TOPO recently completed its 2016 Sales Development Benchmark Report. It represents the most in-depth study of over 150 world-class sales development organizations. The focus of our research was to understand what separates exceptional sales development teams from their peers. We discovered a number of unique characteristics that drive the highest growth, including strategy, organizational design, process, plays, and technology.
Over 30 sales development leaders from the Bay area’s fastest growing companies once again convened last Friday for TOPO’s Sales Development Council #13. These Councils offer a unique forum for sales development leaders from high growth companies to learn from each other and share best practices. Each Council features three speakers who share the processes, plays, organizational elements, and technologies they use to drive key revenue metrics. This Council produced a few key themes, including discussions about SDR effectiveness and performance, how companies define qualification criteria and creating effective outbound emails.
The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) defines the firmographic, environmental and behavioral attributes of accounts expected to become a company’s most valuable customers. It is developed through both qualitative and quantitative analyses; and may optionally be informed by predictive analytics software.
Unlike the term “target customer,” which is often used to describe any company that might buy a product or service, the ICP is focused on the most valuable customers and prospects that are also most likely to buy. The Ideal Customer Profile should also not be confused with the Total Addressable Market or Total Available Market, which are calculations or estimates of the universe of potential target customers.
The ICP is a foundational, organization-wide decision impacting downstream sales and marketing efforts. It aligns marketing, sales, service and executive teams to the highest-value accounts. It also creates focus on scalable and repeatable strategies and tactics to engage and convert top accounts. And it drives target account list creation, segmentation, organizational structure, and other key activities.
Over 30 sales development leaders from the bay area’s fastest growing companies once again convened at the Four Seasons in San Francisco last Friday for TOPO’s Sales Development Council #12. These Councils offer a unique forum for sales development leaders from high growth companies to learn from each other and share best practices. Each Council features three speakers who share the processes, plays, organizational elements, and technologies they use to drive key revenue metrics. This Council produced a few key themes, including discussions about improving SDR effectiveness, refining the qualification definition, and creating effective touch patterns.
TOPO’s Sales Operations Council #2 gathered over 20 of the brightest sales operations leaders from the Bay Area’s fastest growing companies to the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park last Friday. The morning kicked off with a networking breakfast in which attendees made new connections with their peers and shared best practices. As for the food, the new “eggs benedict in a toasted bagel” was a big hit. The council event officially began with a brief introduction from Craig Rosenberg, TOPO Co-Founder and Chief Analyst, who announced the three speakers for the morning: Bill Schwidder, VP of Business Operations at Zenefits; Tom Gadd Director, Sales Operations at Nitro, Inc; and Dhiraj Singh, Inside Sales and Operations Manager at MemSQL.
Over the last 10 years, B2B demand generation teams have used technology such as marketing automation to
become highly-scaled demand generation engines, delivering high volumes of leads each month. But these
teams fail to adequately support the sales team’s strategic pursuit of named accounts. In fact, on average, only
10-20% of the leads generated by marketing are from accounts on the sales team’s target list.
As marketers seek to better align with and enable sales, the focus is moving from a traditional, lead-centric view
to an account-centric view. This shift is driving innovation throughout the value chain, from targeting and offer strategy, to the sales technology stack, to the ways demand generation teams collaborate.
In the not too distant past, you could be fairly confident of succeeding in sales with the right mix of good hiring, training, and motivating your reps to sell. But succeeding is a far cry from excelling. The fact is, you can’t apply a run-of-the-mill approach to sales and expect to drive above-average results. And you certainly can’t achieve significant and rapid growth without embracing a systematic, replicable and data-driven approach to building and cultivating your sales operation.
Our research has surfaced a massive shift in how the most successful sales organizations are being designed and run. Simply put, success relies on a strategic rather than tactical approach. Our research also uncovered the elements that are always present in high-growth sales machines. We compiled these into an 8-point framework that is essential for any organization wanting to drive scalable, consistent revenue growth.
We are excited to announce the 2016 Sales Development Framework. This version of the framework recognizes the transformation of Sales Development from a set of tactics and activities to a truly strategic function.
We’re excited to announce that the TOPO Sales Summit will take place April 7-8 in San Francisco. The Summit is a new conference where 600+ sales leaders representing over $50B in high growth revenue will share the specific best practices, patterns, and plays that they use to drive exceptional revenue growth. Our objective is to make the Summit the most valuable sales conference in the world. You’ll have access to over 30 sessions, workshops, and keynotes focused on the hottest topics in sales leadership, sales development, sales technology, and sales effectiveness. You’ll also have a great time at our Summit Bash, exclusive dinners, and 1:1 networking sessions.
Sales development leaders spend as much as 60% of their role recruiting. They spend significant budget working with recruiting firms, painstakingly define an ideal candidate profile, and spend countless hours interviewing. Ironically, the same rigor put on the recruiting process seldom carries over to onboarding. The result is, organizations dedicate time and resources to getting the best SDRs to join their team, only to leave them hanging once they are in the seat.
Of course, this isn’t true of all organizations, and perhaps this is hyperbolic. But here are the facts of the onboarding problem:
- The average SDR tenure is 14.2 months.
- 72.5% of high growth companies hire SDRs with 0-1 years of experience.
- The average ramp time for new SDRs to hit full quota is three months.
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