, and researching new prospective leads is very time consuming. Hiring or outsourcing a BDR is a great way to buy more hours in the day for your existing sales team.
Your Business Development Representative needs to be able to greet your prospective clients in a professional manner that makes your company look it’s best within the first impression. This person needs to find out what the potential lead wants, or rather what kind of challenge the lead is seeking to solve.
Based on the information the BDR finds while researching and talking to leads, they can give recommendations for ways your company’s products or services may solve the customer’s problem. Often the BDR will provide a demonstration of your products or services, as well as tell your potential customer about any relevant special offers they should be aware of, such as discounts, rebates, deals, or warranties.
The person you are looking for when you are hiring for your next Business Development Representative, is professional, courteous, energetic, and self-motivated. There are a handful of skills that a BDR needs to excel. Good BDRs are excellent at customer service, have a passion for helping their customers achieve their goals, knows how to prospect, and how to make a great first impression.
Once you hire your BDR it is imperative that they have enough training to provide a thorough understanding of the products and services your company has to offer. This is very important, since a lack of understanding in this department will make for very poor lead conversion rates, and lower your ROI.
Your BDR candidate needs to show off your company and give your future customers a great first impression. Your BDR is, after all, the first face of your company. If this person doesn’t excel, it’s also the last point of contact any prospects will have with your company, and the last you will see of that lead.
So can hiring a BDR actually do something good for your ROI? The answer is yes, very much yes. A BDR who is good at what they do can generate as much as three to ten times the amount of pipeline deals as a regular sales team member would. In addition to that, an excellent Business Development Representative would be qualified to turn up the closing rates of the pipeline, and as a result increase your company’s revenue.
It is more difficult to reach buyers these days than it used to be. Leads require more time than what used to be the norm, and more contacts are needed to go through your pipeline in order to close a sale.
Hiring a BDR means that you have someone who is good at researching companies and looking for leads. This allows the rest of your sales team to focus on nurturing and closing leads at the end of your pipeline.
Of course, as long as a company is small there might be little difference between sales and business development, and that’s fine. Once the company grows, these positions can be separated.
Your BDR does all the heavy lifting in uncovering potential leads, and because of that they gather a lot of information which can help can turn the lead over to their sales team. Some BDRs might use a framework, like ANUM (Authority, Need, Urgency, Money) or BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline) to find out whether or not a lead is viable and qualified.
Among other things the BDR will have to know is whether they are talking to a decision maker or not. A BDR could be wasting a lot of time thinking they are dealing with a decision maker with purchasing power, when in reality they are dealing with a lower-level employee.
The BDR will need to make sure the potential customer is a good fit by asking questions and listening well to the prospective lead. At the same time, they also need to educate the potential customer on what products and services your company has to offer, as well as demonstrate the value of the products.
If your company’s products or services don’t solve an existing problem for the lead’s company, the lead is a dead end. The BDR needs to spend time figuring out where the real need is, and how your company may have the right solution.
Whether the potential lead has buying power or not, it’s irrelevant if the services your company can offer are outside the budget of the lead. This is why BDRs will often try to find out what kind of budget the lead is playing with before turning them over. BDRs don’t discuss pricing with the lead, but it’s necessary to make sure that the buying power is real, and that the lead can potentially afford the products and services your company offers.
The BDR’s job is to get the attention of the decision makers. It is not an easy job, which is a good reason why it should be a separate position, not just another thing added to the list of an already overworked sales team. As soon as the BDR has been able to transfer a lead to your sales team, the BDR goes back to finding new leads.
Your sales team’s job is made that much easier by the fact that the lead has already been educated about your company’s services by your BDR. Instead of a cold lead with unknown pain problems, leads the Business Development Representative hand over are already engaged in the conversation with a level of trust and engagement already built.
Talking to a prospect who wants to talk about your company’s services, is very different from a lead who felt pressured into a call.
To sum it up, a Business Development Representative is a vital part of your sales team and your business. Because they do all the important leg work, from the first meeting with a potential customer to the hand off to your sales team, they are where your business success begins.
BDRs research the potential customer’s company, and find out how your company can help, and what angle the sales team should go with when they talk to the lead later. In short, BDRs generate better, more easily converted leads, more revenue, and grow your ROI and your business.
Here at Figmints we solved this issue by creating SalesAmp. Our proprietary service combines lead generation strategies that supports your sales team and allows us to hand your team warm qualified leads–it’s game changing BDR-as-a-service.
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