DEAR STAGE 2: I have a question for you… couldn't think of anyone better to ask. What, in your experience, is an optimal structure and key components of a successful BDR program? ~Board Member gathering feedback
DEAR BOARD MEMBER GATHERING FEEDBACK: Happy to help! Let’s be honest, more info would definitely be required to give you a great answer.
What's the goal of the team — lead generation (inbound or outbound), talent bench, or a combination of the two?
Who is the ICP and buyer persona?
What’s the size/scale of the company?
And so many more…
That said, there are some foundational pieces of advice that anyone building a BDR program should keep in mind:
1. Don’t overthink reporting structure. A BDR team can report to marketing or sales, as long as everyone is aligned with goals. I tend to see marketing if the team supports inbound, and sales if the team is doing more outbound or set up as a talent pipeline. In either scenario — 1) make sure you have a consistent hiring process/scorecard, 2) keep the ratio of manager:BDRs lower than 10:1 — ideally 8:1 so there is time for REAL call coaching.
2. Take the guesswork out of account and contact identification. Define the ICP, build the list of highest probability targets, augment accounts with contacts and contact information. Feed the BDR the exact accounts and contacts you want them working and then let them research those. One of the most common mistakes I see is having your newest and more junior employees deciding which accounts to target in a sea of options. Leverage these resources wisely!
3. Focus on getting into the inbox. Email deliverability is really hard for early-stage companies right now — you need to warm up IPs and walk before you run. Plain text, no links/images, unique subject lines, and real personalization for (at least) the first email. Build approved sequences but make sure there is some personalization — focus on quality over quantity.
4. Understand the buyer journey, then optimize touch points. Someone needs to mystery shop and understand every single touch point your buyer experiences. This is more important for certain products, but make sure you know what's happening (marketing emails, SDR sequences, intercom chats, product messages, etc...). You don’t want to have marketing inviting someone to a webinar and a BDR asking for a 15-min call on the same day. Be consistent and have one coordinated goal.
Hope this helps as you begin this journey — see you next week!
Liz, how do you feel about a BDR team within the product organisation in a mature PLG company?