For most sales teams in the Tech Startup world, SDR’s are primarily built for two main reasons — qualify inbound leads and generate outbound conversations. The task is pretty simple. Go after your target accounts, find the right contacts, and figure out the best way to intrigue them enough to take a call. For some companies, once you set a meeting your job is done and it’s on to the next. However, for most companies, your job has just begun. 

If you’re lucky enough to have the trust of your organization to run the first call — and potentially the first demo — you’re going to be tasked with building the foundation that the deal will be closed on. The information you collect during the first and second conversations are absolutely vital to any success you or your AE will have to close the deal. If you don’t know the base principles your prospect is concerned about, you may still be able to deliver your organization’s value prop and convey your product’s benefits, but you’ll have no idea which features are most important and which features will convince them to purchase. 

The goal of most SDR’s is to advance into a quota-carrying closing role. You want the challenge of navigating a target account, solving your prospect’s challenges, and delivering value that none of your competitors can match. While you’re mastering the craft of prospecting, outbounding, and qualifying, make sure you’re beginning to think of what you and your team need to understand in order to move a deal forward 

Understanding your prospect’s needs is a good start, but being able to understand the motivation of the buyer is absolutely crucial as you begin to advance your career. If you know a buyer wants to use your product to generate more leads, that may technically check the box for the information you need to know to qualify someone, but that’s not enough. Why do they need to generate more leads? How many leads do they need to generate? If they are able to hit their goal, what’s the reward for them and their company? If they fail, what are the repercussions? 

Being able to know your prospect wants to get more leads is one thing. However, understanding why they need something is much more valuable.

Instead of saying “Company A wants to increase lead generation” you should be able to say, “Company A needs to 4x their lead volume this year in order to generate the $25 million in revenue they need to close their Series C. If my contact isn’t able to deliver on this, he will likely get fired and the Series C will be significantly decreased.” When you can understand that type of detail, you understand the motivation of your buyers which is absolutely vital to your success

Too many SDRs are satisfied by simply checking boxes, qualifying the leads and passing them on to the AE. If you want to truly stand out amongst your sales team and set yourself up to advance faster than the rest, be the SDR that can qualify the leads, help your prospect understand why your product can help them achieve their goals, and present the AE with the detailed notes that outline areas to focus on to capitalize on the prospect’s motivation. Do this and you will soon be the AE taking the qualified leads to the finish line. 

-Damien Romaine

Damien Romaine began his career as a Sales Development Rep for Contently and is now leading Business Development & Partnership efforts for Interviewed. He’s a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan, a tattoo enthusiast and has a two-year-old German Shepherd named Troy. His views are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.