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Founder’s Perspective: The Importance Of Investing In Your Sales Development Team

4 min read
Updated Aug. 4, 2021
Published Mar. 8, 2016

We’re here at Rainmaker 2016 and we’re live blogging the keynotes, panels, and breakout sessions throughout the event. This morning we heard from Kyle Porter and the Salesloft family, and then 3 of the industry’s top thought-leaders as Craig Rosenberg, Jacco van der Kooij, and John Barrows shared their opinions on the modern sales model.

The breakout sessions are well underway, and we’re kicking of the third session of the day with the founders of 3 Sales Development Cloud partners, Crystal, Sigstr, and Datanyze. These providers are on the fast-track to hypergrowth in the SaaS sales industry, powering personalization and data at scale.

This founders-only panel provides attendees with unchartered and never-heard-before experience in the world of sales development, and how it can be leveraged as an integral part of a revenue generating machine.

Drew D’Agostino is the founder & CEO of Crystal, which helps professionals communicate more effectively with personality data. He previously co-founded and served as CTO of, an event management software company in Boston.

Dan Hanrahan has spent over a decade starting, leading and growing technology businesses. His latest business, Sigstr, gives companies central control of branding and marketing in each employee’s email signature. Previously he led go-to-market teams at iGoDigital and ExactTarget.

Ben Sardella is the co-founder and CRO at Datanyze, an all-in-one sales intelligence platform that helps companies find and reach prospects with the right message at the right time. Ben began his 16-year sales career as the first sales rep at NetSuite and, prior to co-founding Datanyze, served as VP of Sales at Kissmetrics.

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What makes these companies unique to the sales development workflow?

When it comes to Sigstr and Crystal, it’s email. The average employee sends out 10,000 emails a year. By incorporating personalization tactics like signature email marketing and hyper-personalization intuition, SDRs are able to take that level of email-customization within their cadence to an entirely new level.

And when it comes to data, integrators like Datanyze are able to work directly within the rep’s single pane of glass, allowing to hit both quality and quantity in their prospecting process.

What all of this boils down to on an SDR level is…

How am I going to scale and hit quota?

There’s a balance, but effectiveness is key. When you focus too much on volume, you’re going to lose personalization. According to Datanyze, a great way to scale is to segment. Once you’ve identified your market, break them down into mini-segmentations, and then further down into buckets, and at that point, you create personalized email templates based on the furthest level of segmentation that you can zero in on.

How exactly does content play into the sales development process?

A common theme in that personalization is content. This is where marketing and sales development have the opportunity to work together to create relevant, meaningful, and shareable content. At Sigstr, the Content Marketing Specialist takes cues from the SDRs to build a content mine for their emails, which ultimately trickles down to prospects and buyers. It’s a chain effect that requires alignment and teamwork, along with consistent quality.

What does the growth of a Sales Development Rep look like within a startup?

Historically, SDR roles lead directly into sales and the Account Executive role, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Every hire is critical in the startup world, and it really matters who you hire. Many of the Sigstr SDRs have gone into Client Success and Marketing, because they hire on a general foundational of overall skill and adaptability.

What is the Sales Development Cloud and how does it play into the SDR process?

These three founders represent just a few of the newest members of the Sales Development Cloud: an ecosystem for technology providers within the sales development stack to integrate within one single workflow. This is revolutionary for the Sales Development Rep, because no longer is the process disjointed, but it’s consistent across the board.

Through data providers like Datanyze, email signature creators like Sigstr, and personalization gurus like Crystal, the SDR is one step closer to a hyper-customized process that’s streamlined, efficient, and sincere.

Join us in Atlanta from March 11-13, 2019 for Rainmaker 2019!

Rainmaker 2019