In 2022, we’ve seen companies redefine themselves in their sales motion. Some companies have had to become very creative to create the pipeline, and we’ve highlighted several of the tactics here on this blog.
In our experience, only some of these tactics will remain. Here at Tenbound, we have had the privilege to talk to Sales Development Leaders (SDR) who are on the leading edge in their industry. Based on those conversations, we’ve highlighted three main areas of the SDR functions that will grow and become more important in the future.
Automated Tools for SDRs
Over the past five years, we've seen the rise of artificial intelligence tools, but they haven't been widely adopted by sales organizations. However, over the past eighteen months, we've heard good things about automated dialing platforms like ConnectandSell and Orum.
With these tools, SDRs can now handle twice as many calls per day than before. The hope is that they can use the extra time to perform additional tasks like personalizing emails.
Another tool that has recently gained traction among revenue leaders is Lavender. Let's face it, most SDRs aren't copywriters. We can always use a little bit of help getting an initial concept off the ground or clearly and succinctly conveying our point. This is why most people use Lavender.
We've found it works especially well when SDR Management doesn't have the time to read each and every email their sales reps send. Honestly, you shouldn't be reading them yourself either.
SDR Support team
If you ask any SDR manager, they’ll tell you that they have a plan to get each new SDR to ramp up and be at full productivity. The average time they’ll give you is 3 months.
What they fail to tell you, is how little support they receive from other areas of the company and how that ultimately affects the BDR ramps time. We’ve seen SDR teams get looked over, because enablement and sales operations focus on Account executives first, and then dedicate whatever time they have left to the SDR function. But let's face it, they rarely have any time left.
In the last 9 months, several companies have advocated for a dedicated SDR Ops and enablement headcount. The idea of having a dedicated support team for your SDRs is alluring, especially for those managers who juggle it all by themselves. We predict that this is a trend that will continue to grow, especially as teams further specialize and become more strategic.
SDR Process Changes
Two major process changes have also appeared. One of them is focused on Product led growth. CEOs have seen the growth of Slack and Twilio - among others - and want to replicate it.
We should note that the SDR functions generally start a long time after these companies get going, so it’s mainly focused on going up market. This is a specialized skill set that we are starting to see CEOs ask for.
The other process change that we are starting to see, (and that we are very very excited about. Did we mention how excited we are?!) is the emphasis on coaching. So much so that Cory Bray and Hillmon Sorey are attacking this issue.
At the end of the day, nothing will grow your team more or increase retention than dedicated coaching.
We expect to see teams focus on improving their current team - and to do so, they’ll need to ensure that their SDR teams are coached in the best way possible.
Want to learn more about the future of Sales Development? Come join us at out The Tenbound Sales Development Conference LIVE in Austin, Texas. This will be a VIP In-Person Gathering of the Top Minds in Sales Development.
I Visited 100+ Booths at the SaaStr Conference: Here are my 3 Big Takeaways
I had the opportunity to visit the SaaStr 2022 conference in person this year, my 3rd time going. After being stuck inside way too long, this year I decided to make a huge effort to catch up with everyone, check out all the latest software tools, and see all my old friends in our industry.
It was awesome, an amazing experience. Highly recommended for anyone in our industry.
But I had another challenge. I wanted to see what was new for SaaS companies since the pandemic, specifically Sales and Marketing software related to Sales Development pipeline generation.
Tenbound gathers tools specific to Sales Development in our Market Map Directory, which is free to download and explore as you make your decisions.
Also, as a Conference organizer myself, I wanted to see how the Tool Expo Marketplace looked and performed.
So I made a plan, took some time to study the floor plan, and stopped by as many booths as possible. SDRs, Salespeople and Marketers, take note.
Here is what I learned:
I saw several booths where the people working there turned their back to the audience, making it hard to engage with them to start.
Put your phone or laptop away unless you are giving a demo. It’s also helpful to acknowledge attendees as they walk by your booth. If allowed, you should also stand in front of the booth and engage people walking by.
I know that it’s been a while since so many people had the opportunity of presenting at a conference. I’m not sure if this should have been an excuse for how I felt visiting booths. It didn’t feel as engaging as I thought it should’ve been. Even if they don’t look like a hot prospect, make an effort to engage.
Remember, the people walking by don’t care about your company, your product, or what it does. They care about themselves and the problems that they’re trying to solve. Those are problems you can understand and potentially help them solve. Act accordingly.
Spend time talking about the person in front of you and try to dig out any problems they may have, like they are human beings and not a “prospect”.
Listening to irrelevant pitches over and over can result in people zoning out, especially with over 100 booths like at SaaStr. Talk about them, not all about you. If they start showing some relevance or interest, do a quick overview of your solution. But only if they want it.
After visiting too many booths, everything started sounding and looking the same to me. Another demo screen, another slide. Another gee-whiz moment.
As a sponsor, you’ll want to think about the experience that the attendees are having at the conference. How tired will they be, and what sessions will they have just come out of?
If you think about the attendees, you can work to create an experience that will ensure that they remember your booth and your company long after the event.
The one thing I remember is somebody handing me a stuffed giraffe … not sure what they were selling but I do remember it.
What have been some strategies you have used to maximize your time at events?
Bonus tip: Sign up for more Braindates. Braindates are an amazing program where you can set up “dates” with people before and during the conference and then meet with them. I filled my calendar with dates with amazing people doing awesome things we can help each other with.
What were your favorite parts of the show? Let us know your learnings by leaving a comment below.
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