Consistently generating sales qualified leads in the enterprise is a constant struggle for outbound sales development teams. This presents a significant challenge for the 93.4% of companies that conduct outbound prospecting, and particularly for the 54% of organizations that have a dedicated outbound SDR role. For these organizations, the traditional “numbers game” sales strategy in which SDRs send mass cold emails and make calls with the same generic message no longer produces results in the enterprise.
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).
Over 30 sales development leaders from the bay area’s fastest growing companies once again convened at the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park last Friday for TOPO’s Sales Development Council #7. 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 the hiring and interview process, onboarding strategy, and coaching best practices.
Predictive analytics is one of today’s hottest B2B marketing technologies. Fueled by drivers such as big data, SaaS delivery models, and data-driven marketing and sales, predictive analytics garners a tremendous amount of attention, particularly given how few customers are in actual production. While the hype can sometimes be excessive, early adopters are realizing demonstrable ROI as they use statistical modeling, machine learning, and scoring technologies to identify and prioritize accounts, leads, contacts, and customers at specific points in the marketing and sales funnel. It’s this demonstrable ROI that’s causing more and more marketing organizations to look at predictive analytics as a new, non-negotiable element of their marketing technology stacks.
Earlier this month Demandbase raised $30 million in its latest round of funding. After starting in 2006 as the “iTunes for contacts,” the company has pivoted and morphed over time into one of the early leaders in the emerging Account Based Marketing (ABM) stack. As a matter of fact, Demandbase was one of the first vendors to start talking about Account Based Marketing in 2011. Its funding is further validation that Account Based Marketing is one the biggest trends in B2B sales and marketing. At TOPO, we have been tracking and researching Account Based Marketing for the last two years and have seen a surge in analyst inquiries over the last six months. Now, an ABM technology stack is emerging.
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.
Last Friday, TOPO hosted the fourth meeting of our Demand Generation Council at the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park. Like other TOPO Council meetings, we focused on providing a forum for leading demand gen practitioners 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. Demand Generation Council #4 attracted over 30 demand generation leaders who were interested in learning about different strategies and tactics. Once again, overall demand gen process, specific programs, and supporting technologies took center stage.
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.
As part of TOPO’s ongoing interview series with leading sales development leaders, today we interview Nick Simmons, Senior Manager of Sales Development at Twilio. Twilio is one of the fastest growing companies in the world and enables phones, VoIP, and messaging to be embedded into web, desktop, and mobile software. Nick will share his thoughts on sales development best practices, goals, challenges, technology, and metrics. Note that Nick and Twilio refer to sales development and SDRs as business development and BDRs respectively.