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Optimize the organization of your Sales Development Representatives team (Part 2)

This second part of the article deals with the last two essential questions of the following series:

  1. What is the best team structure? (discussed in the previous article)

  2. Which talents to attract and how to retain them? (discussed in the previous article)

  3. How to manage productivity and team performance?

  4. What leadership is required for effective team management?

Productivity and performance management

Time allocation. The vast majority of SDRs work on a just-in-time basis, constantly arbitrating phone calls, writing messages and facilitating social networks. The allocation of their time is a daily challenge and falls under the responsibility of the SDRs themselves as well as their manager. On an average day, SDRs make 40 phone calls, write 40 emails and intervene 16 times on LinkedIn. When it comes to phone calls, it is interesting to note that 30% of SDRs manage to make 50 or more calls a day.

Number of Quality Conversations (QC). Another very useful metric that greatly influences conversion rates is the number of Quality Conversations per day and per SDR. A Quality Conversation is defined as a conversation in which the SDR gets at least one factual element that qualifies or disqualifies the lead. On average, SDRs can have between 4 and 5 QCs per day. These numbers vary depending on the type of channels used: SDRs who have a high propensity to use the telephone and among them, those who make more than 50 calls a day can reach 8 QCs per day.

Achievement of objectives and On Target Earnings (OTE). In 2020, one of the world's leading tech companies reported annual results that were 20% higher than analysts' expectations. The share price rose sharply, and everyone was satisfied... except the company's sales representatives. Indeed, over the same period, only 25% of salespeople had managed to achieve their goals. This paradoxical situation – a company exceeding revenue expectations and the majority of salespeople below their quota – was due to a misalignment between global and individual objectives. The consequences were immediate with a significant number of salespeople deciding to join the competition.

To be effective, the variable component of sales compensation must abide by several imperatives: be perfectly consistent with the company's growth objectives, be simple and transparent, be built to reward outperformance, be stable and, if the objectives must be increased, then this increase must be accompanied by the provision of additional resources. On average, 68% of SDRs reach their quota and this statistic has remained very stable in recent years.

Marketing tools and performance. The effectiveness of SDR support tools has increased in recent years and their utilization rate continues to grow. On average, SDRs use between 4 or 5 tools in addition to their CRM. It is interesting to note that there is a certain correlation between the number of tools used and performance: SDRs that reach their quota use between 3 to 8 marketing tools against less than 3 for those that fail.

Sales Leadership

SDR/Manager ratio. The number of SDRs per manager varies from 3 to 13+ and grows with the size of the company. The median figure observed is 8 SDRs per manager.

Management of SDR activity. The number of day-to-day operations of the typical SDR has increased significantly in recent years and managing their priorities is a challenge that sales managers need to be concerned about. In our experience, the most successful teams master the following practices:

  • They establish a strict sequencing of daily and weekly tasks: calls, writing messages, presentations, reporting, etc... and include them in the CRM. Such a sequencing makes it possible to create a disciplined routine that is appreciated by the SDRs.

  • They invest a significant amount of time in personalizing messages. The vast majority of prospects expect their interlocutor to have understood the characteristics and needs of the company before the first contact.

  • They continuously share (often once a week) best practices among their employees. These best practices can be tips, content, or elaborate processes.

  • They adapt quickly to changes in terms of work organization (teleworking in particular), adoption of new tools or methodologies.

  • They follow a well-honed onboarding process to ensure that new hires integrate easily, and quickly adopt the team's best practices.

If you are interested in delving deeper into this topic and learning more about our experiences, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Alexandre Giry-Deloison, founder and CEO of GROW


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