article | August 8, 2011
Lead Generation: Lead Development Reps – Top 2012 Strategic Decision
For organizations involved with a complex sale, this direction is crucial to future competitive viability. World class B2B companies are responding to the needs of the evolving buying process by building teams of Lead Development Representatives, also called LDR’s, to provide a crucial link to connect with prospects at the early stages of the buying process. Results of Sales Benchmark Index customers who have followed this practice as well as many examples across the industry have proven the impact of LDR’s in increasing the quality and quantity of qualified leads for the sales force resulting in stronger pipelines and increased revenue.
Sales representatives are tasked and goaled to produce near-term results. Lead Development Reps fill a vital role of nurturing prospects over time, building trust and rapport that leads to opportunity. This selfless Nurturing and trusting interaction speeds up the buying process and connects sales reps to the prospect at the ideal timing of the prospect’s choice.
The Vital Role of the Lead Development Representative – Generating Qualified Leads
The role of the LDR is to generate qualified leads for the sales force. This is done through a combination of inbound and outbound efforts where the LDR team performs outbound prospecting efforts as well as serves as the main point of contact to build relationships with incoming calls and web inquiries. For most companies, outbound calling represents 80% of the LDR’s time with 20% invested in responding to inbound inquiries.
There are three core elements of the Lead Generation LDR role:
But how is an LDR different from Telemarketing or Inside Sales?
Traditionally, B2B firms have telemarketing efforts with internal staff or outsource services performing appointment setting, plus inside sales representatives focused on direct sales to usually smaller opportunities.
Telemarketing and Inside Sales have an important place in any holistic sales strategy, yet sales leaders often mistakenly check the box of “Lead Generation” with their telemarketers and inside sales teams as their front line soldiers.
The LDR’s Lead Generation role in contrast is geared to build rapport over a long-term, multi-touch relationship. Each touch is daisy-chained together by capturing interactions in notes within the CRM and setting call reminders and nurture paths for the prospect.
Increasing Pipeline, Driving Results
Most B2B firms have their sales force performing this function today through the sales field’s prospecting efforts. A time study will give you great insight into how much time your sales reps are spending prospecting through cold calling through the phone, email or onsite visits. Prospecting efforts should always continue to be performed opportunistically for the sales field, but there is a better way.
World Class firms are launching LDR teams to generate qualified leads to increase the size of the pipeline and effectiveness of the sales field where reps spend more of their time selling.
Standing up Lead Generation teams is a Greenfield effort where the experts in the field are those companies who have done it and consultants who have assisted their clients. There are a host of books available on Lead Generation, but the top experts in the field today are those training and launching LDR teams. The quickest way to get started is to work with a consulting firm with experience in standing up LDR teams. In addition, Lead Generation summits and conferences, as well as blogs from experts provide the best resources for Lead Generation team strategy and construction.
The elements of success for standing up a Lead Generation LDR team involve the following key attributes:
Building a Lead Generation team is a competitive advantage while in in the next year as your competitors begin to do the same, this will become a means of survival. Don’t wait to get started, plan a strategy discussion with your leadership team and begin the process of building this capability for your company.
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