Back to Posts

Create a Talent Pipeline to Shape the Future of Your Sales Organization

6 min read
April 14, 2016

Last week Salesloft had the pleasure of partnering with TOPO at their first annual Summit. The summit took place at Pier 27 on The Embarcadero, a gorgeous cruise port that made for not only a practical space to host a sales organization conference, but a beautiful spot to overlook the San Francisco Bay.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 4.33.14 PM

The two days of networking, happy hours and over 30 sessions and workshops delivered world-class sales content in the form of 4 strategic tracks: Sales Leadership, Sales Development, Sales Technology and Sales Effectiveness.

As the Events Marketing Manager for Salesloft, I get the pleasure of supporting the Salesloft team in execution of industry events, but it’s rare when I get to actually sit in on a conference session. But being a TOPO event, I made it a point to make my way to the Sales Development track sessions to learn more about the industry from some of the best.

Of the sessions I was able to attend, two had an underlying theme that resonated with me: create a talent pipeline that will shape the future of your sales organization.

Maybe this hit home because I love Salesloft, and I want to see Salesloft humans succeed. Or maybe because I’m constantly blown away by the Sales Development industry as a whole, and how much potential there is in this space for learning and evolution. Either way – I was intrigued to hear the perspective of two major sales development players.

First, NetSuite’s Business Development Director Julie Drimel shared her strategy behind scaling a global Sales Development team, as she oversees NetSuite’s Global Business Development department of over 150+ BDRs. Then, Mulesoft’s Head of Account Development Steven Broudy spoke on the new Sales Development paradigm, and how sales development reps can learn to grow into, what he’s calling, “Demand Gen Consultants.”

Each stressed the importance of hiring, SDR leadership and Transition Training — preparing the SDR for the next internal move — to authentically build your SDR team with the future of your company in mind.

This concept seems simple and sweet on paper, but in reality, it can be quite the beast. We all know the struggle: the SDR role can be high turnover, and it requires a certain type of individual with intense hustle. But as recent history has shown, the role is proving to be a major stepping stone in the SDR’s career. And with intentional leadership, smart Sales Development tools and the appropriate training environment, the role also has the potential to serve as the future of a sales organization.

The best part is, an SDR can thrive in the Sales Development role while simultaneously prepping for the next internal move. Be it a move to Management, AE, CSM, Product, Marketing, etc… it’s not the exact move that matters today, but the preparation and dedication to the growth. The highest potential reps are the ones willing to be molded and learn.

Julie spoke about her “We Must” mentality, which simply means: leave your ego at the door. The reason “We Must” do XYZ is because it’s in the best interest of the business. Hire people that would support this wholeheartedly — people that are passionate about the sales organization and care about the direction of the business. And it all comes from the top down, encouraging the right direction of your SDR team, and in turn encouraging the intended direction of the sales organization.

She then spoke on the SDR presence in the office, and the importance of increasing company morale and culture. As someone who oversees NetSuite BDR teams worldwide, Julie’s noticed a trend in the branches with a solid BDR presence in office: they’re always leading with company culture. A high-morale, culturally consistent Sales Development team has the ability to set the framework for the image of your sales organization — now and in the future.

Next up was Brody’s session, which brought a newfound awareness to the importance of the SDR role as it relates to leadership. With a new look at the SDR as a consultant, rather than an individual who is responsible for owning a number, he renamed them “Demand Generation Consultants.”

steventopo

A company can acquire these kinds of reps by seeking out natural leaders, individuals who you can see a long term future in the company. Through this consultant mentality, Broudy stressed the importance of prepping your SDRs with the ammo to best impact their prospects’ businesses by advising prospects on what they need, coming to a mutual agreement, and then passing the agreed upon information onto the AE. (In this new found Account Based world [Link], this makes more sense than ever!)

He reminded us that the SDR is the keeper of the information. They’re the ones doing the research and learning about what the prospects needs. This is crucial to not only the AE and the sales cycle, but to the entire company and direction of the product. And it all comes back to building, fueling and maintaining the next generation of leaders — with the future of your business in mind.

Sales Development is booming, and more importantly, it’s needed at the moment. It seems we’ve got individuals among us, like Julie and Steven, who are doing it right! And they were just two among the many sales leaders from high growth companies in attendance at TOPO. Let’s learn from them (and with them) to make what we’ve got today better tomorrow and days to come.

If you care about your business and the direction of it’s future – give your Sales Development team the leadership, tools and appropriate environment to thrive.

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.

Playbook_2