Sales development leaders spend their time developing their prospecting strategies and touch patterns, managing and coaching their teams of sales development representatives (SDRs), and measuring the team’s success at scheduling meetings so they don’t have time to do the work required to keep up with all of the latest sales development technology trends. Technology constantly undergoes rapid changes and that’s why TOPO analysts gather data, talk to companies, and watch the sales development technology landscape to discover the latest market trends.
The job of a sales development rep (SDR) involves a high volume of repetitive tasks aimed at eliciting a response from a prospect. SDRs use different channels to contact prospects multiple times using similar, but slightly different, language based on the situation. The sales development leader is responsible for making the SDR team as effective and efficient as possible by providing proper guidance for this core job function.
Touch patterns matter. The job of a sales development rep (SDR) is to contact prospects with engaging, value-based messages so that the prospects will respond and ultimately schedule a meeting. The biggest challenge for an individual SDR is not having enough guidance from management for the touch pattern activities that make up their primary job function.
A world-class sales development organization starts with a plan. As the team on the front lines communicating the value of the company to prospects every day, they need to be prepared. TOPO’s framework helps define the necessary strategy, development of processes and procedures, and assembling sales development tech stack for company growth.
The TOPO Sales Development Framework is a standard methodology practiced by the world’s fastest-growing companies and supported by research into sales development best practices. It contains a series of repeatable activities that are organized into the following elements: strategy, people, process, technology, tactics, and metrics.
TOPO’s Sales Development Framework captures the key strategic components of modern, high-growth sales development teams. The framework has 10 key categories:
Market: Define and agree on target accounts and stakeholders. This starts with creating the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and includes gathering insights into the buyers (e.g., people and companies) and the market (e.g., use case, vertical, competitive forces).
Go-To-Market: Develop a strategy and detailed plan for meeting the revenue objective. An SDR charter defines the tactics and processes to execute the team strategy and mission, as well as informs the entire organization of the team’s role. It drives the creation of segments, a coverage model, and the data strategy.
Organization: Establish the organizational infrastructure for attracting, hiring, and retaining SDR resources, and aligning them to stakeholders in sales and marketing.
Process Design: Design the end-to-end sales development process, from demand generation to sales handoff, for qualifying prospects and generating pipeline. This includes SLAs–what is being done by whom and in what time frame–usually agreed upon by two different teams (e.g., marketing and sales development). SLAs drive capacity and resources to meet the go-to-market strategy.
Technology: Build a sales development technology stack to drive scale, automation, and efficiency of the sales development team. This includes the people, curriculum, tools, templates, and certifications required to onboard and train SDRs and sales reps, as well as configure and maintain tools.
Program Design: Design programs, plays, offers, and touch patterns for SDRs to execute. Also includes the communication and documentation used to educate SDRs about upcoming marketing programs and the expectations of sales development for supporting those programs.
Messaging: Provide prospect-specific messaging and content. The foundation for creating and delivering relevant and customized messages is critical for SDRs to connect with prospects in a scalable way. This includes tools for developing and customizing messages, personas, insights, value propositions, use case stories, objection handling, and templates.
Plays: Develop repeatable processes and tools to help SDRs execute key tasks at scale. Top sales development organizations deliver these messages through multiple channels (e.g., phone, email, social) by understanding how to utilize prioritization, research, touch pattern execution, qualification, and handoff.
Onboarding and Training: Define the onboarding, training, and coaching that is critical to successful sales development. It is more than the process from start date to full monthly quota. It includes a continual education program that takes SDRs from full quota ramp to mastery with an ongoing focus on best practices, examples, exercises, and certifications.
Measurement: Build a reporting process to measure, manage, and optimize sales development performance that evaluates the activity volume, conversion rates, and capacity of the SDRs.
All sales development organizations will improve results by adopting this TOPO Framework below.
Sales Development Role is a Centerpiece for Account Based programs. And it’s really hard to pull off.
Sales Development role in account based programs is the biggest story in sales development today. The role SDR’s play is a critical piece of the account based movement but its really really hard to pull off. This story and more emerged in the 2019 TOPO Sales Development Benchmark.