Analyses of sales effectiveness are usually based on the views of sales leaders. While those opinions are clearly important, it is equally important to hear about the day-to-day realities of sales directly from the reps in the trenches. That is why the TOPO Sales Sentiment Index (SSI) is based on feedback from sales reps themselves.
If you want to join the ranks of the highest of high-growth companies, do not leave alignment to chance. It’s a fool’s errand to expect a 22-year-old sales development rep (SDR) fresh out of university to develop a consistent, scalable, repeatable prioritization, execution, and qualification process. Be prescriptive in your expectations and methodical in the tools you arm your teams with. I use the sales development team as an example because they bridge the gap between marketing and sales, and are a pivotal piece to the pipeline puzzle.
Marketers target the most important prospects with cross-functional plays designed to drive meetings, and frequently send a unique gift as the core of the orchestrated play. The hope is that the gift will stand out to the prospect and they will agree to a meeting. With 87% of top-performing account based organizations using meeting plays, that’s a lot of iPads, drones, and bottles of wine shipped to corporate executives. Corporate gift policies—and the sheer volume of such gifts—can limit a marketer’s ability to be effective with this approach.
The only thing growing faster than our clients revenue today is the change they face in order to sustain growth.
With our mission to help sales and marketing organizations grow revenue faster, we are excited to share that TOPO has agreed to be acquired by Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company.
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.
One of the most critical roles a sales development rep (SDR) plays in an organization is to qualify prospects before they speak to sales. But the pressure to quickly qualify and handoff meetings to sales reps often results in leads that are passed along before the prospect has been fully qualified. This issue is compounded by sales reps with differing opinions of what constitutes qualification and who may ignore qualified leads that have come from SDRs. This lack of alignment causes problems on both sides of the handoff.
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Sales development reps (SDRs) are responsible for creating qualified meetings for sales reps. While this seems like a straightforward process, TOPO has identified a breaking point.
Many sales organizations fail to address what happens before and after SDRs set up those meetings. This oversight creates confusion.
SDRs pass leads before they are fully qualified, sales ignores qualified leads, or sales fails to document what happened in the meeting and next steps. More often than not, issues like these lead to a lack of alignment and the SDR program suffers.
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.