Sales development is an important part of doing business, but it’s an area that comes rife with challenges. The good news is that automation and improvements in technology are transforming this area, and HubSpot is one platform spearheading this process.
In this post, we’ll explore some of the common duties and tasks involved in sales development, and how HubSpot automation lends a hand.
What are SDR Activities?
SDRs, or Sales Development Representatives, play a crucial role in business. It’s their job to work with customers at the top of the sales funnel, building new relationships, qualifying fresh leads, and moving prospective customers further down the buying journey.
It’s not the job of an SDR to close deals — their job focuses more on the top of the funnel and building early relationships with prospects, assessing what they want and how likely they are to become a customer before referring them to a closer.
These are some of the activities an SDR would be involved in:
- Research everything; where to find leads, how the companies the leads represent work and what they offer.
- Make calls and send emails to find new prospects and leads
- Talk to leads and qualify them
- Represent the company, product, and service on the front line. Be the first point of contact and the face of the business
- When they’re ready to buy, set up meetings between leads and sales executives
What Are Some of the Major Bottlenecks Faced by SDRs, and How Hubspot Helps?
SDRs encounter a number of challenges during their work, for instance:
- 98% of marketing qualified leads never result in closed business
- Sales reps spend less than 36% of their time actually selling, wasting huge amounts of time on small administrative tasks
- 57% of salespeople miss their quotas
On top of this, many smaller companies are failing to respond to their customers on time. Research shows that companies with more than 2,500 employees were able to respond to customers in 1.38 minutes on average, while companies with less than 300 took 48 minutes.
At first glance, these stats seem pretty daunting. It appears as though SDRs are fighting a losing battle where the odds are stacked against them and successful outcomes are an exception rather than the norm.
Fortunately, SDR activities can be improved significantly, and HubSpot is at the forefront of this by:
- Automating outreach and admin tasks like demand gen, with workflows and automated emails, freeing up more time for sales work and improving response times
- Providing access to a reservoir of customer data to optimize outreach and improve sales outcomes
- Creating awareness and promoting understanding of customers, driven by data, to help avoid reaching out to the wrong people
- Using data and feedback to ensure the product is the right fit for your audience
- The ability to track every step of the sales development process with powerful analytics
The Best HubSpot Tools for SDRs
Templates. HubSpot comes with its own library of email templates, with the ability to track performance in real time and easily share successful templates with the entire team, saving time and optimizing your outreach.
Connecting your inbox to HubSpot. This brings a ton of useful features for SDRs, like logging your email activity, tracking how prospects interact with your emails, and improving deliverability. It’s easy to do, and how you do it will depend on your email provider.
Sequences. This feature allows you to automate email sequences using HubSpot, sending up to five templates per sequence with a spacing of your choice. This is enormously useful for SDRs, saving massive amounts of time on outreach and following-up.
The Calendar Tool. Gone are the days of many back-and-forth emails trying to set up a meeting. HubSpot’s calendar and scheduling tool makes it easier for prospects to see your availability and book meetings according to their own schedule. It syncs to your Google or Office 365 calendar and also allows for group meetings.
Tasks. The tasks tool is a perfect way for SDRs to keep track of what they’re doing. You can create tasks, rank by priority, associate with existing records, and much more.
The Calling Tool. Making calls is a central part of what SDRs do. HubSpot’s calling software makes it simple to plan, place, record, and track calls all on the same platform. It removes a huge amount of stress from this staple task.
The Prospects Tool. In HubSpot, ‘prospects’ are your website visitors that haven’t converted yet. The prospects tool allows SDRs to track and monitor prospects, using information about their IP addresses to provide in-depth and valuable insights.
The Role of Automation in SDR Activities
Automation is playing a bigger role than ever in sales, and that trend is sure to continue. For SDRs, automation can significantly optimize activities in multiple areas, as we saw in the previous section. Here are some other examples of how automation improves the SDR experience:
- Automatic alerts to remind SDRs to call, reach out, or follow-up with customers at the perfect time
- Chatbots to handle much of the top-of-funnel customer interaction, taking the load off already busy sales staff
- Automate repetitive, monotonous tasks
Do You Need an In-House SDR?
When it comes to hiring sales staff, lots of businesses tend to be wary of outsourcing. Sales are a core part of the business, after all, and conventional wisdom tells us they’re best located at the physical center of your operation with a full-time position on your team.
There are many advantages to using in-house SDRs. Having a long-term team that understands your business inside and out, and can grow with you over many years, certainly has its benefits. Plus, some business models probably won’t fit an outsourced model due to low Average Contract Value.
However, there are some benefits to using outsourced SDRs. You can save on hiring, training, and equipment costs, and gain a fresh perspective on your products and sales strategy.
With the help of HubSpot, you can use automation to overcome many of the drawbacks of outsourcing and gain even more from this model. Automation can bring you closer to your outsourced SDRs and give access to a wealth of data, helping you to do the following:
- Track their progress and analyze performance easily based on clear data over time
- Give honest and useful feedback
- View weekly and monthly reports even when your SDR isn’t on site, allowing you to stay up-to-date with their work and treat them like a member of the team
By automating SDR activities, your business can free up a huge amount of time that would otherwise be spent on basic tasks, and devote that time to sales work. At Cacao Media, we can help ease your business into the automation process and train your team.
To find out more, get in touch with us today.