#09 - Matt Bolian: Evolution of SDRs - Surroundbound and Content-Driven Strategies in B2B and SaaS


In this episode, we're joined by Matt Bolian, a visionary in redefining sales development roles, to discuss the shifting landscape of sales development roles (SDRs).

Hosted by Andreas Kongstad, this episode dives deep into the evolution of sales outreach and the strategic importance of SDRs in modern sales environments.

In this episode

Join us as we explore the transformative sales strategies with Matt Bolian, a leader in sales development innovation. Matt discusses the significant shifts in buyer behaviors and sales tactics that demand a new approach to the SDR role.

This episode sheds light on why traditional sales development strategies are declining and how businesses can adapt by integrating community engagement and strategic content into their sales processes. Matt emphasizes, "The traditional SDR model as we know it is dying, necessitating a strategic evolution in the role."

Key Takeaways

  1. The decline of the traditional SDR model: The traditional focus on cold calling and high-volume outreach is becoming less effective as buyer behaviors change.
  2. The importance of strategic SDRs in modern sales: Modern SDRs need to be seen as strategic assets, not just stepping stones to account executive positions.
  3. The evolution of sales outreach: Moving from cold calling to building relationships through community engagement and strategic content.
  4. The impact of changing buyer behaviors on sales strategies: Understanding new buyer preferences and adapting sales tactics accordingly.
  5. Building effective content strategies for sales development: Leveraging content to engage and educate potential customers, enhancing lead generation.
  6. The role of personal branding in sales success: How SDRs can use personal branding to enhance their effectiveness and career growth.


The Decline of the Traditional SDR Model

The episode discusses the decreasing effectiveness of traditional SDR tactics like cold calling and mass emailing. Matt points out that saturation and buyer fatigue have led to diminished returns, pushing sales organizations to rethink their strategies.

  • Increased buyer savviness: Buyers are more informed and often prefer self-service options, which diminishes the impact of traditional SDR approaches.
  • Need for adaptation: Companies must adapt to these changes or risk falling behind in their sales efforts.

The Importance of Strategic SDRs in Modern Sales Environments

Matt argues that SDRs should be strategic contributors to their organizations, equipped with skills beyond mere appointment setting. This involves a deeper understanding of the product, market, and customer needs.

  • Strategic integration: SDRs are integral to the feedback loop between marketing and sales, providing insights that can shape strategy.
  • Long-term role: The role of an SDR should be seen as a career path in itself, requiring ongoing development and specialization.

The Evolution of Sales Outreach: From Cold Calling to Community Engagement

The conversation highlights how effective sales strategies now rely on building relationships and engaging with potential customers in community-driven environments.

  • Community engagement: Successful SDRs are those who can engage with potential customers through forums, social media, and other community platforms.
  • Content as a sales tool: Creating valuable content that educates and entertains can attract more leads than traditional sales pitches.

The Impact of Changing Buyer Behaviors on Sales Strategies

Understanding the evolving preferences of buyers is crucial for adapting sales strategies. Matt discusses how the self-educated, digitally savvy buyer has changed the sales landscape.

  • Self-education: Buyers often research extensively before engaging with sales, requiring a more informed and consultative approach from SDRs.
  • Digital engagement: Utilizing digital tools and platforms to meet buyers where they are, rather than relying solely on traditional methods.

Building Effective Content Strategies for Sales Development

Content is a powerful tool for SDRs to engage and educate potential customers. Matt shares strategies for creating content that attracts and nurtures leads.

  • Educational content: Providing value through informative content that addresses common customer pain points.
  • Engagement through content: Using interactive and engaging content formats to capture the attention of potential customers.

The Role of Personal Branding in Sales Success

Personal branding is increasingly important for SDRs. Matt discusses how SDRs can build and leverage their personal brands to enhance their effectiveness and career prospects.

  • Visibility and credibility: Building a strong personal brand helps SDRs gain visibility and credibility within their industry.
  • Networking opportunities: A robust personal brand opens up networking opportunities that can lead to sales leads and career advancement.


  • (00:02:00) The Decline of the Traditional SDR Model
  • (00:12:00) The Importance of Strategic SDRs in Modern Sales Environments
  • (00:22:00) The Evolution of Sales Outreach
  • (00:32:00) The Impact of Changing Buyer Behaviors on Sales Strategies
  • (00:42:00) Building Effective Content Strategies for Sales Development
  • (00:52:00) The Role of Personal Branding in Sales Success


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