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Every Important Execution Step In The Sales Development Process

4 min read
Oct. 1, 2014

Once the team members are hired and compensation is set, it’s time for your sales development team to execute.

Here is a step by step list of what you need to accomplish:

1. Plan Activity Process For Your Team

If you’re just getting started then these are going to be a shot in the dark to start, but it’s absolutely necessary that you set up a process so that you can test what works and what doesn’t.

We recommend that each member of a new SDR team reaches out to 40-50 new prospects each day, with a cadence of email and phone call follow-ups over a certain number of days.

One popular method is the 7×7 strategy. It matters less what the actual process is and more that you have one and stick to it. Over time, you’ll get the results you need to tweak this to your ideal situation.

2. Plan Goals For The Week, Month, and Quarter

Since each rep is contacting 50 people per day (about 250 per week), we recommend setting a goal of 20-40 meaningful interactions each week to start.

This puts you in the range of 12-20% meaningful interactions every week.

Take a stab at how many meaningful interactions it will take to set up a qualified appointment or demo. At Salesloft, this number hovers around 40%. So if we have 30 meaningful interactions in a week, we’ll set up roughly 12 qualified demos.

3. Determine Your Ideal Customer Profile

This means identifying characteristics of the following:

  • Company size
  • Company industry
  • Company region
  • Company technology landscape
  • Individual title
  • Pains, problems and challenges that make these companies interested in your product

The best way to determine these is to take an export from your CRM of the closed won opportunities, fill out the demographics, and rank them. Then pull out the ideal profile.

4. Build A List And Go Find Them!

You’ll want to avoid stale legacy data providers here.

Their information is just too noisy and inaccurate due to the every changing employee landscape. Look to Google, LinkedIn, Crunchbase, and other fresh (individually updated) sites help you out here.


We recommend building the first week’s list to start, but no more than that. Over time you might start building just the list for the next day. If you’re looking for the simplest way to extract the perfect LinkedIn profile, enrich with phone numbers and email address and sync with your CRM, you can do all that with our product, Salesloft Prospector.

Quick tips: act fast! The browser is your friend. Get good with social networks, boolean searches, and chrome extensions.

5. Get An Email Tool To Send Your Messages

We recommend one that has these 10 characteristics.

It should not only cut down on manual labor by having tracking features and templates, but should send 1-to-1 emails directly from your email, not a transactional server that will show up as spam.

6. Build Your Email Templates

Make sure they are short, sweet, to the point. Oh, and ask for referrals.

Don’t be afraid to ask great clients to share your product. It will not only provide a bridge as you reach out, but will help qualify them as a good fit.

You can find outlines for every email Salesloft sends in our recently released sales development playbook.

7. Build Out Your Conversational Script

As you begin to cold call prospects, you want to have scripted options for difference scenarios.

You need to know what to say when you get a prospect on the phone, reach a gate keeper, or go straight to voicemail. Plan out these scrips in your playbook, so that new reps have a jumping off point. Try introducing different strategies to see what works best in your phone and email conversations, like Jeff Hoffman’s “Why You, Why You Now,” strategy.

As reps grow more comfortable with the product and confident in themselves, they will be able to develop their own personality and own every conversation.

8. Start Sending!

Send out your first email on day one. Don’t expect a ton of responses immediately.

Sales development is a marathon not a sprint.

You’ll want to stick to your cadence and keep up with your day one emails, phone calls, and follow-up activities.

Doing all of this will allow you to maximize the conversion of prospects from strangers to qualified demos or appointments.