Sales development is an essential part of a business built to deliver seamless and efficient revenue performance. Sales development representatives known as SDRs are a part of the sales development team that defines prospects, engages with them and turns them into a lead.

What Is Sales Development?

Sales development is a well-defined process with an area of operations and a dedicated sales team under its umbrella. The sales development team focuses on the early stage of the sales cycle that includes identifying the prospect, engaging with them, and turning them into a lead. These teams find the best ways to connect with the customers to find potential clients and evaluate them to get into the pipeline of being called Sales Qualified Leads.

Evolution Of Sales Development Platform

The sales development platform has developed into an essential feature over the years of development. Sales development is now a synonym for the success of most high-growth sales organizations. Sellers’ productivity will suffer without the production of sales, causing close rates and corporate profits to fall. 

Sales development platforms have become even more efficient with digital marketing software, real-time business intelligence, auto-dialers, automated lead generators to create advanced sales development software. 

Sales Development Strategy

The sales development strategy of any organization significantly affects its chances of achieving revenue goals and attaining success. These three elements belong to a recipe for effective business growth strategy: individuals, processes, and technology.

The sales growth plan needs to concentrate on achieving high performance over specific indicators that eventually translate into higher top-line numbers. 

Sales Development Process

Since the business world has fundamentally evolved into a customer-centered environment, sales growth will begin with the buyer at the forefront.     

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Following are the steps involved in the sales development process:

    • To define sales qualified leads based on —
    • Industry, location, company size
    • Contact person’s specific role in the organization
    • Willingness to engage the sales team
    • Budget 
    • To assign roles for inbound and outbound marketing-driven leads.
    • To engage with a lead via telephonic calls, emails, or other channels. 
    • To determine whether a lead is interested in making a purchase or not.
    • To hand over the process to the sales team after lead prospects.

Why Sales Development Is Necessary?

Below are the four primary reasons why sales development is critical for the organization’s good health:

Converting a lead to an opportunity requires proper sales development training.

Selling development diverges radically from the rest of the sales process. The science of communicating with leads is challenging, and it is hard to treat leads within a limited period. Efficient sales development includes full-time supervision, sales development training, and a steady flow of work.  

Sales Development Equals Higher Lead To Opportunity

It takes a significant amount of time and energy to turn a prospect into a lead. To overcome challenges, organizations must focus on providing a sales strategy to the sales department.

The Sales Development Team improves the quality of marketing and contact data.

Sales representatives are not good at keeping data with them, and on contrary sales, leadership cares about sales forecast data. To manage this, well-trained sales development teams work to provide accurate data. 

Sales And Marketing Alignment

The most significant marketing concern is that an organization is that the sales team does not follow up on their leads. Combating these sales development teams help close the gap between marketing and sales by solving lead follow-up issues with correct handling of the matter.

Sales Development Metrics & Key Performance Indicators

Depending on their operating models, different organizations follow different sets of market growth metrics and key performance indicators. Sales growth metrics, however, typically fall under two major categories:

1. Activity & Operations

It tracks how efficiently sales development representatives perform basic tasks, including the number of calls, emails, meetings, and qualified leads.

2. Impact & Performance

It monitors the quality and outcome of a sales development representative’s contributions to the sales process. It includes qualified leads, and the time is taken to transit these qualified leads.

3. Metrics For Sales Development

Outreach attempts per day or week or month: It tracks the number of calls and emails an SDR makes over a specific period.

Open and response rates for outreach attempts: It monitors the number of time prospects open or responds to emails and voicemails. 

Number of SQLs per week/month: It tracks the number of SQLs a sales representative can vet in a given period.   

The number of calls to close a deal: It counts the number of calls made to close a deal.

SQL win rate: It tracks the number of opportunities to win or lose over a certain.

4. Forecast And Set Goals For Your Team

Predicting and making sales forecasts is a turning point in sales strategy as by identifying trends, an organization can remain on the line. The accurate prediction will also help an organization to anticipate any changes in headcount and prepare a budget accordingly.

5. Set Individual And Team Sales Goals 

An organization must not only focus on essential goals but also attainable goals. An organization must make sure that they are supporting the overall sales strategy.

6. Leads, Opportunities, And Closes 

An organization must not underestimate the value of leads, opportunities, and closes. Only by getting everyone on the same page, an organization can make progress on sales forecasts.

7. Define Detailed Sales Process 

Top performing sales teams must not only concentrate on moving customers down the sale pathway, but they must also foresee how long the process will take, what the bandwidth will be and how to replicate the cycle effectively.

8. Powerful And Flexible CRM

Sales development teams need a single but reliable source to manage their work. CRM lends a helping hand to the sales team by making all of the required data quickly at the fingertips. 

9. Product Costs, Expenses, And Price Fluctuations 

No organization can predict the impact of different sales factors on the business in the future. However, by making the best possible predictions by looking at the past performance can give ballpark numbers.

10. Financial Data

In businesses, there is a constant flow of money. An organization must know where their money is flowing to make an accurate forecast that will help them plan the organization’s future.

11. Best Sales Goals Are ‘Smart’

Goal setting not only ensures that the sales team respects company priorities and targets. However, they also make sure every member of the sales team is giving their best to the job. 

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Set SMART goals for the sales development team and empower them to achieve consistent growth:

S – Specific

Define what exactly an organization is aiming to achieve? An organization must focus on a more specific goal, as it will increase the chances of the sales team to reach them.

M – Measurable

An organization must understand that their goals must have a quantifiable outcome. This will help them and their team to ensure that everything is on track and a natural shift in the working can be made if anything starts to slip out of hand. To do that, an organization must review and measure their work progress at regular intervals and provide sales training.

A – Attainable

Almost no member of any team will be inspired by goals that are nearly unreachable and unattainable. Business goals must be feasible. However, this does not mean that an organization must stop focusing on stretching business goals. An organization, along with their sales team, must never give up on pushing themselves beyond their limits, but it should always be within the realm of possibility.

R – Relevant

An organization must realize that setting unrealistic or irrelevant goals will do more harm than good. Instead of raising irrelevant bars for the team, an organization must look at ways to align their work.

T – Timely

If an organization does not define a timeframe for reaching the milestone, a team will work without any motive. To keep the sales team motivated, an organization must set time limits in which it will like to see its goals achieved.

12. Tools & Technology For Sales Development

Sales development representatives and technology have been friends since the very beginning. SDRs need to perform numerous tasks daily, and that is why they demand software automation as an addition to SDR’s tool kit. An SDR’s work-life is more accessible by improving the ability to define, engage, and qualify leads with the advancement of technology, robust AI, and machine learning programs.

Final Takeaway

Prospecting and lead generation in sales development is purely a number game. An organization needs to enhance its sales operation measures by using technologies and strategies that will eventually help them drive SDR efficiency. An organization must take the help of sales development software and organize sales development programs to train SDRs to undertake the correct selling operation at the required time.

With the right sales development training, SDR’s can efficiently work on developing skills, obtaining top-notch product knowledge, and learning techniques. 

Along with these practical tactics, the right business planning tools will help the company become better at engaging prospects and dealing with blows.

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