Lead generation and distribution is often considered a marketing responsibility, but this definitely varies from organization to organization. Some companies are beginning to adopt a new role of Sales Development Rep (SDR), whose main responsibility is to verify marketing-generated leads and create new leads with the goal of scheduling quality meetings for sales reps. Lead management is the set of systems and practices a company uses to generate new potential business. It is generally operated through a variety of marketing campaigns or programs, and requires collaboration between sales and marketing teams.
Why is it a challenge?
First, a company must choose whether this will be more of a sales or marketing function, and then decide on the process in which leads will be managed. This is challenging because both teams are invested in this process and may have different ways of doing it. The SDRs, If a company chooses to employ this role, will answer to either sales or marketing. The next challenge is training SDRs in social selling, cold calling and emailing, delivering a value proposition, and any other strategy the company uses to qualify leads. Plus, there are many tools focused on prospecting, lead management, lead scoring, and email tracking that SDRs should be at least familiar with. Not only is it a daunting task to create this process and train SDRs, but it is an ongoing sales and marketing responsibility to maintain the integrity of the lead management method.
What can you do about it?
Sales enablement teams or individuals can partner with marketing regarding lead scoring and distribution tools, as well as ensure that SDRs have the right email templates and talking scripts to reach out to leads. They can also constantly check that all of these are working with the company’s CRM and email systems, and are the most effective and efficient tools for reps to use. Training the reps to prospect, nurture and manage leads will be an ongoing effort, since the SDR roles have high turnover (they often move on to full sales roles), so streamlining the training process is important. Call scripts and email approaches are always being refined based on what works best, so this is an area of the sales organization that is fast moving and rapidly improving.
Brian Groth is the Sales Enablement Manager at Xactly Corp, where he successfully created and currently manages Xactly’s entire sales enablement program, including the sales process, tools and training.