The research on Sales Development is in, the pundits have spoken, and businesses have proven it through results:
Sales Development is its own independent function inside the revenue generating organization.
Sales Development demands this. It requires specific training, hiring, motivating, and tactics. And in the course of its function to “connect with, qualify, and convert prospects to an opportunity,” sales development needs its own technology ecosystem.
Today, the SalesLoft team will be attending the Sales Stack conference as the Platinum sponsor. The term “sales stack” has been thrown around a lot and I love it. It connotes that there isn’t one sole vendor who will solve all of our problems, rather, multiple technologies working together to accomplish a goal. I couldn’t agree more.
The sales stack is split down the middle between two areas:
1. Pre-qualified appointment
2. Post-qualified appointment
The first is “Sales Development.” The second is “Sales.” (See the infographic here).
Key roles in any function (especially the two above) require an application of record – think accounting software, HR software, engineering, product management, marketing, etc.
The sales application of record is obvious. It’s Salesforce.com, most specifically their “sales cloud.” But there are many reasons why Sales Development Reps can’t depend on the sales cloud:
- Calling, emailing, and dropping social touchpoints are all unavailable.
- CRMs are becoming an enterprise-wide applications, built for servicing the entire ecosystem of users — particularly if you are in a sales pipeline or a known customer. But there’s too much clutter and too many functions that don’t apply to their role specifically, causing confusion and too many clicks.
- Given the broad nature of CRM tools, the workflow of methodically and systematically targeting hundreds — if not thousands — of leads tends to come up short for many of our customers.
- The integrations in CRMs aren’t hyper-focused on the roles and goals of a modern SDR.
This needs to change. We’re going to change it.
There are too many amazing vendors who help SDRs in need of a platform to serve them value. It’s time to change business for the SDR. It’s time for the Sales Development cloud. This cloud is uniquely focused on the Sales Development Rep and accomplishes the following:
- Hire people onto it, then train and coach them.
- Bring in lead data.
- Execute communication via email, phone, social, text, notes, etc.
- Schedule appointments and hand over qualified opportunities to Account Executives.
- Analyze the results, and predict the future.
It’s the place where SDRs spend their time. It’s their workflow app.
Data and people go in, qualified appointments come out. Business improves.
Now, as a single vendor, we’d be crazy to think we can accomplish all of this. That’s why we’ve begun seeking out the very best in the Sales Development stack:
- Predictive analytics vendors
- Organization health vendors (hiring, coaching, training, one-on-ones)
- Contact data vendors
- Text analysis and sales intelligence vendors
- Email APIs
- Phone APIs
- Analytics vendors
- Calendar APIs
This ecosystem makes up the Sales Development cloud. We don’t intend to own it; but merely help bring it to life.
Share us your thoughts — what applications would you like in your Sales Development Cloud?