Sales Development is a department or team that exists between marketing and sales. The functions of Sales Development are to penetrate target accounts (known as Account Based Sales Development or Account Based Prospecting) and the contacts (prospects, leads) at those organizations.
Familiar titles for the Sales Development function (used interchangeably) are:
The definition of the Sales Development Representative (SDR) is a type of inside sales rep that solely focuses on outbound prospecting and outreach.
Typically, Sales Development teams combine around heavy use of phone, email, and social graphs to research, identify, connects with and qualify prospects at target accounts.
The ultimate result of Sales Development efforts is the Qualified Meeting. These meetings are also commonly referred to as appointments, scheduled demo’s, or engagements– depending on the business outcome. As a lead is qualified, they are then passed to a salesperson who takes over for the rest of the sales process.
This is typically what Sales Development Representatives are commissioned on– a held meeting with a qualified lead. Thus, booking as many meetings with targeted prospects is the ultimate outcome within Sales Development teams.
There are a variety of Sales Development methods, commonly referred to as plays to generate interest and book meetings. It’s also important to note that investing in and using sales development software (such as KiteDesk FLOW) can dramatically increase the number of these appointments, meetings, and qualified leads generated.
Over the past decade, traditional sales processes have been transformed. Sales specialization is a tidal wave within business-to-business sales organizations. The reasons are quite straightforward– by dividing tasks, each part of the sales process becomes more effective and efficient.
The outcomes of setting qualified meetings enable companies to build repeatable pipeline and accelerate revenue growth–getting more sales. Historically, companies (such as Salesforce in SaaS) have experienced massive revenue growth by separating sales organizations into specific roles.
This is compared to a traditional sales model where salespeople are responsible for prospecting, initial outreach, follow-up, discovery, buy-in, negotiation, quoting, closing and even account management. Put simply, having field sales reps engaging in research and prospecting over closing deals is not money well spent.
Sales leaders also recognized inbound efforts were not enough. The insatiable need for Sales teams to generate enough leads to fill their funnel without slowing down revenue generating activities led to massive investments in Sales Development. This has also led to the proliferation of teams using sales development software to accomplish more activities in the same number of work hours.
With Sales Development, the sales team spotlight can shine brightly on deal closers feeding on a steady diet of qualified opportunities, while at the same time keep focus on the blended marketing-centric roles of raising awareness among leads and connection and scheduling-heavy tasks of setting initial meetings.
Some have called Sales Development the most important sales process innovation in the 21st century.
This front-end of the sales cycle encompasses outreach and is commonly referred to as Outbound– and is distinct from Inbound Marketing, which relies on prospect action initiation, usually as a result of search or publicity that pulls prospects toward a brand. Outbound, and Sales Development hallmarks include 1) Deliberate targeting of ideal customers, 2) Intentionality of approach and 3) Adherence to a sales process that is repeatable and predictable.
Key questions around Sales Development include which templates, tools, and tricks (plays) to use. There is an exploding vendor universe that KiteDesk FIND and FLOW compete with to earn the business of organizations who have bought off on the concept of Sales Development.
The sales development software selected within an organization shapes many of the processes used. There is often a Goldilocks split– Sales Development Reps left with too few appropriate tools (those still using ordinary desk phones, email inboxes and spreadsheets), or those suffering from too many (email open trackers, power dialers, social proximity, behavioral suggestions, free calendar apps– the list is so long). To find the just right sales development software requires a company who has purposefully built a single screen forSales Development Reps’ activities. That platform is KiteDesk FLOW.