Interesting article, certainly we are making the same conclusion, which is the SDR role is evolving.
In the past it always seemed to me (maybe it was the companies that I worked for) that the SDR was the salesperson's administrator. But in the world of the modern buyer, good news for the SDR, this role seems to becoming more rounded. Even if there seems to be a need for less of them.
We all know that you can do outbound, but it's a sign of desperation. Why does any company make outbound calls? Because they don't have enough leads and meetings. Of course. You know it, I know it and your buyers know it. So we all know you are desperate if you do outbound, it's as simple as that!
The clever companies are recognising that Account Based Marketing (ABM) or Account Based Sales (ABS) as I prefer to call it id the way to go. How come?
In the B2B Enterprise space that I work in we see that companies are searching online. While a year ago we argued if this happened, the argument has moved on and it's now accepted that our prospects are searching online and we need a sales and marketing plan to address this. Recent research from Showpad showed that for deals over $100K the prospect will research online for an average of 40 hours. That is a lot of content! Are you addressing this need? Are your salespeople qualified to meet this new requirement?
And we know from previous CEB now Gartner research that the average B2B deal has 6.8 people involved. If you are in tech, it's more like 8 or 10 people.
If a company gets inbound from a single person, we cannot treat that person as a single entity. In the past we may have called it a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). In our new book "Smarketing - How to Achieve Competitive Advantage through blended sales and Marketing" we argue that "leads" now need to be called Marketing Qualified Account (MQA). As there is never a lone buyer and the job of the SDR is to hunt down the rest of the buying team.
It goes without saying that our job as sales people will be to qualify each and every one of those buyers in the buyer committee and they may all be at different positions in the buyer process.
So as you can see, while the need for outbound has reduced, the role has been enhanced!
Three cheers for the SDR!
Today’s consumer wants a more consultative and hand holding approach to the buying process. The fact that 80 percent of customers nowadays are either in the consideration stage (they have done their research and narrowed down their choices) or in the decision stage (they have already decided they want to buy your product) is a game, and industry, changer. This is why sales reps must be experts, not salespeople. When a consumer is close to buying the first time you speak to them, it changes everything about the interaction. They ask more advanced questions and don’t need a sales development rep asking them qualifying questions because they have already qualified themselves by becoming a lead in the first place. SDRs are still starting their scripts on their own one yard line when the customer is already halfway down the field.