Great things happen when marketing hands qualified leads—identified by a lead scoring process—directly to front-line sales representatives; that is, as long as salespeople take them seriously and follow up promptly.
Notwithstanding all the benefits of a well-designed, sophisticated, highly automated, lead nurturing and scoring process, it turns out that these processes are far from perfect. We’re dealing with people, after all; and we can’t describe their motivations, intentions, and behaviors using a simple numeric score. So, short of trying to capture every aspect of human thought and emotion in one comprehensive metric, we can often significantly improve sales efficiency by adopting a rigorous process of sales lead qualification. The goal is to have your quota-carrying sales reps spend their valuable time with the best of the best. And that involves taking leads that marketing has determined are well qualified, and further qualifying them through the human touch.
The human touch, in this case, comes in the form of a sales development process. Here, a team of lower-cost, highly disciplined, and well-trained specialists works to further qualify leads before they are passed to quota-carrying account executives. These specialists, called Sales Development Representatives, or SDRs, use telephone, e-mail, and other personal one-to-one interactions with prospective buyers to really get a pulse of “who’s hot and who’s not.”
Inserting a sales development ...