How One Company Integrates SDRs into their Account-Based Strategies

We all know account-based (ABx) strategies are hot. Search for “account-based technology” on Google, and before you know it, targeted display ads will fill your browser, vendor branded socks will arrive in your mailbox, and dozens of new SDR cadences will flood your inbox.  No doubt, the technology behind ABx is amazing. But what gets less attention is how the SDR role needs to evolve to support it. I want to share one company’s journey. Meet Zignal Labs. Zignal Labs, Inc. provides a cloud-based platform that analyzes social and digital media in real-time and delivers data-driven insights. By way of orientation, their average deal is six figures and the sales cycles run 6–8 months. Jamie Varley, Director of Account Development at Zignal, shared how his group integrates into the company’s account-based approach.

First Things First

Account selection was step one. Zignal knew that success hinges on their ability
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Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful: One VP’s Perspective on the Phone

Call avoidance. It was a problem in 1997, 2007, and most assuredly is still a problem in 2017.

Today, sales leaders are battling rep reluctance, generational preference, and vendor “thought leadership” blasting the phone as antiquated. This is both an easy sell and entirely wrongheaded. Great SDRs, great AEs, and great leaders have grit. Cultivating grit requires embracing tension, encountering pushback, and experiencing confrontation.

That’s why I’m happy to share this tongue-in-cheek post from Matt Amundson, VP of Sales Development and Field Marketing at Everstring. Mastering the phone is an out-of-the-box skill of exactly no one. Which is why it is so important that leaders help their teams develop these skills. Without further ado, here’s Matt.
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You know when you read something and it really sets you off? Something you disagree with so deeply that you can’t help not responding? That happened to me when I ran across

Continue reading "Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful: One VP’s Perspective on the Phone"

Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful: One VP’s Perspective on the Phone

Call avoidance. It was a problem in 1997, 2007, and most assuredly is still a problem in 2017.

Today, sales leaders are battling rep reluctance, generational preference, and vendor “thought leadership” blasting the phone as antiquated. This is both an easy sell and entirely wrongheaded. Great SDRs, great AEs, and great leaders have grit. Cultivating grit requires embracing tension, encountering pushback, and experiencing confrontation.

That’s why I’m happy to share this tongue-in-cheek post from Matt Amundson, VP of Sales Development and Field Marketing at Everstring. Mastering the phone is an out-of-the-box skill of exactly no one. Which is why it is so important that leaders help their teams develop these skills. Without further ado, here’s Matt.
---

You know when you read something and it really sets you off? Something you disagree with so deeply that you can’t help not responding? That happened to me when I ran across

Continue reading "Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful: One VP’s Perspective on the Phone"

Does Sales Development Have a Glass Ceiling?

VPSDR_path.jpgI've started and stopped writing this post half a dozen times over the last few months. I hesitated as I didn't want to upset anyone or look like I am casting shade on some amazing and successful people. But the more I've thought about it, the more I've come to understand that this is a topic that needs to be discussed.

I'm talking about the glass ceiling in Sales Development. And no, I don't mean the glass ceiling faced by many women and minorities. I mean this:

Once you have risen to the rank of VP of Sales Development, how do you crack into the C-suite?
Where do you go next?

Some of the best and brightest our industry has to offer are sitting in an SDR leadership role right now. They run global teams, report to the CEO, and are instrumental in revenue growth. But have their careers hit a

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Continue reading "Does Sales Development Have a Glass Ceiling?"

Does Sales Development Have a Glass Ceiling?

VPSDR_path.jpgI've started and stopped writing this post half a dozen times over the last few months. I hesitated as I didn't want to upset anyone or look like I am casting shade on some amazing and successful people. But the more I've thought about it, the more I've come to understand that this is a topic that needs to be discussed. I'm talking about the glass ceiling in Sales Development. And no, I don't mean the glass ceiling faced by many women and minorities. I mean this: Once you have risen to the rank of VP of Sales Development, how do you crack into the C-suite?
Where do you go next?
Some of the best and brightest our industry has to offer are sitting in an SDR leadership role right now. They run global teams, report to the CEO, and are instrumental in revenue growth. But have their careers hit a
VPSDR_path.jpg
Continue reading "Does Sales Development Have a Glass Ceiling?"

I Met a Guy in a Bar and Now I’m a Believer in AI

salesAI2.jpgAt Dreamforce last October, a few colleagues and I were sitting at a hotel bar when a gentleman took an empty seat next to us. After a few minutes, he turned to me and asked, “Are you Trish Bertuzzi from the internet?” I replied that I was. We started to chat and he shared that he had founded a tech company in San Francisco. My first thought was "yup, you and about a million other people." But the more he shared his vision, the more interested I became. That “guy” was Roy Raanani, CEO and Founder of Chorus.ai. We exchanged business cards and agreed to have a call a few weeks after Dreamforce. (Roy smartly closed on scheduling the meeting there and then.) On that initial call and over the next few months, I got to know Roy, his vision, and his team. The more I learned,
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What Account-Based Is (and What It Isn’t)

abp3.jpgIt's 2017 and I’m on a mission to educate the market about the difference between account-centric and account-based thinking. The truth is that most companies don’t understand the distinction. Just drawing a box around a set of accounts and then executing your same old demand generation strategies won't get you to the promised land of larger deals in strategic accounts.  That’s why I’ve asked Jon Miller, Engagio CEO and former Marketo cofounder, to share his thinking. Without further ado, here’s Jon.
--- The B2B landscape is changing, fast. In 2011, CEB concluded that there are 5.4 decision makers in a B2B sale. Just a few years later, new studies revealed that number has jumped by 30%. There’s even research that indicates as many as 17 decision-makers in enterprise sales. That’s exactly why more and more companies are adopting account-based strategies across their Sales and Marketing teams—it just makes sense to
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What’s in a Name? The Differences Between Account-Centric and Account-Based Selling

I think we can all agree that “account-based” is a leading contender for 2016’s phrase of the year. If you watched a webinar, read a blog post, or attended a conference and had account-based as your drinking word, you’d have a frequent flyer number at your local ER. Beneath the buzz, however, this one has some there there. There are two tides propelling the account-based movement. One, the number and diversity of people involved in purchasing decisions has changed. The “buyer” has become the “buying unit” and is quickly growing into the “buying battalion.” Just about any single sale process seems to require dozens of yeses and risks running aground in the face of a single no. Two, it is getting harder and harder to scale what worked in the past. Killed it at that BigCon tradeshow last year? Great! But doubling your spend next year won’t
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How One SDR Built a Sales Journal to Take Control of His Day

mannyalamwala.jpgOur featured author today is Manny Alamwala, Business Development Associate at Vision Critical. He joins us for the latest in our Inside Sales Practioner Series.  
As an SDR, I’ve become more aware of the reality behind the saying “time is money.” Not being time-wise leads to fewer meetings booked, fewer opps generated,  lower income, and (at worst) being moved out of the role. I've observed that high achievers are disciplined with their time and focus on what's most important at any given moment. They know what they have to do and when they have to do it before they start their days. Recently, I went to a bookstore to find a journal to help me focus. As I looked at the different types available, I came up with an idea of a role-specific journal to be used for inside sales. At the heart of it, all inside sales professionals are doing the
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How One Head of Sales Tackled Building a Sales Playbook

SNkevin.jpgKevin Dorsey is a fantastic sales leader. As Head of Sales for SnackNation, he leads a team of 12 Sales Development Reps and 30 Account Executives. SnackNation offers office delivery of healthy snacks that create happier and more productive teams. In just one year, Kevin grew the teams from a handful of reps to over 40. Along the way, he decided that the best avenue for reinforcing and scaling critical sales competencies was to build a Sales Playbook. And over the next 3.5 months, he did just that.

Lesson #1: He immersed himself in his SDRs' process

"I knew that if I wrote the Playbook from behind my desk exclusively, it probably wouldn't be very good." Kevin got his hands dirty, getting in the seat with the SDRs and really seeing what that day-to-day felt and sounded like. He was looking to combine emergent best practices (identified by his team) with industry and thought leaders
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