Sales Prospecting Techniques for Sales Development Reps

Guidance on the tools and methods for SDRs to get the job done

Zight | May 03, 2018 | 3 min read time

Article Last Updated: July 09, 2023

Sales Prospecting Techniques for Sales Development Reps

New sales development reps (SDRs) are born into this world inspired, energetic souls. They win a job they really don’t know much about based on the belief they’ll be able to smash through walls for the sales team. At some point, ambition meets reality. The SDRs come to realize sales prospecting is more about chipping away at that wall rather than flinging themselves against it. This Sales Prospecting Techniques Playbook may be just what your SDRs need to attack that wall with a sharp pick, and strike it for maximum impact.

Our primary goal with the techniques in this playbook is to put some structure around the SDR function, to help Sales better describe the SDR mission and provide guidance on the tools and methods they should employ to get the job done. We’ve provided highlights of the playbook below, and you can download the pdf version here. We’ve also provided the source PPT so you can customize the playbook for your own company.

The SDR Mission

From the start, make the SDR mission clear. Maybe your SDR already knows this, but it helps them focus. FInding sales opportunities is what this job is all about.

SDR Goals Front and Center

Sales is always pretty clear on goals. Get the sale. Period. SDRs need the same clarity because their goals are a little more nebulous and diffuse. They need to support deals, generate opportunities that will become those deals and interact with enough people to make that all feasible. So, lay it all out there nice and simply for the SDRs.

Garbage in, Garbage Out

Some of the best guidance you can provide an SDR is around building a strong prospecting foundation. Without the right database volume or the right contacts in that database your SDR will be set up to fail. But with regular guidance and checks on their prospecting database you can ensure every SDR has a snowball’s chance.

Go With the Flow

Inbound marketing leads will be an important part of your SDRs job. They should learn early on how the lead flow works and how to properly handle Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).

The Proper Response

As SDRs interact with prospects you’ll want them to properly triage the leads. This helps keep the prospecting database clean and ensures you’re able to track the success of each SDR. You’ll want to keep this process as simple as possible. Resist the urge to introduce nuanced categorization of leads. You don’t want a bunch of judgement calls clouding your data and slowing down your SDRs.

Also included in the playbook are sections on:

  • Effective MQL Follow-up
  • Sales Side Prospecting methodology
  • Lifecycle of a Contact
  • Lead Qualification via BANT

Together, these are a solid starting point for your SDR to get started on the right foot. We hope you find this playbook helpful and are able to effectively customize it to your own purposes.

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