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Started From The Bottom, Now We’re Sales Development Leaders

4 min read
Aug. 13, 2015

For many companies, the “why” in building out a sales development team is not the concern. Sales development teams have proven themselves to be efficient and predictable revenue models with scalable results. Executives know why they need an SDR team.

The problem is the “how.”

Despite their knowledge of the benefits of sales development, many execs continue to push back for various reasons. We don’t have the budget. We have Marketing handling lead nurturing. We don’t want our prospect’s first conversation to be with anyone but the VP of Sales or CEO.

But the answer to these objections is simple: specialization. No matter the size of your team (or your budget), or who you currently have nurturing new leads, implementing a sales development process is attainable through specialization. Having a rep focused solely on prospecting and one-on-one conversations with prospects, at least for a few days a week, will make an impact on your overall value.

Take it from Chris Flores. Chris started as Namely’s one and only sales development rep (behind the CEO and Sales Director) and has quickly risen in the ranks since then. As an advocate for sales development, we asked Chris to share his experience starting from the bottom and working his way up, and here’s what he had to say:

1. Where was your first job as a Sales Development Rep?

Namely! I was the first Sales Development Rep in the door, so I was responsible for prospecting new companies, high volume cold calling and emailing, and booking demos for our Sales Director. As the first SDR, I also evaluated the sales technology we still use today, helped recruit and train new SDRs, and maintained our CRM and library of resources.

2. What was the company’s history with sales development?

Before I joined Namely, our Sales Director and CEO were prospecting and closing business — they did it all.

They quickly realized the need for a specialized sales rep to help tackle the lead generation process, so that they could focus on qualified opportunities.

3. Was there a set career matrix for SDRs?

There was no defined matrix, other than the next step being the Account Executive role. As we grew, though, we realized people in Sales Development can grow into Senior SDRs, Team Leads, Managers, or pursue other careers throughout the company.

4. Where are you now?

I am currently the Manager of Inside Sales at Namely. I have 15 direct reports and follow the ABH rule, Always Be Hiring. I’m responsible for the Sales Development Team’s Recruiting, Hiring, Training, Productivity, and Quota Attainment. I also head up all things Sales Infrastructure and Operations.

We have built a well-oiled Sales Development Team together and I love every second of it.

BONUS! : What is one piece of advice you would give to someone entering their first job as an SDR?

Give yourself a constant reminder of how you can be successful. My reminder is a quote by Mark Cuban,

Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.

I hope your heart skipped a beat after reading this, because mine does every time!

Take this success story as proof that all it takes is one good SDR to get the ball rolling. Through specialization, Chris was able to scale Namely’s sales process from a single SDR to a team of reps who know exactly how to go after prospects with agility, tenacity, and efficiency.

Want to learn more about the “How” and “Why” behind implementing a sales development team? Check out our newest eBook focused entirely on on building your very own revenue-generating, sales development, customer acquisition machine.