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7 Biggest Catalysts of Sales Development Success

4 min read
May. 11, 2015

There’s a major shift in how the sales process works today.

While the traditional sales rep focused on all aspects of the sales process, today’s system involves a more efficient method where sales professionals specialize their roles.

Now, the modern sales process includes a sales development rep who’s sole job is to focus on the front end of the sales process (prospecting, qualifying leads, booking demos) while account executives focus exclusively on demoing and closing deals.

By separating the two functions, studies have shown that the closing rate can increase by at least 7%.

If you’re looking to resuscitate your company’s dying sales, then it’s time to take the new sales process seriously.

While there are plenty of resources that show you how to build a conventional team of sales closers, there aren’t many resources available that show you the key to unlocking the modern sales system – which is to architect a rock solid sales development team.

On Thursday, however, our Head of Product, Sean Kester, shared the secrets of the #SalesDevSystem he developed and implemented to help build and scale our own sales development team from scratch.

In the recap of the RainToday webinar below, you’ll get a peak into the process and strategies he used to help you create your own sales development team and drive increased performance with predictable results.

Let’s check out the seven biggest catalysts of sales development success:

1) Service Level Agreement

#SalesDevelopment is the bridge between marketing and sales.

It’s important to determine rules, guidelines, and expectations by establishing a “code of conduct” through an interdepartmental Service Level Agreement (SLA).

However, the SLA between SDR & Sales teams is one of the most important things that never happens.

A Service Level Agreement between sales and sales development teams is essential because it defines the fundamentals of:

  • Lead Qualification
  • Lead Passing
  • Lead Ownership
  • Calendar Invites
  • Marketing Demos in CRM and SDR Compensation
  • Inter-Team Trust and Respect

Sean and our Director of Sales, Anthony Zhang, put together our own Service Level Agreement between our Sales Development and Sales teams that you can use as a template for your own company here.

Salesloft Service Level Agreement

2) Playbook

To be successful in #SalesDevelopment, you need to define the specifics for your team.

When a new SDR joins, you need to be able to fill them in quickly on the best practices for building accurate prospect lists, cold calling, and emailing.

This is where a playbook comes in handy for the agile growth of your sales development team.

Our own playbook that we hand every new rep on their first day outlines:

Optimize your company’s sales efforts by using our Top Secret Sales Development Playbook as a guide to create and implement your own sales development team today.


3) Tools

“Welcome to the Era of the #Sales Stack.” – @MaxAlts

You need to leverage and take advantage of the tools and technology of today’s sales stack.

Software, phone systems, email acceleration tools, and social are essential for SDR teams.

Above all else though, you must use an application of record!

4) Motivation

#SalesDevelopment deserves a seat at the executive table.

Prioritize the role of sales development within your company.

At Salesloft, we glorify the SDR role through a career matrix, perks, and tenure:

SDR Career Matrix

Define a set career path of advancement and let them know that all SDR promotions are based on outcomes they can control.

5) Coaching

“Coaching is the greatest decision I made that led to our SDR team’s early success.” – @TheSeanKester

Weekly one-on-one meetings with team members is a necessity; We found that going from no coaching to weekly coaching increases motivation.

For coaching to work best, you need to set metrics for your SDRs that are measurable, trackable, and scalable.

These metrics need to define “what,” and ask questions to define “why.”

6) Culture

“Our company’s core values are Positive, Supportive, and Self-starting.”

On the importance of culture in the workplace, Sean quoted Pardot co-founder, David Cummings:

7) Compensation

Test and find the best compensation plan for your SDR team.

Pay your sales development reps based on metrics that are applicable to them (demos completed), and be completely transparent with your new SDR hires when discussing their compensation plans.

For those of you who missed Sean’s RainToday webinar, there’s still time to watch the full presentation, download the MP3 recording of the event and a PDF of the presentation slides, and access the special offers. Register here to get your materials today!