When is the best time to build an SDR team?

Aug 3, 2021

Specialising your sales team can significantly boost your revenue results. But when should you do it? Let’s find out more.

You may have a brilliant SaaS product that solves a significant problem easily, but if you don’t have salespeople to find customers and get it into their hands, you won’t have a business for long. 

Many founders find that when they start, on top of their other responsibilities, they’re also the chief salesperson. Eventually, they take on one or two sales reps that run the sales process from start to finish. Then, when volume dictates a new approach, they build an SDR team to run the beginning of the sales cycle, with AEs working at the end. You create a sales machine producing predictable revenue.

In this article, we’ll look at when the optimal time is to build an SDR team. Here are three signs to look for that will show you that it’s time to make the leap.


1 – Famine vs feast

When you have a small number of reps running the complete sales cycle, there are not enough hours in the day for them to do everything. There’s research, prospecting, demos, negotiation, closing, and so much more. So, reps concentrate their time on the jobs that need doing first. 

They’ll start by spending more time prospecting – cold calls and email cadences. However, as they find some success and start moving leads through the sales process, they will spend more time trying to close the deals and less time prospecting. Once they complete the deals, they find there are not enough leads in the pipeline, so they go back to prospecting again.

This creates waves of revenue, when what you really want is a smooth line. It’s famine or feast. Bringing in an SDR team to work on the prospecting while your AEs work on closing deals makes your revenue line much smoother. It also makes it more predictable, which is something potential investors like to see.


2 – Quality leads

To achieve your goals for scale and growth, you need high quality leads coming in at the top of your funnel. They’re the fuel for your sales engine. However, when you have the same reps running the entire sales process from prospecting to closing, you often experience a lack of quality, which leads to poor revenue results.

Your sales team should be like a sports team, where everyone has a specific position where they excel. For example, would England have got to the final of Euro 2020 if Harry Kane had played in goal rather than scoring them at the other end?

Rather than having reps who are ‘jacks of all trades and masters of none’, build an SDR team of people trained in the best ways to research, make cold calls and do everything else great SDRs do. It will make all the difference to the quality of your leads.


3 – Wellbeing 

Handling the entire sales process in a fast-growing SaaS company is a hard job – too hard, in fact.

Running your reps into the ground is not an effective way to run a business. They will become stressed and burned out. Eventually, they will leave to go somewhere that they’re treated better, and you have to go through a long and expensive hiring process.

Splitting the sales process into two makes things more manageable. Your SDR team grow and achieve together, and as they improve in the job, morale rises. You can also create a career path for SDRs to progress in your company. Today’s SDRs can be the closers of the future.


It’s time. What now?

If you’ve seen the signs that it’s time to build an SDR team, here are three more factors to consider.

Firstly, do you have a plan? Don’t go in blind. Ensure you know how many SDRs you want to bring into your organisation and how it fits in with your plan to scale. Make sure you have the budget allocated for hiring, then for a compensation system that rewards their hard work. 

Next, you need to think about what exactly your SDRs are going to do. At this stage, it’s best practice to create a playbook detailing every task you want your SDRs to carry out. You should also include the messaging you want them to use with your prospects, so you get a consistent sales process with everyone aligned.

Finally, you need to think about the kind of people who are going to be your SDRs. Are you going to hire people with experience (expensive!) or fresh new starters that you can mould to the way of your company? 

Once you’ve decided on what the right people look like, you need to think about how you’re going to find them and get them on board. What questions will you ask during interviews to separate the best from the rest? Then, once you’ve hired them, how are you going to train them to be as good as you need them to be?


The SaaSLeads solution

If you know you need an SDR team in your organisation, but actually assembling one seems like too complex an undertaking (or just a bit of a hassle!), it’s time to talk to SaaSLeads.io.At SaaSLeads.io, we build expert sales development teams and deliver them directly into your organisation.

Our extensive training programme shows them how to generate excitement around the impact your product brings, moving your prospects through a structured sales process that results in more won deals.

Lena Miah

Lena is our Marketing Executive here at Saasleads.io. She is versed in all things marketing and loves creating thought provoking, inspirational, and informative pieces for the company. 

Lena was born and raised in London. She has a passion for all things words and completed a BA degree in Journalism at the University of Roehampton. 

When she isn’t keeping the company blog in tip top condition she can be found in a yoga class or checking out the London food scene, but if the food isn’t up to par she could bake it all herself. 

You can find Lena on LinkedIn here 

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