Sales Prospecting and the Slumping SDR


Sales Development Slump

Slumps suck. I can say this as a fan of the Boston Red Sox. After having one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history (86 years) the Sox (finally) won the World Series in 2004. My friends out in the InterWebs who are Cubs fans know how bad slumps suck, too; it took them 108 years to win one. I can say this, too, as a former Sales Development Rep: slumps really suck. If you’re managing a team of teleprospecting reps who are finding sales qualified leads, or maybe you’ve outsourced that lead development to someone, how do you get an SDR out of a slump? What can you do to help a struggling account based SDR who is having a bad couple of weeks? Months?

Maybe you’ve been there yourself. You’re making your dials, and you’re talking to all of the right people, but the leads? They just ain’t a-comin’. That is a really frustrating feeling, and one that, if you can’t course-correct, is going to last a lot longer than you want it to. After having the privilege of managing many different SDR’s, all who’ve had their fair shares of slumps, I thought it would be a great idea to talk about how we can help them get out. I see there being three ways that an SDR can get out of a “lead drought.”

First, evaluate what you’re doing.

Review your messaging. Often, what you said 3 months ago to bring in 12 qualified opportunities a month doesn’t work anymore. Keeping in mind that as an SDR, you’ve only got about 25 seconds with a prospect before they decide to listen or move on, make sure that your call script is pushing your products value, rather than its bells and whistles. Elementary, yes, but important nonetheless. Prospects do not want to be verbally thrown up upon with features and benefits. Take a look at the emails that you’re sending out. Are they overly verbose? Do they not say enough? If you’ve got an SDR in a slump, the first thing that you need to help them do is evaluate what they’re doing. Make sure that their scripting is fresh, from call scripts and voicemails to the emails that they’re sending prospects.


Second, learn more.

Take some time to really study about the technology that you’re calling for. If you’ve got a team of SDR’s in-house and you’re not regularly putting on workshops for them to learn more about your company’s technology – shame, shame know your name! Sometimes all it takes to get out of a slump is a refresher on what it is you’re actually qualifying leads for! Understanding brings excitement, and excitement brings passion. Bring passion to your teleprospecting efforts and I can guarantee you’ll see more productivity. Your SDR’s can also learn more about their craft. One of my teams used to have a “team lunch” once a month and would review different teleprospecting strategies. Your SDR’s can get out of a slump by either learning more about their technology or learning more about their craft. Help them do both, and you’ll see more leads.

Lastly, make more dials.

This may be another obvious method for slump-busting, but (using my Jedi mind trick skills) you’re going to give me a pass on this one because you know it’s true. It really is cool that in baseball, if you strike out 7 times out of 10, you’re a great hitter. The more at-bats you get the greater the likelihood you have of hitting the ball. The same goes for teleprospecting. The more calls you make, the greater the likelihood you have of passing sales qualified leads. Sometimes all it take to get out of a lead slump is putting your head down and cranking out more dials than anyone else in your company. I may have not been the best SDR in the office, but I was damn sure that nobody but nobody was going to make more calls than me. If I was having a bad month, I certainly didn’t want it to be because I wasn’t putting in extra effort. If your SDR’s are slumping, or your vendor’s SDR’s are slumping, make sure they’re dialing more.

Alright, well there you go. Three tested ways to pull Sales Development Reps out of lead droughts. What do you think? What advice do you give managers of SDR’s who aren't producing like they used to?


Image Credit Copyright: Sean Locke Photography via

Chris Snell

Chris Snell

Chris Snell is Director of Sales and Marketing for QuotaFactory. As the second SDR hired way back in 2002, when the company was formerly known as AG Salesworks, Chris is currently responsible for the sales and marketing efforts of QuotaFactory. Chris lives in southeastern Massachusetts and is the proud father of his two children.

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