How to define the role of the Business Development Representatives to increase sales?
As we saw in our article on the importance of sales prospecting for growth, Outbound Sales is the channel of choice for B2B companies looking for strong growth, especially in the current post-Covid inflation environment. As a result, the demand for Business Development Representatives is exploding.
But hiring a Business Development Representative does not guarantee that they will succeed in generating sales. You will also need to understand their role, define their mission and effectively organise the handover between the BDR, who books the qualified meeting, and the sales person (or Account Executive) who does the meetings and brings the prospect until closing
Understand the role of the Business Development Representative
The initial need of any business is the same: once you have developed a good product or service, you have to sell it. And unfortunately, customers don’t come to you by themselves! Even the best innovation doesn’t sell itself, you have to introduce it to your market.
The implementation of a marketing strategy and budget makes it possible to generate leads (MQL = Marketing Qualified Leads) but… not necessarily the right ones. Many of these leads will be outside your target audience, for example companies with budgets that are too small compared to what you are looking for.
Therefore, you still need something crucial for your business: to get your sales people to meet as many qualified prospects as possible from your core target audience.
In fact, the role of the Business Development Representative is to allow your company to meet a large number of qualified prospects from your core target.
Understanding the role of the Business Developer is essential to avoid the classic mistakes that affect the success of your sales department. The first mistake to avoid in order to succeed in your sales prospecting is to not ask too much of your Business Development Representative. Their role is defined and limited, asking them to go beyond this would be counterproductive for your business and your sales results.
The value of a defined role
By asking your Business Development Representatives to bring in SQLs (= Sales Qualified Leads) with a BANT (= Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe – method used to qualify or score B2B sales leads), you are creating two problems that will destroy the effectiveness of your sales engine:
Decrease in the volume of deals
- In order to transform a sales appointment into a qualified opportunity, the Business Development Representative will have to spend more time on each deal, which naturally reduces the number of deals brought in. Alternatively, this burden can be taken on by Account Executives without impacting the volume of leads processed by your sales department.
Loss of energy and motivation
- Working on leads requires in-depth qualification and nurturing in order to get qualified opportunities, which would distract your Business Development Representatives from their sales hunting approach. However, the enthusiasm and energy of sales prospecting is needed to chase cold prospects. By having all the next steps in the sales cycle and all the qualification criteria in mind, your BDR will lose energy, conviction and overall performance; thus reducing the productivity of your sales engine.
Thus, respecting the role of your Business Development Representatives is very important in order to maximise the efficiency of your sales department. Their role is to prospect, not to sell. Prospecting consists of detecting projects, needs or interests within a specific target (decision-makers of target companies) and transforming these needs into the beginning of a purchasing process, by facilitating a meeting between the prospect and the Account Executive.
Prospecting and selling are two very different roles! In prospecting, needs are detected, whereas in sales, these needs are transformed into purchasing decisions. The whole point of the BDR model is to separate these roles for greater efficiency, according to the Fordist model of division of labour. In addition, by asking your Business Development Representatives to generate Sales Qualified Leads, you communicate to your Account Executives that their role is not to sell or convince, but to accompany already qualified deals to the point of sale, which can be perceived as reductive.
Want to achieve the same results and boost your own closing rate? Write to our CEO Ephraïm Bismuth to find out how to adapt the business development model to your company!
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