4 Sales Development Best Practices
No other sales tasks are more demanding than prospecting, lead generation, and building pipeline. It's impossible to make a sale when there aren't any opportunities to do so in the first place.
And the role singularly focused on sales development is affectionately known by its three-letter acronym: SDR (sales development rep). Whether it's a cold call, an email, or other prospecting tools like video or LinkedIn, SDRs get paid to reach potential buyers with a compelling enough message to book a 30-minute meeting.
Research shows it takes 18 dials before we connect with a prospect. Add in our omnichannel outreach, and the number of "touches" quickly balloons to 50 or more. Most of us have been there at some point in our sales careers – it's a grind.
Pranav Reddy, Director of Sales Development at UserZoom, is here to break down Gartner's infographic.
Let’s dive into Pranav’s takeaways:
1. There's no one-size-fits-all strategy.
It depends on your business and overall go-to-market strategy. If we're an early-stage startup with no established product-market fit, then volume is critical. Gathering market and product feedback trumps generating revenue.
If we're a late-stage startup or established enterprise with a mature ideal customer profile, then assigning sales territories based on the highest likelihood to buy makes sense.
Some other variables to consider in our strategy: product type, buyer personas, and decision-maker involvement.
2. Quota attainment should be around 70%.
In my experience, if 60-70% of reps are hitting quota then we've got our goals right where they should be. Embrace challenge, be realistic and let our top performers perform.
Consider setting weekly, monthly, quarterly, or running three-month targets to keep everyone on pace. The latter reduces unnecessary anxiety with proven performers who have the occasional down month.
On a weekly basis, our team focus is on different tactics to help them reach their goals, especially in the first six weeks. I like to give them the tools and perspective to use correct outreach at any given moment.
3. Consider ROI on time spent on daily activities.
The channels above are right on the mark. Regarding additional tactics:
- Direct mail: I would love to utilize a tool like Sendoso more. You can have fun with it. Cater it to your product and industry and tie it to an experience.
- Video: I think this is better for later in the sales process. People are used to seeing your face by this point.
- Text: depends on your industry. Where I’m at in enterprise software, it probably doesn’t make sense. But for field reps in CPG, yep.
A quick throwback to last week’s newsletter: By the way, I don’t have much confidence in cold FaceTiming.
4. Everyone learns differently on their SDR career journey.
This timeline resonates with what I know, but as I onboard SDRs, I consider one thing: everyone learns differently. I like to build that flexibility in reinforcing materials across different learning styles.
For example, build in time for new SDRs to read the playbook, watch videos, listen to successful cold calls, and role-play with peers. The variety keeps them engaged.
Most SDRs who onboard effectively do the following:
- Put feedback into practice.
- Come to their manager with an agenda, be proactive, and think two or three layers deeper into what they’re doing.
I don’t like to onboard with a timeline to get SDRs on the phones. It’s about long-term success, and there are lots of ways to get there.
Much appreciation to Pranav for his insights! Connect with him on LinkedIn.
Ride the wave in sales development.
If we find ourselves in an SDR role today, relish in the data that shows we're in the most challenging job in sales. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity.
Succeeding in this job opens up so many other doors in the sales profession – account executive, SDR manager, sales enablement, and sales operations, to name a few.
Keep believing in the difference we're making and the careers we're building!