Lessons Learned from Scaling a 100 Person Sales Development Team at Apttus

Sales development is here to stay but not many companies have grown sales development teams as large as Kent Venook and Apttus. Kent was one of the original sales development reps and was able to help Apttus scale the company to over a billion dollars in value and nearly 100 reps on his team. His secret was six plays or strategies that he figured out along the way.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Standardization of process –  In the early days, reps were each doing their own thing. It was more of a cowboy town than a well-oiled machine. Visualizing the process on a white-board and looking for areas of optimization, the team was able to move to a scalable process that each rep followed.
  • Key KPIs – After a lot of debate, the team standardized on sales accepted opportunities as the primary metric to have sales development reps focus on. Although, Apttus runs an account-based model where sales development reps are closely tied to account executives, Kent decided not to listen to outside sources and pay his reps on ACV or revenue. Kent believes reps should be paid for things they can control and what they can be coached to improve.
  • Continued Training – Kent set up a two-month onboarding program called the Sales Academy. Apttus is a robust product and Kent found he could train his people for a few days and let them try and figure it out for the next six months or train them for two months and them fully ramped by month three.
  • Management Team – When Kent began he hired 60 reps so quickly that everybody reported to him. Looking for key characteristics and top performers, Kent quickly put in a management team that increased engagement and overall productivity for the team.
  • Don’t be Afraid to Fail – Testing is the name of the game. Try different things to increase productivity results and have fun with it.
  • Investment – Great people and great teams don’t get where they are alone. Realize that to get to an optimized state you will need a powerful sales stack.

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