Special Guest post from Tami McQueen, Director of Marketing at SalesLoft – Sales Information Automation

Executives are focused on driving results: revenue and return on investment. If you are thinking about launching a sales development team, your mission is to prove that it will meet these needs.

Sales development isn’t a new strategy, but it is one of the biggest shifts in how successful technology businesses are approaching sales. Over the years, sales development has evolved along with technology and processes. While its roots are still centered around the role of prospecting, today’s reps use different techniques for success more than ever. SDR teams focus specifically on qualifying leads to set appointments and demos. They specialize on prospecting and have a strong history of success.

Your primary focus is to demonstrate to your CEO that having an SDR team on board will be a game-changer in the sales process. That it will provide instrumental value, return on investment, and foreseeable growth for the company.

As challenging as this may seem, here are a few tips to get started:

1. Show Them The Success Stories

Sales development teams who send their metrics soaring off the charts and consistently crush quotas are prime examples to present to decision makers.

For example, there are many sales teams who have implemented Aaron Ross’ strategy and have exceeded their sales goals with flying colors.

Three companies who have built incredible sales development teams include:

  • Acquia added an extra $12 million in a single year.
  • Responsys grew from a $20 million to $200 million in just five years.
  • WhatCounts added 26% to their new sales growth rate in a single year.

Talking in terms of revenue and productivity opens the door to a more detailed conversation of how it can work for your team. Take these case studies and share  the proven results.

2. Explain Why Sales Development Works

At the heart of the 21st century sales development team is specialization.

Henry Ford said it best – “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

Adding a team focused entirely on setting demos and qualified appointments means that your Account Executives will have more time to close deals and crush quota. As each role specializes, your organization will see more demos and more closed deals, because each role will be able to hone in and focus on their daily requirements.

In the simplest terms, sales development lets each member of your sales team be better at what they do.

3. Make Saying Yes Easy

So far, you’ve built a solid case, but that’s not enough, just yet…

What is the last spark of inspiration you can inject in your pitch to the decision makers on your your team?

Illustrate a roadmap where all paths lead to achieving a specific goal, achieving quarterly targets, and a means for driving revenue. One of the best ways is to outline a playbook for your own business.

As you build the playbook, outline key themes such as these:

  • What email templates will you use?
  • What is your cadence for phone vs. email?
  • Will you use social media?
  • How do you build your lists for outbound prospectors?
  • How will you reach a decision-maker for inbound leads?
  • What email tool will you use to increase efficiency?

While you might not be able to be specific in an initial pitch, it provides a strong foundation and shows you’ve given it some thought.

From here, let your CEO or manager ask questions.

They may show resistance to change if they feel like you’re reinventing the wheel, but presenting a clear case will make saying “YES!” a walk in the park.