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How to Build an SDR Team That Loves Your Marketing

In business, a tension as old as snake oil exists between sales and marketing teams. 

And no, not the exciting, meet-me-in-the-supply-closet-in-15-minutes kind of tension.

It’s more like being in middle school, believing you’re about to play seven minutes in heaven with your crush…

...Only to realize your “friends” tricked you into seven minutes in a closet, alone with your inner angst.

Overly-specific analogies aside, the point is that despite their actions, sales and marketing teams like each other — or they should anyway.

We’re all prospecting for the same team here.

High-performing sales and marketing teams share common goals and metrics. They shouldn’t be pointing the finger at each other when their company is in the red.

Similar to an account-based marketing funnel, achieving sales and marketing alignment starts from the top down. 

Here’s how:

Note: From simplified account-based marketing to sales prospecting, build the B2B relationships with Leadfeeder, sign up and try for free for 14 days.

Streamline Your SDR Onboarding Process and Training

Building a sales development representative (SDR) team that gets along with marketing starts on day one with the tone you set.

If you walk into an onboarding meeting with an “us vs. them” mentality, those dynamics will inevitably evolve. Be conscious of your approach.

For example, when walking new sales reps through your account-based marketing framework, don’t just explain the sales role. Give an in-depth overview of marketing efforts as well.

sdr marketing sales funnel

Sit all of your sales hires down with the marketing team early on to learn first-hand how they generate leads. Encourage questions and feedback.

View your sales onboarding process as an opportunity to gather fresh perspectives on sales and marketing content, before reps become too far ingrained in the day-to-day.

In addition to onboarding, SDR teams need ongoing training regarding trends and new technology.

Keep thorough, process-based documentation that supports your sales and marketing teams as they streamline the process of identifying and connecting with leads.

Hold Your SDR and Marketing Teams Accountable to the Right Metrics

Sales team evaluations have always been tied to revenue. This hasn’t always been the case for marketing.

Digital transformation has forced businesses to consider how they gauge performance. Marketers have to appeal to both branding and revenue generation now.

This is why revenue-driven marketing models have become so popular over the last couple of years. It’s also why the lines are now blurred between SDR teams and marketers.

Sales and marketing-based performance metrics play off each other — everything is interconnected.

The landing pages a website visitor spends time on can influence both the content of a sales rep’s follow up email and the content of a marketing team’s retargeting ad.

Marketing teams need to make an effort to focus on the metrics they need to do better (e.g., marketing qualified leads, leads-to-opportunities, and time to conversion).

Sales teams need to expand on the limiting metrics they hold reps to (e.g. sales quotas). 

Instead, they should be reviewing key performance indicators (KPIs) by stages (e.g. activity, pipeline, lead generation, outreach, productivity, etc.).

sdr marketing saas kpi

Don’t Just Manage — Mentor

Groupthink can be the downfall of your SDR team’s positive working relationship with marketing.

If, as a sales manager, you villainize the marketing team, then it’s only natural for those following your lead to adopt a similar attitude. Building teams takes work. And it’s certainly going to be more work than blaming someone else when things don’t go the way we intended. It’s easy to point out problems but it’s just not productive.

Especially when everyone’s working toward the same goal. Again, gathering performance metrics for both sales and marketing under one better-aligned roof can help with that.

When something isn’t working between sales and marketing, the immediate reaction shouldn’t be to channel that inner middle schooler and talk behind each other’s backs.

On the contrary, the lines of communication should be wide open and approached with positivity. When gaps in the process are identified, work together to fill them.

Occasionally, contentious relationships can develop between SDR managers and their employees, so it’s worth it to be mindful of presentation, and set a good example.

As they say, it’s not what you say but how you say it.

Managing people isn’t about dictating a list of deliverables and arbitrary quotas. It’s about creating a dialogue and constantly evolving because of it.

If you want your SDR team to have a better relationship with marketing, you should clearly communicate why. In addition, provide tangible and tactical direction to help them achieve it.

Make Sales and Marketing Alignment Part of the Regular Conversation

Marketing to one list of leads with the same retargeting campaign and sales messaging for months on end is bound to exhaust itself.

You have to hit refresh now and then if you hope to see results.

The same goes for your sales and marketing strategy. They should come together regularly to address what is and isn’t working for your customers.

If they are operating separately, they’re probably talking about customers and the product from two different perspectives. This can result in a disjointed buyer experience. 

It can be particularly problematic considering how far along in the buying process prospects usually are before ever engaging a sales rep.

Buyers expect a personalized experience from beginning to end. Ideally, this means SDRs should be in the loop about who they’re talking to before they reach out.

The right sales stack makes this possible.

For example, Leadfeeder CRM helps automate the discovery process with detailed prospect information pulled from website traffic data.

sdr marketing leadfeeder dashboard

SDR teams, in turn, have a better foundation to build their pitch on — enabling them to connect with buyers earlier and more effectively.

Leadfeeder also benefits the marketing with a LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration that helps SDR and marketing teams better align over retargeting ads.

Final Thoughts: How to Build an SDR Team (and Keep Them Aligned with Marketing)

In short, building a team that’s aligned and highly functional, requires cross-departmental effort. 

One that doesn’t stop at SDR and marketing, either.

You have to share information and get buy-in across every business stakeholder — from your CEO to customer support specialists.

The more people understand revenue-driving efforts from a sales and marketing standpoint, the better equipped they are to provide support and identify missed opportunities.

Note: From simplified account-based marketing to sales prospecting, build the B2B relationships with Leadfeeder, sign up and try for free for 14 days.

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