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A Predictable Road to Enhancing BDR Productivity and Happiness

3 min

We’re big fans of the band U2 here in 6sense’s Research division. And one of our favorite U2 lines hails from the song “So Cruel” (from the inestimable Achtung Baby): 

“I gave you everything you ever wanted. It wasn’t what you wanted.” 

There could be a lot of layers to the meaning of that, but a pretty simple one is: just giving a person what they think they want may not give them what they truly need. 

For instance, you might want a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. But what you need — and what will make you happier in the longer-term — is a nice piece of fruit.

Let’s see how this comes up in B2B marketing and sales.

4 Key Indicators for Effective BDR Performance

It’s not likely that a BDR would walk up to you, a leader in their organization, and say, “What I really need to be successful is just a very clear idea of what is expected of me, the tools, training and equipment to do that, and to know that you value my role and contribution.” 

They aren’t going to say that. But that’s what they need.

It’s also true that when you offer competitive pay, nice amenities and swag — and even things like self-development time and training — BDRs are certainly going to be happy about that. That’s what BDRs want. And offering those sorts of things can certainly produce favorable hiring results. 

But those things will not produce better results on the job unless your BDRs already have:

  1. A very clear idea of what is expected of them 
  2. The tools, training, and equipment to feel confident that they can do what’s expected of them
  3. The sense that they are valued in their role, and 
  4. The sense that they’re in a job that will serve them well in their careers 

Managers can read about ways to meet the first two needs in the outstanding book called First, Break All the Rules. If your employees can’t say they Agree or Strongly Agree that they know what to do and have the means to do it, you won’t get their best effort or results … and you probably won’t have them for long. 

The next two questions dig into whether BDRs think their work is meaningful. It’s important to note that work doesn’t have to be directly related to ending hunger or stopping climate change to be meaningful.

To be meaningful, people need to know that others in the company, particularly leadership, believe their role is important. It also helps if the work people are doing today is directly related to their goals and aspirations for the future. 

Correlation for Celebration

In early 2022, we ran a survey and asked BDRs to tell us how they felt about those four key indicators listed above. We then averaged the scores and correlated the combined score (which we called “the supported index”) with their performance against their goals. At the time, with the economy soaring, the scores were off-the-charts positive. 

As expected (this wasn’t our first time at this rodeo), there was a strong correlation between BDRs who rated their support high and their performance on the job.

We even found that some things that seemed like they would be helpful on their own, like having access to a sales engagement platform, were really only helpful because they increased a BDR’s sense of having the right tools and equipment. 

What difference does feeling supported in this way make? 

  • BDRs who feel supported by leadership report 22% higher quota attainment than BDRs who don’t feel supported 
  • This may be in part because BDRs who feel supported by leadership were found to spend 12% more of their time actively contacting prospects than BDRs who don’t feel supported.

How Do the 4 Keys Hold Up During a Tough Economy?

For 2023, we’re asking these questions again. The economy is no longer soaring. Front-line folks are under pressure. So, times have changed. Do BDRs still feel supported?

If you’re a BDR, drop into our quick five-minute survey and tell us how you’re doing. If you manage teams of BDRs, ask them to take it and leave us their email. If we get more than five responses from your company, we’ll give you back a benchmark report to show you how you’re doing compared to others.

Oh, and as a thank you, we’ll provide a $10 Uber eats voucher for their time.

The 6sense Research Team

6sense Research applies objective statistical analyses to primary research that delivers data-driven insights to B2B revenue teams. We empower revenue teams to more effectively plan, execute, and measure their go-to-market strategies, informed by the latest insights about what works, what doesn’t, and why.

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