What is Sales development?
In simple terms – getting more business.
But is it really? How would a business achieve higher sales – discount the product? Sure! They would drive more sales, but at what cost? Profit.
Sales Development Encompasses More
Sales development should be intertwined with sales, marketing, and training and development with the outcome of increasing sales. Sales development should be looked at as a full-time responsibility or possibly, a lifestyle change for a company.
My Sports Analogy
If you’re a sports fan, you will appreciate this analogy.
Here you are. A superstar playing collegiate football. As a quarterback, you have broken every possible record for passing, interceptions, and rushing. You are awarded the Heisman trophy. Oh yeah! You’re picked up by the New England Patriots. You’re all pumped up. You walk into training camp with a “hot” head. Your teammates can feel your arrogance.
Out on the playing field, you line up behind the center. You’ve pissed off a number of teammates with your arrogance. The words “hike” comes out of your mouth. The center steps aside and allows two defense of tackles to get by – then bam! You are sacked. This happens to you several times from different directions.
All of a sudden you have an epiphany. You realize that winning is a team effort, not an individual effort.
All Units Report In
Businesses who fully engage in sales development activities need to engage all business units, from sales and marketing to research and development. Every member of the sales development team requires the knowledge, training, and product positioning in order to sell the proper value to its customers and prospects.
Sales development and/or business development is the process of how one reaches its prospects and customers, in a cost-effective way, to promote its products or services without having a significant impact on profitability, while creating a customer for life.
Sales Development Representative
A sales development representative relies on marketing to create great content — part of sales enablement. Marketing needs to be able to anticipate customers questions. They create the value proposition for each product and provide examples of how the product or service can solve a pain point. Without this marketing content, sales development reps would have a difficult time positioning the product to produce a sale. Furthermore, the sale does not end with the customer’s purchase. It begins during the micro-moments (buying journey) and continues throughout post sales.
It’s critical to remember that sales development is an activity that integrates all business units. However, many companies believe that sales development operates in a silo, and are treated as such. Yes, sales is the foundation of any company. It’s also the responsibility of any executive leader to implement sales development effectively, ensure their go-to-market sales strategy is clearly defined, understood, remove roadblocks or barriers that will ensure sales development representatives can close the sale.
In closing, over the last 10 years, consumers have changed their purchasing patterns, the way they research information, how they purchase products or services, and needless to say social media plays an important role in brand influence. A strategy that was once successful several years ago, has turned into a dying elephant. Your sales development strategy requires ongoing tweaking, as consumers change, your sales development strategy needs to change. Use your current benchmarking tools to monitor sales growth or decline. Use analytics tools to track and monitor user behavior and stay on top of user conversions. If you don’t….someone else will.