Sales or Marketing – To Whom Should Sales Development Reps (SDR) Should Report?
One of the most discussed and debated topics on marketing prediction is whether Sales Development Reps (SDR) should be reporting to marketing teams. Companies that are investing in account-based marketing approaches felt the need to bring marketing, sales and SDR functions together to create perfectly aligned teams for achieving mutual business goals – improving engagement and revenues.
While until the recent past most SDR teams have always reported to the head of sales, we’ve noticed several instances recently where the SDR team reports to marketing. Digging deeper into the current changing scenario, we have learned what it means when SDRs become a part of the marketing team.
One of the main reasons has been to determine the accountability in conversions. Though the marketing team is for the most part considered accountable for delivering opportunities, some marketing department heads believe that they should be able to also control the process of prospecting and qualification. Sending qualified leads (not just any lead) to the sales team is imperative – that’s why marketing teams need the responsibility of qualifying leads and measuring the successes. It represents an alignment of sales and marketing, and it’s a necessity for achieving common business goals.
Support in targeting the right people
Marketing teams can provide better support in targeting the ABM accounts that SDRs often spends hours in struggling in. Targeting the right people and accounts can become time-consuming tasks, with SDRs having to spend hours in studying firmographic data and researching accounts on social media channels to find the hook to target them. However, with little familiarity in the right timing for such social media exercises, they can waste valuable hours they could spend in pitching accounts and decision makers of those accounts. On the contrary, marketers can help SDRs save valuable time by providing them the support and context to pitch accounts since marketing reps can access the virtually all of this data from their lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns
Specific lead data
The more data you get on leads, the better control your SDRs will have in pitching target accounts and stakeholders. To reach out to prospects with customer-specific data on their side, they may frequently need to send cold emails – this is where alignment, reporting to marketing, and access customer-centric data will be most useful.
Marketing teams have a good deal of customer-centric data that they can mine for their nurturing efforts. This long list includes:
web browsing and other web behaviors on the company website
firmographic data collected through online forms
social media profiles and interactions
technographic data on the tools and technologies that target accounts use
engagement data that reveal how those target companies and decision makers are engaging through various channels
your campaigns and those of other companies
purchase behavior data or intent data that marketers source from customers’ engagement in keynotes, forums, discussions boards, social channels as well as from their own newsletters and articles.
By using these behavioral and professional details on accounts and prospects, SDRs can grasp prospects, understand why they may want to use your products or services, and craft more personalized messages to keep prospects engaged and responsive.
Analytics and insights to replicate success
In addition to the marketing analytics data that help marketing teams pass qualified leads to executives, they can also use the metrics data such as, time spent in nurturing specific leads and closing rates. Based on these analytics data, SDR can analyze issues as they emerge and get better understanding of how to solve those problems and recreate the successes from those. Thus, SDRs play crucial links in the buying cycle by aligning marketing teams with sales.
Increase conversions and revenue
Account executives can be under the heavy burden of reaching revenue targets, plus the stress of spending too much time in communicating with accounts and prospects. Their job gets even harder if the leads they get are not qualified. In such cases, when SDRs have the right insights and guidelines sourced from marketing team, smaller teams of account representatives can do their jobs more efficiently and at lower costs. It enables your account executives to avoid spending time and efforts in the wrong places. Getting things wrong can be costly. According to research by Bridge Group, 33 prospects are added to the sales pipeline out of around 1,000 accounts in a quarter.
In spite of which team your Sales Development Reps report to, whether sales or marketing, they need to be closely dependent on marketing functions. By aligning these two, marketing and SDR teams effectively, companies can gain from the combined benefits of their performance in collecting data, analytics, crafting optimum personalization and engagement from accounts which will lead to shorten sales cycles and increase conversion rates from their account-based marketing (ABM) programs.
A smaller team of well-trained and skilled reps of both teams can function more effectively right from the account selection process to improving revenues – in case you want professional training sessions for your teams, you can simply talk to our ABM specialists at (408) 502 6765 or via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.