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.
Sales development leaders spend as much as 60% of their role recruiting. They spend significant budget working with recruiting firms, painstakingly define an ideal candidate profile, and spend countless hours interviewing. Ironically, the same rigor put on the recruiting process seldom carries over to onboarding. The result is, organizations dedicate time and resources to getting the best SDRs to join their team, only to leave them hanging once they are in the seat.
Of course, this isn’t true of all organizations, and perhaps this is hyperbolic. But here are the facts of the onboarding problem:
- The average SDR tenure is 14.2 months.
- 72.5% of high growth companies hire SDRs with 0-1 years of experience.
- The average ramp time for new SDRs to hit full quota is three months.
TOPO’s Sales Development Council #8 gathered over 30 of the brightest sales development 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, shared best practices and challenges, and learned from what each leader is doing in their own organization. The council event officially began with a brief introduction from TOPO CEO, Scott Albro, who announced the three speakers for the morning: Craig Rosenberg, Chief Analyst at TOPO; Jon Parisi Sr. Director of Revenue Development at GuideSpark; and Matt Amundson, Director of Sales Development at EverString.
The B2B sales and marketing universe has been writing and talking about buyer personas and the buyer journey for the last ten years. Many organizations have built buyer personas and attempted to map the associated buyer journey. For those organizations that have partaken in the buyer persona exercise, their results far exceed those organizations that have not. However, buyer personas are still very subjective and include a lot of opinion. The next step for many organizations is the opportunity to quantifiably narrow in on the personas that have a higher propensity to buy. Predictive analytics provides the opportunity to use a wide set of data to do this.
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.