HomeBlog A Rose by Any Other Name: The Foundations of Business Development Excellence

A Rose by Any Other Name: The Foundations of Business Development Excellence

April 30, 2020 | By Kevin Avery

  • Sales leaders maniacally seek to increase core selling time
  • Organizations must feed sellers real opportunities, not leads
  • Size your teleprospecting group adequately and set realistic expectations about output

Have you seen the movie My Favorite Year? If not, get thee to your favorite streaming service. Its flamboyant main character, played by movie star Allan Swan, twists a famous line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name … would wither and die.”

A metaphorical parallel exists in B2B sales and marketing: “Business development rep” (BDR) and “sales development rep” (SDR) are common titles for non-quota-carrying teleprospectors. They may process website and digital inbound demand, execute outbound prospecting, or combine demand sources. The central focus is developing leads into opportunities salespeople can convert into revenue. An absurdly dizzying number of acronyms for this role abound: ADR, BDR, CDR, DDR, LDR, RDR, SDR. Whatever title you choose, just make sure it cultivates a volume of ripe sales opportunities. The alternative is a pipeline that withers away.

SiriusDecisions research has identified the following foundations of BDR excellence:

  • Purpose: Define exactly what BDRs do and don’t do. Define the success target. Define dependencies on sales and marketing. Write it down and get all stakeholders to sign off.
  • Job design: Derive a role profile from your purpose statement, highlighting important behaviors and competencies.
  • Headcount planning: In view of the role profile, determine the productive capacity of a BDR — how many opportunities can a BDR generate in, say, a month. Then calculate the headcount you need to hit your goal.
  • Measurement: Focus your attention on metrics that help you manage performance, tune processes, and know when to reallocate capital.
  • Compensation: Focus BDRs on creating a strong buyer experience rather than rushing prospects along their journeys. Tilt total compensation toward base salary over variable compensation.

Do you have a dedicated prospect development group? Is it delivering less than you hoped? Do you NOT have one and need one (but are terrified to get it wrong)?

Join us at SiriusDecisions Summit to delve more deeply into success factors. You’ll come away with the clarity you need to design or redesign with confidence. Already a client? Schedule an expert inquiry session to help you apply our published research and accelerate your prospecting functions.

One further question you might ask. “Where should this group live — in marketing or sales?” That’s fodder for my next post. Until then, may your revenue blossom and your competition wither.

Kevin Avery

Kevin is a principal analyst in Sales Executive Services at SiriusDecisions. He has been an enterprise leader and management consultant during a career of three decades and has held executive-level sales and marketing positions at mid-market companies and an early-stage software firm. Follow Kevin on LinkedIn.

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