B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 3 months ago

123: 10 Years of Sales Development

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Sales development has come a long way and is an increasingly vital component to any successful business.

Though it’s something many businesses can’t live without, the function is often neglected by leaders, who fail to invest in it or the experience for the employees charged with making a success.

That’s why I invited David Dulany, Founder and CEO of Tenbound, onto the show. He brings a wealth of experience in sales development and knows first-hand how to get the most out of your sales development.

In this episode, we discuss how sales development has changed drastically in the last decade, why AI won’t be taking over the SDR position any time soon, and why companies need to invest more into the role and improving the experience for their hires.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for B2B Revenue Acceleration in your favorite podcast player.

You were listening to be tob revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's give into the show. Hi, you welcome to be to be a rever a new acceleration. My name is already in with you and I'm here today with David de Lenny. See You and founder of ten bounds. Are You doing today, David? I am doing great. I'm so excited to dive in with us and it's a big one because today it's a quote, special quod spisher episode. It's out ten years and eivers three episode. So you're very special guest. You know someone that get very close to our art and and since we all said I'm racing out ten years of annivers three eat operatics, we wanted to speak to someone who's been involve fatherless ten years in the sense development business, to speak about what happening of other as ten years basically. So can you beat but before we get started, could you tell us a little bit more about yourself, David? I mean the people. I don't know. You must be living on those stone, but you know, because you just tell us a little bit more about you and and the company you represent, ten bounds. Yeah, it's interesting, Ray, because when I initially met you, quick background, I had been running in sales development programs at different tech companies here in Silicon Valley and I was between things and I started consulting with just friends of mine who needed help, you know, either hiring sales development reps or putting their playbook together or writing scripts and just anything sales development related. It was kind of my niche. And when we met initially I was working with one of our clients and we were looking at different outsourced SDR companies that could help augment and you came in and presented and it was super impressive. I can't remember if we, you know, went forward. It wasn't my decision. It's not my I just make recommendations, but...

...very impressed with you and I've known you since then. I think that was two thousand and seventeen, and so you know, right now we've got there's two sides of ten bound. One is those advisory services. So we still work directly with SDR teams in Silicon Valley and their executives to help them, you know, improve the performance of the program or start the program at they're at their companies, and then on the other side we do media. So we run conferences and Webinars and digital events to help support the sales development community. And another quick thing I wanted to mention is we're going to be working with operatics. I don't know if you know this, but they we're partnering up on some conferences this year. So super excited about that. Now, well, what excites to bother? I think, what one of the things that to be found about ten bodies like you. You're ready putting to the sens development functional on a binistal all and and we are so much behind you on that. You know, it's kind of I remember the last podcasts that we've we've done together as probably a couple of years ago now, maybe at least. So you, and I'll forgo and you came up with that, with that concept of having cells development at the bat right. Why are we not at the Bat right? And and I remember that has been sticking with me since, and I've been mentioning your name two lots of people about about that conversation. So so, yeah, it's been a it's been a pleasure since two thousand and seventeen, hating you as as a contact and somewhere that can call to bounce some eydeas with. You know, always, always a great source of knowledge. So, David, in the last ten years things have changed. I remember I started at the bottom, like you know, like you like, you've done as well. And for me when I started in two thousand and four, two thousand and five is more and ten. You know, I be talking about really relieving revealing a little bit my age here. Literally, we had nothing. We had seeball as a crm system...

...and you had to open up like your PC and put a CD around inside and just cannot get it on the computer. We had with something like the equipment of the yellow pages, to get like a book of contact Excel S, preatcheet that did look like rainbows because color cudding was, you know, such a, such a, such a cool stuff back then, and I was it even linkedin. Was Not there when I want to when I started then. God, if you look at it now, if you look at I remember you showing me like the thee as a marketing tech quadron that you put together, always a little of logos. Things have changed of a day. Yeah, it is it's almost like, you know, the Jurassic Jurassic Park or something like that to think about that, because yeah, definitely, I mean I I can even go further back. When it came to prospecting, we had dummy terminals and probably the people who are on the call don't even know what those are, but it's essentially, you know, there would be a server in the office and then the computers were just hooked up to the server and all you had was that database and it was a name of phone number and maybe a note box like and somebody was loading that in. So yeah, the evolution has been tremendous, you know, and I think big picture, to start with, sales development really has changed from very tactical and and, you know, task driven work to something that's very strategic and critical to the success of a company, especially, and so we work with SASS companies, you know, who are fast growing softwares of service companies. That's exclusively, you know, our niche and you know, once a product is ready, you know the the marketing is pretty dialed in. At some point someone's it's talking about out bound and and suddenly this becomes very strategic.

So I think that that's one of the main changes that that I've seen over the last ten hours. Yeah, I also think that I'm being told as well. So that is becoming more difficult and I think it can of makes sense because when you look at the population of technology companies that have been popping out of the woodwork every you've got more and more text I mean you are looking at the the investment that are going inside businesses. Literally they just, you know, multipling by ten years on you. So I think there is a real push towards technology and and the market is a little bit more crowded. I think people have more options, you know, I think the toolbox is becoming much greater. For the prospect and when you are selling technology, no matter what you are obviously everybody's coming with the very proposition, but there is so many best of breed solution the sort of like a very specific project or problem. Sorry that it's kind of confusing for the prospecting and it's other belief for the for the cells development professional to to actually, you know, differentiate themselves, goes through and, let's face it, I think with the with the increasing demand of Asdrbda think the level of quality or the increase of mediocrity in what people are doing. From a tactic perspective, it's not only giving a bad name to the job but but also probably impacting people who are trying to do a good job to go through and actually have the good conversation. Right. So I think it's also that sort of almost the psychological element of yeah, I want to do it, but I want to do it cheap, because I think we went through that of all the ten yards. You know, we went through okay, let's do it internally. Now, let's do it internally, but we should do it cheap. That's okay if we do it of shure. Now it's not okay anymore to do it of show, because the quality is that they are but we're going to do it internally. No, externally again, well, actually less for cruit the game...

...from the outsourcer. Well, it's not working because they're not managed there. It's all of those things working to get it and it's becoming more and more complex and I think the generation of people have changed as well. You know. We know that we we speak about millionaires alert and I don't think that fundamentally difference from from the other. But I think it's a they're the people that are doing the job. Ten years ago were probably more sealesy and less sticky than the people who are doing the job now. You know, people were doing the job. Now they've got a different way of communicating. Ten years ago, most of the sales gays I would speak to. If you want to speak to each other, I would be on the code or face to face meeting. Maybe a slower way to the business. But now you know you've got to be ference in what Stupp you've got two different in slack. No information is flying and I think all that as made. I don't think he's making the sells development was and he was before. It's just making it maybe a little bit more complex. Sinectic Gates, and then it took people specific. Yeah, definitely. I mean there's so many factors and and on one hand, you know, I I would like ten bound to be a place where people can go and just feel a little bit, you know, clarity. Yeah, about this this mel you you know that that's that's happening right now in the industry. And at the same time, I mean we have a long way to go, because you mentioned a lot of different issues that have come up. You know, one one is, if you boil down sale development to the most basic level, you know, they're in borrowing from Marcus Lamonists, there's people, processes and the technology. Yeah, and and and so, you know, all of the issues that you mentioned there they can be sort of bucketed into this simplistic format. And so just, you know, thinking about the people. It's the profile of the type...

...of people that would want to do the job, because you know, it's not easy. It's definitely a high energy, high, you know, high rejection sales position that not everybody's cut out for. So so it's getting the people right and the expectations that people have, it's getting the process correct and mapped toward the market that you're going after and then, as you mentioned, it's getting the right technology to support your strategy, you know, without overspending or plugging into many technology solutions and things like that. So it's a it's a fine balance and that's so much so many different aspects. Yeah, yeah, I appreciate that. Then, you know, I know that that ten bounds over the yells. You've been a you've been publishing a set as development market map. Okay, so I I kind of I need to to eat. When I spoke about the different loogo that you are putting together. I guess it's so for you, a Quadrante is more like a map and and I guess this is a great way to track, you know, out the market that has been evolving. So on top of people and Technologies. Is that anything else that you've seen from from the stripot like Cretty, evolving of things that you think you know alligin should should watch for the future trends? Yeah, I mean so there's a few things. One is it's evolved in a way where at first, when we thought about bringing together all the different, you know, tools and services that serve the sales development community, it was very tactical, so and and it was very based on on point solutions that could help with specific things. But how it's evolved over the years is similar to the way that sales development as involved, because it's more about what is it going to take to connect marketing and sales and create reliable pipeline,...

...you know, for the sales team, three x x pipeline. And and so if you look at the map, there's there's an outsourced component and and you know, it contains the companies like operatics which which provide the pipeline for companies from an outsource perspective and and then it also goes into all the different software that's available to run cadences and to coach and to develop the people internally, because what we see is, you know, at a lot of companies, after a certain point they're running both outsourced and and in source as ther team, because they're looking at things from a overall pipeline perspective versus just, you know, tactical things. So yeah, again put in agreement, which you in fact, we've done some research on our clients and as them to cushion way out social you've got an insults team and it's interesting because we see most of all clients insourcing rules such as insight sense, which is kind of you know, batoline is Dabda. But the people will do the low value type of the most of the lower average in value type of deal and probably take them a little bit falls or even take them to close or close them throots through a channel partner. And the reason behind that is because these are people at Instud the technology. They want to be in control of that. You know, it's a revenue generating again, some of them. Do our stats it, but we see most of our plans liking to have that that function internally. And the other one is really around the inbound response management. So our marketing team is generated in needs. We need people at can take the seats quickly, qualify them and move them, push them to a dip more push them to to to the next step, would be a meeting them or whatever it would be. However, when we ask them, you know why the out source of what you see value in outsourcing is often the case...

...that we are I'm not trying to make generate it, but probably talking about seventy eighty percent of the people we spoke to. So fair amounts. You know, when you think about we've got probably got close to two hundred clients active at the moment. So you know, and we this our customer this is our customer success team asking this question to those clients and the feedback we've got some about we need people that actually know the market. Then we need people that know the end user. We when we do outbound calling, the issue with guys that we speak about us, but when we do run outbound call, we comes. We shouldn't speak about us. We should be making assumption of the issue that that accounts or that Doesna is facing, and I think this is where the alsource are still very relevant in the market. Is kind of that. The capacity of an outsourcer to understand the target accounts on those on the personnel. I've experience in targeting this person. I've conversation on that. There belt people who have built up sequences because again, you know, my was in the conversation on Monday, or maybe yesterday on Tuesday, with with with a potential client. Okay, and it is funny because it's it's actually an ex employee that is now a sells director introducing us to his marketing team and we kind of getting all together. So person's work was an inside of operatics and was actually very good doing the job. And that's because the question as well was the difference between doing it our self or doing it with you slap. It's just time and pace. You know, you guys are all smart people. You're smart, you have good job, you're probably paid a lot of money, but you're not to specialist of waid. We do, but you're smart, so you gotta figure it out. It may take you nine months, you may take you twelve months. You will have turn over in your team, processes won't be set up the right way. But you are smart, so you will fail, learn and get better every month. Okay, it's going to be difficult to put that stone, but but you will get there. Oh, you could come to us and literally in one month, will up and running in one months and an hour.

Who are rempt up instree months, whilst delivering results technically six months before yours? A team would have dine it. Okay, you don't have the Pram of sourcing, which is the first kality issue. You know, I mean everybody saying it's a candidate market. I think about that. For the US twenty years, always be the condidate market. Yeah, good, Bedea, good as they are impossible to find. Why are the impossible to find? Because if you are a sells direct or marketing direct or VP sells or CR or CMO, and you are in your right mind and you identify a good videa as the idea team, you're going to take them under your wing and no one will take them away from you. You will make sure that you push them. You know. That's why those guys are at on indeed or looking for a job. They don't need to update the see me the good one. So you don't find that you can of need to get the first speak and to get the first peak. You need to recruit on competencies versus experience and that stuff. Okay, but I guess the point that I was want to make your to cut along story shot, is the pace. I think the value of the outsourcer should be the understanding of the market, the ability to have data and intelligence of your own user. Obviously, processes, but all that you know, processes, people, all that sort of stuff. It's really about pace. I can help you to get results in one months when, if you do it on your own, you probably gets results in stre months. We can get to a cruising space in two months to an ALF months. Is going to take you nine months to get to a cruising pace. And then when we go is the cost of having the team. You will have to another in your team as well. Everybody we have turn of. All these people are being pushed right, left and center. So that's the interesting conversation of insourcing our thoughts also things. So I guess my point two, number one is outsource of for probably a bit more of a practive approach, that that's where we see the market going and maybe the trending to US twenty two. And the second thing is for the pace. You know, people just need to get that now that they don't have six...

...months, they don't have one you they've got to getting them now. Yeah, exactly, and you know there's a lot there. I mean we always recommend to think about we need. We need the pipeline right now, you know. And so what's available, you know, and and look at, you know, outsource seeing as an option there, because exactly like you said, that's your full time job, is running SDR team. That's your company basically, is the processes during place, especially if you're niched into a market and you know, for example, cyber security, so you know the vocabulary, you know the problems, you know the conferences. You you know you're really ingrained in that industry. You can hit the ground running and and you know, on the flip side, there's a lot of advantages to having the internal SDR team, you know, from, like you said, the bench strength. Yeah, hiring people that could be at your company for the next generation of your company. And a lot of the big, big companies here, you know, it's still a kind of valley and beyond they have a whole. It's almost like joining the army, you know, you're a boot camp recruit, and they stick around at these companies for years because they're just highly valuable contributors. So two quick things that we recommend is if you're thinking about starting an SDR team or it the program is struggling and at your company, start a start with a good manager who's done it before and has a playbook and knows what they're doing, before you hire another internal str yeah, get a good leader for the program, you know who's worked with s outsource companies, who knows how to write a playbook, who can do training and coaching and all those things. Start there and then and then build out the internal team. The other quick thing is you mentioned something critical, which is...

...when you're bringing in a new SDR, start with the industry, start with the problems that you solve and start with the audience that they're going to be talking to and make sure that they have that vocabulary and understanding before you move it's just a huge issue that we see that people start just like you said, they're they're plugged in with all these tools that are on the market map. They have the ability to send out a bazillion emails, but they know nothing about the industry that they're calling on and so once they finally do get into conversation, they just blow it and and they're miserable, you know, because they're not getting results. So it's a down, downward spiral. Yeah, now appreciate that. The thing that's so we picked up infected the Yeo. We we met there was a Linkedin reportitus publishing two thousand and seventeen about the twins and melting jobs, and they the list and sends. Development was on them balls three. I mean God if he was only end emlgen jebbing to SASA and seventeen. Adult know again, what people do. Well, befall that. But whatever the AA in some of that because literally, I think I think everybody's there is such a ideam and for bgis the odd the moment. What you see the mockt going. Yeah, I mean I think that demand will still be strong, but there's a lot of a lot of different factors. If you look at the SDR team as the connective tissue between marketing and sales, you have to have that connective tissue to be able to connect the dots on inbound and brand and digital events and then being able to give it to someone who can run a demo and be successful in negotiation and closing the deals. And and we're not quite at a point ray where we can just automate the whole thing and have robots doing right. We're getting there,...

...but I don't see that happening for another five to ten years unless somebody can show me where you can get rid of all strs and and make that connection without hiring people. And so I think right now that's why demand is higher than ever. I wouldn't be surprised if that report came out and SDRs are still one of the top, you know, five in demand jobs out there, because we have, we're quite develop the technology to be able to get rid of the position. Yeah, and you know, and bringing it back also to the outsource industry, I mean your industry continues to grow because there's an insatiable demand for exactly what you're talking about. You know, sales teams need x x pipeline going into the corner. They have to be able to show that and if product marketing demand Jen brand building is not producing enough in bound leads. Then we've got to go out bound. We have to go proactively talk to people, and that's where the strs coming and this has been the we expecting to to have a wave from covid nineteen. So obviously when Covin eighteen eight, you know it's like it was going to happen. So it's like a it's like March two thousand and twenty. I was just back from skiing literally in the center India, Picenter, I started in Europe. So I can't bring back with me in the UQ, which is terrible, but there you go. That's for the same story. The market got a little bit crazy. You know, we were walking with some very large companies, probably the biggest IT companies you can think of. That elp us with such a generous to great thing and if you want, the completely cut offf the marketing budget. They let a lot of people go and lots of things want to, you know, going well. So that was a some big contract that left us but to actually managed to grow during that year, but probably more towards the Sumerdult of the year, because I think the beginning...

...everybody frows and then people are like wow, okay, we can phrase forever. We've got to sell stuff. We've got to we've got to go back to just marketing. And then two thousand and twenty one was kind of that tour. Okay, we need to go back at it. Well, when you're behind, right, it's kind of over. Now it's not over, but everybody's fed up with it, right, so let's let's move on. And even some a taking place. You know, it's difficult to meet people in personal I think that was a big component of Lee generation proactively. Generations are going out there and fishing, getting people to come at your whatever, and dose big show that taking place probably have impacted by plane drastically, and we saw that this year, you know, we we saw a large show by in factors from Francisco, Rsa. You know, you are speaking about save our security a few minutes ago. This is Rasa is probably the biggest saber security show in the world and avery it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger, in fact that some points they may remain in the Bosculony Center to keep on, you know, digging in the grounds to make it bigger. I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that got postponed to June. You know, if you are a Saber security company, you like our marketer, you're expecting to get three hundred lets from the TV and right into one in February. That's business technically for two thousand and twenty two. If you've got a six months or cycle. Right. If it's moved to June and you've got a six months of cycle, that's twenty twenty three. Business start good anymore and you need to change your tactic very quickly and I think lots of people have been turning to outbound prospecting because of that, which I guess is a good is a good thing for us because we add clients turning to outbound prospecting that did not believe without bound prospecting anymore. You know, they have had so many bad explain that they are like none. That's not possible. Nobody can do it out so so I would terrible, all crappy. But they kind of came back to us because almost you don't have any choice, like, you know, kind of Moonwalking, Moon walking towards...

...us and stead of going for not really being shut up, and we managed to tell them around. We managed to change their opinion. We managed to prove them that we can go and get bigger deals P actively. That then what they were doing before that. That that's been a there's been a plus for us. But I guess my last question for you is really about the future. Okay, and from your perspective, David, you know, when you see the next five ten years in time of in time of you know, sells developed, my what do you think will happen? I don't you just book about Ai and stuff like that. Do you think those things will actually come to life? Yeah, I mean, you know, I think that they'll be a gradual process of automating the repetitive, boring, frustrating aspects of the job, which is a lot of the research and, you know, looking manually through different things and the type of stuff that causes people to burn out. I mean they're they're if a machine can do it, it will be, you know, replaced for sure. But what can't be replaced is the the human creativity and the ability to make connections and and learn and grow through experience of really understanding the market right and and so I think humans still have a place here for at least, you know, five to ten years unless somebody can figure out a way to do that. And I think for for sales development, we just need to realize it's strategic, it's an important part of the marketing mix and the whole industry needs to get better. You know, there needs to be better management, better training, more executive support, more coaching and and and and setting expectations correctly for people getting into the job. I think that that that's a huge, you know, area of potential because, you know, there's so many jobs available and there's all...

...these people coming out of college and there they don't have, I mean no offense, they don't really have any skills or any experience and they become an SDR and they're like this sucks. Yeah, this job sucks. You know, I can, I'll just flip NFT's and make eighty seven thousand dollars in a minute, whatever that means. I don't know what that means, but but you know, we've got got, I can to you everything about it. Okay, this free ducks and streight chickens of some sorts. I'll tell you everything about all the the on the future. They I've got. I got into an FT. is this. It's a vicious circle don't get that. It's quite addictive and it is really is. Really is really a fear of missing out. Is it's about for more really. So it's kind of fun to look at it. But anyway, now I know which is, you know, companies, companies need to realize this is worth investing in and you've got to improve the experience for the people on the team and make them more engaged. And then, and then also performance management is very important, because if somebody gets in and they don't want to talk to people, they don't want to be creative, they don't want to leverage the tools, they're just like, I'm just going to do this for the money. I mean, of course they ask. They are job sucks. Yeah, should be a byproduct when you should be a byprode of to doing something you like. You know, is level walks the other way, but I you know, it's music to my hair. Really. I think that's really what we're doing in the recruitment process, you know, trying to get people to under song with the role is yeah, and in fact, you know what of I don't recruit anymore, but when I used to work with one of the thing that I used to do is to say to people in the lasting telview, even if they were fantastic, say well, look, you look great. David. On the personal level really like you, but I don't think the job is for you. I don't think you are cut off right and stop speaking. And then you see what they're doing and new home, someone you are waiting there. Your art is spelt the dating because someone you want to...

...give them the job. But you do that last thing, which is kind of that that Mexican stand off where you're say, okay, please, please push back, please stand please fight for it, and you've got some that fight for it and it's not what you're talking about. I think I'm perfect for the job. You said, okay, that's exactly what I wanted to see on Monday. But you've got some of that. I just pack up on that stuff. And that basically tells you that if they get an objection from someone a little bit more senior, they would just take it as a grunted and move on. And there is so many things that needs to be it's psychologically, the complexity of doing what we do from the different lover or even even being a full on serves person. I mean, I'd love to see some ai doing it. You know, I'd love to be proven wrong, but I think it would be extremely difficult. I mean if we've got that, technically whatever, we'll have ai that is get that can replace human and I would be quite scary. But I think is is such a skillful job that it's air. We will see what the future got for us. But I do agree with you with the whole setup. So we get into the NFIP is an unfortunately, David, you know that when you and I get together we can go on for a long, long, long time and we both fully passionate about what we're doing. So and we can post on Drei the chat as well. But look, I'm sure lots of people want to probably reach out to ten pounds everybody. I mean I don't know when single organization that would not need advice or concertancy with their own insight team. And he two days do and you're listening to us. Tabe is probably one of the most eligible person you can get in front of. So that's it. That's giving me a little bit of giving you little bit of credit. Yeah, but if anyone in aligience wants to get old of you, David, was the best way to to to less. Yeah, definitely. I mean we put out a newsletter every Tuesday and it's free and it's at ten poundcom and it's a great way to just understand the stuff that we're working on and then how it could help you, and the events that are coming up,...

...because there are a lot of them, are free as well. Yeah, so jump out of this letter and Ray. Thanks. I mean it definitely the sky's the limit here. I mean, when people start to take this seriously and realize how important it is, the industry is, you know it's going to explode. So absolutely what we've been here for ten years proving that, you know, we can be done, that it can be done properly and there is a market for it. You know, been growing pretty much fifty percent on year since since inception. So I know self funded. So there is definitely, definitely a market for it. There is definitely a doubt there is a fantastic market to operation. It's a bit gritty, you know, and I think I think the other you work the better you get, you know, out of it. But again, I know that you've been you've been spending a lot of time studying the markets, looking at the market, staying on top of the trends and what's going on, not only from a technology perspective, but so also satis tactic perspective. So, once again, anyone in the audience looking for is a a good conversation or or some support, do gets in touch with David and David, I want to thank you so much for being with us to celebrate out ten now, ten sen, you are straight. Technically we're gonna do that all this yea off like I want a celebration for the whole of two thousand and twenty two, but it's actually is, actually pretty much today on Imaustraa. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being a great guest, and I speak to so you've been listening to bedb read anue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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