The Benefits of Building a Sales Development Program

December 28, 2022

A sales development program is a process that businesses use to identify and qualify potential buyers. This process usually starts with identifying accounts, reaching out to specific personas (for example, C-Level executives) at the accounts, qualifying them as potential buyers, and then passing them along to the sales team in order to close deals. Sales development programs are essential for businesses that are looking to grow and expand.

Sales development programs help businesses to:

  • Generate more leads
  • Speed up the sales cycle
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Increase efficiency and productivity

 While we won’t get into each of these topics in this article, a sales development program can have a profound impact on a business, resulting in increased sales, the capture of market share, and growth.

Prospecting new accounts and generating new business is the lifeblood of any business-to-business (B2B) company. It can be very time-consuming and difficult to do. Having a specialized function can help speed up success.

Typically, when a sales representative has to run the process from prospecting through close there is a considerable loss of efficiency. In the case of a full-cycle sales representative, the rep needs to dedicate time and energy toward prospecting initiatives that take away time from meeting with prospective customers, creating proposals, following up, and closing deals.

Here’s what typically happens when sellers juggle between prospecting and closing:

  • Seller has no deals in the pipeline so focuses relentlessly on booking meetings
  • Meetings start to get booked and the seller shifts to running the meetings and opening opportunities
  • Seller shifts focus to closing the deals in the pipeline
  • Future pipeline dries up
  • Seller panics and shifts back to prospecting and booking meetings and deals are not coming home

This ebb and flow of sales activity is inherently inefficient.

This is not to say that sales reps should be exempt from any prospecting activities; they shouldn’t be. As a business owner or CEO, you really want your experienced sellers to be focused on bringing in revenue. A good rule of thumb is that a seller should spend about one-third of their time on prospecting activities and two-thirds on pulling in deals. With that in mind, building out an effective sales development organization can clearly turbocharge your overall results since a sales development representative would spend one hundred percent of their time in prospecting and lead generation activities.

The most successful companies treat their sales development representatives (SDRs) as an investment, not as an expense. Many CEOs and business owners tend to see hiring Sales Development Representatives as an unnecessary cost, but the truth is that these employees can be a great asset to any company. The main reason is revenue efficiency.

The consistent focus on generating new leads allows Sales Development Representatives to build relationships with potential customers, learn about their companies and specific needs, and create a database of interested prospects. All of this helps to speed up pipeline generation and pipeline coverage for your sellers.

Even starting with one SDR can have dramatic effects on your business and you don’t necessarily need to hire one full-time. You can test the waters with a freelancer who might work with multiple clients or an outsourced firm before bringing in a full-time team.

Often, SDRs are associated with high-tech companies that have an army of sellers and SDRs. However, all kinds of businesses have found success with an SDR program:

  • Real estate – for sourcing potential sellers
  • Service businesses to source a wider range of clients to de-risk their portfolio
  • Advisory businesses to help increase market share in a territory
  • Investors to help source deals for acquisition
  • And many others

Consider an SDR team for your business. The investment will undoubtedly pay off in the form of increased sales, higher conversion rates, and a more streamlined sales process.

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