FlipMyFunnel Post, Other

Sales Development – the Unsung Heroes of ABM

This post is based on a Takeover Tuesday Flip My Funnel podcast hosted by Justin Keller with Sarah Tosh and Mavis Norwich. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can check it out here and below.

Sales Development is absolutely critical for any ABM program.

SDRs are the nexus between Sales and Marketing, the unsung heroes of the ABM program.

In another Takeover Tuesday episode of the Flip My Funnel podcast I (Justin Keller) had the opportunity to talk with two amazing Sales Development leaders, Sarah Tosh and Mavis Norwich. Sarah is Sigstr‘s Senior Director of Sales Development and Enablement. And Mavis is Senior Manager of Sales Development at Zipwhip.

Here’s what we’re unpacking today:

  • Why SDRs should drive alignment between marketing and sales
  • How to help younger SDRs step up to the plate
  • What marketers can do to help out their SDRs

Who owns the job of sales and marketing alignment?

Well, everyone should own it.

But, because of their role, SDRs are in a unique position to really drive alignment between these two groups.

Regardless of where your Sales Development teams report, they support the Sales team. They’re also always using Marketing content, like events, direct mail, or ads to provide context around the brand.

SDRs bridge the gap between the two departments.

Because of this, your Sales Development team has an opportunity to really drive alignment between sales and marketing.

Getting younger SDRs up to par:

Not only do SDRs drive alignment between sales and marketing, but they’re often the first impression prospects might have with your brand.

So, this is a crucial role, yet SDRs tend to be young professionals right out of college.

How do you help these young professionals really step up to the plate to be a great frontline representative?

Well, for one, help them to truly understand what your brand is and how their actions can be aligned with that. Look at your organization’s success traits and your values, then tie them back to your brand. Challenge them to be brand ambassadors.

And don’t forget, helping them to understand that what they do internally is equally as important as what they do externally.

Also, think about who you’re hiring. Your ideal customer profile is going to drive what accounts your team is targeting and what messaging and content they’re using. It should also be driving who you’re hiring and how you’re enabling them.

As you hire these professionals, keep in mind what you’re going for in the market. Look at the experiences coming in and do a gut check — does everything match up?

One more thing — don’t feel like SDR’s have to fit that young professional mold. Diversify the candidates you are bringing in. I recently met an SDR who was one of the most polished professionals I’ve ever met. Turns out he left McKinsey to be an SDR.

It sounds crazy, but it’s actually brilliant. Why shouldn’t you overpay and over hire for such an important role?

Your SDRs are the human connection between the brand and the audience — make sure the people you’re putting there are equipped to really shine.

How marketers can help out their SDRs:

First, communicate.

Your SDRs are on the front lines. So, if there is any change to your messaging, your brand, your product, or your pricing, your Sales Development team needs to be the first to know. After all, they’re out there on the front lines and are likely the first impression most people are going to have with your brand.

Second, put yourself in the shoes of your SDR’s. Get on the phones and make calls for an hour. Look at the emails they’re sending. If you do it right, your SDR’s will trust you and will become your biggest champions.

Finally, celebrate your SDR’s. They’ve got a tough job. And they’re the backbone of your ABM program, the backbone of your business really. So, celebrate them.

It will probably go a long way.