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.
Once you have nailed the product market fit in the seed stage, your focus in Series A is determining whether a small set of sales reps can meet your target revenue number. In other words, can they convert interested, relevant buyers into real opportunities and deals? At this point, you should be looking for ways to optimize the sales process so that you can prove your model is viable at scale.
In part 2 of this series on our Sales Management Market Guide, TOPO focuses on how these technologies deliver value to sales leaders, key considerations when evaluating sales management technology, and the increasing demand for insights and engagement.
The Sales Team Lifecycle is a roadmap companies can follow to effectively put in place the right salespeople, processes, technology, and metrics as they grow from seed to Series C. This roadmap provides a proven approach to aligning the sales team with the company’s size and growth, and setting expectations for what is required at each stage. By following this framework, companies can avoid making the mistakes that introduce unnecessary risk into their sales organizations, go-to-market strategies, and growth plans.
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.
Predictable sales execution is the most important aspect of successful sales from leadership to the sales rep. Today, the ability to deliver on these core responsibilities is not optimized. The day-to-day tasks of reviewing the pipeline, recommending next best actions, and creating forecast visibility suffer from imperfect data. Data that is only partially recalled by the reps and therefore entered incorrectly. Data that falls through the cracks and is left out of the database altogether. Data that is not optimally captured and therefore not visible. Data that is visible, but not easily scanned by busy sales leaders. Data, in other words, that is suboptimal—and therefore leads to unsatisfactory sales results.
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.
TOPO Summit is an opportunity to see exactly how over 50+ leading companies have achieved scalable revenue growth. Every speaker at TOPO Summit shares specific marketing and sales best practices, as well as insights on what’s working (and what’s not). We’re excited to share what some of those speakers will be presenting on, but we also encourage you to keep an eye on our agenda for more information.
We recently surveyed the sales and marketing technology vendors who are partnering with us at TOPO Summit to gather their thoughts on the most important trends in revenue. A few big themes emerged: account based, customer engagement, sales effectiveness and enablement, sales and marketing alignment, and how data and technology are driving scale.
If you want to learn more about the latest trends in sales and marketing technology, make sure you check out the Marketplace at TOPO Summit where you’ll find 40 of the world’s leading marketing and sales technology vendors.
Sales engagement, interactions between sales reps and buyers or customers, is overwhelmingly named by sales leaders as their top priority. They are focused on the quality and volume of sales reps’ activity with buyers as they look to drive higher conversion rates and larger average deal sizes. Sales engagement is such a high priority that 90% of sales leaders plan to invest in technologies and methodologies to guide their sellers engage effectively with prospects and customers.