B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 3 years ago

23: The Evolution of Sales Development w/ David Dulany

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The way customers buy things is different than it was ten years ago. Our approach to getting their attention should have evolved as well.

In this episode, I talk with David Dulany, Founder and CEO of Tenbound, about the future of sales development and what he’s doing with his Sales Development Conference in San Francisco to address the future.

It’s likely that companies immune to change will be left behind.

You were listening to be tob revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, you welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is a really am withier and I'm here today with David Delaney from ten pounds. Oh are you doing today, David? I'm duing well, I'm doing well. Thank you so much for having me on the show. That's the pleasure. That's the pleasure. So today to to be that we want to discuss with you, David, is the evolution of sales development to be it is really close to our heart, as you would expect. But first, can you please introduce yourself, as well as your company, ten bound? Sure, absolutely so. I have been in and around the sales and marketing industry for going on way too long. I don't want to say how long, a long time. Yeah, I came up through the ranks of selling sales training for a company called achieve global and we were selling the training and delivering it, taking it as everything around sales training, and I had, you know, born and raised in the bay area. So I had always wanted to get into the tech industry and I got my foot in the door at a company called glass door and when. Since then has gone on to be a big success, but at that time they were just starting to go to market and at the same time, you know, sales development was becoming a big industry with the advent of predictable revenue and, you know, the for tools that were coming online, especially sales force. So we started the initial sales development program at glass door, went on started a few other successful sales development programs and then about two years ago, started sales ten pound as a sales development training and consulting firm to really help managers and wraps to improve the performance of their sales development programs and and also really act as like an industry analysts and understanding the overall industry and helping people to get a better handle on their sales development programs. And so over here at...

...ten pound that's what we're doing and we also do a big event, which is the sales development conference, which just took place this past fall and I'm recovering. It's been a couple months so and now. I remember meeting with you when you in the in the preparation of the event and yeah, it did look like quite to be piece to swallow. You know, it looks if you do an event really well, it looks easy from the outside, which is how it how it should be a seamless experience for everybody involved. But yeah, there's a lot of work that goes into it and you know that. We could talk more about but it was a great experience and and as a big success this year. So well, I'm glad you bring it top actually, because that's that's my that's my next question. So the next question that they had for you is around the sales development gone fronts that that you run. You're running some from C school. We had some right feedback from you friend people about the conference, but it would be really great if you could share WAZUS. So need to be mobilt. What happened at the conference? Why did you sit eat up in first place, and why do you think it's so important for the future off sets development? Yeah, you know, that's an interesting question. So just quick backstory. When I was looking at the landscape of starting a business a couple of years ago, you know, I kicked around some ideas about starting as software as a service company, you know, tool to help sales development wraps and managers to accelerate their progress, and I felt like, you know, that there's a lot of tools out there to support that, but there's not a lot of thought leadership around how to run a sales development program and how to train managers and wraps and, you know, bring up the skill level, and so I really wanted to focus on that with pen bound to be able to be more of a service business to help people who are already running sales development. And you know, one of the ways to get the word out is to start to run events. I didn't have a big network, I didn't have a database...

...or anything like that, and so we started with meetups, just quarterly meetups to get together and talk sales development management and, you know, the the Best Practices for setting appointments and building pipeline and you know, it just eventually evolved into a conference. You know, I was sitting there one day and I just thought, you know, right now there's not an industry wide conference that's one hundred percent focused on sales development and what we do every day, and I felt like there's a need for upleveling this profession and really getting some great research and advice and events in place. And so we went ahead and made a goal and did our first one in two thousand and seventeen. That's wonderful, very really good. So and how many people did you have attending? What you expect next show? I'll do you expect it to grow? I mean we see was a stelts and I believe that this touff was re moven. Be On your expectations. But do you expect to come friends, to go to grow? Foz and fell I guess you on size, yes, but but by all much? Yeah, absolutely. I mean the first and foremost, it's it. The goal of the conference is to add value and help people to uplevel their sales development profession, whether they're CEO trying to figure out how to build more pipeline, whether there are a manager on the sales are marketing side, or whether they are wrap. I mean we're definitely we don't talk much about ten bound there. It's not a user conference because we don't have any software. So we're really trying to make it a valuable experience for the people that come and I think that philosophy will not change. So the first year our goal was to get, you know, maybe a hundred people and five or six vendors to help us to pay for the conference. We blew that out. We had two hundred people, probably twelve vendors. We almost doubled it this year we had three hundred fifty people and just as many vendors. We grew out of our current location at the Ritz Carlton and we're looking for a venue right now. We're going to do it in...

...the fall of two thousand and nineteen again and shoot for five hundred people. You know, I could see this happening in Austin, in Denver, in York, you know, anywhere where people are obsessed, like me and you with how do we set appointments? How do we build pipeline? How do we generate revenue? You know, it could be really big. The Sky is the limit. I mean I know it's changing so fast. So yeah, we're really excited about it. I think it's I think it's a brilliant idea, as you rightly mention Audi on in the conversation. There is nothing like that the moment. There is a few groups down and there. It's online. It's not really interactive and I think people wants to meet with each other on exchange. We are really said this year that twd so mos o commitment and couldn't not come along. The'll serve but resting show that next year you can count see. So we've been led you to push a numbloup and and potentially bring print, bring more vendows as well as we probably would look at supporting you and getting things going, but if we can be a part of your success, we will definitely do whatever I takes to accomplish that at the confront. So again, you know, looking at it from the outset and and kind of reading through, it seems that a lot has been tooked to the belt and the new function, which is a chief sells development of you. So okay, can you please show with us what dis for looks like and if you have seen being implemented in any companies recently? Yeah, that is it's really funny because this is something that I put in as part of my keynote speech and it got the biggest round of applause from everybody because I think that it was just a new concept and people were like, Whoa, I mean, this really does have a future. We have a future in our career, we have a future in our industry, to get a seat at the table and whether that's called the chief sales development officer or something else, the way that I envision it is really a blending of the product led approach which you see at companies like at last, see in and slack...

...and calendy and a number of companies that lead with product and and then bring people through the pipeline in a really seamless way that's customer centric and and brings them through to higher and higher closed one revenue. And so the reason I bring that up is because I think that the chief sales development officer should certainly have some viewpoint on how the product is developed, have some viewpoint on how the marketing is developed to support that product and then, of course, how they go about moving people through the pipeline to the sales appointment and ultimately the closed one revenue. And you know, there was a position that was thrown around a while ago. It was called the chief revenue officer, but most of them that I've worked with in my past we're just basically focused on sales and it was just a fancy title for a very high level. You know, evp of sales and when I think of the chief sales development officer, it's the whole gamut. I mean it's really, really if we want to really take it to the next level, it's blowing up the different departments that we have right now and renting the entire go to market strategy around how to move people seamlessly through the pipeline and how to make that a great experience for the customer. So would you say it's about bringing says development and the bold liver and table? For sure, definitely. I mean I don't think that it can be, because what you have right now is and it still happens. It's crazy because I've been aroundund for a long time and what I hear and what I see is you've got them product folks, you know, building product based on customer feedback. Great, that's perfect, and then you've got the marketing folks who have a whole different amount, you know, slide deck full of metrics that are not necessarily tied succinctly to the sales team, and so they could the and then the VP of sales is talking about, you know, how do we close the business that we have? And a lot...

...of times they end up running campaigns completely separately from what marketing is doing. So it's very it's this very disjoy it to old school way of setting up organizations. And you know, it's time for a change people. I mean we got it like take a step back. I think we're just in almost like Zombie mode of following exactly how go to market organizations are structure. Yeah, we're not really taking a step back and going, okay, what's going to take someone from completely disinterested and they have no idea who we are, all the way through the funnel to a closed one deal? And then how do we scale that? And and so, you know, it's kind of taking it back to formula, erase the chalkboard and start over, and then the chief cells development officer would be, you know, pushing this forward. That's all field of walk of for us. It's almost common sense, but I think it's the direction that is taking anyway. And and the reason why I'm saying that is because we see more and more, particularly at this time of the year, and there was lots of troubling world fall sens team and a operation team all across the wall at the moment because everybody's play is planning for to sous and nineteen and while we, you know, we don't expect so, we to have a sit at the bolt table with our clients, he then participated a bold meeting the level of information that we are asked to provide. That will then be endulled by a chief revenue of you, Sol as you mentioned, a need evp sales or all the CMO marketing person is is getting more and more grun it up, and I think it's because people wants to dust on how they can build the scale ball pipeline model and, at the end of the day, making your revenue is great, making marketing compense is great, but there is that glue between cells and marketing, which is cells development from my perspective, and that function should be at the at the bodroom table. Should be challenging cells, should be challenging marketing and should be trying to better what they're doing, also themselves. But I do think that you really need the nail on the head, because it's I see it...

...happening at the moment. I think it's not been formalized, but we see our clients, executive team, bought level team, asking more and more information about hey, what's that function. You know that in that part of the office in the corner, the other guys will a bit noisy. What what do they actually do, you know, and can we get them to do a bit more? Could they do more? How do we grow that? But you know, that kind of important to us because a generating pipeline and will be good to get it from Granula and try to see if we can find a formula or recipe to scale their success. So I personally think that it will happen. I think the faither that you bring it and the Findus you reach through the conferences is pretty cool, because people will go away. You know, we are speaking about it today, which is fantastic, which means it's a nice little pat on the back, I guess, for that that concept of yours, which is relevant. But I just wanted to finalize on that sort of kind of note, which is the future. And I see, I see the function. Personally see the function of cells development. I have seen it already evolving drastically over the last few years because you've got technology. People are diading a saying that prospect of changing the way did by technology. It's true. There is lots of dynamic that are changing around the function. But what are your view, should I say, on the sells development rolls evolving moving forward? How can we stay ahead of the game as sells development professionals? Yeah, I'll start with the bad news. I think I'm not traditional under the traditional way that we have it structured. It's going to get harder and harder, and I'll tell you why. Because there's more and more noise out in the market place. Prospects are reached through multiple channels more and more they're just kind of tuning out the traditional outreach and it's becoming harder and harder to stand out. And and I think that anybody involved in sales development, especially you would, would understand that that. You know,...

...you have to put a lot more time and money and focus on it to get the same result that we got maybe five years ago. So so that's the bad news. It's just that's just the way that things are changing. So now we've got to understand that it's getting harder to, you know, get people's attention and get them to accept a meeting and we have to adjust in order to accommodate that. So if we're working under the true additional model of do some marketing, generate some interest or do some cold calling generation interest, try to get to people to sit down and take a fifteen minute meeting and move them through. If we're doing that, then we have to become more careful and researched with the outreach that we're putting out. We Spam, you know, sending out massive numbers of emails and sending out massive numbers of phone calls. It's just has a diminishing return, unless you're in a very commoditized industry where you can hopefully catch somebody and make them change. So there has to be more research involved on the prospects and some kind of relevant messaging that makes them want to stop and, you know, take your call. So that's just table stakes. Everybody knows that already. But I think bigger picture and what I would challenge people to think about is how people buy things. Now, look at how you buy things in your daily life. You know there's it's frictionless, you don't have to deal with a salesperson most of the time. And so when I talk about product led growth, and I talked about this a lot with Liz Kane, who was at the conference, and she's really leading the charge on this. It's setting up your product in a way that makes it easy for people to get into the top of the funnel and then bringing in the sales development folks to help them, almost like a concierge or, you know, help them through to understand all the different things that your product does and how you can continue the relationship and that potentially...

...have them upgrade and buy more. I think that if you're not thinking that way from a product perspective, there's a very good chance that you will get left behind, and and so the sales development industry also has to change to accommodate that. But I think that is the main thing. If you're setting up your process that makes it difficult for prospects to engage with you and have to interrupt their day, you're going to be left behind because it's just not how people want to be approached and it's not how we buy things anymore. In two thousand and eighteen agree and I think. I think it's also being part of the process. In what you are saying, and if I was, if I was to read in between the line and put some walls in your mouth, you kind of describing the concept of a cant base setting. I can't base marketing, I can't base everything, which is you know, you've got to do your research, focus on your prospect. Is Not about you, it's not about your product and you need to be part of a process. You know, an account base marketing compaign on its own may generate some results, but he's feets not followed up by yourselves, development team, pushing the same message, pushing pushing the value, driving the cold actions. You know, prospect may receive something and may not re bom to it. They may receive a letter but they may not type. Do you already in the browser, because you don't have the time, and even if they think about doing it and if it's got the best intention, to get in touch the cells development for these a gag is that blue that can peace in what we see, increase the written on the marketing campaigns and increase the writton on account base for grams. So yeah, it does make a lot of sense. So, David, we unfortunately would have to stop to them. I think we would have to invate you again, because I'm thinking through the conversation wiving to them, thinking about another ten topics and I know that's when you and I met for a coffee what was going on. But we have to stop, unfortunately. But if any of our listener would like to get in...

...touch with you, they want to discuss their seals development team potentially look at training, look at getting somewhere that can come and bring that breath of fresh air and and l them to over, like seed, what they're already achieving. How can they get in touch with is are yourself for your company in General? Ten bound? Yes, absolutely, thank you so much. It's just ten Bo and dcom and then there's a chat box on there. Of course, you got to make it easy for people and I'm usually the one on the chat so I would love to hear from you. Of course reach out. We can connect on Linkedin, twitter, all those various mediums, but yeah, the website is probably the best. When is the next cells development conference? You have a date yet, or do you have like amounts that you can show with us? Yeah, absolutely. So we're trying to fit it in right before the Oracle open world, which is a huge conference. So we're looking at the week of September nine, two thousand and nineteen and we're just trying to narrow down the date here. So next time we talk, we'll have an exact date, will have a location and we'll be ready to rock and roll. Well, for all our Lista nows that I involve from close to fall with the Wiz this sters development function, we would really recommend that you mock your agenda and go and participate to the sets development conference organized by ten bound at some point since Septembo. Next, Joe. Great. Well, that was fantastic to have you on the show today, Daviat. I hope we're going to have the opportunity to speak against soon, but yeah, thank you again, fall for taking the thing to get you up with us today. Thank you. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been Li listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you...

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