Video Prospecting - now generally accepted in the SDR tool stack
We have seen the development of prospecting beyond phone and email to include physical mailings and now, video prospecting is becoming ubiquitous. In the era of Zoom meetings, prospects have become accustomed to video so it’s no surprise that SDRs are finding success using it in their outreach sequences. More providers are entering the space, and the delivery of the videos and metrics sounding its effectiveness continues to improve. Look for a move to the metaverse as prospects become more accustomed to that channel.
Revenue Operations - gaining momentum as the ultimate dashboard for SDR team success
Combining the disciplines of Sales Operations and Marketing Operations into a cohesive Revenue unit has become a common practice to support Sales Development teams, and managing applications to drive Sales Development success continues to rise in sophistication. Key players are emerging with heavy venture capital investment. Look out for more consolidation in this space and greater sophistication and adaption as Sales Development matures as a practice.
Sales Enablement - Bridging The Work-from-home gap in SDR sales skills
With Sales Development Reps working at home, the usual office learning, tribal knowledge, and banter are now missing to support their development. Companies are struggling to find new ways to keep SDRs engaged, trained and motivated. As a result, we’re seeing the Sales Enablement category continue to evolve in new and more advanced ways to meet that need. Look for growth in this area as companies move to use AI and machine learning to understand how voice tone, timing, word choice, and other factors affect pipeline production.
Once Again - Zoominfo (ZI) Eating the World
Zoominfo continues to lead on many fronts and is essentially becoming the overall Sales Development Operating System. Its strategy is clear; to become a one-stop-shop for your Pipeline and Sales needs, from Data to Enrichment, to Targeting, to Execution, and beyond. They call it the Total Platform, and according to ZI it “Aligns Your Marketing and Sales Tech tack into a unified platform” including Contact Data, Company Data, Technographics, Intent, Conversation INtallentce, Sales Intelligence, Prioritized Targeting, Conversational Marketing, Enrichment, and Audience solutions (AMB). At an (as of today) $23B Market cap and legendary Henry Schuck at the helm, we expect continued success and an overall trend of market consolidation in the SDR tech space.
Email Deliverability - The next Market Map quadrant?
SDRs are spending a lot of time personalizing emails to fit their prospect’s pain points hitting send, and hoping for the best. Alas, the email goes straight to spam or some other purgatory where it never even reaches the inbox of the prospect. How much time is wasted? In response, a whole new crop of tools is being developed to ensure this specific problem is solved. On the flip side, we’ve seen one tool which requires you to donate to charity in order to get your email delivered. Revenge of the Prospects!
Ready to learn more? Attend the upcoming Tenbound Virtual Sales Development Conference to meet the key people and tech providers in our industry. Register here. All the major players in Sales Development are represented at Tenbound Conferences and can be available to demo.
What did we miss? What would make the Map and Directory more useful?
Leave a comment!
Download the full Case Study here!
Nitro was growing fast. Their business productivity software was being used by over 13,000 companies worldwide, and it was time to adjust their SDR playbook to keep up.
Up to this point, Nitro’s SDRs had focused exclusively on inbound leads; that would have to change in order to scale at the pace that Nitro was at.
In a perfect world, the SDRs would have a leader in place to help adapt. That deft hand would help train the team and add to their playbook. Of course, things rarely ever happen perfectly.
As it turned out, right when Nitro was at this inflection point, their Global SDR Director resigned.
With no qualified prospects on the market to replace him, VP of Growth & Enablement Nellie Aube took over the SDR team. She was passionate about developing sales talent, but already had her hands full juggling multiple roles.
“While we were looking for a Global SDR Director, we were also growing our enablement team and preparing a new manager to take over that group. In the interim, I was running both teams, leading the upsegment development plans, and building our cross-functional strategy with marketing,” she explains.
Although Nellie had an impressive handle on the big-picture for the growing teams, there just weren’t enough hours in the day for her to deliver direct training to the SDRs: “Our SDR reps needed individual attention to develop outbound selling skills. But with me having essentially three different jobs, there was no way I could coach them all one-on-one.”
The team needed support, and there were no qualified candidates to fill the SDR Director role on the horizon. Things were still growing at a rapid place, and Nellie needed three things as soon as possible:
If you’re curious about Pete’s strategy, you can read the full case study here. If you want to know how that strategy worked, well, the results speak for themselves. In six short months, Nitro’s SDR team mastered telephone outreach and delivered an astonishing 113%
YOY increase in opportunities for the sales team. Their efforts helped grow the total outbound pipeline by 70%, and drove a 20% increase in SDR-sourced revenue in H2.
It might be months before Nitro finds a new Global SDR Leader, but – thanks to Pete’s work – Nellie isn’t worried about the wait. Her partnership with Tenbound is meeting her company’s needs and it continues to elevate performance and morale among the SDRs.
“Without Tenbound, I’d be getting no sleep. I would have dropped high-priority items while we struggled to find a new SDR Director. We wouldn’t have this level of trust and engagement on the SDR team, and we wouldn’t have a thriving outbound pipeline.”
Download the full case study here.
It’s hard to stay focused these days. Especially working from home. It takes a lot of discipline.
There’s so much information out there on the various social networks and so much uncertainty in daily life, it’s very easy to become confused and disoriented.
If you lose your focus and start scrolling, millions of online gurus will soon be giving you advice (much of it very good advice, some not-so-good) - advice that you could implement into your life, and your business, to get it back on track or take it to the next level.
The amount of advice and information available today is truly unprecedented. It’s coming at you like an information firehose.
That’s all good, but there are two sides to the coin. It’s easy to fall into the trap of "information overload".
At this point, adding more information into our already flooded brains just causes more confusion.
That in turn causes you to go back online looking for more information, which in turn gives you more information and contributes to more information overload and confusion.
At some point, you need to stop scrolling, close the social networks, look at the actual operating system for your life that you have in place, and see if it's any good.
By operating system, I mean the process you’re following day-in and day-out of positive habits, mindsets, and actions that will eventually lead to achieving your goals.
And if you have an operating system, are you following it a little bit each day, and is it taking you in the right direction that you're trying to go with your life?
Is your system building your business, improving your prospecting, your health, your life, your relationships... or are you just drifting, seeking more advice. Have you established an operating system to integrate all that great advice into your life?
If not sketch it out today, and start following it.
Promise yourself not to add any more advice or information to the system until you at least have some sort of system that you're repeatedly doing.
I’ve used a version of Darren Hardy’s Best Year Ever system for many years and it works great. There are a lot of them, try one and see what works for you.
Watch out for the information overload loop, or spiral. After you get good information, get a good system and stick to it.
Need help? Contact Tenbound for a free coaching session with a Tenbound Certified Coach.
This could be the most important news you read in Sales Development this year:
A full 46% of Americans report getting spam calls every single day.
There were just under 46 billion robocalls made to American numbers in 2020.
It’s a problem in search of a solution, and the FCC has taken a number of steps recently to bring an end to telephone scams, spam, and abuse.
Effective from June 2021, all service providers are required to use the STIR/SHAKEN framework to authenticate callers and reduce if not eliminate robocalls and phone number spoofing.
But an unintended consequence of this is the number of legitimate businesses getting caught in the cross-fire.
And that’s bad.
What is STIR/SHAKEN?
STIR/SHAKEN — which stands for the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) — is a framework of standards and protocols to be used across various networks.
With it, originating service providers will confirm a number and user as legitimate, while other carriers will further verify that information before it reaches the intended recipient.
In theory, it would identify the caller as either ‘unknown’ or ‘spam’ if they’re using robocall or spoofing services because they would fail this authentication process.
Number comes up as spam, do not answer. Simple, but effective.
Unfortunately, even the best laid plans often go awry, and STIR/SHAKEN is wreaking havoc among SDRs and other individuals who rely on cold calling for proper business purposes.
The Impact of STIR/SHAKEN
At the best of times, a connect rate in the vicinity of 7-10% is average for cold dials.
In the months since STIR/SHAKEN was implemented, some businesses have seen that number plummet to only 1-2%.
The difference? Those legitimate users are coming up as spam for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to):
The number is not registered to your business
The number was recycled and previously labeled as spam
The user is running afoul of spam algorithms
The only way to know for sure is to check it yourself.
Call your own mobile phone and see what comes up. Or better yet, call a few friends or family members and ask them.
If your business number(s) is repeatedly failing its authentication, it’s no wonder your connect rate has fallen through the floor. No one is ever going to knowingly answer a call labeled as spam.
So, what do you do?
Playing Nice with STIR/SHAKEN
First, do an audit of all numbers used for business purposes. Are they coming up as ‘verified’ or ‘spam’?
Next, contact your (cadence, sequencing, or dialing) service provider and confirm that the number(s) are registered to you and your business. The ease and convenience of this will vary depending on your specific provider (standalone dialing tools will be best).
Unfortunately, many numbers are recycled. If a previous user was identified as a spammer, the number itself is likely unsalvageable. Get rid of it, and buy a new one. And don’t forget to immediately register it.
Finally, be aware of the red flags that spam algorithms look for, such as:
Calling the same outbound number several times in one day
Using the number too frequently
An actual spam complaint
Audit your business numbers at least monthly, eliminate those labeled as spam, and play by the rules for legitimate and verified use. Protect your verified and clean numbers.
Business cold calls are not spam when you’ve done your homework and know your prospects. Don’t let something designed to prevent scammers keep you from solving their needs.
Need help? Tenbound is a Sales Development Research and Advisory firm providing expert guidance and integrated technology solutions to help you take your Sales Pipeline to the next level. Contact us today to get started.
Prospecting has changed significantly in the past few years, and methods must be updated to meet today’s new demands and challenges.
No industry has been immune to the changes and disruptions of the past couple of years. As businesses around the world continue to adapt to the new sales and marketing landscape, the need to keep up with constantly evolving customer demands is greater than ever. But with any challenge comes new opportunities, and Sales Development is no exception.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many of your customers have new needs and work remotely. They have different priorities and pain points that must be addressed if you are to continue to earn their attention or to acquire new customers. Having a strategy for whom you intend to prospect will prove vital to your success. After all, successful prospecting requires, just as it always has, comprehensive knowledge of your target customer.
Dogma does not equal performance
In today’s technology-driven world, change is inevitable and necessary for keeping up with the constantly changing sales landscape. This is why one of the most harmful phrases in the business world is ‘we’ve always done it this way’.
Dogma does not equate to performance, which is why every process must be taken back to formula. In the case of Sales Development, this means starting with the right questions.
Firstly, how do you yourself buy today? Putting yourself in the shoes of today’s customers is an essential first step towards better understanding their needs and pain points.
Then, looking at what your current data is telling you, determine how your customers buy. Finally, look at how your existing Sales Development processes work. Chances are there are misalignments between these variables, which will need to be addressed in order to refine your prospecting strategy.
Applying the scientific method to Sales Development
Sales Development is effectively just a form of project management which, in turn, follows the scientific method.
The basic steps of the cycle are as follows:
Sales Development Reps (SDRs) should also apply the scientific method. In a modern context, that means referring to existing data to determine how sales are currently performing. You can then identify opportunities for improvement, make the necessary changes, and then test them.
With A/B testing, you can also put multiple hypotheses to the test simultaneously, thus saving time and developing your sales processes even faster. The entire cycle is one of continuous improvement. At Tenbound, we recommend reevaluating your Sales Development processes approximately every three months.
Key takeaways for SDRs
Sales Development success depends on determining how your existing processes align with today’s buying experience. Wherever there is a misalignment, you need to go back to recreate or refine your strategy to achieve better results. This requires the optimal combination of expert guidance, a strong peer support community, and a consistent strategy that matches the unique requirements of your business.
Check out my talk at the recent Tenbound Sales Development Conference where I go into this further
Tenbound is a Sales Development research and advisory firm. We provide expert guidance and integrated technology solutions to help you take your business to the next level. Contact us today to get started.
Discover Your Sales Development (SDR) Program Score with this free program scorecard.
For emerging and current leaders of Sales Development and Go-To-Market teams.
Increase your ability to drive a reliable SDR Sales Pipeline.
Click here to start the survey.
This scorecard has been designed to show Go-To-Market Leaders their blind spots and provide instantly actionable steps to boost Sales Development results.
It takes just 2 minutes
It’s completely free
Receive customized results instantly
Based on the new book 'The Sales Development Framework' and developed over the last 4 years interviewing over 500 Sales Development Leaders in Silicon Valley and beyond, the Scorecard has become a trusted tool for shaping your competitive edge in the Sales Development industry.
Click here to start the survey.
Tenbound, a Research & Advisory firm focused 100% on Sales Development, announced the winners of this year’s BEAST Awards for excellence in Sales Development, at The Tenbound Sales Development Conference 2021 on October 27th, 2021 in San Francisco.
The BEAST Award is a voting award specifically for the Sales Development community, run each year in leading up the annual Conference.
It includes four categories, with the highest number of unique votes winning in each category.
The categories include Best Sales Development Team, Best Sales Development Technology, Best Sales Development Leader, and Best Sales Development Representative. Once again this year, Tenbound received a record number of votes in each category.
David Dulany, Tenbound Founder & CEO stated: “Sales Development is growing in importance in B2B SaaS companies and in many other industries. The Tenbound BEAST Awards represent the best in the burgeoning Sales Development industry, the top-rated Leaders, Reps, Teams, and Technology out there performing at the highest level in our field. We are proud to be associated with all the nominees and winners!”
The 2021 Winners:
Best Sales Development Leader
Patrick Jeter, Groove
Best Sales Development Representative
Alex Trca, LeadIQ
Best Sales Development Team
LeanData led by Rob Simmons
Best Sales Development Technology
Regie.ai led by Matt Millen
CONGRATULATIONS to all our winners!
This is the future of Sales Development.
Sales Development used to be a numbers game. "Smile and Dial."
Make enough calls, knock on enough doors, send out enough emails, and eventually, you’d set an appointment.
The arrival of the digital age changed the platforms, but not the overall strategy: send out enough emails, make enough cold calls, spend enough on ads, and eventually, you’d land an appointment.
But as Sales Development teams grew and technology was created to support them, it unleashed a spam tsunami on the buyer community. If you could mass email ten people, you could just as easily mass email tens of thousands.
Concurrently, as Demand Generation became an accepted practice, SDRs spent time sifting through inbound leads looking for anything worth calling. While efficient, it doesn’t allow for specific targeting.
For some companies, especially targeting Enterprise accounts, instead of the traditional spray-and-pray system, they have taken a laser-focused approach to crack into new accounts.
Enter the world of Account-Based Sales Development.
Sales Development and the Big Fish
At its simplest, Account-Based Sales Development is a technique that targets accounts identified as a best-fit and highest return. It’s personalized marketing for an audience of one account.
It eschews casting a wide net in favor of precision fishing using bait specifically chosen for a single target. As Jon Miller puts it, it’s spearfishing versus net fishing.
And while it may seem like putting all your eggs into one proverbial basket, it can be very profitable and lucrative if you’ve done your homework. According to the Alterra Group:
97% of marketers achieve a higher return-on-investment from Account-Based initiatives than any other approach
Sales Development produces 208% more revenue in businesses with strong alignment between Marketing and Sales departments
The nitty-gritty details may differ, but Account-Based Sales Development has five components in common across the board:
Targeted, high return accounts
High levels of cooperation between marketing, Sales Development, sales, and customer success teams
Data is the engine that drives the machine
Buyer experiences are tailor-made
Coordinated, frequent, and active outreach
Companies using account-based methods at every stage of the customer life cycle can often limit their focus to up to 1000 accounts (38%) or even fewer than 100 (13%).
Fewer accounts mean more time and energy that can be devoted to each one. And that’s typically the difference between success and failure in modern marketing and sales: the personal touch.
To that end, 80% of marketers and reps say Account-Based Sales Development improves customer lifetime values, and 86% report it increases win rates.
The Account-Based Quickstart Guide
Account-Based Sales Development can be boiled down to three broad steps:
Step1: Target Accounts
You want to design your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) — a hypothetical description of the kind of company that would benefit most from whatever it is you’re selling — at this stage. Once you have that, go find them amongst your existing accounts and out in the real world.
Step 2: Research Those Accounts
Once you’ve zeroed in, you can drill down on each one’s specific wants, needs, and challenges, creating unique experiences and outreach based on that data.
Step 3: Find the Gatekeepers
Which individuals at each business need to be involved in a purchase decision? What is each one looking for in a solution? Whereas your ICP is a fictionalized description of a company, here you’ll create a buyer persona for each decision-maker within it.
Armed with those, you can craft your Sales Development outreach for the best chance of getting each to say ‘yes’ to you and your solution.
The devil’s in the details, of course, but that’s it in a nutshell.
In the age of Big Data, automation, and digital communication platforms, you really can’t afford not to take the account-based approach. Stand out. Market and create for a target of one rather than thousands.
Not sure where to start? Contact us at Tenbound for a no-obligation exploratory call for more details on this and other Sales Development strategies.
December 2022 November 2022 October 2022 September 2022 August 2022 July 2022 June 2022 May 2022 February 2022 January 2022 December 2021 November 2021 October 2021 September 2021 July 2021 June 2021 May 2021 February 2021 January 2021 October 2020 September 2020 June 2020 May 2020 April 2020 March 2020 January 2020 December 2019 November 2019 September 2019 August 2019 June 2019 May 2019 March 2019 February 2019 November 2018 October 2018 July 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 September 2016 August 2016 May 2016 September 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015
All Book Boost Sales Career Coaching Cold Calling Communities Conference COVID-19 Infographic Job Leaders Leads Management Market Outsourcing Pandemic Podcast Psychographics Sales Development SDR Seminar Social Media Team Technology Trade Shows Training Trends