Over the past decade, the role of sales development representatives (SDRs) has changed dramatically. The strategy of randomly hitting 200 dials per day is insufficient. Today’s successful SDRs are focusing instead on personalized outreach and relationship building. It is this increasing alignment between sales and marketing that has spurred the adoption of what’s known as account-based marketing. What is this all about and what does it mean to SDRs? Let’s take a look.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing, or ABM for short, involves the identification of key accounts that your business wants to pursue. Unlike traditional marketing efforts, ABM focuses not on an individual, but rather on an entire company, treating each account as its own market. As such, ABM is a practice typically employed at the enterprise level and in the B2B realm.
What is the SDR’s role in ABM?
There are three main steps involved in effective account-based marketing. From an SDR’s perspective, learning and becoming familiar with these steps is a critical component of success. These steps include:
Identifying your target audience.
Remember, with ABM, the first audience you will be targeting includes companies, not people. This is an important distinction to keep in mind when developing buyer personas. This is also where the collaboration between sales and marketing becomes more prominent since data will be required from both areas (i.e. industry size, company size, location, market influence, expected profit margin, likelihood of repeat purchase, etc.) As such, the role of SDR in ABM will ultimately involve a good deal of research.
Identifying the right stakeholders.
SDRs play a pivotal role in the ADM process because they essentially serve as the liaison amongst multiple stakeholders, both internal and external. For instance, you may need to meet with C-Suite executives as well as the sales leadership team to more accurately determine who you will be targeting as well as how you will be most effective in getting in front of them with the right message.
You’ll also be tasked with determining which external stakeholders you’ll need to target in order to move each account through the sales process and successfully convert them.
This step can be challenging, particularly given the fact that according to Gartner Research, in a typical company with 100-150 employees, an average of seven different people may be involved in most buying decisions. These individuals may range from senior-level leadership to front-line management, which means the ability to collaborate at various levels of an organization is absolutely essential.
Crafting the right message.
Last, but certainly not least, once you’ve identified who you will be targeting and which stakeholders within that market you will need to “touch,” the last step involves crafting the right message. This one can be a bit tricky since it requires tailoring and personalization to each key decision-maker. For instance, the pitch you make to the CEO will be quite different from the one you deliver to a front-line manager.
In order to effectively win over each stakeholder, you will need to personalize each message to address the individual pain points of the recipient. This step, like the previous two, involves a decent amount of digging, so be sure that your research skills are on point, and also have an understanding of what tools and resources are available to you for automatically delivering your message.
As an SDR, an in-depth understanding account-based marketing can be a tremendous differentiator, helping you stand out amongst the competition. Focusing on the three components listed above should help you hone your skills and improve the chances of landing the job you’ve always wanted.