What is Sales Development?

Business Owners can turbocharge their revenue engine by adding Sales Development to their revenue team.

What is Sales Development blog (2)

Some call it inside sales, some call it business development… at the end of the day Sales Development is working at the start of the sales cycle or top of the funnel. Sometimes that’s creating awareness, starting a relationship, or educating your prospects. That effort both inbound and outbound is about having good conversations and talking about the challenges the organization can help solve.

“Leads don’t convert to customers. Leads convert to conversations.”

Ophir Prusak

The sales development efforts combine a number of channels in their outreach. We find the triple touch at the beginning of the process is most effective, which includes LinkedIn, email, and phone. 

The order of events will depend on whether this is an Inbound or Outbound effort. The concept of ‘always be testing’ is what is used to find the right cadence for your target market, though there are suggested frequencies that work well. 

Having said that, the one thing in life you can count on is change. So, always testing new methods, strategies, and being innovative is very much a part of sales development. Even as you have a planned model, and playbook in place, things change and you need to be able to adapt to your prospects and customer expectations.


For inbound, we find that speed and consistency are the two key levers to pull for successful inbound lead conversion.


When a lead comes in and is passed to a Rep we find that the average response time is 42 hours (Stat from HubSpot). Data tells us the longer the lead goes without being worked, the likelihood of moving through to the sales cycle is reduced by every minute that passes. 

Having dedicated individuals or a team focused on speed reduces that decline. These are your first responders. Obviously, different than the first responders who are fighting the virus, but still important. 

If you as an organization don’t put in any urgency on these contacts; then why would the contact have any urgency when it comes to your product or services. Additionally, 35-50% of the leads go to the vendor that responds first. 


The second component is that when the leads are passed to the Rep they’ll reach out a couple of times via phone and email. That means they have attempted 3-4 times. Today in modern sales it takes 18-25 touches to fully-engage with a lead. 

The Rep who is mainly focused on moving other deals through the pipeline will give up too early. Sales Development brings with it the consistency in outreach with individuals dedicated to that effort. Sales Development are the folks putting in the work to nurture your leads through the sales cycle.

When you combine people, processes, and technology with these efforts, you have the makings of a revenue-generating machine.


The beauty of sales development is that if you don’t have enough Inbound, the outbound effort can begin. With targeted contacts that fit your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) your outbound efforts can take root. SDR’s are creating awareness of your offerings by speaking to the business challenges. Depending on your ICP this can be a personalized effort or more scalable. It comes down to process, your ICP, and tech stack. It’s possible to personalize at scale with the right tools.

For an outbound effort, the key factor is the quality of data. You need to have the information on the key decision-makers for your ICP.

How Sales Development fits into your Revenue Team

For marketing, sales development has insights from your audience. They are having conversations and engaging, they know the roadblocks. The value of these insights for marketing is they can be leveraged for messaging. But, also create awareness of how the industry may be changing based on what is going on in the world.

When it comes to data and quality with leads, sales development knows whether the quality is there based on their outreach. The relationship between marketing and sales development needs to be close to refine the process and to be agile. We suggest a feedback loop on MQLs and SQLs that come from marketing to refine the definitions of MQLs and SQLs.

For sales, sales development keeps up the consistency until the leads are ready to move into the pipeline. The handoff needs to be seamless to create an ideal customer experience, whether that’s scheduling appointments or a live pass. That will entirely depend on how you can provide the best customer experience.

In Conclusion

Sales development has the ability to drive growth at your organization. It a growing movement throughout the modern sales world and is proven to be the catalyst for hyper-growth. It allows you to create a predictable and scalable revenue-generation model that can spell success.

Have you been considering Sales Development for your revenue-generating team?

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