Sales Development: Are you sure you got it right?

Predictable Revenue has completely redesigned sales development process, an idea that is nearly 30 years old. Nearly 40% of SaaS companies, which survived used sales development. With the breakthrough of latest technologies in business domain, a clear understanding of sales development process is a must. However, as the idea is becoming so mainstream nowadays, it ends up adding confusion for a lot of sales managers.

Expectations are high but many times without a clear understanding of the objectives and roadmap. Sales development representatives also known as SDRs have a very distinct and specific function, and that is lead qualification.

Sales Development Representatives focus mainly on the very front phase of the sales process.

This means that SDRs are the ones who qualify leads, set appointments and demonstrations and that’s it. That’s the only role they are meant to perform and specialize in. Closing a deal is not a part of their regular duties. They are not the people who should be given telemarketing tasks. Their sole function is to prospect and hunt for the right leads, qualify them and pass them on to the sales closure professionals. These facts distinguishes the border line between an SDR and a sales account executive.

A sales manager must understand this distinction and should focus on optimizing the performance of each role within the sales process.


Sales Development

Sales Development Map

Having said that, there are a few important points to note when keeping achievable goals and designing realistic strategies to optimize your sales development team.

  1. Prospecting can be an expensive and time consuming process. You can come up with free prospecting resources and use them efficiently, but mostly, you require large data sets of contact details. You might require services to narrow down your search results to the ideal customer profile you have identified. This again depends on your niche and your objectives. You cannot keep your prospects list short. Why? Just review the points listed below. According to Vorsight:
    1. It takes nearly 12.73 dials on average to connect with a prospect on your list.
    2. It takes 22.5 dials to come across a prospect who is interested in a meaningful conversation. This rate even goes up to 30 dials, if the prospect you are trying to reach is part of a solicited division and is on the top of hierarchy there.
    3. And it requires at least 3 meaningful conversations to get a single appointment.
  2. These stats clearly show that you need a lot of carefully selected prospect data, which in turn requires a lot of time to gather. So in order to scale up the volume, you will continuously need to invest resources to make sure that you have enough prospects in your lists.sales development
  3. Remember that prospecting is the game of relativity and probabilities. The person who is interested enough to start a conversation will always have to see value and benefits in your offering. If your offering is does not relate to your prospect’s requirements, then you are reaching out to the wrong person.

You need to understand that if you do get in touch with an interested party, don’t waste time celebrating. Be sure to pass this lead to your deals closure department. As we said, it’s a game of probabilities as well. There is a chance that if you take a little delay, either the party might lose interest or any of your competitor might get in touch with them. So have a quick response policy to contact a qualified lead. Have a look at this graph developed by Leads360.

As sales development representative needs to have a specific set of skills, the same is the case with sales account executives. Sales managers have to invest in their teams’ training and coaching from accomplished and resourceful trainers. Investing in these two teams pays off with a higher lead to opportunity conversion that is achieved by an optimized performance of these two groups.

Sales Development teams and Deals Closing teams work hand in hand even being radically different from each other

Sales managers are the leaders. It is important for them to have a clear mindset and knowledge of the functions both of these teams to perform. It is a cut throat battle out there in the business world and your staff will look to you for motivation and guidance just like soldiers look at their officers. Be the leader not by instincts but by knowledge and experience.

Hasan considers Fileboard his second home and is working here as an inbound marketing expert. He has an academic background in traditional finance; however, his work experience from quite a long time revolves around startups, digital marketing and advertising.