Industry Research : Dedicated Sales Development Functions Can Yield More Successful Results
Having a dedicated sales development function that is separate from sales, can yield more successful lead generation and lead management results, according to Marketo, a provider of Revenue Performance Management (RPM) solutions. By having a sales development function that is separate from sales, whose sole job in life is to take raw inquiries and qualify them before they are sent to sales, can yield some of the most successful lead generation/lead management programmes.
Seven Ways a Sales Development team can enhance revenues:
1. More consistent and better quality follow-up on leads = better conversion of leads into opportunities. Marketers live and die by whether their leads turn into opportunities. So when you have a qualified lead, you don’t want a sales rep to call once and leave a voicemail. You want someone whose dedicated job in life is to reach your leads, overcome objections, make sure they are a fit, and get them connected to sales teams.
2. Faster lead response times = better conversion rates. When a lead submits an inquiry on your website, the faster the response the better. According to a Lead Response Management study, the magic number here is five minutes. A five-minute lead response means you’re four times more likely to qualify that lead than a 10 minute response, and a staggering 21 times more likely to convert than after 30-minute wait. SDRs can focus on this fast response time whereas it will never be a quota-carrying reps top priority to jump on an inbound lead.
3. Better economics. You want your expensive salespeople closing business with qualified customers, not educating raw leads, talking to people who don’t want to talk to them, or worse, talking to tyre kickers and other unqualified prospects. It makes much more sense to have low-cost SDRs talking to leads and passing just the right ones onto sales. When sales representatives can focus on closing business with qualified decision makers, the economic gains are astounding.
4. The human touch enhances lead nurturing. Whether or not leads are sales-ready, SDRs can nurture relationships with each interaction. By talking with more leads, you can offer personalised thought leadership and value around a lead’s individual pain points, and cultivate future demand.
5. Superior data. It’s an all too common complaint that salespeople don’t update information about the leads in their CRM tool – but it’s much easier to have SDRs enter proper information. This means marketing gets better data accuracy and information they can use to optimise future lead generation efforts.
6. Improved revenue cycle analytics. By adding a stage between marketing and sales, you’ll be able to track conversion rates and other key metrics in a more granular fashion. This means when problems arise, you can isolate causes and resolve them faster and with better follow-through than if you lump together the responsibilities of qualifying and closing leads.
7. Talent development for sales. Your Sales Development reps can play an important role in your sales talent pipeline, effectively serving as your "farm team" for future quota carrying reps. This gives you the opportunity to bring on sales talent that already understands your business, is proven to work in your culture, and knows your processes and cadence on day one. In a world where one in three hires can prove to be misses, an SDR function can greatly reduce your hiring risk.
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Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012