A Day in the Life of a Salesforce SDR
If you’re stack ranking CRM platforms, there’s no doubt that Salesforce is at the top of the list. That’s why they’ve been named the leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation 13 years in a row. When it comes to selling, Salesforce is also the best of the best. They have a world-class sales team that’s dedicated to delivering a next-level software sales experience.
We sat down with three leading Salesforce Sales Development Reps (SDRs) to learn about their role and why they’re excited about Qualified’s conversational marketing platform as a new way of connecting with, and most importantly converting, qualified leads.
Anapaola: Everyday we get in early and we have around 30 leads waiting for us. These are people who engaged with the salesforce.com website, left a voicemail, downloaded a demonstration, or signed up for a trial. We immediately prioritize the hottest leads, which are people who signed up for a free trial or watched a video. Leads continue to come in throughout the day. On average, we’re working 90 leads leads per day.
Michael: We spend a lot of time de-duplicating (de-duping) leads in Salesforce to make sure we have a really clean CRM and we’re not having multiple people reach out to the same lead. This de-duping process takes time, but helps us keep the customer experience pure.
After that, it’s all about getting people on the phone. Sometimes we have to spend multiple days, send multiple emails, and make multiple phone calls just to get in touch with someone. Because we have such a massive product suite, our role as SDRs is to answer service level questions and get people the information they need.
Kendall: We try and hit 20 calls by 10 am. Throughout the day we're refreshing our open queue and making sure that we can get to the leads as quickly as possible because at that point, our product is still top of mind. We’re heads down trying to engage with leads because the faster we connect with them, the more likely it is we will set a meeting.
Anapaola: Our main goal is to create qualified leads as quickly as possible and schedule an initial conversation with a specialist, also known as an Account Executive.
Michael: We’re required to make 65 calls per day. We’re expected to make 13 connects out of those calls, meaning we speak to someone on the other line. We need to get in touch with the right people and ask them the right questions. We’re looking to verify that they are a real person at a real business with a real need, and get them in touch with the resources to move them through the sales cycle.
Kendall: As an SDR, we’re on the front end. Our job is to make sure we’re flipping qualified leads over to the Account Executives and into Stage 1. Then we want those leads to be bumped up to a Stage 2 Opportunity, which means an Account Executive had a meeting with the prospect and there are agreed upon next steps.
Michael: In addition to being speedy, you need to learn to ask the right questions and uncover what the prospect needs, which helps take those conversations to the next phase. It’s not enough to source an opportunity. You need to own your business and make sure our AEs are working these contacts and closing those deals.
Kendall: We’re on the evaluation side and trying to show that we have a genuine interest in helping the leads find the right solution. It’s important that we communicate that we’re here to help, not pitch our product. Once we can communicate that to our leads, you can become much more successful.
Anapaola: The biggest pain point is the manual process of figuring out who can I talk to and what leads I can work. Once I figure that out, it’s hard to know who is actually going to respond to me and convert into an opportunity.
Michael: Identifying lead quality is a big challenge. Plus, being able to have a timely conversation. Your likelihood of having a productive conversation with leads is so much higher if you engage with them 60 seconds after they check out a piece of content than it is two weeks later. By that point, it’s often too late.
Anapaola: The number one reason why we all were so excited about Qualified is that it really takes away that lag time from someone going to the website, going through a router, and showing up in our queue. Instead, we can have a conversation with them the moment they land on our website.
To be able to actively reach out to someone that's looking at our site is a total game changer for an SDR organization. It accelerates speed to lead because you're engaging with someone the second that they come to your site. And you have visibility into the products they're interested in, where they're going on the website, what content they’re looking for ... shaping what questions you might ask them as an SDR. And the integration with Salesforce is cool to have context for who they are.
Michael: The fun thing about our role is we get to talk to people who are interested in improving their business. We want to make sure that we're talking to as many of those people as possible.
There's a lot in our current way of doing things that makes that process a little bit arbitrary. Qualified takes out some of that guesswork.
Kendall: This technology is absolutely incredible. Right now it takes about seven minutes for a website lead to get in our queue. The fact that Qualified shows how long they've been on the website, what they're looking at, and enables you to have a conversation right on the site, it’s awesome. An SDR would be able to build so much more business and convert so many more leads.
Michael: The part where you're able to engage someone via chat or phone call while they're on the site … that's really exciting. Also being able to see where website visitors are located is really important. At a company as big as Salesforce, our SDRs and BDRs can only service opportunities in our specific regions. If I had that website location information right off the bat, I could be much more efficient with which leads I focus on.
Kendall: As SDRs, we need to have an entirely different conversation with someone who is on our pricing page versus someone who is on our Dreamforce page, and LiveView helps you do that.
Anapaola: Our entire job is figuring out how fast we can get an opportunity on the board and get it converted. To have this whole dashboard that displays our hottest traffic and who is ready to talk right now is the magic wand that anyone would want.
Michael: Salesforce exists as a platform to help other companies improve their business and go beyond the status quo. I love getting to talk to people who are idealistic and really want to improve their business, that’s fun part. As SDRs, we just need to get there. There's a lot of randomness to getting in touch with qualified leads. And so if I had any wish it would be to get to those qualified conversations, as many as I can, as quickly as possible.
Kendall: I wish it was easier to connect with more customers on a human level and show them that we’re real people who want to help their business succeed. It’s hard to communicate that when we’re chasing them down via phone and email.
Anapaola: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Michael: Practice asking the hard questions that help you understand the prospect’s pain points and needs.
Kendall: Ask as many questions as you can. That’s how you’re going to learn.
Favorite thing about working at Salesforce: The people! Everyone is very motivated and inspiring to be around.
Favorite Salesforce mascot: Koa, Marc Benioff’s Golden Retriever, our “Chief Love Officer”
Favorite Salesforce Product: Marketing Cloud, either Journey Builder or High Velocity Sales
Favorite Salesforce Product: Marketing Cloud
Favorite Salesforce mascot: Einstein
Favorite Snack at the Salesforce Office: Hummus!
Favorite thing about working at Salesforce: The people
Favorite Salesforce mascot: Cloudy the Goat
Dream role at Salesforce: Getting to work with some of our larger enterprise customers as an Account Executive or Dreamforce Events team … time will tell!
Thank you Anapaola, Michael, and Kendall for taking the time to tell us about your SDR role and your thoughts on conversational marketing. To see how another other sales team is using Qualified, check out our ThoughtSpot customer case study.
Discover strategies, tactics, and best practices for Conversational Selling - a new inbound sales model that is helping Sales Development Reps (SDRs) meet and exceed their goals, by checking out our book Speed to Lead.
We break down how to report on Conversational Marketing where it matters most: Salesforce.