Sr. Director of Sales Development at Birst and author of Economical Growth: 10x w/ Enterprise Account-Based Sales Development Chris Pham is joining us on the SalesLoft blog as part one of a five part series on trends in sales development.

By early 2013, the flood of venture capital that receded with the Great Recession had come roaring back into Silicon Valley and – more specifically – to San Francisco itself. One of the companies that benefited from the timing was a company called MuleSoft – valued at $400M. MuleSoft faced a familiar problem – they had a solid product and were looking to disrupt legacy vendors by moving up-market to the enterprise.

We’ve seen this movie before, most notably Salesforce’s domination of Siebel and Workday’s rise against PeopleSoft. Regardless of the exact circumstance, when you need to unseat a competitor, you need to provide your salespeople with a foothold strong enough to displace old relationships, long lunches and entrenched interests.

To create these opportunities, my team and I developed a scalable Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) model.

When I was hired to build the Sales Development organization, MuleSoft had just 100 employees and 5 SDRs (based in London and San Francisco). In the next three years, SDRs would expand to Atlanta, Singapore, Sydney and Buenos Aires — totaling to over 60 individual contributors and 8 managers covering 11 languages in 6 cities. The company, in total, would grow to over 600.

But more than simple growth, SDRs at MuleSoft produced results. Sales Development was the only source of business that the company could consistently count on. Our group sourced the majority of the company’s revenue, while doubling that each year for three consecutive years. Additionally, we promoted 20+ SDRs into positions in management, marketing, customer success, operations and field sales.

In less than 3 years, we increased the pipeline by 10x, creating $350M+ of pipe which predictably turned into revenue at an industry-leading rate.

In 2015, MuleSoft made the jump – the company booked over $100M of revenue. MuleSoft was on Fortune’s Unicorn List – valued at over $1.5Bn – and swollen to over 900 customers including global brands AT&T, Unilever, Siemens, Verizon and Mastercard. The fuel for the growth behind that customer base and valuation, the foundation and core, was Sales Development.

Greg Schott, MuleSoft’s CEO, stands behind Sales Development as the cornerstone to his billion-dollar business,

[SDRs] have been the engine room for the company…we would not be where we are today without the team.”

I am thankful to be featured here as a guest author on SalesLoft’s blog, and look forward to pushing the limits of Sales Development with you over the coming weeks.

We’ll be exploring topics like the professionalization of Sales Development, executing ABSD in practice, and recruiting a top-notch SDR team. My mission is to make you wildly successful with Sales Development. Together, let’s build a community to lift Sales Development from the shadows into the light of day.

For a more comprehensive look into SalesLoft’s internal SDR process, download the second section of our newest playbook trilogy, The Sales Development Playbook: Executing. In this section, we share the ins and outs of efficiently using SalesLoft to call and email prospects. Download our free white paper and optimize your sales efforts to start crushing your sales development goals today.

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