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Across the dozens of enterprise tech companies that I’ve had the pleasure of working with, pipeline (the quantity and quality of sales qualified opportunities), is the primary driver of go-to-market success.

While pipeline is often viewed as marketing’s domain, sales development representatives (SDRs) can be responsible for more than 60% of pipeline in B2B SaaS.

SDRs are ‘top of funnel’ salespeople, making cold calls, writing email outreach, or sending outbound mail. They are important even at an early stage or in ‘sales allergic’ industries like DevOps or ITOps. In short, SDRs are a critical part of a company’s pipeline, and therefore, overall success. Despite this, there is little information on how to build an effective organization beyond rote sales playbooks focused on topics like call volume or tech stacks. These topics don’t address the toughest questions, like where to find SDRs or how to get the most out of them. Here are four common roadblocks founders and executives face when building their SDR teams, and the solutions to find success.

While pipeline is often viewed as marketing’s domain, sales development representatives (SDRs) can be responsible for more than 60% of pipeline in B2B SaaS.

It’s best to build in-house

One of the most common questions from early-stage founders is whether to outsource outbound sales or build an in-house SDR team. It is alluring to outsource SDR hiring, as setting up an in-house team involves a lot of time, resources, and effort — and churn if it doesn’t bear fruit. Vendors offer the promise of a no-long-term-commitment stable of SDRs ‘ready to dial’ and expensive software stacks.

However, it is almost always better to build an in-house SDR organization, particularly at an early-stage company. First, outsourced vendors are rarely successful at communicating the nuances and key benefits of your solution, particularly for highly technical products. Additionally, so much of early marketing and demand generation is about learning and experimentation, answering questions like, “What messages resonate with our target customers?” or “Are we even targeting the right customers?” If you’re outsourcing, you might get leads, but you certainly won’t get that learning.

In many cases, outsourced vendors will spam large lead lists to guard against lower conversion rates. This can be detrimental to your brand. You only get one chance to make a first impression and burning leads can have a serious downward effect. You may also end up with customers outside of your ideal customer profile, which then puts strain on the product, customer service and strategy teams.

To control the common risks of building in-house, leverage outsourced vendors like MemoryBlue for SDR training or tools like SalesLoft for building a cheaper tech stack. Finally, be sure to hire a sales leader who is willing to manage both an SDR and account executive (AE) team.

Incentive design matters (but not in the way you think)

How to build a sales development representative strategy that will fill your B2B pipeline by Jenna Routenberg originally published on TechCrunch

Source: New feed

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