Sales Development in the HR Tech Market: An Interview with Chris Flores of Namely
TOPO is committed to bringing the sales development community the latest trends, data, and best practices from the world’s fastest-growing companies. Today, we interview Chris Flores, the Manager of Inside Sales at Namely. He’ll share his thoughts on sales development best practices, goals, challenges, technology, and metrics.
Move away from buying lists and use LinkedIn for prospecting
Question 1: What decision did you make that had the biggest impact on your sales development team’s success?
Completely moving away from buying large data lists and focusing prospecting efforts on LinkedIn had the biggest impact on my sales development team’s success. When we first started cold outreach, 60% of the leads provided by large data providers yielded inaccurate data and a low lead-to-opportunity conversion rate. Today, we only focus on leads hand picked from LinkedIn, Google searches, and referrals. Thanks to our prospecting tool, SalesLoft, we are able to manage this process with ease. The sales development team has an aggressive prospecting plan and is tasked to create new leads that fit our customer profile every day. Lead-to-opportunity conversion rates jumped up exponentially as less time was being spent on cleaning data.
Defend your sales development culture as you scale
Question 2: What is the biggest challenge your sales development team is facing in 2015?
The biggest challenge we’re facing in 2015 is defending our culture as we scale. As an HR technology company, we understand the importance of employee retention and performance management, and we love our high level of transparency and work hard/play hard mentality. We understand that culture isn’t about puppies and ping-pong; it’s about meaningful work and a sense of community. As long as we do a great job hiring and onboarding sales reps that fit our culture, are passionate, and want to learn and grow with us, we can create a scalable team and tackle this challenge head on.
Build a specialized inbound sales development team
Question 3: What are the sales development team’s biggest initiatives for 2015?
- Building our inbound sales development team – We’ve realized, with the tremendous amount of buzz from our marketing efforts, that scaling both our inbound and outbound SDR teams is important. Role specialization is key and will help us give each new lead the level of attention it deserves.
- Continuous sales training – After our reps are onboarded, it’s important that we continue sales training during and after ramp time. Topics like objection handling, competitor reviews, and pitch reviews should be touched again every quarter to ensure sales strategies and best practices stay fresh.
Measure closed deals generated from appointments set by your SDRs
Question 4: What are the top 3 metrics you use to measure your sales development team’s performance?
We focus on 3 key metrics:
- Number of Dials
- New Qualified Appointments (NQA)
- SDR Generated Closed Wins
Give responsive guidance to SDRs using ToutApp data reports
Question 5: What technology is having the biggest impact on your sales development team’s performance?
We’re using a bunch of sales tools including InsideSales PowerDialer, DocSend, Salesloft, and Rivalry. One email technology, ToutApp, has had the biggest impact on our sales development team’s performance.
ToutApp is super addictive which is great. It really blows my sales team’s mind to be able to track how a prospect interacts with the emails they send – it’s very motivating. Using ToutApp also means I can be a dynamic and present leader, giving responsive guidance to my team based on their data reports.
Today’s Author: Chris Flores is the Manager of Inside Sales at Namely, the leading end-to-end HR and payroll platform for growing companies. His duties include overseeing sales development, productivity, operations, and hiring. Chris is an alumnus of Boston College, where he studied economics and music, and is also a chapter officer of the AA-ISP NY-NJ-CT organization.