The Inspired Sales Development Team: An Interview with Ralph Barsi

The TOPO blog is committed to bringing the sales development community the latest trends, data, and best practices from the fastest-growing companies in the world. But it’s really great leaders that take those insights and drive action from them; that lead their teams to perform like the best in the business. Over the next several weeks, TOPO will be posting an interview series with the world’s best sales development leaders and practitioners.

To kick us off, Ralph Barsi, Senior Director of Sales Development at Achievers, shares his best practices, most impactful decisions, goals, challenges, metrics and the most effective technology his team is using today.

Ralph will also be moderating TOPO’s upcoming webinar, 11 High Growth Sales Development Strategies.

Sales Hiring: 4 Hiring Traps that Stall Revenue Growth

Hiring enough good salespeople is one of the most important things a company can do. That’s because the rate at which you hire salespeople is one of the primary factors in determining how fast you’ll grow revenue. At it’s most basic level, sales is about establishing a company-wide revenue target, assigning an appropriate quota for salespeople, and then hiring enough reps so that you can hit the company-wide target. In other words, individual quota assignment multiplied by number of sales people = company bookings or revenue target.

Sounds simple, right? Not really, especially given the large number of dynamics that can derail your sales hiring. While some of these dynamics are obvious (e.g. hiring bad salespeople), others are less obvious. In this post, we’ll analyze four non-obvious sales hiring traps that can derail your sales team’s quota achievement, including:

  1. Accessing a large enough candidate pool;
  2. Shortening the average time it takes to achieve full quota;
  3. Knowing when to accelerate or decelerate sales hiring; and
  4. Covering rep attrition with your sales hiring plan.

Overcoming Live Call Objections in Sales Development

Here’s the scenario: You’ve identified a lead you want to talk to. You have crafted several thoughtful emails, left impactful voicemails, and maybe even retweeted a prospect’s latest update. Finally, FINALLY, you get the prospect live on the phone, and that’s where the trouble starts: the buyer comes in with objections.

The ability to effectively manage live calls is one of the most challenging aspects of being an sales development rep. It is also one of the most important. TOPO considers live call management 1 of 3 essential pillars for SDR success. SDRs that do this well have mastered the ability to overcome objections from the very beginning of the call (the classic, I’m busy right now, just send over some information), all the way through to close.

October Sales Development Practice Recap

In October, the Sales Development Practice completed our Sales Development Benchmark Report. The read-outs have begun, and our participants are benefitting from understanding how they stack up against their peers. Additionally, we are preparing for our Sales Development Council event #3 on November 14th and are thrilled with the group we’ve assembled. As always, we have new and exciting client advisory projects and appreciate the opportunity to help such great clients build and optimize top-notch Sales Development teams.

September Sales Development Practice Recap

September was a landmark month for TOPO’s Sales Development Practice. Our analysts published new research on underperforming SDRs. Leaders from the sales development community gathered for our 2nd Sales Development Council. The addition of several amazing customers has us hard at work continuing to build leading sales development teams at the world’s fastest-growing companies. 

Whales, Dolphins, and Minnows: The Best Posts We Read This Week

Here are five of the best posts we read last week:

Do you have a Whale, Dolphin, Minnow (WDM) go-to-market strategy? Hany Nada’s framework is inspired by Vegas, but has applicability in a range of markets. What the Music Business Can Learn From the Gaming and Gambling Industries

Craig Rosenberg (the Funnelholic) went beast-mode on the who, what, why, when, how of sales development this week. It’s essential reading. The Sales Development Team: A Proven Framework for Success

The Sales Development Team: A Proven Framework for Success

Sales development is one of the most important processes an organization can build to deliver a seamless, efficient revenue machine. Sales development is a phone-based team that identifies, connects with, and qualifies leads. When a lead is qualified, they then pass the qualified lead to a sales person who takes over for the rest of the sales process. From Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Sales Lead Qualification and Sales Development: “Put simply, SDRs (Sales Development Reps) pass the baton between marketing and sales.”

In this post, we want to explore best practices for designing, building, and optimizing a sales development team.

For other posts on this topic, consider a post on building sales development stack or the framework for sales development success.

Cheap Coffee, The FCC, and Horror Movies: The Best Posts We Read This Week

Better late than never! Here are five of the best posts we read last week:

If you work in marketing (or sales) and think about demographics at all, Tyler Cowen’s new book Average is Over is a must-read. Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation

Usually when my kids tell me I have to see something online, it’s pretty good. This prankvertisement for the remake of the movie Carrie was no different. Horror-Movie Stunt With Freaky Telekinetic Girl Is Frighteningly Good

The SaaS Buying Experience: Mapping How Businesses Buy Software

Nowhere is the buying experience changing more than in the software industry. As little as five years ago, large sales organizations and low quality products dominated the market for business software. In fact, many of the world’s largest software companies were notorious for their aggressive, in-person sales tactics and hard-to-use products.

Given the importance of the buying experience (our research suggests that companies that provide great buying experiences grow 2X as fast as their peers) and how fast the software buying experience is changing, it’s critical that marketing and sales professionals understand how buyers are purchasing software today.

Micro-Celebrities, Yoga, and Maple Syrup: The Best Posts We Read This Week

Here are some of the best posts we read this week…

Technology is for people. Marketers, sales professionals, designers, and product development types forget this simple fact all the time. Computers are for People

Hootsuite has 7M users and 350 employees. Fast Company asks whether the company will endure and Ryan Holmes has a great response that’s all about being smart, longevity, and culture. How Hootsuite is CEO Ryan Holmes is Building a Yoga-Loving Maple-Syrup Mafia