Sales development is hot these days. To get with the program, you had better be tech savvy. Sales Devs don’t just find contact info for leads and follow up, full intelligent processes and systems have been developed to complement traditional pipeline management. This field represents a new frontier of study, with competing strategies to get ahead in your market.
Being the new guy in sales development is tough. You might learn different strategies from different teachers, and if the sales leaders feel like sharing their experiences with you, there’s a chance to gain the upper hand. However, not every strategy is going to work, and no one but you can make you sell your best.
Define your workflow and goals around these two factors:
- Target Market
Your product will identify which tasks and mediums to start your sales development process with. Define your outreach platforms, sales collateral designs, and even the diction used in your collateral, all from the type of product you are trying to sell. Almost always, your product will also identify your target market.
Your target market has another important defining role in your sales development process. Your target market identifies which companies you have to reach out to, where they are, specific profiles of their decision makers, and the best time to reach out to these decision makers (This last one is often tied to where they are – you wouldn’t try to reach out to an east coast company at 4pm Pacific time). All this information paves the way for future innovation in both product and promotion; the two P’s of marketing basics.
Role of data in sales development
If you think applying modern technology to sales development only involves your phone and an email, you really need to catch up. We’re in the digital age, and technology isn’t only a part of sales development, it’s a core facet. Technology drives your sales process. Even if you consider yourself a light user, think what your clients do. How embarrassing would it be if your prospect asks “I don’t understand this feature of your product. Could you share your screen with me and walk me through it?” and you’re dead in the water, never having done that before.
Let’s break this down point by point:
- Data helps you find the best-selling patterns for your niche.
- Data helps you discover the best colors, design and language for your sales collateral.
- Data helps you identify, separate and focus on exact people and learn their contact details.
- Data defines the best mediums to reach out to your prospects. (i.e. social media, email prospecting, cold calling or even personal meetings if you’re providing a complex solution at departmental and organizational levels).
- Data defines the best times to reach out to profiles. If you’re into social selling, there are many services which recommend times to post content or reach out, when you and your content are most visible.
This isn’t the end. You can micro-manage the whole process if you have access to some of the best databases and communication technologies.
Being new to sales development, you should see emerging patterns in data and optimize your process with intelligent analytics specifically related to your outreach activities
Data means nothing without Analytics
Unfortunately, we’ve seen people boasting about data like they are sacred guardians of data of our universe. #BigData seems pretty popular to in tweets and social posts. The reality is very few people in marketing and sales have practical knowledge of data and how to use it to turn tables.
When it comes to sales, however, data is changing the game. Without data and analytics, a sales development rep has no idea to reach out to particular people. This leads to a waste of lots of precious time talking to dead (not literally) prospects. With proper sales data and analytics, output of every sales activity can be measured. From the ROI of your single email in terms of open rates to the engagement stats of your sales content, everything can be quantifiable. This should clear things up for sales reps as your sales development process accelerates in the right direction.