FAQ – Sales Development Implementation Consulting

Introduction – Every year, thousands of companies across the world are implementing new Sales Development teams within their business as a strategic step toward fueling revenue growth. In order to execute on their growth-vision effectively, executives are delegating the initiative to existing staff within the business or hiring someone from outside of the business to come in and build-out the new capability.

There’s a 3rd option that leaders need to consider when deploying a Sales Development discipline: 

Sales Development Implementation Consulting – A staff augmentation model for jumping starting your company’s in-house Sales Development practice.

Below is a detailed list of frequently answered questions pertaining to Sales Development  Implementation Consulting that we are publishing for anyone interested in learning more about this approach.

What is a Sales Development Implementation Consultant? 

A Sales Development Implementation Consultant is an extension of your already existing staff. Sales  Development Implementation Consultants advise, as well as actively participate in, designing,  implementing, and scaling your organization’s Sales Development practice. Sales Development  Implementation Consultants enable companies to maximize the team they already have, while also being an alternative to the costly (and risky) investment of hiring a full-time Sales Development Manager at the implementation stage. Sales Development Implementation Consultants lead clients through a process with 3-phases helping them to design, recruit, and train a small team of Sales Development  Representatives. From design to recruiting, to onboarding and ramp-up, providing clients with decisive support along the way. 

Why is there a need for Sales Development Implementation Consultants? 

  • For a company with minimal resources to invest in the Sales Development practice, partnering with a  Sales Development Implementation Consultant allows executives to leverage talent already with the company while ensuring the program is constructed with help from an experienced professional.  
  • Hiring a Sales Development Implementation Consultant keeps the cost down when compared to a full-time manager which could require a ~$115,000 annual salary [~25% of total payroll to operate a 5 person Sales Development Representative (SDR) team].  
  • A Sales Development Implementation Consultant acts as manager for your business during the phases where the most experienced guidance is needed. During conception and implementation. 

With only a handful of direct reports, a full-time manager can become difficult to justify. SDRs receive plenty of strategic direction from their counterparts in the field in terms of coordinating outreach efforts. Therefore, a full-time manager that does not produce in a structure with inherent levels of overlap in supervision is simply overkill. 

What is the problem with only leveraging existing personnel to build-out your SDR Team? 

Building and managing an SDR team can be very taxing on someone who already has a set of full-time responsibilities. They may also lack the skills and experience needed to design, implement, onboard and develop/scale a Sales Development practice which could lead to poor performance.

What is the problem with hiring a full-time SDR Manager?  

Executives will have to spend a lot of time giving direction because the candidate profile that you will likely be faced with is someone who was recently an SDR and might have been promoted to SDR Manager. If they have not actually instituted and/or expanded an SDR team, the person over the SDR Manager  (Director, SVP of Sales, CMO, etc.) will likely have to spend a great deal of time coaching this new manager. As a result, leadership teams are not able to delegate effectively and will still need to be heavily involved. 

Layer these points on-top of the fact that SDR Managers typically do not contribute to the team’s performance while accounting for 20%+ of annual costs associated with operating a Sales Development team (5 or fewer). 

Why don’t more companies hire Sales Development Implementation Consultants?  

Philosophical – Many companies simply believe that the person in this role should work directly for  the company. There are indeed times where it makes better sense to hire a full-time SDR  Manager. In the scenarios where a Consultant would be a better option, I hope to help you and  your team until the time is right to hire a dedicated Manager. 

Availability – There just aren’t many Sales Development consultants out there and there are even fewer with the skills required to effectively implement/improve business capabilities. Availability of this specialty is naturally limited due to the fact that both SDRs and SDR Managers are taking their careers to other areas beyond Sales Development (Account  Executives, Regional Sales Leadership, etc.). 

How does it work? 

A Sales Development Implementation Consultant guides clients through the following three (3) phases in  an effort to accomplish the objective of implementing a fully functional Sales Development team: 

1. Design

2. Recruit

3. Manage (temporarily) 

Working jointly with the designated client team, a Sales Development Implementation Consultant oversees and/or participates in all aspects of the Sales Development Implementation project. This includes the  following:  

  • Assisting with writing the necessary job descriptions, operating procedures, scripts, email templates, and multi-touch outreach cadences, etc. 
  • Designing an alignment structure and specific sales process for this new role. Including any  Salesforce.com customizations needed in order to streamline its use and improve the quality of data around the KPIs for this role. 
  • Assist in evaluating any additional Sales acceleration applications/tools that the company agrees should be acquired to help the SDRs be more effective. 
  • Collaborating and engaging cross-functionally with team members in all the necessary departments. 
  • Management of all recruitment efforts associated with the open SDR positions.
  • Onboarding coordination support for all newly hired SDRs. 
  • Performance management of the SDRs until a permanent qualified replacement is in place. 

The Manage phase is where clients decide on how to handle ongoing supervision of the team. Either leveraging existing personnel in an SDR player/coach already on the team or maybe another Manager within the Sales or Marketing departments. They may also opt to hire a dedicated SDR Manager once the program is on auto-pilot. Your Sales Development Implementation Consultant can also help with this recruiting effort.

When should a Sales Development Implementation Consultant be brought in? 

A Sales Development Implementation Consultant should be brought in as soon as you consider making an investment into building-out a Sales Development practice within your business. At the very minimum, we can act as a sounding board as you consider different strategies during the conceptual phase. Do not spend a great deal of time heading down the path of Sales Development before seeking advice from a  proven Sales Development Implementation Consultant. 

What if the full scope of a Sales Development Implementation project is not required at this time?

No problem at all. All of our services are available as individual offerings. 

Following are some of our other services:

  • Assessments with written recommendations
  • Salesforce administration as a service
  • Sales Playbook design and implementation
  • Recruiting for SDR, Account Executive, Sales Operations, and other related roles

How are the services priced?

All of our services are billed on a per-project basis. We also offer time and material pricing available. 

Please contact us to learn more. Go to: 3linksales.com.

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