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The Specialized Sales Development Team: An Interview with Kristina McMillan of Five9

TOPO is committed to bringing the sales development community the latest trends, data, and best practices from the fastest-growing companies in the world. Today, we interview Kristina McMillan, Director of Sales Development for Five9. She’ll share her thoughts on sales development best practices, goals, challenges, technology, and metrics.

TOPO Demand Generation Council Event #3 – Recap

TOPO Demand Generation Council Event #3 took place on Friday and was huge a success. Our Demand Generation Council Events bring together demand generation practitioners to listen to presentations from TOPO Analysts and demand generation leaders. The room is filled with some of the best demand generation leaders in the business and the conversations are lively. This event had 35 attendees who shared best practices on high growth demand generation strategies, ranging from account-based marketing to working with sales development.

Best Practices for Managing the Sales Development Lifecycle

The number one challenge I hear from sales development leaders is how to successfully manage the SDR lifecycle. This can take many forms: hiring, onboarding, training, performance, motivation, internal promotions, attrition, and so on. The average SDR lifecycle is 14.2 months. Given this figure, it’s not surprising that the sales development organization is often described as the “minor league team” for the rest of the organization. This poses a unique challenge for SDR leaders who have to constantly fill seats in the “leaking bucket” that is the SDR team, and get each rep performing as early, as consistently, and for as long as possible.

TOPO Sales Development Council Event #4 – Recap

The TOPO Sales Development Councils have been a tremendous success. For each council, we bring together sales development practitioners to listen to presentations from a TOPO Analyst, as well as two sales development leaders. The room is filled with some of the best sales development leaders in the business and the conversations are lively. This event had 50 attendees who shared best practices and collaborated on and, in some cases, argued about high growth strategies for sales development organizations.

Agile Sales Development: An Interview with Kevin O’Malley

TOPO is committed to bringing the sales development community the latest trends, data, and best practices from the fastest-growing companies in the world. Today, we continue our sales development interview series with Kevin O’Malley, VP of Marketing and Sales Development from Catavolt. He’ll share his best practices, most impactful decisions, goals, challenges, metrics and the most effective technology his team is using today.

11 Sales Development Strategies for High Growth Companies

Sales Development has evolved from a secret sauce of high growth companies to “table stakes” for B2B sales organizations. 15 years ago, I remember having to make impassioned pleas for executive teams to invest in sales development. Back then, there was only a 50% chance they would make that investment. Times have changed. Now, you would be hard pressed to find a successful, high growth technology company that doesn’t have a sales development team. In 2014, TOPO benchmarked the sales development function at high growth companies to understand the processes, people, technologies, metrics, and plays they employ to drive revenue growth. The benchmark data reveals a handful of patterns shared by high-growth companies that are extraordinarily valuable for other companies to understand. In this post, we’ll focus on 11 key strategies identified in the data. There are many more in the actual report. When you sign up for the on-demand version of our webinar  “11 High Growth Sales Development Strategies”, you can watch a presentation on these 11 strategies and you will also receive a copy of the 2014 TOPO Sales Development Benchmark Report.

The Ambitious Sales Development Team: An Interview with Sean Kester

TOPO is committed to bringing the sales development community the latest trends, data, and best practices from the fastest-growing companies in the world. Today, we continue our sales development interview series with Sean Kester, Head of Sales Development from SalesLoft. He’ll share his best practices, most impactful decisions, goals, challenges, metrics and the most effective technology his team is using today.

Sales Development Best Practices for Targeting IT: An Interview with Lars Nilsson

TOPO is committed to bringing the sales development community the latest trends, data, and best practices from the fastest-growing companies in the world. Today, we continue our sales development interview series with Lars Nilsson, VP of Sales Operations from Cloudera. He’ll share his best practices, most impactful decisions, goals, challenges, metrics and the most effective technology his team is using today.

The Qualified Lead Definition: Best Practices for Closing Business without BANT Leads

In the 2014 TOPO Sales Development Benchmark, only 27% of companies surveyed still used BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe) for their sales qualified lead (SQL) definition. This represents a recent, yet significant change in thinking about what constitutes a sales qualified lead. While BANT qualification still works well in certain organizations, the majority of organizations are using a looser definition such as ANUM (Authority, Need, Urgency, Money) or AN (Authority, Need).

The Ratio Between Sales Development and Sales: The Secret to High Growth

The modern sales development organization revolutionized the way companies could think about pipeline and revenue growth. Separating the prospecting and qualification of leads from the later stages in the sales process enables the sales organization as a whole to become highly specialized and more effective. Without the distraction of having to find and qualify their own leads, and with the assurance that their pipeline will be consistently filled with opportunities, sales reps can optimize their own sales process to increase conversions throughout the pipeline. This is all to say, the true value of a sales development team is that it enables sales reps to focus on what they do best: close business.

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