Becoming a successful Sales Development Revenue Alignment leader requires three key ingredients:
Let’s find out why in this blog.
In the age of the consumer, Revenue Alignment is critical to Sales Development success. No longer can Marketing, Sales Development and Sales happen in a bubble.
Revenue Alignment places customers at the heart of business success by emphasizing the importance of delivering customer-centric solutions and creating measurable outcomes.
When all teams, whether they are in Sales, Marketing, Support, R&D, or any other role, share a singular focus on customer success, everything they do adds value to the business.
For Sales Development leaders, Revenue Alignment is an enormously important opportunity. It can accelerate your career by giving you the resources needed to create a predictable revenue and pipeline model.
But success in Revenue Alignment requires three key ingredients:
Coach – someone who provides expert guidance and helps keep you accountable.
Community – a group of peers you can lean on to ask questions and learn new things
Consistency – a strategy that you follow to build up your skills and abilities
All three of the above are essential for becoming a successful Revenue Alignment leader, but the real power lies in combining them into a unified model.
Coaching + community
…but no consistent system
= great ideas and connections, but little execution
You might have many great ideas and goals that you plan and discuss with your mentors, but it’s not likely to amount to much without a consistent system. You could lean on the community for support and guidance, but what you really end up with is a lot of connections and ideas but no standardized way to put them to use.
Without a consistent system, there is no structure nor discipline. As such, you try new things every day, but the lack of strategy means it’s hard to tell what works and what doesn’t in the longer term. Since Revenue Alignment is all about creating measurable outcomes, it requires strategy which, in turn, requires consistency.
Coaching + consistency
…but no community
= grinding away in isolation with little support and a high risk of burnout
Having a structured approach and being accountable are essential ingredients to becoming a successful leader in any space, and Sales Development is no exception. You might get plenty of great ideas from your mentors, but they alone cannot give you the inspiration you need to succeed in today’s highly changeable sales environment.
Without community, you end up working in isolation. However, success comes with spending time with successful people, preferably a lot of them. With the right community to lean on for ideas and support, you will always have fresh insights to discuss with your mentors. There will also be a greatly reduced risk of burnout, since you won’t always be working alone.
Community + consistency
…but no coaching
= following the crowd, but lacking your own goals
You can learn a lot from a professional peer community, and with a consistent strategy, you can also apply what you’ve learned. Unfortunately, without the right mentors, you will inevitably end up following the crowd and going with the flow. This means you’ll effectively lack your own goals, which should instead be tailored uniquely to the business you work for.
It is hard to maintain consistency if you’re relying only on a peer community. However, mentors give you a crucial point of reference that can help you distill your thoughts and ideas into plans of action. In other words, with the help of your mentors, you take what you’ve learned from your community and extract from those insights the individual objectives that matter most to you and your team.
How Tenbound can help
Tenbound takes the all-in-one approach to create success by offering:
Coaching – certified Tenbound coaches
Community – pre-screened peer community at tenboundplus.com
Consistency – a proven Revenue Alignment process; The Tenbound Way
Accelerate your Revenue Alignment program by joining today.
During a recent engagement on the Sales Development podcast, David Dulany from Tenbound and Kyle Coleman from Clari dove into the tenants behind driving Revenue Alignment through Sales Development.
Throughout the conversation, the duo unveiled the key forces that empower leading organizations to accelerate sales and revenue growth.
1. Cross-Departmental Coordination
In the same way that individuals are at risk of focusing exclusively on their unique KPIs (key performance indicators), departments can lose sight of their shared organizational purpose.
When departments come together to understand the relationships that connect Sales Development, marketing, customer service, and beyond, they are in a better position to pursue their revenue-driving activities.
With reinforcement over time, these cross-departmental contributors begin speaking apples-to-apples, tracking their efforts as a revenue team while understanding the importance of each piece of the pie.
Once cross-departmental contributions are understood, team members can strengthen their value even further by looking down the funnel.
2. Looking Down the Funnel
From Kyle’s first sales-oriented position as a financial advisor at Edward Jones to his current role as the VP of Growth at Clari, the ability to look beyond immediate KPIs has been key to making an organization-wide revenue impact.
For example, a marketing team might be tempted to focus solely on lead generation numbers while a customer success team might base their own success exclusively on customer satisfaction metrics. Instead, what if each team member bought into the system as a whole?
In turn, teams would be in a better position to support the entire company as opposed to their unique subset. This means asking the right questions, such as:
Are the leads that I’m generating converting down the funnel?
How will existing customers or clients translate into future revenue?
What day-to-day processes are most helpful to close deals?
Which content items attract the prospects who are most likely to convert?
Do I understand exactly how my actions are driving revenue?
Ultimately, each action has a direct or indirect impact on an organization’s most important goal: revenue generation. When teams understand the impact their efforts are yielding, the company as a whole is in a better position to make sound decisions and achieve overarching objectives.
3. Onboarding Unique Perspectives
Departments with uniform backgrounds yield uniform thinking. Instead of challenging the status quo on their Sales Development team, these individuals reach conventional solutions that are ineffective in the face of unconventional challenges.
By bringing together a myriad of perspectives, encouraging team-wide collaboration, and building a culture centered on experimentation and flexibility, organizations are in a better position to unveil an optimized strategy that maximizes revenue.
In turn, organizations can bridge the gap between lead generation and actualized revenue, developing agile approaches that are current with the ever-changing global economy.
Interested in Learning More?
We wish you the best of luck with your Sales Development and revenue alignment efforts and invite you to tune into the Sales Development podcast for insider perspectives from leading industry experts.
For key information, updates, and insights, be sure to visit Tenbound and Clari today!
Thank you for reading!
In the current ever changing market, it is common for hiring managers to feel dissatisfied with the candidate pool for open SDR roles on their team.
Having a solid process in place is the key to ensuring you have the best possible candidates to bring on your team.
Here are 5 ways to improve your SDR hiring process, and ensure that it is working for you:
Determine your timeline.
With a clear outline and understanding of your goals, you can then work at a pace that will meet your hiring needs. Need 4 reps within 60 days? The time to start interviewing is approximately 30 days before your desired start date for a 1-2 week long interview process. Reset your expectations, yes you can hire fast when you have the candidates. It’s the procurement piece that will require more time especially with multiple companies competing for the same talent.
Create a candidate scorecard
Are you comparing apples to apples when it comes to interviews? The foolproof way to ensure that you are remembering interviews correctly and assessing candidates on the same qualities and characteristics is to create a candidate scorecard. By comparing candidates equally, you can see where they rank on your scale. Just because someone is charming or confident does not mean that they are the best person for a Sales Development role.
Streamline your process
An average hiring process should take no longer than 2 weeks time. Candidates drop off, lose interest, or assume you are not enthusiastic about them for processes that take longer than this. A solid interview process should be between 3-4 rounds to include the critical stakeholders and make an informed decision about a candidate.
Create a simple project or assignment as part of the process
Assign a project with a deadline. Not only are you testing for skill level, you are testing for the soft skills necessary to be successful in the role. How well does a candidate handle deadlines? Do they ask clarifying questions? Can they perform the tasks necessary to be successful in the role? A short project is a great way to find out!
Do not hesitate when you find a strong candidate
The biggest mistake in the hiring process is hiring managers being unwilling to pull the trigger on solid candidates “ just to see what else is out there”. The current start of today’s hiring market gives you zero opportunity to wait on strong candidates. If you interview someone who earns incredible marks on your scorecard DO NOT WAIT! There is a very strong likelihood that they are also interviewing with other companies and you can miss out on the right candidate.
Regardless of the quantity of reps you are hiring for, it can be said that one great hire is worth their weight in gold (or revenue!). By simplifying your process, creating safeguards to keep you on track, and keeping your goals in sight, you are sure to hire great reps for your team.
Alexis Scott is the Manager of Employer Partnerships for Aspireship. She is passionate about supporting sales leaders and job seekers with hiring, career transitions and upskilling. In her downtime, she can be found volunteering to help veterans career transition through Hire Heroes USA and traveling as much as she possibly can with her family.
Scaling an Enterprise SaaS Entering Hypergrowth
People.ai is a leading revenue intelligence platform that helps customer-facing teams at enterprise companies capture sales activity to unlock growth.
After acquiring a new slate of customers and bringing on experienced marketing leadership, People.ai achieved triple-digit growth in 2020. But with meteoric growth comes challenges.
People.ai’s VP of Growth Marketing Joe Lee summarized the challenge ahead as he saw it:
“We needed to change from ‘do whatever it takes’ customer acquisition tactics to thinking about laying the foundations for scale... I realized improving Sales Development would be the longest lever I had to do this.”
Click here to download full case study
Dealing with these same challenges? Set up a call with Tenbound today to discuss your Sales Development program. Click here
Can you define the SDR sweet spot? The perfect combination of skills and mindset to take your results to the next level?
How valuable would that be... More appointments, more pipeline, more sales. Faster promotion to AE or wherever you want to go within the company.
At Tenbound, we’ve given this a lot of thought and developed a simple diagram for SDR success.
While this is simple, like anything else, it’s not easy.
But with hard work and determination, anyone can get there.
We call it the Amazing SDR Trifecta.
The Categories of The Amazing SDR
As a Sales Development Representative, you’ll need to draw upon three broad categories to generate quality leads, blow out your quota and get promoted:
Industry and Persona Knowledge
Prospecting and Sales Skills
Gritty and Entrepreneurial Mindset
You obviously need each one, but it’s where they overlap that things get interesting. Just one is not enough. You might see some success with a combination of any two.
But this is the SDR Trifecta. We’re aiming for the intersection of all three in the middle.
That’s the sweet spot that creates the Amazing SDR.
Industry and Persona Knowledge
This refers to your ability to a) speak intelligently about the various industries — both broad and niche — that your solution is targeting, and b) understand the specific pain points and struggles of the individuals within it.
You’ll be speaking to experts within their industries, and you need to demonstrate that you know it and them.
Otherwise, why would they trust you and your offer?
Prospecting and Sales Skills
Ultimately, your job is to sell them on you and your solution, even though you won’t actually be closing the deal.
That requires sales soft skills like persuasion, painting a mental picture, asking the right kind of questions, removing resistance and friction, basic communication abilities, and more.
Without them, you’re unable to adequately qualify leads for the account executives on the sales team, and the system breaks down.
Gritty and Entrepreneurial Mindset
Sales development is not an easy job. That’s the harsh reality. You’re cold-calling individuals who in most cases do not want to be cold-called. They don’t know you or your product.
That’s a tough sell. Literally.
Have you got the mindset and mental fortitude to push through that? Can you think outside the proverbial box to find new approaches and techniques when the old ones fail?
When 1 + 1 = 0
This is clearly a situation where ‘two out of three ain’t bad’ doesn’t apply. In fact, you might as well have none of them if you don’t have all three of them.
Industry/Persona Knowledge and Prospecting/Sales Skills? You may see some sporadic success, but it’s not going to be consistent, and if things get challenging, you lack the determination to power through.
Prospecting/Sales Skills with Gritty and Entrepreneurial Mindset? You’ve got the know-how and drive to get your foot in the door, but lack credibility without being able to discuss the industry and individual pain points. You’re spraying and praying.
Gritty and Entrepreneurial Mindset with Industry/Persona Knowledge? You’re working hard, finding creative solutions, but not seeing any results (i.e. sales-qualified leads) because you can’t close the “sale” for the appointment.
You’ve got to develop and hone all three for supercharged results day in, day out.
Find and stay in that sweet spot.
As a manager, how can you enable this trifecta through recruiting, hiring, training and coaching? It may be time to rethink your program. Call Tenbound today to discuss how we can help.
The companies with the largest SDR totals are Salesforce (2,406), Dell (2,170), Oracle (1,860), and IBM (1,720). Sources below. Company
Microsoft + Linkedin
Why Sales Development?
Companies that hire Sales Development teams convert 40% leads more than companies with quota-carrying reps that convert only 5% of leads.
To target more enterprise customers, outbound prospecting is essential to a company's pipeline building strategy.
50% of software companies with sales under $25 million have at least one SDR per sales representative; over $25 million, the ratio is 1 SDR for every 2 sales reps.
The types of companies and/or industries that hire Sales Development Representatives are enterprise software and network solutions, internet, computer hardware, and software, IT services, technology, telecommunications/communications, human resources, and payroll technology, financial services, electric (mechanical engineering),and biometrics.
As of May 20, 2021, the average annual pay for an SDR in the U.S. is $49,537 per year.
Virginia, Massachusetts, California, Texas and Washington D.C. are among the highest paying states for Sales Development Representatives (SDRs).
The following cities are paying the highest salaries for Sales Development Representatives (SDR): Santa Clara/San Francisco, California and Austin, Texas.
An SDR salary is a major investment to a business after factoring in commission, infrastructure, taxes, benefits, perks, and tech subscriptions, this role will cost a company on average $6,400 per month- and the average tenure for the role is only 14.2 months.
Top performing SDRs spend 22% more time on external interactions than low-performers.
76% of business leaders think remote sales interactions are more effective than in-person engagements when prospecting for new customers.
For this research on Sales Development teams in the U.S., we leveraged the most reputable sources of information that were available in the public domain, including Gartner, McKinsey, Zippia, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, Macrotrends, LinkedIn, Forbes, Autoklose, and Hire Assemble.
The Tenbound Virtual Conference June 23rd 2021
The Tenbound Sales Development Conference is back for the Summer session with a laser focus on SDR/BDR prospecting, plays and pipeline. Free registration is here.
The subject matter will be focused on tactical applications SDR/BDRs can use today, with the top practitioners and thought leaders in the space including Becc Holland, James Buckley, Nikki Ivey, Richard Harris, Scott Leese, Jeremey Donovan, Liz Gaherty, Dan Wardle, Ellen Stafford, Julianne Thompson, David Dulany, Katie Pawlica, Shawn Finder and many more.
This is an awesome opportunity not only to learn from these top minds in Sales Development but also to network with other Sales and Marketing professionals on the conference website, Airmeet. In this interactive setting, you can meet the other conference attendees, sponsors and speakers in a virtual environment.
This is a can't-miss event for the summer to get you through the heavy pipeline season coming up. You’ll walk out with a list of new tactics to try and friends you can help support throughout the year. Jump in today!
Book Launch: The Sales Development Framework by David Dulany and Kyle Vamvouris
Tenbound CEO David Dulany and Vouris CEO Kyle Vamvouris have taken The Tenbound Way Sales Development process and put it into the easy to read and implement book: The Sales Development Framework How to Build and Scale a Highly Productive Sales Development Program.
Over the course of the chapters in a step-by-step format on Culture, Leadership, Hiring, Onboarding, Training, Coaching, Analysis, Results and Reputation, each dives deeply into the fundamental building blocks of a high-performance SDR Team. The book also includes a useful Sales Development Market Map quadrant and a glossary of terms. The book is now available on Amazon and the Tenbound website.
New! Online Learning SDR and Sales Dev Manager Training Courses
Over the last five years, Tenbound has delivered hundreds of SDR and SDR Manager training classes, both in person and on Zoom, however, scheduling and travel were always an issue for participants. So Tenbound put it into an online self-paced version that SDRs and SDR Managers can take at any time from the convenience of their own computer. Created with an interactive mix of videos, downloads, chat functionality, community and achievement badges, participants get the same knowledge and expertise as the in-person training programs, without all the hassles. Register directly for the courses here: Sales Development Rep (SDR) and SDR Manager.
Sales Development Benchmark Research Survey Report Launch
Tenbound, in conjunction with RevOps2, surveyed over 200 high-level Sales Development leaders in the early part of 2021 to establish the benchmarks for high-performance Sales Development programs today in our post-pandemic world.
Now, Sales Development Leaders can calibrate against the top performers in our industry to see where they stack up with the best-in-class programs they are doing today. Make sure you have all the latest research before going into the next quarter. The survey report is available for free download in our Research Center.
Market Map V7 / Sales Development Directory
Tenbound has recently released Version 7 of our Sales Development Market Map, which gives you a high-level overview of the different tools and services that are available to help support your Sales Development program.
Each aspect of that support is divided into quadrants, such as Data, Sales Engagement Platforms, Sales Development Training Courses and Conversational Marketing. Viewers can then double click on the Market Map to access the Sales Development Buyer Directory, which includes all the companies on the Market Map and allows you to investigate further companies that you're interested in.
Tools and service providers can then showcase their products by upgrading their Directory page to enhance profile giving buyers a more in-depth look at the capabilities of their tools or service.
Building Your Go-To-Market Team Around Your Customer’s Journey
Is this the end of the Sales Funnel, and rise of the Customer Journey Circle?
Why do some businesses have consistent success with Go-To-Market (GTM) team alignment when others fail - sometimes having similar products or services?
Most SaaS companies have their Go-To-Market teams set up focused on a model based in siloes. Marketing -> SDR -> Sales -> Customer Success.
Problem is, customers don’t care about the structure of your company.
They care about products or services that solve problems, offer value, and make their life better in some way. Not about how you set up your process.
You know the feeling: you start exploring a SaaS solution. You fill in a form or set up a free trial. An SDR calls you, asks a bunch of questions. You feel like you’re being interrogated. Then you have to take another call with an AE, who was late for the call and asks all the same questions. Then you have to take another call with a Solutions person, who actually knows what they're talking about but ends up asking all the same questions again.
At this point…. you tuned out. They want to set up more meetings but at this point you’re over it.
They forgot the main impetus for you reaching out in the first place: to solve a problem.
When a business looks at a customer through a self-focused lens, the interaction feels more like they're being forced into your process, versus receiving the value they need from you.
Without a deep understanding of the customer journey, it’s difficult to align to provide the value customers expect and to provide a seamless experience.
They made the experience all about them and not you and your problem.
The way you need to structure your GTM team is not about you, it’s about the customer.
A Customer Journey Map Can Help You See the Bigger PictureHow do you avoid this and get better results. Where do you start in mapping the journey, and aligning your GTM team to support it?
That effort starts by sketching out a timeline or map that shows each stage of the customer’s experience.
Any time a consumer encounters your brand will add a step to the journey. These touchpoints include any interaction with your company, ranging from how they see you on social media to your website. Additional touch points might include online reviews, peer community interactions, your sales process, and your email marketing messages.
What are they doing at each step - from identifying a problem, to interacting with you, to becoming a customer, to staying a customer and expanding their relationship? What feeling do you want them to have in the journey?
Mapping Your GTM Team to the Customer JourneyAfter you’ve mapped out the customer journey, build your GTM team around it in a circle, versus a funnel or vertical diagram. Hubspot has a version of this here, they call the The Flywheel Model.
Your goal now is to expand the size of the circle. The more you sell, the bigger the circle becomes.
Start with your brand promise- how do we want people to feel about their experience working with us? Build your brand marketing programs around that. Measure success based on the seamless experience of brand from discovery, to interaction (SDR) and hand-off to Sales/Success.
Once customers are raving fans, Success and Marketing then work together to increase that loyalty and create more leads.
Around and around it goes. Ever expanding, always with the customer in the middle. Not your process or your system, the customer.
The better you are each stage of the circle, the larger it expands.
[caption id="attachment_114844" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The GTM Organization[/caption]If your GTM team is still contained in individual units or struggling to communicate with one another to discover the customer journey, Tenbound can help with our Alignment workshop.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
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