Quota Attainment, Morale, and Sales Culture

We’ve just entered a very special time of year. Namely the three weeks (from Nov 1st to Thanksgiving) where it's acceptable to talk quotas for the upcoming year.  Broach the topic any earlier, and it’s like touring colleges with a newborn. Any later, and it's a distraction from finishing the year strong. But right now, is just right. Chorus.ai CEO Roy Raanani posted a whiteboard video on the topic recently. He compared two groups with equal average quota attainment and equal group performance. I've dubbed them:
  • Team Summit with a single peak distributed around 80% of quota
  • Team Camel with two humps at 60% and 100%
 royquota Roy argues Team Summit is preferable. For one, "whenever there is variability [like in Team Camel] it usually means we don't fully understand the process." He continues that reps in the left hump are likely stressed out—as they see how
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Participate in CRO / (S)VP of Sales Research

Fall is upon us. The days after getting shorter. Football (both proper and American) is back on the TV. And we at The Bridge Group are kicking off a new research project.

This time we're targeting the most senior Sales Leaders.

We focusing on CRO/(S)VP compensation, accelerators, and equity grants as well quota, makeup, and span of control. So if you're a CRO, SVP, or VP of Sales, we'd love your participation. We worked hard to make this survey easy and short (roughly 4 minutes ). All answers will be aggregated anonymously. We’ll be sharing the results in the coming months. I appreciate you taking the time. We couldn't do this research without your help. TAKE THE SURVEY>>
  CRO comp research 

The 2018 SDR Metrics Report is Here

In the Sales Development world, metrics can be finicky beasts. What works at Google, LogMeIn, or Okta might not be transferable from one to the other, let alone work for you. Questions around how can I benchmark my team make leading an SDR group all the more challenging. In our 2018 SDR Metrics & Compensation Report, we analyze the biggest shifts in recent years and provide core metrics to measure these groups. We also break out findings by company revenues, ASP, and other factors.

About the Participants

This is our seventh round of this research project and I can tell you it's our best dataset yet. This year, 434 Executives from a broad range of B2B companies participated. (89% with HQs in North America, median respondent revenues of $24M, and median ASP at $28K). 18sdrtakers

New in This Year’s Report

Each time we’ve published this research, readers have asked
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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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GDPR and The Future of Cold Outreach into Europe

gdpr.jpgIf your company markets to, sells, or otherwise engages prospects in Europe, GDPR should be on your radar.  I know these conversations are taking place in legal and IT departments, but I  haven't seen much awareness for SDR or AE VPs, Directors, or Managers.  So, this is your polite wake-up call. If you haven't paid much attention to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that is likely to change. And soon. This brief post is my attempt to give you an assist.

High Level. What's GDPR?

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets out a new, unified privacy law for Europe. The new law is relevant not just to businesses established in Europe; it will also apply to entities worldwide that provide goods and services to individuals in Europe, and online platforms and other website operators that are accessible from Europe. - McDermott Will & Emer
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New ebook: PTO and the Sales Team

Last July, I posted a survey on this blog. My aim was to learn how most sales organizations are handing vacation for their selling reps.
  • When a rep takes a vacation, are they offered quota relief?
  • If yes, what are the policy specifics?
  • If no, how are leaders ensuring reps take successful vacations?

I thought a few dozen companies would respond and I'd have some interesting results to share with the community. It turned into something bigger. Over 200 sales leaders (team leads, managers, directors, VPs) and 340+ individual contributors (AEs, SDRs, CSMs, etc.) participated. I combed through more than 250 individual, anonymous comments. Additionally, I interviewed seven senior leaders on the topic—four on the record and three off.

I’ve compiled the results in our new ebook PTO and Sales: Balancing Vacation and Work for Your Sales Organization.

DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK TODAY

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Participate in 2018 SDR Research

BDRs, LDRs, SDRs - whatever you call them, the metrics that drive the SDR role are always in demand.

Today, I'm excited to launch our latest research focused on Sales Development organizations. This is our seventh round of research since 2007. The key themes we'll explore include:

  • Rep profiles: experience, tenure, ramp time, career path
  • Structure: in/out/blended, headcount, territories
  • Compensation: base, OTE, regional variations
  • Quotas: average quotas, components, % attainment
  • Technology stack: categories, adoption, impact
     
We worked hard to make this year’s survey easier and it will take roughly 4-5 minutes to complete. If you lead a sales development group, please participate All answers will be aggregated anonymously. We’ll be sharing the results with you in the coming months. TAKE THE SURVEY I appreciate you taking the time. We couldn't do this research without your help.

Bridging the SDR-to-AE Promotion Gap (Two Leaders’ Perspectives)

A few weeks ago, I shared my research on the failure rate of SDR-to-AE promotions. (Executive Summary: 26% of SDRs who take on an AE role fail. The shorter the SDR tenure, the higher the failure rate. The post-promotion failure rate for SDRs with 11 or fewer months experience was 55%.  The failure rate for SDRs with 16+ months experience was just 6%.)

A few dozen InMails and 1.5K+ social shares later, I’ve concluded that this topic hits a nerve.

The most common feedback I heard was “Yes! I’ve seen this too. What can we do to address it?” I wanted real practitioners to share advice so I reached out to Kevin Dorsey, Head of Sales Development and Enablement at ServiceTitan, and Natasha Miller Sekkat, VP of Demand Generation at ClickSoftware. Rather than post the full transcript, I’ve grouped their

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The Failure Rate of SDR-to-AE Promotions

The head of Sales Development for a $50M SaaS company recently shared some interesting team data with me. Excluding recent hires and the team currently in place, the group had 55 terminations, promotions, transfers, and quits over the last three years. A little high, but not too far above the median.

Breaking down the individual data, I found the following:

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Roughly 60% of his SDRs were promoted or internally transferred. That’s great stuff! But on the flip side, and a concerning note, nearly 40% of the SDRs promoted to an AE role had been terminated. That surprised me.

I wondered if these results were above average, below average, or to be expected. I couldn’t find any public data on the post-promotion failure rate for SDR-to-AE transitions, so I turned to LinkedIn to do my own research.

How I Used LinkedIn

My search included AEs at companies located in North America.

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PTO vs Making the Number

In the US, our approach to vacation is unrecognizable to much of the rest of the world. In Sales & Sales Leadership, our approach to Paid Time Off (PTO)  is incomprehensible to many of our own non-sales colleagues.

A quick trip to Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis tells me that workers in the US work ~11% more hours annually than our peers. That’s roughly an extra half day. Every week. 52 weeks a year.

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I suspect you wouldn't argue against the benefits of time away--improved concentration, replenished performance, refreshed attitude-to name a few. But a quick trip to LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Slack, and LinkedIn tells me that taking PTO and making the number are in conflict in many sales organizations.

Search for yourself. You’ll find example after example of reps expressing frustration around taking even a week away. My reflexive reaction was “kids these days” and “

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