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The Sales Development


This methodology is designed to help you create repeatable, scalable, predictable revenue.

The Predictable Revenue team has been developing the following principles and process since Aaron Ross built the first sales development team for Salesforce.  He then published a best selling book and we’ve hired hundreds of SDRs, and had the privilege of advising thousands of companies while they built sales development teams.  We’re sharing what we’ve learned because our mission has always been to educate the world on how to grow a company.  What follows is a collection of ideas and series of steps that we believe to be important when building successful sales development teams.

The Principles

These are the table stakes that are required before building a sales development team. If you play poker you know that “table stakes” mean you are bringing the minimum amount of chips required to buy-in into a game. In sales, the following principles are the table stakes you need to have if you want to build a successful outbound sales development team.

Supporting Materials

Make sure you have the minimum viable product, marketing, and sales assets before you start trying to drive meetings into the top of your pipeline. These include an up to date website, content for customers in the top/middle/bottom of the funnel, and case studies.

Solidify Positioning

It doesn’t matter how many meetings you book if they aren’t with the right target audience.  Before you invest any capital into creating meetings, make sure you are 100% confident that if the meetings get booked with an account then they are likely to turn into a customer.  Having a few customers in a target market is not good enough, you need to be uniquely positioned in said market if you want to drive results. Sales development is not a magic wand that you can wave to fix poorly positioned products or services.

Do The Math
  • The price of your product dictates how much money you can spend to acquire a customer. How much you can spend to profitably acquire a customer will dictate the sales development styles you can afford to implement. Document your assumptions ahead of time and measure your performance against them. 
  • Make sure your leadership team understands the timelines and is willing to invest to do it right the first time.  These things take 2 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to do them right and with the least amount of risk.
Experimental Mindset (Build, Measure, Learn, Loop)
  • Building a sales development team can be messy. Stick to the process below to guide you through and approach every new step with an assumption and then run experiments to solve your hypotheses.
  • Primary market research data can be a valuable source of customer and product insight and, when done right, sales development teams can generate an excellent picture of how the market perceives your company, product or positioning. 
  • There is lots to learn, from how to translate your ideal customer profile (ICP) into an effective list, to figuring out what messaging converts at the highest rate.  Approach each of these with an A/B test mindset. The first attempt will probably suck and every iteration after that will get a little bit better.

The Process

Once the table stakes are finalized this is the process or the way you can play the poker game to become successful in sales development. By following the process sequentially you’ll be able to establish repeatable, scalable, and predictable revenue for your organization.

Hiring & Onboarding
  • Build the team
  • Design the sales process (stages/qualification/handoffs)
  • Create a training and enablement program
  • Find technology to enable your process
  • Build a process for creating lists
Consistent Meetings
  • Select sales development style 
  • Build, test, and learn from sequences 
  • Set up dashboards 
  • Hit activity targets 
  • Track emails opened
  • Track emails replied
  • Track emails turning into booked meetings
  • Optimize handoffs from SDRs to AEs
  • Track meetings being attended 
  • Follow up on all opportunities
Consistent Pipeline
  • Track meeting show up, qualification, and close rates
  • Run effective discovery calls
  • Provide call coaching
  • Run follow up sequences
  • Track opportunities progressing through pipeline stages
Consistent Deals
  • Track opportunities converting to won deals
Consistent Close Loop Tracking
  • Create a healthy feedback loop on campaigns 
  • Ensure sales and marketing talk and assess regularly 
  • Demonstrate ROI through attribution based data

Sales Development?