3 Crucial Elements of a Modern Sales Development Rep [An Outline]

sales development reps we can be modern“Modern Sales Leader.” I hear this term at least 100 times each day. The modern sales leader is a big part of our messaging at LevelEleven and rightfully so. Essentially, it all comes down to you, as a sales leader, adopting a more modern approach to your day-to-day sales management.

In 2016, there’s a big emphasis on this modern sales leadership that revolves around a very Activity Based Selling model. Companies such as Symantec, EMC, Dun & Bradstreet, Ford, Comcast and thousands of industry leaders have all adopted the concept. I mean, this is why you bought a CRM, isn’t it?

But while there’s all this talk about Activity Based Selling and modern sales leaders, guess what? I never hear talk of modern sales development reps.

Sales leaders: I strongly encourage you to take a modern approach to your leadership via driving a foundation based on activity-based sales.

But that’s only the beginning.
You must enable your sales development reps to be modern, too. Ready? Here’s an outline of elements to coach them around. Some notes aim more at reps and others at leaders, but it would be beneficial for both sides to give this a quick read.

3 Crucial Elements of “Modern” Sales Development Reps

1. Responsibility (Reps should read this):

Dead are the days where an SDR is a meeting setter. If you’re still stuck in this way of thinking, change it. You can get more out of your reps. Give them more responsibility. Regardless of whether or not you’re a startup company or a large organization, like Google, there are many ways for employees to get more involved in selling.

Qualify, Qualify, Qualify.

  • You should be asking questions, lots of them. And, no, I’m not referring to simply asking what time they can connect for a demo. Learn about their organization and how your product or service could fit in.

Assist account executives with opportunity progression.

  • Should more buyers be involved on the opp? Call them.
  • Has someone gone dark? Call them.
  • Value touches along the way? Email them relevant content.

Provide your marketing and PR team with valuable content

  • Blogging as an SDR has quite a few benefits: It sets you up as a thought leader, helps to accelerate inbound lead flow and forces you to step back and take a look at your business in a completely different light, which helps you to better understand your solution and buyer personas.
  • At LevelEleven, each SDR provides one blog per month or more. This is mine, so hopefully you’re still reading it.

Be proactive.

  • This is vague, I know. It’s supposed to be. Seek out new things within your company. Someone, somewhere, is insanely busy and could use your help. This will go a long way for your career. Play the office politics a little bit. They suck, but they exist and are never going away.

2. Compensation (Sales leaders should read this) 

Regardless of whether or not it shows, young and ambitious sales reps want to do more. They want more responsibility. They want to prove themselves and feel like a valuable piece of the puzzle, whether it’s a 50 piece startup or a 10,000 piece enterprise. Of course, millennials want to do more, but they also expect to be rewarded for it. This is where you come in.

Opportunity Progression: Sales Accepted Opportunity

  • Encouraging your reps to assist with progressing opportunities throughout the sales process will prove to be extremely valuable. How can you do this? The SAO Compensation Model: A traditional model for SDRs with compensation being based on new opportunities sources is great, but it can be better. Compensate your reps on key contacts added into the opportunity, as well. (Example: I’ve created a new opportunity with Company X, an enterprise. One SAO credit toward my comp. Then for every key player that I source within their sales process, I’ll get an additional SAO credit). This will help move the opportunity forward and, ideally, close more. Additionally, it’ll teach your SDRs about the full sales process. Thus, preparing them for the next step in their career.

Piece of the pie

  • Another way to further motivate your reps to get more involved after sourcing the initial opportunity is by giving them a piece of the pie. Whether it’s 1%, 2%, 3% or whatever piece of the ACV that you see fit, this will make them care about the deal. This will likely be relative to the account executive’s comp. In turn, it’s easier for the leader to set goals for opportunities sourced and each deal has a set value based on the size of the opportunity.

3. Feedback (Everyone should read this). 

Last, but certainly not least, feedback is vital. If you want to motivate your reps to do more, be sure to give them feedback on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean giving them a pat on the back every time that they do something extra. Coach them. We love constructive criticism. This is where the Activity Based Selling model comes into play, as well. Provide metrics-driven coaching based on their controllable behaviors. Give feedback on their content. Talk to your reps, not as a boss, but as a friend. It’ll go a long way.

There you have it: The three elements that will accelerate your SDR’s output in a modern sales organization. How will you help to develop these qualities? Let us know in the comments below.

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