Enter the CDR, or Conversation Development Representative, a salesperson dedicated to starting conversations with buyers on your site with the goal of nurturing these visitors into qualified leads. Think of a CDR like a business development rep, but one who communicates with prospects primarily through conversational marketing.

They’re typically early in their career and have primarily used consumer messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Motivations: They want to do well so they can advance in their careers and move out of the entry level.

Role+Goal: The CDR is dedicated to providing an exceptional experience for every customer. They engage B2B buyers the moment the buyer is ready. They navigate the buyer through the early discovery process. They create personalized experiences and build real relationships by providing support, responding to customers’ specific inquiries, and setting up meetings with product experts.

Behaviors and character traits to look for in conversation development reps. 

  • Empathy. The most successful CDRs meet the buyer where they are. This means no assumptions, no judgment, no pushing. The CDR connects the buyer to the information and the people they need to take the next step.
  • Shared understanding. The CDR has to understand where the buyer is coming from (and who’s involved in the decision) so they can advise the buyer on next steps.
  • Confidence and conviction. Buyers want trusted advisors. So it’s key for CDRs to be brief, patient, and listen to any objections. It’s up to the CDR to respond with confidence and outline the differences between the competitors (without being critical of them).
  • CDRs bring something to the table by being helpful. That doesn’t mean they know everything, but the best CDRs know which connections to make and pull them at the right time.
  • Buyer experience. CDRs operate on the buyer’s time. It’s all about making the experience great for the buyer. Because at the end of the day, buyers want to do business with people they like and who they think are reliable. So CDRs need to uncover pain, gain trust, add value, and deliver on a shared vision. That’s what makes for a great buyer experience. Curious: care about what they actually sell? What’s in it for them? What’s the impact?
  • Critical thinkers. CDRs are great listeners. They anticipate the next question and can spot roadblocks (and present solutions) before anyone else.

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