Here is why it’s critical to do so and why it works so well as seen in so many other growth stories of organizations:
- Focus: When attention is divided, the results are as well. With sales reps focusing solely on giving demos and closing deals, their energies get channeled into that. The sales development reps, in turn, focus on creating opportunities hence never letting the pipeline run dry.
- The skill sets needed for the two are very different: Sales Development team is required to make the first contact with the customer. The thought process behind that in terms of introducing the company and the offering, making connect and following up are vastly different from connecting with the person later for a demo.
- Higher lead to opportunity conversion: Sales reps have quotas. Meeting them takes precedence over all else and, sometimes, the ball gets dropped when it comes to building opportunities to meet the quotas for the upcoming months (as I experienced in my previous role). Also, there is a tendency to pick the low-hanging fruits that will ‘close’ quickly with little thought put to the other ‘leads’ that could eventually become opportunities. Sales development teams help convert even those not-so-flashy leads and generate enough interest over time to turn them into opportunities.
- Improved processes: Greater attention to detail leads to better ‘hacks’ and automation and overall improvement across processes.
- Data-driven decisions: A consequence of needing to improve processes is the need to collect better data. Hence, numbers come into sharp focus when specialized teams take over and decisions are driven by these.
Time and again teams have seen tremendous growth by decoupling Sales from Sales Development. While it will take effort to do so initially and might create some confusion in a startup scenario, the returns pay off handsomely.