This article originally appeared on the SalesForLife blog Sept 25th, 2017 as "How 900 Companies build and execute successful Sales Development Teams" by Julia Manoukian
Sales development is one of the more misunderstood roles in sales.
Many people debate the definition of sales development while others argue which department it should report into or how much sales development reps should be compensated.
Either way, the sales development role is here to stay. In an effort to understand the sales development function and its role in the sales process, InsideSales.com Labs led a study in partnership with Tenbound, SalesForLife, BridgeGroup, Drift, Datanyze, and OneMob.
Next week, we’ll be hosting the first ever conference 100% focused and dedicated to Sales Development, at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. September 21st.
When I originally thought up this conference, I had no idea what the response would be.
Was I the only one who thought it was time to start treating Sales Development with the respect it deserves in 2017? Was I the only one who thought this topic was important enough to warrant an entire conference dedicated to it?
Collectively, can we push this practice forward a few steps?
Well my fears have been totally allayed as the response has exceeded even my wildest estimations.
The hunger in the Sales Development world for fresh knowledge, leadership, networks, and research has been overwhelming, and even though the conference hasn’t happened yet, I already consider it a success.
This article first appeared on the Sales Development Management Newsletter
Anyone who listens to the Sales Development Podcast knows I’m passionate about getting the Sales Development function the respect it deserves within organizations.
Yet, in many companies (not yours, of course) the SDR team is often seen as an “entry level” job that you want to exit out of as quickly as possible, sometimes not really worth investing in or focusing on, since it’s considered transitory.
Churn & burn, smile & dial, hire & fire, go up or get out. The attitude from the top becomes for an SDR, “well, I’ll do this for a year and then go get the big money…”
I think that whole thought process is totally broken. On both sides.
It’s 2017. The buyers have changed. The technology has changed. Performance expectations have gone way, way up. The result of all this old school thinking becomes robotic spamming, burnt-out SDRs, high SDR attrition, annoyed prospects, disappointed executives. Public shamings on Linkedin… usually by Sales and Marketing execs, no less!
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.
Episode 17 Brian Walton
In this episode, David shares the mic with Brian Walton, Sales Development Director at LinkedIn. Listen as Brian walks us through his journey from starting off on the talent solutions team of LinkedIn to becoming the Sales Development Director. He has managed and reorganized the sales development teams of Latin America into segments so that each team can focus on their target people and maximize their efficiency. Tune in as Brian discusses the importance of training your sales reps and what he’s fired up about, today, in his work at LinkedIn.
3 Key Points:
1. Managers and directors: spend time with your sales reps, educating them on the fundamentals of how business leaders think.
2. Sales reps: if your point of contact is a VP of sales, go to your own company’s VP of sales—study and learn from them so that you can be better equipped for that meeting or call.
3. At the end of the day, you are just two people connecting and and that point of connection is what people appreciate and respect.
TOPO’s research has shown that 100% of high-growth organizations have Sales Development organizations. We know for most businesses it's critical have a team consistently prospecting and following up on leads to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Sales Development can drive quality pipeline for your Sales team, and provide a Talent pipeline to build the future of your company.
We also know a key to a successful program is strong leadership. The right leader can make or break a Sales Development team. Sales Development is expensive; it involves people, processes and technology, and it needs to pay off fast. We're pouring thousands into the program each month. We know if we don't have the right leader in place, the whole thing goes off the rails.
But how do we treat the leadership function in Sales Development? From what I've seen, two ways. One, find a high performing SDR and promote her to SDR Manager. Or, find someone from a big name company who raised up the ranks in a few years and bring them in to run the team. In both cases, there's little training, coaching or support given to the Manager. They're on their own.
Welcome Joe Payne to the show! Joe handles the Demand and Partnerships at LeadGenius, a lead generation company that takes marketing to the next level. Listen as Joe shares with David why he considers the old lead generation methods to be a waste of time and resources, the different ways LeadGenius works with their customers to maximize on their ad targeting and sales development, and why hiring a sales intern can be the first step to building a lead generation process for small companies.
3 Key Points:
1. Lead generation is more than just acquiring a list of names and email accounts—the opportunity to save time and narrow in on your targeting is KEY.
2. Your messages to prospects MUST translate into a valuable, personalized message, otherwise, it just becomes a noise.
3. Smaller companies can start building their lead generation processes and systems by utilizing the people that are available to them—sales interns are a great resource for this.
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