We brought together sales development leaders from some of the world’s top tech companies Wednesday to answer your most pressing questions.
Below you will find a brief recap of some of their best answers. And, of course, if you’d like to watch the full panel discussion, it is still available: here.
But first, let’s meet the panelists:
- Jeremy Wiggett, Director of Sales Development at Salesforce
- Justin Hiatt, Director of Global Business Development at HubSpot
- Kent Venook, Director of Business Development at Apttus
- Mike Stevenson, Director of Sales Development at DocuSign
- Gabe Larsen, Director of Sales Acceleration Services at XANT
How do you build an SDR team from the ground up?
First, I would determine pipeline expectations. What pipeline is this team going to be expected to make? Once you have that, I would figure out projected lead volume, estimated conversion rates, average selling price (ASP), and the number of reps needed to hit each one. A lot of that piece of the puzzle will be involving your marketing team and other internal groups. The more you understand the needs of the AE team, the better you will be able to align with them. There are so many ways to begin what you are doing, but that should give you the best ideas where to start.
We are an inbound-only team today that would like to become outbound. How did you go about the business justification to expand to outbound?
It starts with sending your best inbound rep after some top target accounts to prove that it can be done. That will help you figure out the cost associated with finding those high-value opportunities. Then you can help justify expanding the team.
How do you manage expectations?
Constant communication. We started a weekly “Pipeline Council” that includes operations, sales, sales development and marketing. It is a forum that allows us to hold all groups accountable to the common goal.
How do you balance the need to research your prospects and personalize your pitch while addressing the need to pump out as many calls as possible?
A constant challenge, for sure, as some reps will use research as an excuse to avoid calls. Creating an effective research cadence can help, but I would also recommend creating certain ideal expectations for calls and emails in a day, which allows reps to do the research they feel they need, as long as they are keeping activity to expectations.
Do you ever compensate SDRs when AEs close a deal?
We do. We tie 50% of their commission to a revenue goal. So if their goal is $2K and they have $4K closed in revenue, they’re paid 200% of that portion of their commission. I feel this promotes them hunting for deals vs. opportunities and builds skills they can use once they’re a sales rep.
Do you find that the sales organization values the opportunities passed by the SDR org?
They do, but it wasn’t always the case. We worked with AE sales management to find out what they needed from us to improve the relationship. In return for following up on those items, we asked for them to status their opportunities effectively. Creating that quid pro quo relationship helped quite a bit, and I would say the relationship between the teams is pretty strong now.
All of these terrific questions, as well as many others, came in via live chat during the webinar.