Editor's note: this blog was originally published on October 20, 2020. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Whether you have a dedicated business development representative (BDR) handling business development, or you’re a small business owner handling business development yourself; business development is necessary to your company’s growth. For those that may not know, business development is generating new business opportunities through various channels, such as cold email, cold calls, networking and social selling. Companies often rely on BDRs to help them engage with and pre-qualify leads for the Sales team, making it so that Sales can spend their time closing new business.
Arguably, a BDR is the most important role on a B2B sales team. This is because teams with a BDR can generate up to 10x the amount of pipeline deals and increase the close rate of that pipeline through better qualification, resulting in dramatically higher revenue.
Below are 5 tips to being a successful BDR:
1) Know your audience inside and out
In order to be successful at gaining new business, BDRs need to have a deep understanding of your organization’s market, audience and product.
The challenge is that people's needs constantly change, so BDRs need to be flexible and quick to adapt. In order to stay current, you should never stop researching and always look for more data on your target market.
It’s important to take the time to really understand your audience so that you can take the appropriate actions that perfectly match the expectations of your potential customers. A good way to do this is by utilizing buyer personas. Your marketing team or customer facing sales team should have this handy for you. If not, they are still good resources to speak to about what makes your customers buy.
2) Prioritize communication skills
Communication skills are so important when you’re in business development. You spend the majority of your time reaching out to potential customers, so you need to be able to effectively communicate the value of your service or product in a timely manner. However it doesn’t just stop at product knowledge, you need to know how and when to ask questions, actively listen to your prospect, and pick up on verbal queues. This is why communication skills should be a priority and you should continue to improve on them.
In addition, sometimes business development can be frustrating! Only a percentage of your cold calls and emails will generate sales-ready leads. Be prepared for a lot of rejection — but don’t let that get the best of you. Continue to communicate in a calm and professional manner, be patient and persistent and even have a bit of a sense of humor about it.
3) Stay organized to stay sane
Along with communication, being organized is an extremely important skill to master as a BDR. From taking notes during your calls to staying on top of follow-ups, your level of organization could make or break you in this role.
Below are some easy ways to ensure you stay organized:
4) Don't be afraid to try new things
As a BDR, your job is to find and generate leads. You probably have a strategy in place for that already, but that doesn’t mean there is no room to think beyond that. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things.
Worst case scenario? Your new approach doesn’t yield the results you had hoped, but it’s a step closer to finding out what does and doesn’t work. Regardless of the outcome, true success as a BDR comes from trying new things. A good rule of thumb is to strive for 80% true and 20% test.
By moving on quickly, you’ll learn to make decisions faster, and you’ll become more motivated to achieve your goals, which is only going to set you up for future success.
5) Work smarter, not harder
Now, we're not suggesting you shouldn't work hard in this role. But there are ways you can work smarter to save you time and help you become more efficient. Being a successful BDR isn't necessarily about the volume of calls you can make, but more about the quality.
Work smart and be tactical. Take the time to research your prospects prior to engaging with them. Check them out on LinkedIn or Twitter and connect with them there. You'll be surprised the amount of info you can find out about a prospect just from looking at their social media.
We recently published an eBook that takes you through the best way to connect, build rapport and pitch to prospects on LinkedIn. Check it out here. There may be a handful of different sales outreach message templates for you to use 😉
Being a BDR is an exciting, but challenging, role. Applying the above 5 tips will be sure to help you be successful at business development, while enjoying doing it.
Talk to us to see how our platform can make BDRs even more successful!
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