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What makes a good business development rep?

Key capabilities for your B2B inside sales team

Chris Temperante
Chris Temperante
CEO / Partner

Business development representative (BDR). Inside sales representative. Sales development representative (SDR). Call center agent. No matter what the title, if you’re hiring or managing the team responsible for cold calling, sales prospecting, lead generation and lead nurturing, you know there are important skills to cultivate in your team members.

These frontline positions are essential for manufacturing, medtech and other B2B sectors. Industries like these tend to have complex sales cycles, multiple decision-makers and specialized products and services. Inside sales team members who can navigate these elements with confidence are key to success.

Inside sales reps are key to B2B sales prospecting

A B2B business development team handles a variety of important sales duties, but their primary responsibility is regular and ongoing outreach to your marketplace. In most industries, that means outbound calling, often referred to as cold calling.

It’s a demanding task, and one where not every sales representative excels. Manning the phones day after day takes intelligence, tenacity and resilience. That’s why most organizations hire a specialized team of inside sales or business development representatives just for this purpose—or outsource to a lead generation contact center like Volkart May. This strategy frees your high-powered field sales reps, distributors and sales agents to concentrate on what they do best: closing deals.

Typical tasks for the inside sales team include:

  • Making outbound sales prospecting calls
  • Qualifying and capturing leads
  • Speaking to top decision-makers at B2B companies
  • Explaining products and services to interested individuals
  • Sending follow-up information
  • Setting appointments for in-depth sales conversations, product demos and pricing discussions
  • Meeting and exceeding daily lead generation goals
  • Working independently
  • Utilizing computers and other technology to accurately input data
  • Collaborating with field sales reps, distributors and agents responsible for closing sales

While each caller typically works a set list or territory with their own calling, it helps to create an energetic and collaborative team environment where sales team members can share tips and celebrate wins. It’s also smart to create processes and engagement with the marketing and outside sales teams so leads, information and follow-ups flow smoothly.

How to hire winning business development reps

Just what makes an effective business development representative? At Volkart May, we’ve been hiring, training and coaching these roles for three decades. Here are a few of the attributes we prize in our team.

Must-have inside sales capabilities:

  • A fearless and outgoing personality
  • Willingness to interact with people at all levels of an organization
  • Experience working in a team environment
  • Positive and professional telephone personality
  • Strong communication, listening and problem-solving skills
  • Drive to excel in a results-driven workplace
  • Ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment
  • Self-starter with reliable work ethic

In addition to these attributes, appropriate training is essential. Outbound callers should know the ins and outs of your company story, your products, services and marketplace, so they can converse naturally with prospects. Role-playing helps build confidence, as does pairing newer callers with more experienced inside sales reps for guidance and mentorship.

Move forward easily with outsourced inside sales

One of the benefits of partnering with an outsourced B2B lead generation firm like Volkart May is taking advantage of all these skills without having to hire or manage the team in-house. There’s no overhead or capital expense for equipment. No ongoing costs for salaries and benefits. No need to scramble when call levels fluctuate. With an outsourced inside sales service, you can easily scale up and down as your needs require, and be confident in the results.

No matter how you handle it, a strong business development and sales prospecting function needs to be part of your B2B company’s sales organization. Contact us to discuss your needs.

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