The skill set required to be successful as an Lead Development Representative is radically different than traditional sales reps. In fact, the difference is worlds apart.
A Different Approach
Prospects are no longer seeking sales people to initiate conversations. Instead they are talking to peers, industry experts and contacts through social media. Traditional means of selling have fundamentally changed – we can no longer expect to be part of a “pitch” a client. Lead Development Reps provide the answer to early engagement.
The most obvious difference is in the metric of success attainment: Lead Development Representatives (LDR’s) generate qualified leads vs. sales reps that close sales.
In World Class b2b organizations lead generation is performed by Lead Development Representatives. LDR’s focus on driving interaction to qualify interest for the sole purpose of developing a qualified lead for the sales field. There are three key areas that illustrate the uniqueness of a LDR vs. a field sales representative.
1. Patience to Nurture – Great sales reps have a healthy impatience that propels them to make things happen. Top sales reps quickly frame up whether an opportunity is worth investing their time. Lead Development Reps are very different and have to be patient almost to a fault for success.
Lead Development Representatives engage prospects early in the buying process. This requires demand generation efforts and outbound calls at the awareness stage to drive inquiries. Diligent efforts to build rapport require patience. Lead Generation success requires building rapport, earning trust and gaining permission.
2. Objections Discussed, Not Overcome – In complex b2b decisions the sales rep must overcome the objection to be successful. If not the deal is dead. The sale rep must tackle the objection and resolve it. In Lead Generation the real objection needs to be discussed — not resolved.
The Lead Development Rep simply recognizes, empathizes, listens, and then discusses objections. Real objections are often the path to qualifying need. Valuable insights are achieved through the dialogue providing opportunities to offer a meeting with the sales representative.
3. Who Needs a Champion? – The sales representative must identify a champion to be successful. This is especially true selling a complex b2b product. The LDR’s role is not to identify a champion, but rather to scout out across the organization. This probing across the organization produces higher probability of success by avoiding dead-end contacts.
The LDR works horizontally across the organization building 1:1 relationships over time. Contact grading and activity scores are used as guides to identify the fit of each prospect with your Ideal Customer Profile.
The initial contact is the starting point to build bridges to multiple individuals within a prospective organization. The LDR continues working across multiple contacts until one is ready to go deeper leading to a meeting. Important details and information are accumulated across multiple contacts. All efforts come together when a single contact agrees to receive a sales representative for a meeting.
Sales leaders can be more effective in Lead Generation efforts by understanding the uniqueness of the role. This understanding enables better hiring decision and coaching.
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