Generating sales opportunities is a never-ending business function if you want to create sustainable and predictable growth. It requires a team of highly skilled sales and marketing experts to meet prospects where they’re at in the sales funnel and how they go about making business purchasing decisions.
While you may want to build a sales development team to maximize business growth, where do you even start? Well, we’re here to guide you in the right direction.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover the following topics:
A sales development team is responsible for engaging with potential customers in your target market and encouraging them to invest in your company’s product or service. When it comes down to it, the overall role of a sales development team is to generate new revenue for your business and grow your company’s infrastructure.
Many companies struggle to streamline operations between sales and marketing departments, which is where the sales development team comes in to bridge this gap. Sales development requires collaboration between various marketing and sales roles to ensure they reach the right prospects at the right time. A sales development team is tasked with reaching out to outbound prospects to set sales appointments and bring in inbound sales leads through digital marketing.
Sales development can’t be done by a single salesperson (at least not effectively), which means you need to have a team of inbound and outbound sales experts to meet prospects where they’re at in their stage of the sales process. Here are some of the experts you need to have on your sales development team to yield long-term results:
Sales Development Representatives
Sales development representatives (SDRs) are tasked with building relationships with prospects in the sales pipeline, converting them into leads, and leads into potential sales opportunities. They make cold calls, send sales emails, and connect with prospects on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn. If a prospect they’re chasing is sales and marketing qualified for your company’s product or service, they aim to set them up with sales meetings with one of your account executives.
However, SDRs can’t do it all themselves, so having a sales development representative team is essential for ensuring they stay motivated and meet their quotas. An SDR team consists of business development representatives (BDRs), SDRs, and sales managers. While BDRs prioritize qualifying prospects, the SDRs follow up to ensure their account executives get high-converting sales appointments.
On the other hand, sales managers are responsible for overseeing both roles and ensuring they obtain practical time management skills and have the ability to communicate effectively with high-quality leads. If they don’t, they may need further sales development representative training to maximize their ROI.
While sales and marketing are often seen as different departments, they must work together to achieve an effective sales development team plan. Marketing specialists are essential to include in your sales strategy because their digital marketing materials can accelerate an outbound lead’s journey in the sales cycle and generate inbound leads for a more advanced business growth strategy.
Marketing specialists are important for outbound sales development because they can create email marketing campaigns for the different buyer personas within your target market. Even if a lead isn’t ready to buy yet, they have all the insight into your target audience to create materials that align with their wants, needs, interests, and stage in the sales funnel, allowing them to reduce the time spent in the sales cycle.
For an outbound SDR organization to be effective, marketing specialists must also take action to capture the attention of potential buyers through digital marketing efforts. This includes inbound marketing strategies like search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and social media marketing. When marketing specialists collaborate with SDRs, you have the opportunity to help target more (and better) qualified leads.
If an online user is interested in the products or services your company has to offer, they can submit their contact information to request a sales meeting or additional B2B sales and marketing materials. While they may be marketing qualified at this time, there’s no assurance they’re sales qualified, so SDRs must follow up to ensure they meet your company’s predetermined sales qualifiers.
Sales Enablement Creators
Sales enablement creators (or content markers) are tasked with creating sales-driven marketing collateral that empowers SDRs and marketing specialists to pique the interest of potential customers and encourage them to reach out to your business. These marketing materials include:
- Company brochures
- Product, service, or topic sell sheets
- Statistic-driven infographics
- Customer case studies
- Promotional videos
One of the most significant benefits of these sales enablement materials is that they can be used in a wide range of sales scenarios, from outbound sales development to inbound marketing. With outbound sales development, they can be attached to sales emails or used by SDRs for more advanced sales training. However, they can also be used with inbound marketing by being shared through social media or embedded into your company website for greater SEO value.
Sales Operations Analysts
Sales operations analysts are the individuals who compile a list of prospects for your SDR teams to contact for outbound lead generation. They use a wide range of sales prospecting tools and technologies such as ZoomInfo and D&B Hoovers to find prospects your company could potentially like doing business with. These tools allow them to segment prospective businesses based on your predetermined qualifications, such as:
- Number of full-time employees
- Amount of yearly revenue generated
- Region served
- And more
Additionally, these prospecting tools provide SDR teams with the contact information of the individual who is most likely the decision-maker regarding your company’s product or service. This includes their name, job title, email address, direct phone number, etc. However, it’s vital that your BDRs and SDRs still verify who the decision-maker is when contacting them to ensure they have the most accurate information possible.
Sales operations analysts are key players in having an effective lead generation program and should be every SDR team member’s best friend. Having these individuals as a part of your SDR organization can help BDRs and SDRs further understand the buyer personas of potential customers in your target market. Additionally, they can help marketing specialists forecast new industry trends, empowering your company to stay ahead of the curve with different product and service offerings.
With sales operations analysts, you have the ability to see what channels prospects are engaging with most to achieve the most significant ROI of your lead generation efforts. Coordinating with SDRs and marketing specialists empower you to narrow down the best prospects to target and reduce the amount of time they spend in the sales cycle.
Account executives are the individuals on your sales team responsible for attending the sales meetings set by SDRs and converting these opportunities into closed business. Once an SDR schedules a sales appointment, your account executives are tasked with presenting a customized pitch deck that aligns with the prospect’s wants, needs, and pain points.
Account executives should be the top sales experts at your company and understand your brand, products, and services to their core. They should have the hard and soft sales skills to capture and maintain the attention of sales opportunities, persuading them to sign on the dotted line. Many small to medium-sized businesses often assign each component of the sales process to account executives to keep costs low. While this may sound ideal from a budgeting standpoint, it usually leaves many high-quality leads in the dust because they’re too focused on crafting the pitch deck and keeping current clients satisfied with their products or services.
Dividing each part of the sales development process into specialized sectors is most effective for long-term, predictable growth because it allows everyone to focus on what they have on their plate without being torn in various directions. With too many responsibilities on the account executives, you risk losing high-paying clients and not having as many sales opportunities rolling through the doors.
Deciding on the first person you should hire for your sales development team often depends on what pain points you have with your sales development efforts. While you may ideally want to onboard everyone at once, we know that isn’t always feasible with a restricted sales and marketing budget. Here are some pain points to consider and the salespeople you should hire to help relieve these pain points:
- If you’re struggling to create a more predictable sales pipeline, it’d be ideal for you to hire sales operations analysts first to help you forecast new sales opportunities.
- If you rely solely on client referrals for new business opportunities, you’d want to hire sales operations analysts to help find new prospects. Additionally, you’d need to invest in the proper sales prospecting tools for them to fill the pipeline.
- If you need to generate more qualified sales leads, onboarding BDRs and SDRs enable you to get qualified leads that meet your ideal customer profile (ICP).
- If you want your account executives to close more deals, you should bring on sales reps to set meetings so they can focus on crafting the perfect pitch deck.
- If you have too many everyday business tasks on your plate, hire some account executives to attend sales appointments and close more deals.
Sales development is a time-consuming business function that many small to medium-sized businesses don’t have the bandwidth to take on. Many growing companies choose to outsource their sales development operations because it allows them to spend more time retaining their current clientele and keeping employees happy.
You Don’t Have the Budget
Budget is often a significant factor when it comes to creating a sales development team plan. As you add up all the SDR team salaries, benefits, comp plans, travel expenses, etc., you can spend upwards of $471,000 alone. Additionally, to obtain a sales process that yields long-term results, you must purchase all the necessary sales tools and technologies, which costs approximately $35,331. Internalizing your sales development efforts is highly costly if you don’t have the financial resources, which is why many small to medium-sized businesses invest in sales development outsourcing.
You Don’t Have the Proper Sales Training
Not everyone can be a sales expert. As a business owner, you know what you do best—run a successful business. Many B2B companies outsource their sales development because that’s an area of the business they may not have the most expertise in. While you focus on running a growing business, an outsourced sales development and marketing firm can help bring new high-quality sales opportunities to you.
Sales development is a crucial component of long-term, sustainable growth. However, many small to medium-sized businesses put it on the back burner because they have more pressing business matters to tend to. With an SDR team in place, you have the opportunity to focus on everyday business functions while they take care of bringing in new sales opportunities.
As you start building your sales development team, it’s important to think about:
- What sales roles are already established within your organization
- Where you see the biggest pain points in your sales development efforts
- The time, money, and sales resources you have available
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our outsourced SDR teams are well-equipped to prospect, qualify, nurture, and set high-converting sales appointments with ready-to-buy prospects in your sales pipeline. If you don’t have the ability to internalize your sales development team right now, contact the sales development experts at Abstrakt to lend a helping hand!