The ecosystem of tools and services aimed at helping your Sales Development efforts continues to expand.
After releasing the Tenbound Market Map V2 a few months ago, we were inundated with inbound responses of new vendors asking to be identified on the map. Several new developments have taken place since V2: DiscoverOrg is eating the world. DiscoverOrg has identified a clear need in the marketplace. Data is the oxygen of Sales Development and programs live or die based on the quality of the data available. It’s table stakes. DiscoverOrg has figured how to supply clean data through their homegrown processes and to augment through the acquisitions of Datanyze, Zoominfo and Neverbounce. They also have the ability to execute and whip-smart marketing. We see this domination trend continuing with more acquisitions and increased investment in 2020 and beyond. Outsourced services continue to expand. They can really be bucketed into three main categories, maybe more, and probably will be grouped on upcoming versions of the Market Map. Basically, you have your “Dial-only” boiler rooms, appointment setting companies using mainly phone and email, and now a new generation of full-stack outsourced SDR programs using all the latest tools and tactics. Some of these firms, in a different category, augment human beings with robots. You’d need to select which works best for you based on your requirements. G2 Crowd has a several listed, however, they conflate them with Digital Marketing agencies, making selection difficult. Bookmark Tenbound Research page for upcoming Buyer Guides in several Market Map categories. Conversational Marketing. Clearly, buyer behavior has forever changed and will continue to change in the digital age. Drift has been successful in creating a category to capture this, and is now reflected on the map. Heck, they even wrote the book on it. Just like Marc Benioff did 20 years ago with his ‘No Software’ marketing, so does David Cancel and crew with Drift’s ‘No Forms’ pledge. Think about it; if you walked in to a retail store and there was no one there to help you, it would be very weird. Yet many companies do that every day with their website. How many customers walk away never having that critical first conversation? Conversation Marketing attempts to make everything happen now. Watch this space as we see continued emphasis on this in 2020. Prehire Assessments. Your strength as a Sales Development leader is based on the strength of your team. Yet so many leaders put ‘butts in seats’ as quickly as possible without a thorough screening process, and are left with a group of people scared to pick up the phone and seeking to blame others (and you) for their lack of success. A new crop of pre-hiring assessment companies have begun to address this. Check these out and be careful who you let on the bus! These are just a few of the changes on this version of the map.
What did we miss, or what would you like more information on?
Over three years of hosting The Sales Development Conference, the only event of its kind focused and dedicated 100% to Sales Development, we’ve been asked repeatedly why we started such a niche and focused event.
A couple misconceptions out there about The Sales Development Conference are that it’s called “The SDR Conference” or “The Tenbound Conference”. While we love SDRs and of course, Tenbound totally rocks, the conference is really set up to focus on the big picture of our industry; the pursuit of quality Sales appointments, which convert to pipeline and finally convert to revenue. The conference is really about everything that goes in to that process. Simultaneously, we started the conference to elevate the profession of Sales Development to its rightful place within organizations as a key strategic growth driver, versus an afterthought as it’s treated at so many companies. We believe that successful Sales Development programs and their teams can potentially be the very oxygen of growing businesses – and they should be treated with the same planning, thought and respect as other departments. As more and more early-stage, high-growth companies get up and running, they are focusing more on setting up Sales appointments, growing pipeline, and sourcing new revenue: all main functions of the Sales Development team. And especially as the economy starts to enter uncharted territory, now more than ever we need a successful Sales Development program cranking on all cylinders to support our Sales goals. The obituaries of companies that have not grasped this are online every day. If you’re read this far, you realize Sales Development isn’t a function that can be set up overnight without any thought to process, planning or detail. Poorly managed, misaligned, and reactive Sales Development programs can be a serious financial (and morale) drag to a company. And simply outsourcing the function without said planning often fails as well. Why Sales Development Matters Now More Than Ever Some recent data shows that it can take more than 12 touches just to reach a prospect, and then require 3 more highly meaningful conversations just to get one appointment set.
If the Sales Development team is not focused on getting these appointments, who is? Walking into a new quarter with a 4-or-5X pipeline is so much better than going in at zero, but if nobody is prospecting or following up on the leads, how are you going to do that?
Once you start looking at all of the different aspects that go into driving initial sales appointments, it’s easy to see why Sales Development has become such an integral part of the sales process. While the need for growth has become more acute than ever, it’s getting harder and harder to set new qualified sales appointments as the market is awash in ‘noise’. The key to breaking through barriers is strategic and high performance Sales Development. Innovations in Sales Development Another reason we started The Sales Development Conference is to showcase new innovations in the industry. We feel it’s finally time for Sales Development to take its rightful place at the executive table and there are many exciting advancements in strategy and technology that are helping to move this thought process forward: Clear alignment with sales and marketing Some of the most successful SaaS companies (along with many non-SaaS organizations) have begun or are thinking deeply about how to strategically align Marketing, Sales Development, and Sales efforts. Sales Development has become a critical part of the connective tissue between two usually siloed functions, especially through the addition of account-based marketing, conversational marketing, and product-led marketing strategies. Alignment ensures growth and ROI, and Sales Development can act as the glue holding this alignment in place. A modern, advanced support ecosystem While the Sales Development support ecosystem was relatively barren a few years ago, there are many technologies and resources out there today that are helping SDR teams proactively learn and grow. The Tenbound Market Map showcases just some of the major software tools, outsourced programs, specialized recruiting firms, training boot camps, and even boutique consultancies out there today designed specifically for the SDR function. These resources, as well as industry-specific blogs, articles, groups, and podcasts, have formed a modern, advanced support ecosystem for Sales Development. Sales Development as a unique function One of the most exciting innovations in Sales Development has to be the new generation of leaders in the space. As an entire class of Sales Development leaders has grown and developed in their roles, they have started to take on positions such as Senior Director of Sales Development, VP of Sales Development, and more. I mentioned in the 2018 Sales Development Conference that there is a future potential for a Chief Sales Development Officer and Sales Development as it’s very own function within a company. While there are plenty of opportunities on the horizon, the Sales Development industry still has a long way to go. A tremendous amount of time and resources are being spent today by companies trying to establish and optimize SDR programs, and not all of them are seeing great results. SDRs are bashed daily on sites like LinkedIn for sending spammy messages, and the ‘SDR Bro-Culture’ is in need of a serious PR overhaul. Additionally, many of the KPIs that measure Sales Development success are stuck in the 2000s. The amount of training, coaching, and education required have created the perfect landscape for a learning opportunity like The Sales Development Conference. Will YOU Attend the 2019 Sales Development Conference?
Because Tenbound has spent years honing in on what SDR teams and leaders need to know to be successful, The Sales Development Conference brings together all of these key players for the chance to focus on what makes a great Sales Development program, how to build industry-best skills, the contacts and networks you need to get ahead in the space, and how to best prepare for upcoming industry challenges. Whether you’re a VC looking to invest in new companies and are concerned about the growth of your portfolio, an industry analyst looking for the next big thing, a Marketing leader concerned about building pipeline for your sales team, or, of course, a head of Sales who wants to understand how to set and maximize new appointments to grow revenue, The Sales Development Conference can help you make the best strategic decisions possible. You’ll not only be hearing from some of the top leaders in the industry, but you’ll also be meeting other people who are making a huge splash in the market. From recruiters to training acceleration solutions to ABM platforms to predictive analytics, The Sales Development Conference is a hotbed of innovation and idea sharing. Make sure you’re able to attend this sure-to-sell-out event by securing your ticket today!
Tenbound, the leader in Sales Development training, consulting and industry research, today announced the availability of the Tenbound Sales Development Coaching program, which has already benefited a number of high growth companies.
With the coaching program, clients get much needed context, advice and accountability to accelerate their Sales Development pipeline growth and SDR-sourced closed revenue.
David Dulany, Tenbound Founder & CEO states: “As we talked to Sales Development Leaders every day, it became clear they realized that, even with all the latest technology installed, free online content, and a team of bright, dedicated SDRs, they still needed an additional outside resource, available on-demand, to help them strategize, prioritize and organize their program in the most efficient way possible. An organized program utilizing industry best practices and outside accountability. This is exactly what the Tenbound Coaching program provides.”
In an hour or two per week, clients meet with Tenbound Sales Development Experts to review their strategic plan accountabilities, discuss obstacles, break through challenges and plan the week ahead. The program puts context and guardrails on the Sales Development program, helping keep the leader on track toward their goals, and acts as a neutral third party as they navigate their internal organization.
As Dulany puts it, “Sales Development Leaders today are under intense pressure to run their teams and produce sales appointments, pipeline and SDR-sourced closed-won revenue, however, they’ve been pretty much left on their own to figure how to assemble the people, processes and technology to hit those goals. That is, until today. Now, they have a resource to rely on to help them achieve their goals.”
Companies throughout Silicon Valley, such as Gitlab, Glint, Helpshift, Lacework, Myagi and others, have trusted Tenbound to bring the latest industry research and advisory to help accelerate their Sales Development programs through consulting and training programs, so the development of the Tenbound Sales Development Coaching program was a natural offshoot to help people one-on-one.
Tenbound will host the 3rd annual Sales Development Conference on August 23rd at in San Francisco. The Sales Development Conference is the first and only conference 100% focused and dedicated to Sales Development. https://tenbound.com/conference/
For more information about the Tenbound Sales Development Coaching program and The Sales Development Conference, please visit https://tenbound.com/
Not sure how to create better engagement in your current playbook?
Involve your SDR team. SDR’s are often your first point of contact with prospects and can be the make or break in your sales cycle.
Whether it’s uncovering needs that your sales team can then help meet, or just creating an authentic connection, SDR’s are invaluable to your entire process.
Our guest today on The Sales Engagement Podcast was David Dulany, CEO of Tenbound. He chats with Mark about how your sales development team is indispensable when it comes to the effectiveness of your engagement, especially when it comes to connecting on an authentic level with your prospects.
Here are the highlights of David’s interview.
The Importance of Sales Development Sales development ultimately impacts your revenue and when you reverse engineer what it takes to create revenue, that’s when you see the SD value.
What does it take to create revenue? It takes a pipeline.
What does it take to get a pipeline? It starts with a conversation.
What does it take to have a conversation? It takes all the things that your SDR’s do and coordinate on a daily basis–research, cold calls, networking, etc.
Does that mean salespeople are off the hook for prospecting?
Obviously not. Sellers still need to keep hunting and building those vital relationships, all the time. It’s naive to think that SDR’s will solve all your lead problems.
However, there are always times when you literally can’t be looking–maybe you’re closing a deal or on a plane, so it’s critical to have someone who’s helping to fill your pipeline.
It’s a partnership, with both sides having an equal need of each other.
If you’re relying on yourself 100%, you can get yourself in trouble. If you’re relying on someone else 100%, they can get you in trouble.
Keep Having Authentic Conversations Sales Development is all about conversations, whether that’s through cold calls, social platforms, or going to events.
David Dulany: Growing Engagement Through Sales Development
At the same time, there’s a lot of noise that can make it difficult to get in front of new prospects.
More and more SDR teams are relying on the same systems and generating the same emails–it’s all starting to be white noise, which is why having authentic conversations are the key to breaking through the noise.
What does that look like?
Start with the buyer–who are you actually going after?
Get a good idea of what they are dealing with day to day. What’s the persona of who you’re talking to?
Immerse yourself in the marketplace you are getting into by reading blogs or going to trade shows and conferences.
People want you to solve their problems–they don’t want you to start your conversation by leading with your product. It’s a dead end.
A lot of people are selfish and worried about getting the sale, rather than being empathetic and listening and responding to what the buyer really needs.
Many salespeople get caught in the trap of feeling too much pressure to perform, or else they’re stuck in an industry they don’t understand (or care about) and end up only going through the motions.
You have to actually care about who you’re trying to sell to.
From a macro perspective, the market is increasing, so it’s only going to get more and more competitive. SDR’s need to think and create conversations more strategically to perform better.
This post is based on a podcast interview with David Dulany from Tenbound. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.
Coming up next, the Top 10 most underviewed and underappreciated videos on the Tenbound Youtube Channel! Stay tuned for that.
Which one should we feature in the next round up? Subscribe here for all the vids David Dulany has built high-performance Sales Development programs for Glassdoor, OpenDNS, Infer and Act-On Software. At Tenbound, he helps companies start, optimize and turn around Sales Development programs. For more information, visitdaviddulany.com and tenbound.com.
Building an SDR / BDR team is a crucial step for companies looking to grow revenue and accelerate sales cycles. There are a few burning questions you should be asking if you’re serious about doing so: Is it best to own this function in-house, or outsource it? Who should look after the SDR team? What tools and technologies are needed? To help understand the challenges businesses come across, we had a chat with David Dulany from Tenbound who’s helped several companies to start, optimize and turn around Sales Development programs across North America and Europe.
Avoid hiring Sales Development Representatives before leadership is in place. An all too common mistake when companies implement an SDR team is the lack of leadership and strategy. Often companies start hiring SDRs expecting them to deliver results straight away, without giving them the adequate training, data-set and tools to succeed. Product training in itself isn’t enough to make the rep successful, but a valuable message about the product benefits, not just the technical details, is extremely useful.
The first step a company should take in building a successful SDR team is to hire a Sales Development Leader. This person can look after the team (independent if it’s outsourced or internal) and outlay a clear strategy to make the team as effective and efficient as possible.
Who should the SDR Team report to? The classic case scenario when it comes to the reporting duties of a Sales Development Leader usually boils down to two options: sales or marketing. According to David Dulany, the best possible answer to this question, however, is neither of these options. In the best-case scenario, the Sales Development Leader would report directly to the CEO. A direct channel of communication between the Sales Development leader and the CEO leaves that person with the required degree of autonomy to make the right decisions regarding the SDR team’s business direction. A Sales Development Leader must liaise with sales, marketing, operations, product marketing and various other departments; hence, a level of autonomy is key for them to execute their goals.
Failing a direct report system between the Sales Development Leader and the CEO, and if the choice absolutely has to be between the VP Sales and the CMO, Dulany believes it’s better to have the Sales Development Leader report to the CMO. In the recent research “The State of European Demand Generation” Sirius Decision found out that in 70% of companies the SDR/BDR team is lead by marketing, which proves Dulany’s point.
The sales department can often look at the SDR team as its little brother. SDRs often have ambitions to move into the sales team in the future, and it’s true that representatives between the two departments share similar qualities. It’s all a rather romantic concept, but sales leadership rarely have enough time to mentor an SDR department, as they’re far too busy closing deals and generally executing the nuances of their role.
When you look at a marketing department, their job is to drive the brand and awareness surrounding it, as well as pipeline for the company. As such, it makes better sense for the SDR team to sit as an extension of the marketing department. It will hugely benefit both the SDR and marketing teams if they’re working in tight coordination for field events, marketing campaigns, content and the like - all of which are typical aspects of a marketing team’s job.
Will technology solutions support the SDR team? It’s inevitable that technology vendors will catch wind of your venture into building an SDR team. Once they do, the sales calls will start to roll in regarding fancy pieces of software. Software solutions can be an incredible tool to enhance the workflow of an SDR team, but without the right planning and thought - they can be a big hindrance to the operation. Think of a shiny new software solution like a toolbox; it can be the most incredibly toolbox in the world, but those complex tools are useless if not operated properly.
Vendors will naturally promise great results with such solutions, but the reality is that they need to be implemented carefully and properly. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling as though these implementation processes can be autonomous in nature, but there needs to be a dedicated person left in charge of making them work for the SDR team.
Some final thoughts. Outsourcing an SDR team adds another dimension to this conversation. The mental trap that companies quite often fall into is that an SDR team has to either be in-house or outsourced - one or the other. In reality, and on a case-by-case basis, it doesn’t have to be like this. Companies may often find that a hybrid mixture of in-house functions and outsourced help, to varying degrees, is the best solution for them.
David Dulany has built high-performance Sales Development programs for Glassdoor, OpenDNS, Infer and Act-On Software. At Tenbound, he helps companies start, optimize and turn around Sales Development programs. For more information, visitdaviddulany.com andtenbound.com.