Why Sales Reps Shouldn’t Cold Call

January 28, 2020

Outbound Lead Generation is a Tactical Process

Here are some researched reasons as to why you should leave the prospecting up to your SDR team.

Here are some researched reasons as to why you should leave the prospecting up to your SDR team.

The sales funnel visualizes, in many ways, our path to success. Put a lot of unqualified leads in at the top, and a handful of qualified leads will come out at the bottom. But who handles the top part of it — the Outbound Lead Generation section? Leads don’t just drop down from the sky — someone has to uncover and guide them through the funnel. Sales Development Reps (SDRs), not quota-carrying sales reps, should own that responsibility.

SDRs specialize in doing all of the outbound legwork and uncovering the leads that your sales team should be working to close. It is a unique process that takes a particular set of skills, which is why you shouldn’t just push the job off on anyone, let alone your highly paid sales reps. Putting the difference in skill set & approach aside for a moment, think about it — how much work can you put on one person? Your sales reps are busy closing deals and do not have the time to properly cold call and prospect new leads.

Beyond the time constraints and salary, here are a few reasons to use a sales development team to generate leads:

Training & Execution

Your sales reps are hired to close deals, not to generate leads. Sure, they can pick out a diamond in the rough, but what if there’s too much “rough”? They aren’t trained to execute metrics-driven call plans crafted for Outbound Lead Generation, meaning each prospect won’t get the amount of work it needs to yield successful results. This leads to fragmented prospecting and insufficient account mapping and market intelligence, which is especially crucial for Account Based Marketing strategies. An SDR is trained specifically to take a multi-threaded approach with accounts and move forward based on metrics, not convenience.


Cherry picking a few promising accounts and putting all of their limited resources on them is a common pitfall of sales reps who are forced to generate leads as well. So, why do they do it? It’s simple, really. They are incentivized by closed business and are focused on near-term results. They are focused on this quarter’s goal at the cost of the following quarter. As one of my old economics professors loved to quote, “people respond to incentives.” SDRs are incentivized by one thing: sales qualified leads.

Preconceived Notions

Top performing sales reps usually have experience in your industry and have worked these (or similar) accounts before. That is great ammo when closing deals, but it is actually detrimental when generating leads. An effective Outbound Lead Generation process has no bias, and the best SDR’s have no preconceived notions. Instead, they only work with the knowledge they accrue through recent conversations with prospects within the company. This mitigates the pitfall of making assumptions based on old prospect information and outdated market views. Here at demandDrive, we have passed an astounding number of SQLs with accounts marked by sales reps as unattainable or not worthwhile.

So what can you do to ensure your targeted outbound accounts are effectively prospected? First, download our Outbound Whitepaper! Then let your sales reps do what they do best — close. By creating this cohesion between development and closing, you make sure that the right work and attention to detail is given to all parts of the funnel.

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aj alonzo

AJ Alonzo is the Head of Marketing at demandDrive. A former SDR turned marketing leader, he's made it his goal to develop resources for sales reps who are looking to level up and for managers who are looking for guidance. Outside of work you can find him trying to shoot under par at his local disc golf course, sipping on a bourbon on the rocks, or continuing his quest to be the very best like no one ever was.
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