Sales development teams are infantry for your revenue team. They’re in the trenches, cold calling leads, responding to inbounds and identifying who is actually qualified for your offering.
But that’s not all they do.
They’re also the ambassadors that bridge the gap between sales and marketing by engaging marketing’s leads and filtering out the ones that should actually reach your sales team. Their process is one of the most important an organization can have- and one that many businesses are lacking.
They’re specialized and they’re invaluable. Our friends at Topo recently shared some great thoughts about just how impactful they can be in their post, The Sales Development Team: A Proven Framework for Success. It’s a must read.
In fact, we read it three times and mined out the top 5 reasons you can’t live without a sales development team:
1. Connecting Takes Time & Focus
Cold calls and emails take time and energy. Executives often don’t answer. They seem to be uninterested, or simply don’t have the time in their schedule to digest your pitch.
Vorsight studied the number of dials it takes to connect, to get a conversation, and the number of conversations it takes to get an appointment. They found
It’s simply not efficient to bog down your quota carrying reps with hours of conversations, cold calls, and emails with pre-qualified candidates.
2. Lead Follow Up Requires a Quick Response
When you’re trying to close deals, you may overlook an inbound lead. But if you’re a sales development rep, you’re more readily available for them. Take a look at these numbers from Velocify. Even after a 30 minute lapse in response time, your improvement on lead conversion rate can drop to 329%.
A sales development team focuses directly on these interim touches, figuring out whether or not the lead is worth passing on to closers. The specialization creates more efficiency in the space between marketing and sales.
3. Converting Leads to Opportunities Takes a Repetitive Process
Topo did a study using two competitive clients selling to the same type of buyers. The companies with sales development teams converted leads 35% better than the teams without them (at a rate of 40% conversion to a meager 5%). The rhythm behind qualifying leads is totally different than the process of closing business. Mixing the two will slow them both down.
4. They Align Sales and Marketing
Sales complain that marketing passes them bad leads. Marketing complains that sales don’t follow up on their leads.
Sales development fills this gap.
They establish how marketing leads are fit by reaching out. Once they determine how engaged a buyer is, they’ll be able to pass the great leads off to sales. Think about it like a screening process that filters out the bad leads. This helps streamline the sales and marketing engine because sales won’t get bad leads and marketing will see their leads followed up on.
The big thing is sales development are time savers for sales reps.
Since you know the majority of your leads won’t become paid users of your product, your sales development team filters out the bad part (say 70%) and leaves your sales team to focus their time and effort capitalizing on the golden 30%.
5. It Leads to More Revenue
Sales and account reps are an expensive commodity.
You don’t pay them to pursue bad opportunities, you pay them to close deals. When they’re already spending their days negotiating, following up on previous opportunities, giving demos, and scheduling future meetings, it’s a waste of time for them to work on prospecting for leads that aren’t going anywhere.
Sales development alleviates this worry, by passing along qualified leads who are interested in your business. It’s now a rep’s job to close the deal.
Marketo’s research targeted just this, revealing that sales development can free up time, which helps reps in the following ways:
With a growing sales team, sales development is a must. Having a team specialized in reaching out to leads will help your business convert more deals and grow revenue.
Thanks to the team at TOPO for inspiring this post. Let us know your thoughts on the importance of a sales development team in the comments below.