Recently, I was having coffee in San Francisco with my good friend Chris Ortolano of DiscoverOrg, and he mentioned he was heading over to do a talk at GrowthX Academy. Chris and I are both passionate about training and development, and I thought the Academy sounded interesting, so Chris suggested a meeting with the Sean Sheppard and Will Bunker. I was immediately fascinated by what they are doing. After a few more meetings, we decided I’d become a GrowthX Academy mentor, and it’s been a great experience so far.
I think the GrowthX Academy is filling a huge need in the marketplace.
As a local Sales Development leader, it’s been frustrating for me to see how unprepared people are when entering the workforce for their first or second job, especially when trying to break into Tech Sales.
As I wrote about a while ago on my blog, very few Universities teach Sales as a major, despite the fact that Sales careers are widely available at many companies and are a great first step into the business world. How are people supposed to get prepared or understand how to be successful without a guide?
A key piece of intel that should be on the shelf of all Sales Development leaders is "The Sales Development Playbook" by Trish Bertuzzi.
If you’re a Sales Development professional, or have a Sales Development function at your company you’re seeking to better understand, "The Sales Development Playbook" is a must read.
The book lays out the foundation for the most important aspects of creating a high-performing Sales Development function, including Strategy, Specialization, Recruiting, Retention and Execution, in a logical and easy to follow format.
After being involved in Sales Development function for several years, I was very impressed with the way the book is laid out, and I see it as an excellent overall framework you can use to implement a winning program, all the while putting your own signature on it.
Every company and market is different, but Trish does a great job in laying out the framework to follow.
Have you gotten a good beat-down recently?
If not, maybe you’re not trying hard enough.
Any time you try something new, try to build something, try to improve yourself, try to leave the herd and blaze your own trail, you’re going to get beat-downs.
The bigger risk you're taking, the bigger beat-downs you're going to receive.
What do I mean by beat-down? It’s anytime you’re physically, emotionally or psychologically beaten-down. It could be by negativity, hostility, rejection or expulsion.
Over the past few years, I’ve interacted with a lot of salespeople in my role as a Sales Development leader.
Being immersed in the red-hot space of Sales Development, I get pitched on an avalanche of awesome tools, which seem to solve every problem imaginable.
There are so many tools available now it’s mind boggling; I recently heard there are over 2000 applications for the Salesforce platform alone, and don’t even get me started on the “Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic”. Yikes!
As a group I like and respect salespeople. After all, I started my career in sales, and I know full well how hard the job is. We’re all in sales, even if we don’t realize it; selling ideas, gaining support, pitching proposals, trying to get your kids to listen to you, etc.
In his bestselling book, Drive, Daniel Pink outlines three concepts that lead to success and fulfillment in one’s career. He boils it down to these big three: autonomy, mastery and purpose.
In usual Pink style, the book is an easy read, full of data and packed with relevant anecdotes to keep the pages turning.
Building off his research, Pink argues that, while money is obviously a critical factor in career satisfaction and required to support your lifestyle, it is just one part of the overall hierarchy of what contributes to overall happiness in one’s career. It takes more than just a fat paycheck to achieve career satisfaction.
While reading Drive, I kept thinking about how integrating this advice could create a more positive approach to building an effective and motivated SDR team.
By encouraging these concepts into your SDR team’s workflow, could you drive more success, longevity and career satisfaction among the team?
Anyone managing a Sales Development program realizes pretty quickly how important alignment is to the success or failure of your plan.
After experiencing the relationship between Sales and Marketing on many levels, I believe it all boils down to one word: trust.
Trust is a big word and it’s been written about extensively.
In this context, I’m talking about the trust built between Sales and Marketing leadership, and its importance to a successful Sales Development program.
Trust answers the questions: Does Sales leadership believe Marketing has their best interests in mind? Do they trust the metrics they’re getting from Marketing? Does Marketing trust Sales is taking the leads they are creating and following up properly? Can key players talk openly about their concerns and are those concerns followed up on?
Narrowing Down the Candidates: Top 3 Success Indicators of Stellar Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)
Searching for top SDR candidates is a never-ending quest.
High producing SDR’s don’t hang around long, and hiring the wrong person ends up being a painful experience all around.
Once you post an SDR position on a major board, you’ll get a flood of resumes because too many people see the role as a “foot-in-the-door” to great companies and as a way to “try out” a career in sales.
But as a manager, you don’t have time for “try outs.” Recruiting top talent is just one aspect of your job, and you have a program to run. So how do you efficiently sift through the resumes and find the golden nuggets?
Finding top talent for Sales Development Representative (“SDR”) positions can become a full time job for an SDR Manager if not done right.
SDR Managers often waste valuable time talking to candidates who are not the best fit. Job boards are hit-or-miss.
After top talent is finally placed, high-performing SDRs tend to get snatched up by closing sales teams or other companies just after getting fully ramped and productive, while poor performers tend to move on.
The search for the best and brightest can be expensive and never-ending.
This is where University Sales Programs (“USPs”) come in. Several universities and colleges throughout the country offer Sales Certifications as part of a business or marketing major.
These programs offer a strong curriculum focused on the core skills needed to be successful in Sales.
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