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5 Reasons Not to Build Your Sales Development Team One Rep at a Time


Sales development reps, you've all heard it. Cold calling is not a walk in the park. Sometimes, it will seem like a monumental struggle, trudging through lists full of incorrect contacts and trying your best to influence influencers. If your company has a sales development team, you know that one of the few things that helps these sales reps get through the day is knowing that the person sitting next to them is dealing with the same challenges. They can reach out to each other for advice, or to bounce off ideas. At AG Salesworks, this is especially helpful as we have teams for support, including team leaders, managers, and directors of client operations, each of which have experience in the field and have their doors open to reps at all times. 

However, at other companies, we've heard horror stories about walking into a sales development or inside sales job and getting little to no support. One day of training and a list of target accounts with no names, phone numbers, or email is all you are given. Then, you're expected to somehow make quota. 

I understand in some cases companies just don't have the cash flow to afford to hire someone to manage this process, but why not consider hiring another sales development rep? You not only could double the lead out-put, but there can be many other benefits as well.

Here are 5 reasons why we feel that having just one B2B sales development rep in your company doesn't work:

1) The Team Dynamic.

Burnout is a common reason for attrition in our industry. Hundreds of calls on a weekly basis can wear on the best of us. Now we realize that we can't expect sales development reps to do this forever, but dedicating the time to hire someone who only lasts 3 months is a waste of your time and company money. If you can build out a team of like-minded individuals who can lean on one another, you'd be surprised at the additional mileage you can get out of them.

2) Benchmarking.

Multiple reps can help set the bar. If you only have 1 rep, 20 calls a day and 3 leads a month might seem adequate, but the problem is, you really have no one to contrast their performance against. (Want to see the industry standard? Check out the new Outbound Index.) How many calls a day are reasonable? How many leads a month should we expect? These questions could more easily be answered if you calculate the average between the reps making calls to determine reasonable goals.

3) Competition.

Nothing motivates a good sales development rep more than someone competing for top dog. Hey, we're in B2B sales for a reason right?

4) Peer Training.

If you don't have the time to train your team, have them train each other. It's always good to have your reps listen in on each other's calls to pick up on a few best practices and in return provide some constructive feedback. How about lead qualification? Could they be asking better questions? Peers can assist in editing leads which could mean that the outside rep is more likely to follow up on the opportunity
because they are thoroughly qualified.

5) Mitigate Your Risk.

It is very common for us to see a monthly ebb & flow of lead output. If you are only relying on one sales development rep to feed a hungry outside, inside, or field sales team, you are setting yourself up for failure on certain months. Generally the minimal growth of your forecast on a low lead month won't make the VP of Sales very happy. We've found that can be offset with multiple sales development reps helping to balance out the low performer.

If you're considering building out your sales development team, consider these factors before hiring. You may want to hire in multiples instead of one at a time, and you must give these reps the resources they need to succeed. How are you building your sales development team? 

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About the Author   |   Craig Ferrara

Craig Ferrara is the Vice President of Client Operations for AG Salesworks. He has extensive experience in the sales and teleprospecting process. Craig joined AG Salesworks in 2003 and has successfully managed several teams of high-performing Business Development Representatives. To read more of his articles, click here.

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