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The Sales Development Playbook That Bill Belichick Would Steal

3 min read
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‘ opinions on the modern sales model.

We just wrapped up a session with the founders of 3 Sales Development Cloud partners, Crystal, Sigstr, and Datanyze, and now we’re here at this conversation with two sales development leaders who come straight from the trenches of managing SDR teams.

We’re grilling SnackNation’s Kevin Dorsey and iDashboard’s Mark Bliss on the best sales development plays of 2016 — Bill Belichick-style.


According to Mark, the best kind of playbook is organic:

Did you change it in the last 60 days? If not, then it’s just a guidebook.

But before you have plays, you need people. We asked these leaders to talk to us about the attributes of top performing people, and best practices around hiring, onboarding, and the sales development career matrix.

At SnackNation, there’s an actual onboarding cadence where the onboarding process is mapped out from day one. Reps are handed a hard copy of the playbook, and that serves as their one stop shop for “everything reps need to know to do their job well.” And through the cadence benchmarks, Kevin is able to keep track of the onboarding steps for his new reps.

Next up: the ideal client profile. The ideal client profile is so important to the SnackNation team, it’s the first page of their playbook.

And the team at iDashboards has a strategy similar to their organic playbook: an organic ideal client profile. Mark’s team maintains frequent meetings to make sure the profile hasn’t shifted. Any new insights? Changes within current accounts? All of the individual pieces of the profile need to be aligned across all three sections of the organization (marketing, sales and sales development) to stay relevant.

Let’s talk cadences and team-wide deployment. What are some best practices for measuring and adjusting? According to Mark, Cadence has allowed us to structure our touchpoints within their plays. By creating a healthy mix of phone, email, and social touchpoints, reps are simply held responsible for managing the process.

Kevin’s team has taken a unique approach, where Cadence is reserved for reps who have hit a specific number on the phone alone in their first month of ramp. While it seems counterintuitive, the tool actually becomes a carrot for those reps, as they’re motivated to have the efficiency tool, and they’re driven to make those calls and build that experience before they see the benefits of the Cadence product.

Moral of the story: A Sales Development team’s playbook is — like everything else in sales development — hyper-personalized. Each team has their own effective processes, and methods that have been tried and true among their own reps.

What works within the balance of touchpoints within a team’s cadence, hiring and onboarding, and sales alignment is specific to each and every organization. But the important thing is that you are constantly testing and evolving your process, so that your playbook stays relevant and organic as your team scales.

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

Rainmaker 2019