The progression of the sales development discipline over the last, say, decade has been thrilling. The job has blossomed into a must-have for growth-oriented companies, revolutionary software tools have spring up to serve prospectors, and up-and-coming sales leaders have built their names managing frontline SDR teams.
A critical element of the sales development evolution, although sometimes forgotten about, has been sales enablement. Often considered just the realm of Salesforce experts, sales enablement has taken on a more holistic role over time – from helping with pricing, to procurement requests, legal requirements, even getting sales development a seat at the leadership table.
If it helps sales professionals do their job more efficiently (and more successfully!), than sales enablement has a part to play. And that’s why we chose to feature this important role in our third e-book. Because without the wide-ranging support of the sales enablement function, the day-to-day of an SDR would be significantly more difficult.
And your dedicated prospectors, slugging it out each day, deserve better than that.
The featured podcast guests in this e-book include:
- Mike Radocchia, Marketing and Business Development Lead at Big Health
- Matt Cassel, Account Executive at Chartio
- Brandon Bruce, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Cirrus Insight
- Daniel Barber, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of DataGrail
- Kelsey Briggs, Engagement Manager at Octiv
- Patrick Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of ProfitWell
- Andres Muguira, Managing Director of Question Pro Latin America
- Lars Nilsson, Chief Eexecutive Officer of SalesSource
- Karly Neveu, Director of Inside Sales and Sales Operations at SMARTASSISTANT
- Joey Maller, Google Cloud Sales Manager at UpCurve Cloud
Below is just a sample of what you can expect to get from a few these killer interviews:
Brandon Bruce, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Cirrus Insight
Over the lifespan of a company, whether it be a slow and steady climb or the lightning quick rocket ship ride of a unicorn, the role of the founder will invariably change.
At first, they do it all – marketing, sales, and customer success, for instance. If they’re good and, naturally, a bit lucky, their company will grow and others will come onboard to handle different roles and train subsequent hires on the ins and outs of the job.
But although the new (and often amazing) people that join a team absorb the crushing workload initially shouldered by a founder, it’s up to that leader to evolve their role, and continually find ways to support their team.
But what does this evolution actually look like?
“There is a prospecting element to my job. And once there is engagement, I support. I don’t lead, for instance, the product demo, or negotiation, or security review, or legal review. But, I will be there to support sales, customer success, engineering – whoever is involved,” says Brandon Bruce, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Cirrus Insight.
Another avenue for Bruce to support his team is to handle prospect’s procurement needs.
As every seasoned sales rep will attest, navigating the procurement minefield is a must for most enterprise level deals. Unfortunately, the goal of a sales team and the goal of a procurement department are often at odds – procurement wants to pay as little as possible, while sales would prefer a prospect pay top dollar.
These opposite agendas can be a challenge, and also kill a deal if not handled appropriately. This is where Bruce’s experience handling all of those early deals on his own proves invaluable. He’s dealt with procurement, knows their language, and understands when to bend, and when to stand firm.
“Although, I love the folks that work in procurement, I have called them the anti-sales in the past. But because I’ve dealt with procurement, and can share what I’ve heard in past. You have to know where to negotiate, where to hold firm, and how to proceed along the deal,” says Bruce.
Patrick Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of ProfitWell
From a distance, determining the price of a good or service appears to be one of the easier responsibilities in the evolution of a company. I mean, narrowing down pricing isn’t as involved a task as actually building an app or navigating numerous, and often treacherous, sales cycles. Right?
Establishing pricing is a fluid, nuanced practice that has significant effects on a company’s well being. As such, this is a decision that requires research, input from different departments, and, most importantly, a thorough understanding of the personas you sell to.
“What we found is that pricing is a high-impact feature of growth,” says Patrick Campbell, CEO of ProfitWell, on a recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.
To ensure your pricing model is actually a vehicle for that growth and not further negotiation, Campbell suggests designing value metrics: how you communicate your pricing to your customers (either per user, per dollar saved, or a flat fee per month, for instance).
“If you get your value metric right, if your customer sees the value in the same way you do, then there is no reason for your customers to churn,” says Campbell.
“Nailing your value metrics also allows you to get users at different sizes. For example, 5 seats at Salesforce, for a company that only needs 5 seats, doesn’t seem expensive at all. And, 500 seats at a huge organization, on the other hand, is just the cost of doing business. Salesforce is able to capture both of those groups.”
There are three main elements of a value metric:
1. It has to be as easy to understand as your sales process (if your company has no salespeople, then it has to be simple. If you have a seven-call sales cycle, then it can be more complicated).
2. It should grow with your customers’ usage of your product (as they use it more, they should be paying you more).
3. It needs to mirror where the customer sees value in your product (if they don’t see value in a per-user cost, for instance, don’t charge per user).
Lars Nilsson, Chief Executive Officer of SalesSource
When a company is just getting off the ground, its sales team, however large, is on the hunt for any customers that will give them money. And, according to Lars Nilsson, CEO of Bay Area sales consultancy SalesSource, a founder of a startup can operate like that for a while. At that early juncture, any logos that can go up on the website are a big help.
But at some point, adds Nilsson, you have to start looking at fundamental sales concepts such as Total Addressable Market and Ideal Customer Profiles more closely, as well as structuring your sales development team so your reps aren’t juggling both inbound and outbound leads at the same time.
It’s time to start growing in a more strategic, and scalable fashion.
“The sooner you can get to that, the sooner you can outline the right contingency of accounts, the sooner you can start getting your message out to those right constituents,” says Nilsson.
An another important “achievement” for the sales development discipline is getting a seat at the leadership table.
Having a place – and a voice – amongst the executives in a company is an important venue for all departmental leaders to discuss the projects they’re working on, as well as learn from other senior colleagues. And prospectors are critical sources of information
“I told the CEO at Cloudera that I wanted a seat at that table. It was to listen, and learn, but also to teach others about what the SDR team will be doing. SDRs speak with people outside the company more than anyone. They know what is working, and what isn’t,” says Nilsson.
“That information will help the team, without a doubt. There is no reason why the sales development function should be in a side pocket somewhere.”
There’s plenty more where that came from. To get all the in-depth details from each of these expert interviews, click here to download our e-book now!