Generally, over the decade sales development has shifted from a tactical to a more strategic function critical to driving revenue. With strategic sales development, organizations are creating thoughtful go-to-market strategies while supporting marketing goals. Furthermore, sales development doesn’t work unless fully integrated with the sales team’s efforts. As part of the sales cycle, it’s mainly concerned with preparing leads and prospects to be converted to paying customers. So, what is sales development about? Who does it work for? Who does it not work for? Let’s find out, shall we?
What does sales development entail?
Sales development as one of the most misunderstood roles in sales, is the front-end element of the sales cycle which identifies, connects and qualifies leads. Sales development is normally executed by SDRs (Sales Development Representatives) Specifically, there are three main types of SDRs. Firstly, inbound SDRs who target individuals who know your company. Secondly, outbound SDRs who target people who don’t know your company. Lastly, blended SDRs who do both. Additionally, sales development involves either an account-based model or a high-velocity model. In retrospect, it combines inbound opportunity qualification and outbound prospecting efforts.
Specialized Lead development
Specialized lead development and engagement is the motive of SDRs as they allow Account Executives focus on closing deals. Furthermore, it professionalizes the process of opportunity creation and lead qualification. Additionally, boosting sales productivity, accelerating growth and lowering costs at the same time. SDRs generate list of leads based on targeted research of prospective clients and contacts. Similarly, they engage relevant prospects in conversations and collaborate with marketing teams for inbound demand generation. Likewise, they update leads, capture activities and contacts with relevant information on prospect status into a CRM.
Account-Based Sales Development Model
Contrary to the high-velocity model, Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) is a more strategic prospecting. Specifically, its process involves selling to targeted and highly valued accounts. ABSD is for closing large deals with multiple decision makers. Different from traditional contact or lead-based selling, you’re selling at the account level rather than at the lead level. Secondly, there’s inherently more complexity as you have more contacts to manage within the account. Furthermore, more decision makers are involved in the process and coordination with colleagues and other departments is imperative.
BANT is the most commonly used qualification model used by SDRs. BANT which stands for Budget, Authority, Need, Timing, is the most traditional qualification model. Though ANUM (Authority, Need, Urgency, Money) is occasionally used too. Specifically, the most popular tools and strategies used by SDRs are CRMs, social prospecting, appointment setting, data/list services, email engagements and cold calls. Furthermore, SDRs also use event sign-ups, webinars, guide downloads, intranet consultations, trials, and demos. This indicates that sales development is more focused and dramatically more effective.
Sales development ideally involves a systematic and documented approach to data management. This enables maintenance of an organized prospecting process. The average account should have; first name, last name, company, job title, industry email address, phone number, lead owner, lead status, lead source. This helps start the ‘pre-qualification’ process with a minimum size, industry and revenue criteria. Data facilitates the profiling of your ideal target accounts, for instance, size, sector, location, and other relevant indicators.
Understanding customer needs
SDRs is mainly about understanding customer needs to the core. Which are the target customers’ needs, type or sector? What is the main benefit a customer gets from your service? How much does it really mean to them? Sometimes bigger customers give you economies of scale. Furthermore, they can give a better return on your selling efforts and respond well to high-quality propositions and service. SDRs additionally do a lot of follow up work with leads and prospects. Especially during the prospecting cycle with contacts, generation of required follow-ups with nurtured prospects happens.
Lastly, driving pipeline growth with informed strategic decisions enables SDRs generate more opportunities for sales. When executed effectively, this significantly increases the conversion and velocity of new sales lower acquisition costs. Sales development is ideal for most businesses launching a new product into the market with the focus on efficiency. Furthermore, it can be applied in businesses with existing services or product ranges depending on the model you desire. For more information, be sure to contact us here at Top Lead.