In January and February most sales teams were going through SKO season, reviewing what went well in 2019 and planning for 2020. As with any year, the idea of getting ahead of pipeline is top of mind, trying to win more deals early in the year to crush their numbers and hit accelerators as they cruise into Q4. And the role of creating pipeline falls heavily on the shoulders of Sales Development Teams. No pressure!
Then March came around and the world changed. Businesses closed, everyone began to work from home, budgets went dry, and a new reality set in.
But guess what, many businesses, while adjusting forecasts for the year and quarter, still have to create pipeline to hit any adjusted goal. And guess what, that responsibility still falls squarely on the shoulders of Sales Development Teams. No pressure! Except now you’ve got double the pressure as you adapt to new realities: Buyers are distracted by things at home, and those valuable office direct dials are worthless.
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.
A typical question seen when a company is contemplating a Sales Development program is basic, but very important… Why?
The answer to this varies in every scenario, but it really becomes a discussion of scaling, efficiency, growth and optimization.
First… Should You Even Bother?
There’s a standard reaction to dismiss the value of integrating Sales Development as an unnecessary layer in your organization. We get it… a fully ramped and producing sales team is a thing of beauty. When someone expresses an interest in your products/solution, your team is knowledgeable, helpful and motivated to turn that inquiry into a deal as soon as possible. Those same reps are also hitting the phones, networking and creatively getting in front of new prospects as well to generate pipeline and bust through their targets.
If this is your situation, congratulations! Your team is firing on all ends, and hopefully being compensated accordingly.
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.
Guest post this week by Tenbound friend Samuel Holzman at Zoominfo
There’s no way around it– the tools and technologies we use to execute our work have a direct impact on our success as Sales Development professionals. For this reason, more companies are prioritizing their sales technology in an effort to build the perfect technology stack.
The numbers don’t lie– companies with access to top-flight sales enablement tools experience 205% more revenue growth and 725% higher sales velocity than their competitors (source).
But, if you’re new to Sales Development technology, you may be scratching your head and asking: “What tools do I actually need?” You don’t want to overwhelm your SDRs with “tool confetti”.
Last week Tenbound held our first publicly available training seminar focused exclusively on Sales Development Management strategy and tactics. The seminar was attended by 6 super bright Sales Development Team Leaders, Managers and Directors from some of the fastest growing SaaS companies in Silicon Valley.
The target audience for this seminar was current Sales Development Team Leads, Managers and Directors who wanted to up their game, as well as SDRs (BDRs, ADRs, etc) who wanted to step-up to Sales Development Management in the future.
Overall, the seminar went great and it was awesome to be able to close the door with these leaders and laser focus on what makes a world-class Sales Development program tick, along with the many, many pitfalls to avoid in putting one together. This was for hard-core students of the Sales Development craft, who wanted to bring this practice to the next level and in turn, elevate their own value in the marketplace.
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