Setting Up Salesforce for a New Sales Development Team

Salesforce is a phenomenal platform that provides a tremendous amount of options. Administering all these options, however, can be daunting for a small company with limited resources. In this post, we focus on what matters most so that you can get your team up and running quickly.

Here’s the scenario: You have 5 Account Executives (AEs) with some consistent coverage from Marketing with lead generation. Your growth rate is flattening so you look to implement a small Sales Development team of 2 to 3 Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) to help fuel the pipeline. It’s a big bet for the year and you want to make sure you can see how the team is performing and ensure that the Salesforce instance is set up for the SDRs in a way that best enables them to be successful.

The following is not going to be a step-by-step instructional manual but instead some general guidance on areas to consider. A high-level scope-of-work (SOW) of sorts.

The first thing we suggest to prepare your Salesforce for the new SDRs that you’ll be onboarding soon is to make sure the user settings are set and ready to go.

User Provisioning

  • Create a Role and a Profile for the SDR position. This will help control what they see and what they can do. This step will also streamline the process of managing reports and dashboards which will make your life a lot easier as the team expands (as opposed to entering individual names into the filters).

Once the user settings are ready, we suggest moving your attention to making some simple customizations so that SDR activity is captured properly.

Activity Objects

  • Customize the Log a Call Button so that SDRs are prompted to disposition the activity based on a list of predefined options (Voicemail, No Answer/No VM, Meaningful Conversation, Bad#, etc.). Proper dispositioning of SDR activity is vital to effectively manage performance while maintaining a data-driven sales model.
  • Customize the New Task Button so that SDRs have a streamlined experience in setting follow-up tasks. To help them stay organized you will want to build out the Types giving SDRs the ability to prioritize their outreach. “Sales is 90% follow-up” as they say so properly enabling the task management experience directly ties to the Sales Development team’s level of success. 
  • This next one is important: Customize the Event Object properly as it is recommended that SDRs use Events in Salesforce to track/manage their Discovery Calls (not Tasks or Opportunities). As part of this process, the SDR will need to be the user that creates the record. This ensures the Created By stamp catches their name for the reporting. The new Event record would then be Assigned To the AE which in turn provides the necessary visibility into which AEs the SDRs are booking Discovery Calls for. This is particularly useful when the SDR supports more than one AE, which is often the norm.
  • It is important to note that it is usually these Events that are used to manage SDR incentive pay. Therefore, we further recommend adding an Outcome Field that only AEs and Management can update (Example: Use a simple grading system: A, B, C, D). This provides for closed-loop feedback and would only require AEs to disposition the record after completing the actual Discovery Call with the prospect. Simply knowing that the Discovery Call took place is insufficient insight if you want to effectively optimize your Sales Development program. Adding this small step provides a light qualitative touch that can have a massive impact as you look to course-correct down the road.

The Activity Objects cross all the other primary Objects that SDRs generally work with so once the basics are in place, you’re ready to make some minor layout changes to the Lead, Account, Contact, and Opportunity Objects.

Lead Object

  • Setting up Lead Assignment Rules, inherently, can depend on several factors. If you have not set up Lead Scoring, then we suggest assigning all new Leads to your SDR team with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to review/action the leads based on type (asset download, trial key, contact request, etc.). If you have started to score leads, then we suggest only assigning those that meet the criteria to be considered a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). In the vast majority of the Sales Development teams that we have worked with, Leads stay in the SDR’s name (Owner) until it comes time to convert the lead. At which point, the Account, and the associated sales Opportunity would be assigned to the Account Executive.
  • Ensure your Lead Status options support the Lead Development process that your SDRs will follow. (Example: Raw > Open > Attempted > Contacted > Qualified > Discovery/Conversion)
  • Add a basic Qualification Section with structured fields according to the information that you need the team to capture as they work to convert the lead. Being on the frontline, SDRs are in a unique position to capture a magnitude of insights. Storing all those insights in the Notes prevents them from being actionable. Depending on your organization’s appetite for dependency rules, we suggest tying necessary data requirements to the Lead Status. As an example, you could require some basic fields to be updated before an SDR can convert the lead. Leaving fields as optional is generally a good way to ensure nothing is entered. The balance between required information and optional fields is an important dynamic when considering impacts on user adoption.
  • Add an SDR Activity Field that will count/display the number of completed attempts that the assigned SDR has made to the lead record. This will come in handy when managing SLAs and in general with gauging SDR effort metrics. When you place this column next to the Lead Create date you can get a clear view of the level of effort certain leads are getting.

Account Object

  • Add a field that allows you to stamp accounts with the name of the SDR that originally sourced the account. 

Contact Object

  • Assuming that SDRs will be working with both Leads and Contacts as part of their outreach efforts, add an SDR Name Field to your Contact records as well. 
  • Add a status field that SDRs can use to disposition where they are in their outreach process (same or similar to the above Lead Status options).

Opportunity Object

  • Add an SDR Name field on your Opportunity records so that you can track the pipeline and revenue influenced by your Sales Development practice down to the individual SDR.

Now that the basic infrastructure is in place, you can effortlessly visualize the data in SDR-specific List Views, Reports, and Dashboards. 

List Views

  • Create canned List Views across the various objects that the SDRs work with so that their user experience is streamlined and slanted toward enabling action. List Views are where SDRs work from on a day-to-day basis keeping their outreach-focus organized.

Reports & Dashboards

Much like Views, Reports can help SDRs stay on top of their business but instead of being action-oriented, they are designed to display your Sales Development data in all sorts of ways that List Views can not.

Following are 10 basic reports that should be in every Sales Development report folder:

  1. SDR Owned Leads by Status
  2. SDR MQL Leads
  3. SDR Target Account & Contacts
  4. SDR Attempts by Type 
  5. SDR Conversations
  6. SDR Pending Tasks
  7. SDR Booked Discovery Calls
  8. SDR Completed Discovery Calls
  9. SDR Influenced Pipeline
  10. SDR Influenced Revenue

Once you have put the basics in place for capturing the data most important to your Sales Development process, and assuming your team does their part in helping to ensure a high degree of data quality, you will not only have actionable reports, but you will be able to create deeply insightful dashboards.

Each of the above-listed reports should be set up as a widget on your primary Public Sales Development Dashboard. Versions of each of these reports would then be able to be created and used in the individual dashboards for each SDR.

There are a lot of different customizations that you can make to a Salesforce instance to get ready for a new Sales Development team but if you’re looking to get out the gate fast, the above recommendations should get you going. 

Salesforce, like Sales Development, can be customized to meet your company’s unique business requirements. The two are a marriage made in heaven when you fuse them properly.

We genuinely hope this was helpful as you look to embark on a journey of Sales Development. Should you require the assistance of an experienced guide, we would like to invite you to contact us for a free Sales Development Readiness Assessment. We will evaluate your current situation and provide you with written recommendations at no cost.


Derrick Williams

3Link Consulting

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