Business development representatives (BDRs) have a bigger impact on your organization than you may realize. It can be easy to overlook this crucial role, but lack of attention to your BDR strategy can be detrimental to BDR performance, your sales team and your organization.
As an entry-level position and one with notoriously high turnover, it’s often put on the backburner. But don’t be mistaken; a BDR team serves as the foundation of any modern sales organization.
The role of a BDR is not easy. They face a ton of pressure each day and always have a full plate. Without clarity from leadership, BDRs won’t have the time or energy to delegate tasks, lay out objectives, and focus on the right accounts. Lack of an objective-driven focus in BDRs can negatively impact every department’s productivity.
Even the most clearly defined KPIs can be hard to reach without any direction.
Fortunately, you can make some strategic adjustments to your BDR processes so everyone can reap the benefits.
Boost BDR Performance with These Strategies
Many BDRs are used to functioning on autopilot rather than working independently and strategically. These eight strategies will give your BDRs a concrete yet scalable structure they can fit into their existing schedule to boost their performance exponentially.
1. Focus on Account-Based Marketing
Although this is a marketing strategy, marketing to the correct people and accounts makes an BDR’s job much smoother. Account-based marketing specifically helps reduce friction between marketing and sales handoff as well. BDRs can spend more time researching which will give them a better understanding of each key account and how to approach each lead.
2. Rethink Your Lead Scoring to Improve BDR Performance
What does your existing lead scoring process look like? If BDRs are spending too much time on dead-end leads, your scoring process could use some work. BDRs can do their job much more efficiently when they’re working with the best intel. It might be worthwhile to make lead scoring a joint effort between marketing and sales so both departments can improve their tactics.
3. Optimize a CRM
Every BDR team needs the appropriate tools to do their job. A customer relationship management system (CRM) is a must for keeping your BDRs focused and efficient. A CRM provides a centralized dashboard for tracking leads and account activity, integrating pieces of technology, interacting with leads, and syncing data.
Syncing data in one place from multiple sources is especially important because it gives your BDRs a comprehensive understanding of each lead’s or account’s behavior and stage. From there, BDRs are empowered to select the best language and approach for each lead. And let’s not forget precise syncing of systems gives leadership accurate dashboard data to make the best business decisions.
4. Set Clear and Attainable Objectives
Working on autopilot doesn’t provide the best opportunities to think objectives through and how to best meet them. Instead, give BDRs the benefit of structure by setting clear and attainable objectives.
70% of companies that follow a structured sales process enjoy higher performance than those that wing it. When they have clear objectives and specific KPIs, BDR performance will increase because they’ll know what to prioritize throughout the day and week.
5. Develop a Consistent Onboarding Process to Improve BDR Performance
Unfortunately, many organizations don’t use a consistent and effective onboarding process for new BDR hires. A low-quality or generic onboarding process sets the stage for mistakes, underperformance, and lack of focus on end-goals.
First, make sure your BDR onboarding protocol mentions the role’s objectives, expectations, and required training.
Next, ensure your onboarding process is flexible enough to adapt based on each hire’s experience and knowledge of the industry and job. Design a handful of distinct training programs for your technology, culture, communication, and lead conversations so every BDR hire has the tools they need to succeed.
Training should be an ongoing process to help BDRs continue to develop their skills. Don’t make assumptions that your team has a good grasp without consistently checking in to ensure they have the knowledge and tools they need to properly articulate your product or service in the market.
Most importantly, make sure your onboarding clearly lays out who each BDR should report to for questions, concerns, or suggestions on improving processes – and make sure they know each line is always open and welcome.
6. Approach Underperformance the Right Way to Boost BDR Performance
How you approach underperformance in your BDRs, and really your entire team, can dictate your organization’s success. Underperformance or mistakes must be addressed immediately. Ideally, use a CRM and tracking system to analyze work and look for discrepancies.
The goal is to address problems before they turn into habits. Show – don’t tell – BDRs what correct processes look like.
However, it’s equally important to approach BDRs about their underperformance respectfully and with constructive advice. No one likes being talked down to by their higher-ups or scolded for honest mistakes.
7. Look for Areas to Relax with Automation
Much of an BDR’s job requires human interaction and this should never be replaced with machines. However, before interacting with leads, BDRs rely on intel to guide their conversations and decide who to approach.
Tasks like research and data analysis are ripe for automation. AI can identify subtle behavioral patterns that go unrecognized by humans. Plus, AI systems improve over time thanks to machine learning. With automation, BDRs will have more time to focus on the interactions that matter.
8. Make Sure BDRs Know What Customers Want
Humans aren’t machines. You can’t just say the right things and expect them to buy. Make sure your BDRs know exactly what your buyers want. For example, 69% of buyers say personalized offers and recommendations are important for helping them drive more value from your product or service.
The most successful BDRs take a unique approach to every lead, so give them the tools, freedom, and time to do so.
Foster an Environment that Empowers BDR Success
Top-performing BDRs need a combination of the right objectives, tools, and communication. Flexible structure is key to setting your BDRs up for success and empowering them to make the best use of their time. By following these eight strategies, you’ll give your BDRs a solid structure to build upon. They’ll have everything they need to make the most out of each lead, boosting not only their performance, but your bottom line.