Sales Development: What Is It, Why It's Important, and How to Do It Right

When it comes to making sales, your team needs to be better than the competition. To make the most sales, you need to have a solid sales development process.

Many companies don't have a solid sales development plan, which leads to fewer and more incomplete sales.

To learn about what sales development is, why it's important, and how to do it right, keep reading. We have everything you need to know about sales development.

What Is Sales Development?

Sales development is a very popular method of creating leads in the B2B marketing scene.

Sales development refers to the steps in the early sales process. This includes several different processes like research, prospecting, engagement, and qualification. Sales development teams look into what the best prospects for business are and how they can bring them into the official sales pipeline.

A sales development representative (SDR) works to find the perfect product-market fit and identify the best potential clients. These professionals rarely ever close a deal, but they can find someone who may be looking to buy.

SDRs also work to send personalize emails and make phone calls to individuals that they may think are great for the product. They work to create connections with these individuals and (hopefully) establish them as a lead.

The Role of Goal-Setting

One of the biggest elements of sales development is goal setting. It's important to create SMART goals so that your sales team understands exactly what your business is expecting in terms of generating leads.

Specific. You need to set specific goals for your team to meet. Make sure that you're setting a specific number for them to hit. For example, you may want your SDRs to make a certain number of calls per day.

Measurable. Your goals should be quantifiable. You can't have a goal of making 75% of your leads happy. You can't measure their happiness.

Instead, you should make another goal that is concrete.

Attainable. Don't set an unrealistic goal. All that does is crush your team's spirit.

To refrain from setting unattainable goals, you should set small goals to meet every few months. Don't expect your employees to meet a 100% conversion rate.

Relevant. Don't ask your sales team to meet a human resources goal. That's not their job and they shouldn't be held accountable for the other team's work.

Timely. Every goal has to have a time frame. Otherwise, there is no push to meet the goal.

Your sales team will thrive on goals. Many businesses find that there sales teams only do well when they do have goals to meet.

Whatever your goals are, make them clear to your team and they will get to work.

Why Is Sales Development Important?

Sales development is crucial to your business for several reasons.

First of all, it will help your team respond faster to potential leads. Faster response times leads to a higher conversion rate.

Every minute counts when it comes to responding to leads. In fact, you're seven times more likely to convert leads to sales if you respond within an hour.

Taking the time to build a successful, fool-proof sales development plan will help you take advantage of timing.

It can also help increase your return on investment. Once you've build a solid process, you'll be bringing in more high-quality leads. The higher quality your leads are, the more sales you're going to make.

A great sales development plan also helps you create better relationships with the customers that you do have. As we discussed previously, the sales development process involves personalizing your recruitment strategy to each potential lead.

Customers prefer these personalized experiences and are more likely to consider your company if your outreach is tailored specifically to them. 

Overall, sales development leads to an improved marketing strategy. You'll find that you're creating better leads, better sales, and better relationships all around. The changes will be glaringly obvious, and you'll never go back to your old methods.

How Do I Conduct Sales Development Correctly?

There are several steps that SDRs and other sales development team members need to take.

First, your team needs to look for individuals that fit the 'ideal' definition of a customer for your business. Usually, businesses will use the buyer persona(s) that they have constructed to find the best potential leads.

Next, they should align their sales strategy to that specific individual. This means that they're planning how they're going to reach out to this individual or this businesses and turn them into a lead. This planning step is important as it could determine the success of the entire sales development process.

If you have multiple people on your sales development team, this is the time to establish roles. You may want to split the team into those who are handling inbound marketing leads and those who are handling outbound marketing leads.

Now, it's time to reach out to your potential lead(s) and tell them about the product or service you're looking to sell them. Based on their response, you can determine whether or not the lead is worth following up with.

Once you establish that a lead is interested in your product or service, it's time to hand them over to the person (normally an account executive) who will close the deal.

Where Can I Learn More About Sales?

Sales development is a vital part of any B2B business' lead generation process. If you haven't started creating your sales development strategy yet, now is the time. 

If you want to learn more, check out our webinar on four reasons why an outsourced sales development team is the right move for the rest of 2020.

Contact us to get started today!

Dora Fredenburg

Hailing from Croatia, Dora is best known in the office for her deadly side-eye, her love of Instagram dogs, and her relentless pursuit to help her clients grow faster in a way that is both sustainable and good for their customers.

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