Erik started his career in the marketing department at Gatorade as part of the ‘Mission Control’ team. As he spoke to more salespeople though, sales seemed more appealing and he changed paths. He hasn’t looked back since and today heads up Sales Development at SocialChorus. He shared his thoughts with the Tenbound team on implementing change, making the most of your tech, and picking the right Sales Development strategy.
Managing change in your Sales Development team
Erik attributes his success as an SDR to the strategies he builds through structure, process, and personalization at scale. However, when Erik started his current role, there wasn't much structure or process, and personalization was an unknown term. Additionally, the team was completely focused on quantity over quality, believing the best way to hit quota was more calls, more meetings, and more opportunities. As a result, he ended up reversing everything the team was doing.
Within the first couple of weeks, he replaced their hybrid lead model — a structure in which marketing-generated leads are distributed to SDRs who are also expected to simultaneously reach out to cold contacts and accounts —with two distinct processes and strategies for inbound and outbound prospecting. This enabled a focus of expertise with linear visibility into two separate funnels of sales opportunities.
He also encouraged the reps to be more targeted by splitting up territories and creating a top 50-100 accounts for each rep (vs. the 1-2k accounts per rep), enabling them to focus on companies that would see the most value from partnering with SocialChorusul — ultimately shortening deal cycles and extending the partnership terms.
Top Tech Tools
SocialChorus has every known Sales Development tool out there, from ABM to cold calling tech. Their number one tool is 6sense, which aggregates data from different sources to let you know who you should be reaching out to. They’re also big fans of Chorus.ai for recording and learning from their sales calls.
With all those tools though, the real challenge is learning how to use them effectively. It’s one thing to record all your calls, but you need the focus and time to listen, train and coach on them. In some cases, being effective means letting go of some tools. The team no longer uses Outreach or Seamless.ai, as they no longer worked well for the team.
Using the right Sales Development strategy
SocialChorus focuses on account-based selling, with demand gen used as support. As they mainly sell into large enterprises, there are usually a lot of different stakeholders they can talk to. In addition, there are different channels, methods, styles, and strategies they can use, not just to get a meeting, but to create a sales experience for the prospect.
With all the different potential permutations they can use, SocialChorus think in terms of multi-channel, multi-threaded campaigns that leverage all the different departments and people, both for their prospects and the team at SocialChorus.
The future for SocialChorus
Erik wants the SocialChorus team to be known for being the hardest working and most knowledgeable team, while also having the most fun. Looking back on their success in 2019, he believes they have a fantastic opportunity to help the people on the team take that next step in their career and go on to more significant revenue-driving roles, whether that’s as an account executive, in customer success, or management. By the end of 2020, Erik hopes that many team members will have moved on and are successful in their next role.
Change is always a challenge, especially for an established Sales Development team. However, by using technology effectively and picking the right strategy, it’s possible to turn things around and create a strong Sales Development team with long-term potential.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your Sales Development program and overcome those challenges, contact us at Tenbound today for a no-obligation exploratory call.