How to Transition a Lead from a BDR to a Sales Rep
A business development representative (BDR) focuses on generating qualified leads using tactics such as cold emails, cold calling, social selling and networking. They open sales opportunities by uncovering pain points within organizations. However, a BDR is not a closer. The jobs of pitching a solution to the lead and closing the deal are left to the sales rep. Because these functions are divided between two roles, how a BDR hands off a lead to a sales rep can mean the difference between a closed deal and a lost deal.
Here are some important factors to consider when transitioning a lead from a BDR to a sales rep.
1. Define what makes a qualified lead
Receiving qualified leads is what helps sales reps drive revenue. If there is no clear definition of what a qualified lead looks like, then the BDR will very likely pass along unqualified leads to sales reps, causing the sales reps to waste time and energy going after deals they can never close.
After all, every BDR’s goal is to hit their quota. This will motivate them to hand off as many leads as possible. When both the BDR and the sales rep have a good understanding of what a qualified lead is, the BDR will only send qualified leads to the sales rep. The BDR has a practical view of their quota and the sales rep is satisfied with closeable leads.
2. Set the right expectation with the lead
The transition from BDR to sales rep can be jarring for a lead. The lead has spent time answering probing questions designed to unearth some of the problem’s that the lead’s organization is having. They’ve shared business details and they have developed an interest in a solution. The problem is that the “solution” discussion needs to be guided by a different person—the sales rep.
To make the transition as smooth as possible, the BDR must set the stage to make it clear why the lead needs to speak with another person. The lead must be made to understand that the sales rep is the expert on the solution and can provide better answers to their questions due to that deeper expertise. This is a delicate point that must be handled with finesse.
3. Immediately schedule the meeting
As soon as the lead is ready for a sales discussion, it’s up to the BDR to set the meeting. Instead of saying, “Well, let me get back to you with some dates,” the BDR should set the meeting on the spot while the level of interest is high. It’s never a good idea to give the lead a chance to rethink things. To be able to schedule a meeting on the spot, the BDR must have access to the sales rep’s calendar.
So, why not simply transfer the call directly to the sales rep instead of scheduling a meeting? Because, as we will see in the next section, the sales rep needs to be prepared for the call.
4. Enter detailed notes into a CRM
The key to having a successful sales call is having detailed notes about the BDR’s call with the lead entered into a CRM. If possible, having a recording of the call is very valuable. The idea is that the sales rep needs as much information as possible to be as prepared as they can be for the sales call. At the very least, the BDR should share the lead’s pain points and their level of interest. All of this avoids an awkward information gap and prevents the lead from having to rehash their conversation with the BDR. Few leads will have patience for this, and the sales rep’s job will be more difficult.
5. Send a meeting reminder
Scheduling the meeting and entering meeting notes into a CRM doesn’t end the BDR’s responsibilities. They are also responsible for sending a reminder via a call or email a day or two prior to the scheduled meeting. The goal here is to reduce rescheduling and no-shows. And, it’s a courtesy that helps ease the transition from the BDR to the sales rep.
6. Keep communication lines open
After the sales rep’s meeting with the lead, it’s important that they provide feedback to the BDR on how well the call went. Because compensation rides on the quality of the outcomes of these meetings, any feedback is valuable from a training and development standpoint. Feedback also helps the BDR understand how to better qualify leads and continue to optimize their efforts.
Smooth transitions drive revenue
Segmenting of the specialty roles of BDR and sales rep helps sales organizations gain efficiencies by allowing individuals to focus on what they are good at. BDRs prospect. Sales reps close. When the transition of a lead between the two progresses smoothly, it moves leads through the pipeline and drives revenue.