Build and track pipeline with Crunchbase’s new HubSpot integration | LEARN MORE

5 Reasons Your Startup Needs an SDR (and How to Recruit One)

This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and we are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc.


Sales is one of the most important aspects of any business, but it can be especially challenging for startup companies. Startups typically have limited resources, which can make it difficult to invest in sales and marketing initiatives. 

Startup owners often have to wear many hats and may not have time to focus on generating sales. They are more likely to use their time to seek funding and develop their products. Additionally, they may not have the necessary connections or experience to generate sales leads.

Despite these challenges, there are a number of things startup owners can do to improve their chances of generating sales. One of them is to recruit an SDR or sales development representative. 

 

What is an SDR?

An SDR is responsible for finding and qualifying potential leads for the sales team through cold calls, emails, social media and websites. They interact with prospective customers to understand their needs and determine if they are a good fit for the company’s products or services. 

Some people use the terms SDR and sales representatives interchangeably, but they are not the same. 

Although they both work in sales, they have different job functions. The main responsibility of the SDR is to generate leads for the company by finding potential customers and qualifying them. They also build relationships with potential clients and create a pipeline of opportunities for the SRs. 

Sales reps, on the other hand, close deals with qualified leads that have been generated by the SDRs. They also work to expand their customer base and maintain relationships with current customers

 

Why should your startup hire an SDR?

1. Target qualified leads

SDRs are equipped with business analytical skills that allow them to target sales leads more effectively, resulting in better conversion rates. With their ability to identify potential customers and assess their needs, SDRs can develop the most effective sales strategy for converting them into paying customers.

One of the techniques used by SDRs is lead scoring, where leads are ranked in order of their potential revenue value. The higher the score, the more likely the lead will convert into a customer. 

Part of lead generation is gathering data and creating a profile of the startup’s ideal customer. This includes purchase history, contact history, demographic information and online buying behavior. Once you have this information, you can begin to assign points to each piece of data.

The SDR should also research the competition and identify potential customers who may be interested in what the startup has to offer. Startups like Fetch Robotics employ SDRs to implement lead generation strategies.

2. Keep your CRM healthy

Customer relationship management is a system used by businesses to manage their interactions with customers. SDRs act as the first point of contact for potential customers, qualifying them and routing them to the appropriate sales representative.

SDRs keep your CRM system up to date by adding new leads and contacts. This ensures you always have the latest information about your current and prospective customers. 

Through SDRs, your startup can track customer data, interactions and preferences in order to better serve them in the future. 

3. Accelerates your startup’s growth

As SDRs are responsible for generating high-quality leads, they play a significant role in your startup’s growth. Their work helps build relationships with potential clients, which can lead to future sales opportunities.

If you’re looking to grow your startup quickly, hiring an experienced SDR team is a great way to do it. SDRs can help you generate more leads, close more deals and increase your bottom line.

4. Shortens your sales cycle

SDRs are responsible for generating and qualifying leads for the sales team. They do this by researching potential customers, contacting them and determining whether they are a good fit. 

Since SDRs are able to remove low-quality leads, the sales representatives can make their pitch to people who are likely to purchase your startup’s products or services. This allows the sales team to focus on closing deals instead of spending time qualifying leads. The efficiency shortens the sales cycle, thus allowing the startup to grow more quickly. 

5. Maximize your resources

Many startups have limited funds and resources. SDRs help maximize resources by identifying and qualifying potential customers, which in turn allows your startup to focus on closing deals with qualified prospects. 

Additionally, SDRs serve as a bridge between the marketing and sales teams, helping to ensure that leads are properly nurtured and followed upon. By having SDRs, your startup can make the most of its limited resources and grow the business more effectively.

 

Tips to hire the perfect SDR for your startup

1. Ensure you have the proper foundation

Before you can begin to reap the benefits of having an SDR on your startup team, you need to make sure you have a proper onboarding and training process in place.

A well-designed sales training program is essential for developing the skills of SDRs. The training should be aligned with your startup’s sales goals and objectives. It should also be tailored to the needs of the SDRs by providing them with the necessary tools to be effective in prospecting and qualifying leads.

The training should also include coaching and mentoring from experienced sales professionals. This will help the SDRs to build their confidence and grow their skills.

2. Determine your SDR’s responsibilities

It is important to define the specific responsibilities of your SDRs so they can be effective in their roles. There should be a clear delineation of tasks between SDRs and SRs, so there is no overlapping of work.

  • SDRs must be able to articulate the benefits of your startup’s products and services and explain how they can solve the customer’s problem.
  • SDRs must be able to identify ideal customers by researching potential leads and building lists of targets.
  • SDRs must be able to qualify potential leads and determine whether or not they fit the persona of the startup’s ideal customer.

3. Don’t focus your job description on skills alone

When you’re hiring an SDR, you also need to think about how the candidate fits into your team. The best way to determine if an SDR is a good fit is to create a job description that focuses on the desired skills as well as the desired culture. This will help you find customer-focused candidates who are a good match for your startup and who have the potential to be successful in the sales development role.

4. Launch a video ad campaign 

When you’re looking to fill a position in your startup, using video ads is an effective way to hire sales development representatives. This allows candidates to learn more about the position and the startup. They can see what the day-to-day work is like and whether or not it’s a good fit for them.

The internet has made job searching easier than ever. There are now a number of different ways to focus your job ads through social media. One way is to use Google Ads, which allow you to create video ads that will appear when someone searches for a job on Google. Additionally, Facebook ads can be used to target specific demographics who are likely to be interested in the SDR position. 

Video ads are more likely to reach a wider audience than traditional job postings through social media and websites.

 

Skilled SDRs are your key players

Sales development representatives are often an overlooked part of a startup’s success, but they are essential in creating and nurturing sales leads. SDRs play an important role in identifying potential customers. By using a lead scoring system, SDRs can identify quality leads that have a high chance of sales conversion. 

SDRs also act as a link between the marketing and sales teams, helping to ensure that leads are followed up on and converted into sales. Many startups fail because they do not have a solid and scalable sales process in place. By tracking and analyzing customer data, SDRs can improve the sales process to achieve better results. 

A good SDR team can make a big difference for a startup, so it is important to invest in this area and conduct a background check to ensure you’re getting the best SDRs that have the right skills and mindset that align to your startup’s values. 

With an SDR team, your startup can focus on creating a strong value proposition, investing in marketing and sales, and developing products. 

  • Originally published May 24, 2022