David Gimbel knows Sales Development. He’s the Sales Manager at RigUp, the energy industry's largest marketplace for on-demand services and skilled labor. He has also headed up Sales and Sales Development teams at Trendalytics, Impact, and Yotpo. David graciously agreed to share his thoughts on outsourced sales, how to train your Sales Development team, and who your real competition is.
Outsourced Sales Development
Sales Development is the first line of communication between your business and your potential clients. If you're relying on outsourced teams with random people dialing for dollars, rather than giving your prospects a top-class experience, that's a definite misstep.
Sure, you might get some opportunities come in, but if that opportunity has been set up poorly and the handoff is poor, that’s not going to be a great experience for your client. If you're trying to sell something in this day and age, you need good communication. You have to be fully informed on what you offer and be able to answer questions intelligently. You never want to bring in a prospect who isn’t going to benefit from your solution. They’re just going to churn.
That's not to say outsourced SDRs don’t have a market. However, if you're offering any kind of SaaS solution or partnership, you want to start that relationship off in the best way possible, which means having an in-house team.
Training your Sales Development team
Getting the right Sales Development Reps in the seat involves putting together an expansive training program—not something that only happens during onboarding. You should train your SDRs the entire time they're in that seat, with the long-term goal of helping them advance their career with your company, with your Sales Development team acting as a feeder system for your future Account Executives.
What should your training involve? As a minimum, your SDRs need to understand your talk tracks, your value proposition, your total addressable market, and who your ideal customer is. Your SDRs need to be comfortable doing pre-call research and understand if your product is even viable to the person they’re reaching out to. Otherwise, they're just reading off a script.
Your real competition
The last thing you want to do is waste people's time. Our prospects are busy people, and time is a precious commodity. David tells his reps that they’re not competing with the company’s direct competitors—they’re competing with every other salesperson that wants the prospect's time.
This affects your whole sales conversation. Your messaging needs to be on point and your product has to offer great value that’s worth the prospect’s time. If you realize they’re not a good fit, don’t keep dragging them along and wasting both your time. Ultimately, make sure you’re giving them the information they need to make the right decision.
David’s 2020 Challenges:
Top 5 Tech Tools:
Your SDRs have an important job and will be the first contact most prospects have with your company. By keeping your Sales Development team in-house, training them properly, and making sure they communicate effectively, you’ll be able to secure high-quality leads who get the most out of your product.
If you’re looking for more ways to improve your Sales Development program, contact us at Tenbound today for a no-obligation exploratory call.
This time in our Leaders in Sales Development series, we interview Nick Liemandt, Sales Development Manager at Instapage.
Tell us about your role at Instapage?
I manage the Sales Development team here at Instapage.
We’ve got a terrific group of SDRs who love to learn, hustle and genuinely want to help each other succeed. We were lucky to have a large flow of inbound demo requests and free trials when I started, so building out an outbound engine is my primary focus as we move up-market.
At Instapage, you were promoted from Team Lead to Manager of the team. Tell us about that?
My role as Team Lead started as a player-coach role, but quickly evolved into a focus on the leading. As we continued to grow the team from three to seven people, I was asked to focus all of my time on coaching, processes, and strategy as the manager.
You won first place in a case study competition at St. John's University. Tell us more?
Our school participates in the Society for the Advancement of Management (S.A.M.), where schools send a case study team to an international competition in Washington D.C. We were provided with a company, Target, then presented our research and recommendations to improve. We were able to win for our third year in a row. A three-peat!
What’s been similar and different regarding Sales Development across the positions you’ve held at different companies?
The biggest similarities have been the culture of testing new ideas, making sure you have processes and systems in place that scale and a place for leadership who motivates.
I joke with my team: if I tell them a way to do something, they will find an article or thought-leader telling them the opposite. Each rep and company is going to be different, so you have to test new things to find out what works for you. It’s important to let that happen in sales dev.
Being an SDR is one of the toughest jobs in the company and some days it outright sucks.
So for any high-performing sales dev team, you need to a culture of motivation and leadership. As for differences, we’ve been at different stages in company and team development. That dictates how you approach the outcomes from the meetings set up by SDRs and career development.
For outcomes, are we trying to figure out what works and get at-bats? Or do they need to be fully-vetted qualified opportunities? And for career development, no one wants to be an SDR forever, so do we have set development plans for the next role and can we dedicate a lot of time towards training?
Or is that something we have to build up with a primary focus on building pipeline?
Tell us about your biggest Sales Development challenge and how you addressed it?
Finding the right balance between quality and quantity in our outreach.
As a rep, I hated the idea that sales dev was a volume game, but that’s what I heard a lot. I was definitely guilty of calling numbers I already knew didn’t work just to hit the dials metric. Spray and pray just didn’t sit well with me.
On the other side, I would perfect emails and send them off where they would be unopened, read once or replied to with “great email, but not interested.”
You get meetings with the hyper-personalized approach, but not at the scale needed to hit quota. I needed the middle ground that allowed me to deliver the right value at the right time, which meant doing enough activity to hopefully get the timing right, but still being thoughtful with outreach.
A few things that worked for me was to start sending more good emails (5 minutes) vs. the perfect email (20 minutes), time-blocking my day (close Slack, Linkedin, etc.) and researching a prospect once, then keeping good bullet points in SFDC or Outreach.
What’s the top thing Sales Development leaders should be thinking about in 2020?
How to make sure we are still one human selling to another human.
With the power of software, automation and AI, we need to go to extra lengths to make sure we are building relationships with someone on the other side of the screen.
There’s a big debate whether AI will replace the SDR in years to come and that’s not something I believe will happen. It might replace the SDR who just sends templates or triggers for a sequence, but I don’t know how it will replace the trust we build when developing a relationship with a prospect.
The tech should help make us more efficient in our prospecting efforts, but those emails, LinkedIn interactions, videos, etc. still need to start conversations with a human on the other side.
On a more personal note, what’s your favorite basketball team and player?
Minnesota Timberwolves and Kevin Garnett. We finally went to the playoffs for the first time (since fourth grade for me) in the past couple years and KG brings back memories of those winning seasons.
David Cancel, CEO of Drift, is on a mission: to help a million people achieve their potential. I was lucky enough to get a chance to speak with him on the Sales Development podcast, where we spoke about how people’s low expectations fueled his success, staying humble, and the key to a successful business like Drift. Here are some of the highlights.
No expectations mean nothing to lose
When David was growing up, he had no idea what was possible: “I didn’t even know it was possible to start a company.” No-one, not even his parents, expected him to achieve anything. However, David saw that as an advantage. With the freedom that came from zero expectations, he had nothing to lose. When people told him what he couldn’t do, he’d set out to prove them wrong. Rather than letting self-limiting beliefs hold him back, he was motivated to keep pushing forward. Now he wants to help a million people from having to learn the hard way what’s possible.
Taking a beating from your customer
What’s the difference between successful companies, like Drift, and the 99% of businesses that fail? For David, the key is humility. That means setting aside any personal pride in your work and listening to the customer, even when it’s hard. Sometimes, when the customer is telling you you’re wrong or laughing at your ideas, it can feel like you’re taking a beating. However, any kind of growth requires discomfort. Most people will shy away from that, but by leaning into the discomfort and taking that daily beating, you’ll have a strong advantage over your competitors.
To succeed, don’t be a trend-setter
Facebook replaced MySpace. Slack replaced HipChat. Why? They’re not different services. When you compare a screenshot of IRC from 20 years ago and Slack today, they’re the same. However, what has changed is human behavior. When these earlier services came out, the market wasn’t ready. Today, messaging is the default method of communication.
When you’re thinking about starting a business or creating a product, David recommends looking for the trends and what’s becoming the new ‘normal.’ Then, look at your industry and ask yourself how it’s going to be impacted by these changes. You don’t want to start the trend—you want to use the shifts already happening.
Creating a moat around your business
Even when you’re riding that wave, you still need to stand out from your competitors—you need to build a moat around your business. For the first generation of SaaS, the moat was technology. When Salesforce came around with its cloud-based software, it was revolutionary.
For the second generation, the moat was your ‘factory.’ Did you have inside sales versus field sales? Did you have BDRs, SDRs, and so on? Who had the better factory?
Today, your technology and your factory aren’t enough. You need a third moat: emotion. At Drift, that includes the emotion in your brand, product, and service. The intersection of those three factors is what allows you to build a moat. Just one factor is no longer enough.
David didn’t have the easiest start, but he hasn’t let self-limiting beliefs hold him back. Keeping his focus on the customer, he’s been able to observe trends and create a business that truly stands out. For more valuable insights, check out the full interview and make sure to subscribe for future episodes.
If you’re looking to achieve your business potential but are struggling with your Sales Development program, contact us at Tenbound today.
This time in our Leaders in Sales Development series, we talk to Katherine Andruha,
GTM Sales Development & Strategy at Eightfold.ai.
Tell us about your role at Eightfold.ai?
Eightfold.ai is a talent intelligence platform that allows companies to place the right people in the right roles utilizing AI to find those candidates. Therefore, at Eightfold.ai my role is to grow the pipeline and company brand by equipping the SDR organization.
You’ve held Sales Development leadership positions at multiple companies. What’s been similar and different regarding Sales Development across those roles?
Each company has a different vision for their SDR organization.
When I start a new role at any org, big or small, I think about scale, operational excellence and how can the SDRs bring value. I don’t care about metrics and their daily KPIs. I always measure an SDR org by pipeline.
Pipeline brings a measurable, consistent value to every department. Sales teams measure pipeline to predict their revenue. Marketing teams measure pipeline as event or MQL ROI. Sales Operations uses pipeline to determine territory and commission plans. It’s a win-win: bring the value to the organization.
What’s your biggest challenge in hiring SDR’s?
It depends. Right now, my biggest challenge is finding SDRs that can sit in Mountain View, California. Utilizing my own Eightfold.ai platform, I can find a ton of qualified candidates. I’m hiring, so let me know if you are in the South Bay!
At previous companies I struggled finding “vertical” SDRs. You will always have a challenge; it keeps us on our toes and allows us to get creative when it comes to sourcing.
For cold outreach via email, what are effective ways to catch prospects’ attention?
Be humble, stop referencing what college I went to, I remember I was there. Give me two one-liners to sum up your product and how it will help me. Focus on my persona. I do like it when the SDRs reference “oh we met at an event” simply because I forget how many people I meet. In fact, reminding me where we met even face to face is helpful!
Tell us about your biggest Sales Development challenge and how you addressed it?
One of the biggest challenges of being a SDR leader is keeping every SDR satisfied. Every SDR has a unique set of characteristics and motivations. Providing a clear career path and providing the SDRs with training seems to be a way to overcome the “quick-split” that is associated with this role.
How will Sales Development be different in 2020?
I am hopeful that in 2020, we can rise above and the SDR role can stand alone.
With a strong leader, you do not need to report into Sales or Marketing. This department is the tip of the spear and SDRs support both departments well. When you report into one or the other, there is always a pull. Let’s stand alone, stand strong, and let’s hold Sales and Marketing accountable.
You're Chapter President of AA-ISP's Silicon Valley Chapter. Tell us about that?
The AA-ISP (Silicon Valley Chapter) has been “home“ for me since 2009.
I was blessed to have an extraordinary leader when I started in Tech Sales at Aruba Networks. I came from a finance background and he took a chance on me. I soaked everything up that he taught me and introduced me to.
I have attended numerous meetings and events locally for the AA-ISP and was a member, then a Chapter Board member, and then I was asked to be Co-President. Being a member of this organization has exposed me to different tactics in selling, introduced me to leaders and individual contributors across the Valley, and has been a foundation for me through the ups and downs of my career. I highly recommend finding an Association that facilitates your growth and ambition.
Your LinkedIn profile notes that you enjoy flipping homes. Does your background in Sales Development help you in this activity?
Probably! I hadn’t thought of this before! I have no problem asking for discounts at vendors, or asking for a free item. The real correlation lies in my motivation. I am always doing more, working harder and finding other ways to solve problems.
I love seeing how a home starts off and what it can be, I guess that’s how a SDR is when they start my team; they are new to their careers and by the time they leave the nest, they have a solid foundation and their net worth is much higher.
Have a great guest for the Leaders in Sales Development series? Hit us up at http://tenbound.com/contact
The past year has seen an explosion of new products and services for Sales Development Leaders.
To help you stay up-to-date with the software you need to excel, Tenbound—a research advisory firm focused 100% on the Sales Development industry—has released two different resources you’ll want to bookmark today.
The Tenbound Sales Development Market Map
First up is the latest version of our Market Map. This fourth version collects all the major players in the Sales Development products and services category, from sales engagement to data enrichment, and puts them together in one easy to understand visual map.
We understand that Sales Development is not the same as Sales, Marketing or Account Management, and in turn needs its own map of the key industry players.
Sales Development is the critical connection of those departments and more, and has very specialized needs requiring specialized tools and services.
Now, you’ll be able to see all your options at a glance with our map, with a clear design and downloadable PDF making it easy to see what products are available in each category. Rather than wasting your valuable time researching what’s out there, we’ve done the hard work for you, so you can get on with doing your best work.
The Tenbound Company Directory
Once you’ve used the map to narrow down the top players, our new Company Directory will help you learn more about those companies, with details for all the active companies in the Sales Development industry all in one place. The Directory mirrors the formatting of the Market Map, including the major players in:
Using the Directory, you can quickly see summaries and contact details for all the top companies in the Sales Development industry. If you want to learn more, you can click through to discover even more details to help you make your decision, from when they were founded to their unique value propositions.
You don’t have to rely on just what we say though. Companies can also include images of the software in action so you can see how they work for yourself.
Tenbound Founder and CEO David Dulany says “putting together a high-performance Sales Development program strategy is becoming more complex than ever. With the Sales Development Market Map and Directory, we aim to help Sales Development Leaders have one place to gather and evaluate all the available products and services. They can then meet those key players at the upcoming Tenbound Sales Development Conferences in NYC and San Francisco.”
Instead of just using more generalized websites, chat boards, or relying on friends’ recommendations, Sales Development Leaders can now easily evaluate the myriad of products and services available and make their own informed decisions.
Showcase your company
If you represent a Sales Development-related company and want to be seen by thousands of professionals, we’d love to include you in the Directory.
By including as much information as possible, along with any screenshots in the photo section, you can help us provide Sales Development professionals with all the details they need to make the best decision
You’ll have the opportunity to highlight your unique strengths by including your value proposition and competitive differentiators. You’ll also be able to showcase the benefits of using your product by including case studies and how you’ve helped others. Go ahead and register your details here for free.
Make sure you bookmark the Market Map and Company Directory as we continue to regularly update this useful resource with the latest and greatest tools!
You can usually spot Sam Nelson easily… he’s the guy with the blue dyed hair popping up at sales conferences and in your LinkedIn feeds, sharing his thought leadership with the community. His day job is the SDR Leader at Outreach (a Sales Enablement Platform)
Sam (SDR Leader @ Outreach.io) is a well known entity in the Sales Development world, and gave a great presentation on how he and his teams have integrated referrals into their outbound sequences with great results. We’ve compiled a few highlighted takeaways below for you, but you are going to want to take a look at the session recording to get the more granular advice.
Don’t train for perfection, train for the majority
Sam tasked himself with creating a comprehensive flowchart of all known objections and questions prospects would come up with, and the subsequent responses for his team. After creating this ‘nuclear bomb’ of a flowchart, he realized that spending so much effort for him and his team to train for those infrequent scenarios wouldn’t be as beneficial as putting their focus on the 80-90% of scenarios that they saw frequently. By not striving for perfection, his team improved overall.
Referrals from prospects are definitely worth your time
In his career, he’s had ⅓ of his opportunities come from prospect referrals! In addition, he found that those who were referred were significantly more likely to be engaged and close.
Working referrals into cadences increased response rates
In addition to the opportunities generated through the referrals, Sam also noted his teams saw increases from 1% up to 40% in reply rates when these referral techniques were integrated to their outreaches.
Turn that wrong dial into the right one!
Instead of saying thanks and ending the call when it’s been identified that you aren’t talking to the correct person, Sam teaches to use this as an opportunity to get info on who the right contact is. He warns to keep it simple though… your time is limited at this point so be strategic in your approach!
Click play below to watch his presentation for yourself
PS Tenbound just released a new Referral Training program specifically designed for SDRs... check it out here.
Hit us in the Drift chat for more info or click here to set up a call.
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to talk with Peter Kazanjy, the founder of Atrium Sales Analytics and the Modern Sales Pros community, on The Sales Development Podcast.
As sales professionals, we all have a part in advancing the science of sales, with innovations and new technology coming along all the time.
For Peter it’s exciting, fun, and intellectually challenging to be at the forefront of this movement, both from a product development standpoint at Atrium and with the community at Modern Sales Pros.
We spoke about how sales is changing, why the MSP community is so important, and how Peter made it the success it is today.
The rise of the “Sales Nerd”When Salesforce came along, it introduced a shared database where sales organizations could store prospect information—from lead to close.
This was huge. Clever entrepreneurs started pulling data from the CRM and picking out different use cases, creating an opportunity for people to piece together a thoughtful sales stack.
That required Sales Nerds.
There's a positive feedback loop where, as you add more high leverage technologies into your sales motion, you need more sales nerds to implement them. Then, because there are more sales nerds, creative entrepreneurs can make use of even more technologies.
We're all riding this wave together, figuring it out as we as we go along. Sales has changed from some kind of voodoo magic into a more scientific, repeatable, and scalable process. This has created an opportunity for thoughtful, analytical and sales nerdy types to get in the weeds and find success. That's what Modern Sales Pros (MSP) is all about.
The need for a modern sales communityHaving transitioned from running his own business to leading new sales at Monster, Peter wanted to spend more time hanging out with thoughtful, creative, and intelligent modern sales leaders. Fortunately, it turned out that those people were also looking for a place to hang out.
MSP started with some offline events in San Francisco in 2015. These salons covered the meaty topics we’re all banging our heads against on a daily basis. Other people were also banging their heads against the very same topics, had figured them out, and were happy to share what they’d learned. As a result, we could all bang our heads against the wall a little less.
MSP now runs these salons in a dozen different cities across the country. There’s beer, wine, and good food, but the point of the events is high octane, high intensity, pure education in a real-time synchronous environment.
People are grouped together based on the size of their sales organization, their average selling price, and so on, meaning they’re all speaking the same language. By the end of it, people may be looking forward to happy hour, but they’ve also met a ton of amazing people and learned a bunch of tactics they can start implementing the next day.
There’s also now an online component where people can ask and answer questions, with high-quality conversation focused on solving people's problems. With north of 10,000 members, it’s the white-hot center of people who care about advancing the practice of modern sales.
A place to learn and teachIt’s important that people feel free to ask their questions without worrying about being lit up with over-enthusiastic sales pitches. That’s why MSP has a strict policy against self-promotion, which makes it a great place for learning.
By getting 10,000 eyes on your question, you get to see how powerful an aggregation of really thoughtful practitioners can be if they're if their attention is focused on helping share their expertise.
There are two ways of creating a reputation as a ‘thought leader.’ One way is doing a selfie video where you're jumping up and down and talking about closing the quarter strong or whatever. Then there’s the other way, where you thoughtfully demonstrate your expertise and contribute to the industries’ knowledge.
That’s where MSP excels. People can flex and get recognized for their expertise in a way that’s different from all the ‘thought leadership’ noise out there.
ConclusionIt’s an exciting time for sales. With the latest technology, it’s less guesswork and more of a scientific, improved process, which has brought more opportunities. By making use of communities such as MSP, you can learn from the experts and grow your reputation.
Leave a comment, post on social and reach out for more information on https://tenbound.com/contact/
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