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The Inspired Sales Development Team: An Interview with Ralph Barsi

The TOPO blog is committed to bringing the sales development community the latest trends, data, and best practices from the fastest-growing companies in the world. But it’s really great leaders that take those insights and drive action from them; that lead their teams to perform like the best in the business. Over the next several weeks, TOPO will be posting an interview series with the world’s best sales development leaders and practitioners.

To kick us off, Ralph Barsi, Senior Director of Sales Development at Achievers, shares his best practices, most impactful decisions, goals, challenges, metrics and the most effective technology his team is using today.

Ralph will also be moderating TOPO’s upcoming webinar, 11 High Growth Sales Development Strategies.

Overcoming Live Call Objections in Sales Development

Here’s the scenario: You’ve identified a lead you want to talk to. You have crafted several thoughtful emails, left impactful voicemails, and maybe even retweeted a prospect’s latest update. Finally, FINALLY, you get the prospect live on the phone, and that’s where the trouble starts: the buyer comes in with objections.

The ability to effectively manage live calls is one of the most challenging aspects of being an sales development rep. It is also one of the most important. TOPO considers live call management 1 of 3 essential pillars for SDR success. SDRs that do this well have mastered the ability to overcome objections from the very beginning of the call (the classic, I’m busy right now, just send over some information), all the way through to close.

October Sales Development Practice Recap

In October, the Sales Development Practice completed our Sales Development Benchmark Report. The read-outs have begun, and our participants are benefitting from understanding how they stack up against their peers. Additionally, we are preparing for our Sales Development Council event #3 on November 14th and are thrilled with the group we’ve assembled. As always, we have new and exciting client advisory projects and appreciate the opportunity to help such great clients build and optimize top-notch Sales Development teams.

September Sales Development Practice Recap

September was a landmark month for TOPO’s Sales Development Practice. Our analysts published new research on underperforming SDRs. Leaders from the sales development community gathered for our 2nd Sales Development Council. The addition of several amazing customers has us hard at work continuing to build leading sales development teams at the world’s fastest-growing companies. 

TOPO Sales Development Council Event #2 – Recap

Expanding on the success of the first TOPO Sales Development Council, we were excited to bring together an even larger gathering of 35 top sales development practitioners. It was a morning of sharing best practices, examining trends in the industry, and collaborating on strategies to take sales development organizations to the next level. We learned last time that putting the best and brightest in a room together yields incredible results, and this time was no different.

Here are the highlights:

  • 35 SDR managers, directors, and VPs were in attendance.
  • Companies like Zendesk, CallidusCloud, Intacct, Jive Software and Okta were represented.
  • Our three speakers were Kristina McMillan of Five9, Russ Hearl of DoubleDutch, and our very own Craig Rosenberg of TOPO.
  • Our exclusive sponsor Salesloft partnered with us to make the event a success (thanks Kyle!).
  • The Rosewood Sand Hill had us back for everybody’s favorite croissant breakfast sandwiches.

The Sales Development Value Proposition – The Best SDRs Don’t Just Pitch, They Deliver Value

It’s as old as sales, the pitch, but I am shocked at how frequently salespeople stumble through it. Every rambling cold call, every flustered kid at an event booth, every email that reads more like a novel…it all stems from the same inability to simply articulate what you sell and why it matters.
So, let’s begin with a redefinition. Today’s best salespeople aren’t so much “pitching” as they are delivering a “value proposition.” The difference, while subtle, is important. A pitch is typically self-serving and remains the same each time you deliver it. It also tends to devolve into a features-and-benefits sell: “Let me tell you about this really cool product. It does this and that and all these great things!”

A value proposition, by contrast, is buyer-centric, and thus adapts to each situation. “Our product has been helping companies like yours with value 1, 2, and 3, by doing X.”

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