One of the most critical procedures a business can design to deliver a seamless, effective revenue machine is sales development.
Prospects are found, connected with, and qualified by the phone team before being passed on to a salesperson who completes the rest of the sales process.
The Business Case for Sales Growth
A sales development team can be designed, built, and optimised using a number of best practices.
To begin, let’s look at why sales development is so important to the health of your revenue generator.
1. Making contact with prospects takes time and effort.
Take a look at the data provided by demand generation business Vorsight to see how much effort it takes to approach a prospect by phone:
2. The key to conversion is a quick, uniform lead follow-up process.
To reach a single potential, it usually takes more than 12 touches. Additionally, according to studies from the sales benchmark index, 70% of purchasers prefer to work digitally.
In other words, a salesperson will need to not only make a lot of phone calls but also add an email and possibly social media contacts. In fact, merging digital and phone touches increases touch-to-connect conversion rates. Quota-carrying sales professionals lack the time and resources to handle the multichannel campaign required to reach leads.
An additional thing to think about is lead response time. Response rates present both a challenge and an opportunity, as shown in the graph below from Velocify. The higher the conversion rate, the sooner you respond to an inbound lead.
At the end of the day, a quota-carrying salesperson responsible for the remaining 70% of a sales cycle for several deals will never be able to satisfy the needed follow-up rates.
3. Turning a lead into an opportunity necessitates a separate playbook, training, and coaching.
The rest of the sales cycle is fundamentally different from sales development. It’s difficult enough to connect with someone, but once you do, you only have a few seconds to pique their attention and a few minutes to manage objections and close for a meeting. Full-time management, specialised training, and ongoing coaching are all required for effective sales development.
4. A greater conversion rate indicates more sales development.
It takes time and works to convert a lead. A sales development team is responsible for contacting leads, overcoming obstacles, ensuring that they are a good fit, and connecting them to sales teams.
Sales development teams are known to convert leads into opportunities at a far higher rate than those without. Two technology clients, for example, marketed similar products to the same type of buyer.
- These leads were converted at a rate of 40% by the company with an efficient sales development process.
- The other company routed leads directly to quota-carrying sales agents, with a conversion rate of less than 5%.
5. Sales development tools greatly improve marketing and contact data.
Marketing can only optimise programmes if it has access to the data it needs. Salespeople are infamous for sloppy data management, and sales management is concerned about sales forecast data (with good reason).
Well-managed sales development teams, on the other hand, excel at giving data. They spend the entire day on the CRM programme and are rewarded for providing accurate data to marketing in order to make their jobs easier.
6. Alignment of sales and marketing
The most common complaint from marketing is that sales do not follow up on leads. Meanwhile, salespeople’s single top gripe is that marketing leads are awful.
Sales development services can help teams assist in bridging the sales and marketing divide. A respectable lead-to-opportunity conversion rate is 30%, which means that 70% of leads contacted will not become opportunities.
Quota-carrying sales agents don’t have time to contact these leads, only to discover that 70% of them will go nowhere. Sales development addresses this issue by only providing qualified prospects who are ready to speak with a salesperson.
7. More income is generated when quota-carrying salespeople increase their productivity and efficiency.
Sales reps are high-cost assets who are compensated to close deals. Companies must free up time to concentrate on the work required to attain their objectives.
The rest of the sales cycle is spent by a great quota-carrying salesperson: pitching, offering, bargaining, trying to get buyers back on the phone, meeting with internal stakeholders, and so on.
By allowing sales to start their sales process with quality leads that are eager to speak with sales, we boost the chances of completing more business.
8. Your buyer expects you to follow up with them.
Buyers who fill out forms on vendor websites and then complain about a lack of follow-up are a common occurrence. When we looked at the data, we saw that the vendor had indeed followed up. The problem was that the sales representative only wrote one ordinary email and never followed up.
An excellent purchase experience includes well-crafted messages and diligent follow-up. Buyers are highly busy, and they don’t always ignore your calls because they aren’t interested. The importance of proper qualification in the purchasing process cannot be overstated.
Organizing the sales development department
The next step is to create a function for your sales development representative (SDR). Defining your qualified definition, organisational architecture, remuneration guidelines, training and enablement, metrics, and technology are all part of this process.
Sales development metrics
When managing an SDR team, there are two types of KPIs to keep track of: operational and strategic.
- Operational metrics: Provide statistics to the manager in order to improve the SDR’s day-to-day strategies. The initial set of metrics you should use should be based on the phases in your lead follow-up process. For instance, you can calculate the conversion rate by dividing calls/connections.
The following are some more operational conversion rates to keep an eye on:
- Rates of email open and response
- Rates of voicemail response
- To evaluate which lead sources are effective and which are not, look at their effectiveness.
- Accepted qualified leads/sales leads
- Strategic metrics: Will assist you in determining the overall efficiency of the SDR organisation:
- SDRs are responsible for a large portion of the pipeline.
- SDR-sourced pipeline as a percentage of the total pipeline
- Qualified leads resulted in sales.
- Per month, the number of eligible leads passed
Have confidence in what you’re selling. SDRs have a habit of talking themselves out of a sale before they even say anything. Why should anyone else believe in the product or service you’re selling if you don’t? Have a great Pre-Call Plan in place, be aware of your competition, and be prepared to manage any objections that may arise.