May 6, 2024

How to Pivot Your SDR Team During Economic Uncertainty

Kyle Coleman
Kyle Coleman

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This piece is brought to you by Clari Vice President, Revenue Growth & Enablement. Clari is a revenue operations platform that harnesses automation and AI to build a stronger pipeline, shorten sales cycles, improve forecast accuracy, and grow revenue.

The overwhelming majority of revenue organizations are facing serious headwinds right now.

Sequoia has deemed COVID-19 a true “black swan” event, and some economists are predicting that the impact will be felt for no fewer than eight quarters.

Companies are resetting their operating plans as expectations for top-line revenue growth are bleaker than they’ve been in years. The growth curve isn’t the curve anyone wants to see flatten.

But people and companies are not defined by the events that befall them. They’re defined by how they react to those events. How they adapt, respond, learn, and grow. You can either curl up in the fetal position and watch Tiger King for the fifth time, or you can get creative and help yourself, your team, and your company navigate the uncertainty.

So, how can your company carry on?

Start with these questions:

  • Which teams will be most affected?
  • What are the superpowers of those teams?
  • What can we do to multiply their impact?

Research and Outreach: Unleash Your SDR Superpowers

Let’s take sales development (SDR) teams as an example. If companies are freezing budgets, putting technology purchases on hold, and seeing revenue flatten, then the SDR team is going to be majorly affected.

So how can SDR teams do exceptionally well during these times? They have an unparalleled ability to do thorough and organized research on both accounts and people and document it. Plus, they have all the tools, tech, and processes to turn that into thoughtful, coordinated, and personalized outreach.

There’s plenty more that SDR teams do well, but let’s stick with these two big buckets of research and outreach. Now, how can these skills extend beyond their stated role? What are the company’s new goals and how can these skills be multiplied to help the company achieve its goals?

As new revenue slows down, most companies are even more focused on protecting their customer base—bear-hugging them to make them maximally successful. How can SDR resources be redeployed to a post-sales motion to help with this effort?


By leveraging the research superpower, SDR teams can be tasked with creating comprehensive account overviews for customers and prospects that are shared with the entire revenue organization. Components may include:

  • Aggregating account news & financials
  • Understanding risk level within accounts via sector analysis
  • Documenting current use cases
  • Identifying potential whitespace areas
  • Assisting with renewal paper process
  • Creating dossiers on key contacts to educate AMs, AVPs, Execs
  • Ghostwriting messaging & coordinating outreach to strengthen relationships


In the outreach capacity, SDR teams can help ramp up customer success programs, and create new customer marketing programs, such as:

  • Facilitating exec<>exec engagements
  • Sending care packages via direct mail and eGifts
  • Evangelizing 1:1 trainings to create power users
  • Driving attendance to CS best practices webinars
  • Generating testimonials and referrals via tailored outreach
  • Incentivizing reviews (G2, TrustRadius, etc.)

It’s important to keep in mind that customer outreach can be something of a sensitive area. You don’t want to inundate customers with requests, irritate them, or put your company’s reputation at risk. To avoid this, put together a tiger team of cross-functional people who can create the right processes and guardrails, stay in constant communication with one another, and course-correct when things don’t go exactly according to plan.

Put some KPIs in place to set goals and expectations, and watch the SDR superpowers in action.

Every person and every team has at least one superpower. Find yours, and find your team’s. Then think outside the box. If all you do is try to double down on what’s worked in the past, you won’t be around long enough to see it work again in the future.

Register for our on-demand virtual event The Show Must Go On for other great ideas on how to pivot your revenue strategy right now:

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