A Rose by Any Other Name: The Foundations of Business Development Excellence
- Sales leaders maniacally seek to increase core selling time
- Organizations must feed sellers real opportunities, not leads
- Size your teleprospecting group adequately and set realistic expectations about output
Have you seen the movie My Favorite Year? If not, get thee to your favorite streaming service. Its flamboyant main character, played by movie star Allan Swan, twists a famous line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name … would wither and die.”
A metaphorical parallel exists in B2B sales and marketing: “Business development rep” (BDR) and “sales development rep” (SDR) are common titles for non-quota-carrying teleprospectors. They may process website and digital inbound demand, execute outbound prospecting, or combine demand sources. The central focus is developing leads into opportunities salespeople can convert into revenue. An absurdly dizzying number of acronyms for this role abound: ADR, BDR, CDR, DDR, LDR, RDR, SDR. Whatever title you choose, just make sure it cultivates a volume of ripe sales opportunities. The alternative is a pipeline that withers away.
SiriusDecisions research has identified the following foundations of BDR excellence:
- Purpose: Define exactly what BDRs do and don’t do. Define the success target. Define dependencies on sales and marketing. Write it down and get all stakeholders to sign off.
- Job design: Derive a role profile from your purpose statement, highlighting important behaviors and competencies.
- Headcount planning: In view of the role profile, determine the productive capacity of a BDR — how many opportunities can a BDR generate in, say, a month. Then calculate the headcount you need to hit your goal.
- Measurement: Focus your attention on metrics that help you manage performance, tune processes, and know when to reallocate capital.
- Compensation: Focus BDRs on creating a strong buyer experience rather than rushing prospects along their journeys. Tilt total compensation toward base salary over variable compensation.
Do you have a dedicated prospect development group? Is it delivering less than you hoped? Do you NOT have one and need one (but are terrified to get it wrong)?
If you are a Forrester client, schedule an expert inquiry session to help you apply our published research and accelerate your prospecting functions.
For everyone (prospects and clients): Hear actionable advice for delivering on growth expectations and learn how BDRs fit in. Join me for a complimentary webinar on Thursday, September 17th.