3 Things Every Sales Development Team Needs to Know to Succeed

July 6, 2015
min read time
Sam Aparicio
Sam Aparicio
Co-founder & CEO, Ring.io
3 Things Every Sales Development Team Needs to Know to Succeed

Your sales development team plays a major role in the overall success of your business, so it’s important to give the reps who make up that team everything they need to succeed.

Empowering your sales development team starts with outlining exactly what its role should be. Ahead, we’ll take a look at how you can get the most out of your sales development team by asking and answering a few key questions.

Who’s in charge, and who does each rep report to?

Sales development reps often operate in the grey area between sales and marketing.

They qualify leads and set appointments, but don’t close deals. Yet they still play a very important role in whether a deal is ultimately closed and won.

Given the varying roles played by sales development reps, it’s no surprise that chain of command issues can easily derail the progress of your development team. So, who’s the boss?

In some companies, development reps report to a Sales VP, or someone similarly high-ranking on the sales side. In others, it’s the CMO, or someone in a specially created sales development leadership position.

The important thing is that each rep knows exactly who they’re supposed to report to, and that it’s consistent. Some companies ask development reps to report to multiple people. That’s fine, too, as long as the rep always knows what’s expected of them.

What’s the job of my sales development team?

Clearly defined roles are just as important as a consistent chain of command. For your sales development reps to do their job effectively, they first have to understand what that job entails.

Defining roles for your sales development team starts at the top. What do you expect them to accomplish?

Your sales development reps are capable people. If their guiding goal is to set appointments and hand them off to your sales reps, that’s fine. If they’re expected to nurture a lead until the prospect is knocking on the door of a sale, they can probably handle that, too.

The important thing is that your development team understands what you expect from them. It’s the best way to promote efficiency, and help your reps understand which skills they need to improve to deliver better results.

How do I track the progress of my sales development team?

Just as with any position in sales, succeeding in sales development requires a constant commitment to improvement.

Setting appointments and qualifying leads demands a specific set of skills that can be improved over time, so tracking progress is vital. The good news is that you’ll have no lack of data when looking to improve the skills of your development team.

It’s simply a matter of understanding which metrics are most important to track, for both leadership and your development reps, themselves.

You’ll mostly be looking at activity and conversion metrics that are familiar from other areas of your sales operation.

Calls made and emails sent are a solid place to start, along with tracking any other channels you use for outreach. Conversion is a bit different when dealing with development reps, since they’re not actually responsible for closing deals.

So you’ll want to look at numbers like reply and connect rates to determine how your development reps are performing. Whatever metrics you track, make sure your team knows why you track them, how often to check them, and how they can be improved.


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