Five Tips to Build a World Class Sales Development Team

What makes some of the world’s best sellers? Are they born with it, or is it a skill they refine with time, as aged wine? We spoke to Kraig Kleeman – author, speaker and sales consultant – on the Playmakers podcast, to find out.

Kraig is author of “The Must React System” and “Building a Winning Brand” and has ample experience prospecting. He spoke to us about sales development and some of the key trends facing that important role trends-driving world-class SDR teams.

He tells us that sales development rep tends to be “the trendy term” for lead development professionals used in the Software as a Service (SaaS) or cloud computing. The terms might be different depending on industry.

1. Practice Makes Perfect

The best sellers ever in the world, people like Zig Ziegler, people like Dale Carnegie, they were most likely born that way, says Kleeman. Most sales organizations, however, are made up of average people that need to work hard to get to the same results.

“Guess what? An exceptional sales process will always make an unexceptional seller produce exceptional outcomes,” said Kraig, on the Playmakers podcast. Technology helps SDR’s so that they waste no time and spend all their day just refining their skills.

Companies need to have an automated and tightly development process for SDR’s. This will build predictable pipeline and make their job easier.

2. Onboarding Should be Short and Sweet

The onboarding and training process needs to be streamlined, adds Kraig. SDR’s  should become as productive as possible in the shortest time.

“By day 10, your new SDRs should be scheduling meetings at plan. (…) They should be given tight scripts. They’re not allowed to go off script until they’ve proven mastery at being on script,” said Kraig.

According to the latest XANT research, the average ramp time for a sales development rep is 4 months. With an average tenure of 2.7 years, the productive time is greatly diminished if they don’t ramp up quickly.

3. Selling to the C-Suite

It’s important that sales development representatives learn how to do enterprise sales and have meaningful conversations with C-level executives. And this is done with a data-driven approach, shows Kraig.

“Learning to lead with fact-based research is by far the most valuable tool for cracking the enterprise sale and for learning to sell to the C-suite,” says Kraig.

Your presentations need to be as well-produced as the ones from prestigious polling companies, has adds. The public should be able to contribute with replies to open-ended questions, being active and engaged.

4. Social Selling Limitations

Social selling is very common practice, and has become a buzzword lately. However useful it may be, there are limitations to it, says Kraig. A study of over 1,000 C-suite executives showed that 77% did not have a photo to their social media profile, nor did they have or give any recommendations.

“If you are going to attack the C-suite, and you’re selling to the enterprise, tools like LinkedIn and other social media channels are not powerful for engagement. They are not powerful for discerning information, and for understanding your target deeply,” said Kraig.

5. A Low Cost Sales Development Team

Sales development fuels your pipeline with qualified leads – but it can be an expensive engine. The “State of Sales Development” study from XANT shows that the average sales dev has a base compensation of around $43K, with average on-target-earnings (OTE) of around $83K.

“You can unlock cash by off-shoring your SDR teams to a region in the world that speaks fabulous language. By finding the right location, by training those people properly, here’s what you can expect. You can expect the cost per head all in to be about 30% of your current costs, and the yield per head to be approximately 80%,” said Kraig.

He adds that companies should not outsource, but rather develop their own call center off-shore, where they can avoid attrition and recruit the right talent to impact the bottom line.

If you want to learn more about the process to develop your SDR team, click to listen to the podcast:

To get the results of the “State of Sales Development” study from XANT Labs, click here.   

state of sales development 2017

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