Over 30 sales development leaders from the bay area’s fastest growing companies once again convened at the Four Seasons in San Francisco last Friday for TOPO’s Sales Development Council #12. These Councils offer a unique forum for sales development leaders from high growth companies to learn from each other and share best practices. Each Council features three speakers who share the processes, plays, organizational elements, and technologies they use to drive key revenue metrics. This Council produced a few key themes, including discussions about improving SDR effectiveness, refining the qualification definition, and creating effective touch patterns.
TOPO’s Sales Operations Council #2 gathered over 20 of the brightest sales operations leaders from the Bay Area’s fastest growing companies to the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park last Friday. The morning kicked off with a networking breakfast in which attendees made new connections with their peers and shared best practices. As for the food, the new “eggs benedict in a toasted bagel” was a big hit. The council event officially began with a brief introduction from Craig Rosenberg, TOPO Co-Founder and Chief Analyst, who announced the three speakers for the morning: Bill Schwidder, VP of Business Operations at Zenefits; Tom Gadd Director, Sales Operations at Nitro, Inc; and Dhiraj Singh, Inside Sales and Operations Manager at MemSQL.
Over the last 10 years, B2B demand generation teams have used technology such as marketing automation to become highly-scaled demand generation engines, delivering high volumes of leads each month. But these teams fail to adequately support the sales team’s strategic pursuit of named accounts. In fact, on average, only 10-20% of the leads generated by marketing are from accounts on the sales team’s target list.
As marketers seek to better align with and enable sales, the focus is moving from a traditional, lead-centric view to an account-centric view. This shift is driving innovation throughout the value chain, from targeting and offer strategy, to the sales technology stack, to the ways demand generation teams collaborate.
In the not too distant past, you could be fairly confident of succeeding in sales with the right mix of good hiring, training, and motivating your reps to sell. But succeeding is a far cry from excelling. The fact is, you can’t apply a run-of-the-mill approach to sales and expect to drive above-average results. And you certainly can’t achieve significant and rapid growth without embracing a systematic, replicable and data-driven approach to building and cultivating your sales operation.
Our research has surfaced a massive shift in how the most successful sales organizations are being designed and run. Simply put, success relies on a strategic rather than tactical approach. Our research also uncovered the elements that are always present in high-growth sales machines. We compiled these into an 8-point framework that is essential for any organization wanting to drive scalable, consistent revenue growth.
We are excited to announce the 2016 Sales Development Framework. This version of the framework recognizes the transformation of Sales Development from a set of tactics and activities to a truly strategic function.
We’re excited to announce that the TOPO Sales Summit will take place April 7-8 in San Francisco. The Summit is a new conference where 600+ sales leaders representing over $50B in high growth revenue will share the specific best practices, patterns, and plays that they use to drive exceptional revenue growth. Our objective is to make the Summit the most valuable sales conference in the world. You’ll have access to over 30 sessions, workshops, and keynotes focused on the hottest topics in sales leadership, sales development, sales technology, and sales effectiveness. You’ll also have a great time at our Summit Bash, exclusive dinners, and 1:1 networking sessions.
Effective time management is essential to SDR productivity. 83.4% of SDRs fail to consistently hit quota each month, in large part because they lack this critical skill. The problem is so prevalent that in TOPO’s SDR benchmark research, 33.3% of high-growth companies cite challenges around SDR time management as one of the top three challenges for their organization. These challenges include:
- Prioritizing high value activities
- Consistently achieving activity goals
- Staying focused/not wasting time
- Maintaining process (e.g. following a touch pattern).
For sales development teams, the activity of coaching is mission-critical, because it ensures continuous improvement of sales development representatives (SDRs). However, SDR coaching is seriously lacking in most organizations today and represents the largest gap in sales development enablement. In fact, according to our research, only 17.3% of high-growth organizations claim to perform SDR coaching. This leaves a lot to chance in the sales development process, particularly since 74.5% of SDRs have less than 1 year of work experience and most have no prior sales experience.
TOPO hosted the sixth meeting of our Sales Development Council last Friday at the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park. TOPO Councils are a unique forum for sales development leaders from high growth companies to learn from each other. Each Council features three speakers who share the processes, plays, organizational elements, and technologies they use to drive key revenue metrics. Sales Development Council #6 attracted over 35 sales development leaders who shared their best practices for designing, building, and managing a world class sales development function. A few key themes emerged at the particular Council, including discussions about buyer-responsive sales development process and plays and technology proliferation in the sales development organization.
A new technology stack is emerging that is specifically designed for sales development. The emergence of a dedicated sales development technology stack is basically the result of a fundamental tension that’s existed in sales development for a few years now. On the one hand, sales development has become a mission critical element in most high growth company’s marketing and sales efforts. On the other, an abundance of digital information makes it harder than ever to reach and qualify buyers. Sales development leaders are in a continuous battle to manage this core tension.