I read Trish Bertuzzi’s book ‘The Sales Development Playbook’ and it was by far one of the best sales books I’ve read in a while. The book focuses heavily on building pipeline with SDR teams. This is the second post of a few I’m going to share about this book: there was so much good information that putting it all in one post would be too long. Below are some of the excerpts I found to be very insightful, from page 55 to 84.
Hire in classes. “The massive efficiency gains from hiring two or more reps simultaneously vastly outweigh the boldness of the proposition. Training for one single rep tends to be informal, ad hoc, and (too often) sloppy, but training a “class” demands more attention and quality preparation. New Hires Bond Together: A class mentality leads to peer-to-peer coaching, better brainstorming, and a healthy competitive spirit. The big benefit is that new reps don’t feel like they’re alone. If you’re launching a sales development group from scratch, you absolutely want to hire as a class. I suggest you budget for an initial headcount of at least three reps.”
Job descriptions. “Most of us were taught that a job description should, well, describe the job. But that’s totally backwards. A job description should sell the job. Your job description should be an amazing piece of content that you’ll use to attract the best talent. In a highly competitive market, you’ll be selling the sizzle, while every other hiring manager will be documenting the chemical makeup of the task. EXAMPLE: Zenefits is the fastest-growing SAAS company ever. The founders managed to hit on a great idea at just the right time, and now they’re reaping the rewards. Two years ago, we had six employees and zero customers. Only a year later, the company hired 212 employees and signed over 2000 customers. EXAMPLE: We’re looking for recent college grads that want to jump-start their career through enterprise sales and business development. Did you know that 40 percent of S&P 500 CEOs come from sales and marketing backgrounds? Previous sales experience in technology doesn’t hurt, but it isn’t a requirement (the majority of our team came directly from the dorm to our office! The line “40 percent of S&P 500 CEOs come from sales and marketing background” is killer. More often that not, when people graduate from college, they don’t run out the door waving their diplomas and hollering, “give me a list, give me a phone, I’m ready to hammer out some dials!
SDR Comp. “The average base is $46k and on target earnings are $72k. The core plan has no more than two moving pieces, and the nuances can be bulleted out on a cocktail napkin. If it takes PowerPoint and a cross-country plane ride to explain it to the rep, the plan is broken. I don’t believe that reps should be rewarded or penalized for the skills/actions of others. This includes tying a large portion of incentive compensation to won business. SDRs can’t choose their partnered account executives. Nor do they participate in the opportunity process. A large share of their income shouldn’t be dependent on factors outside their control. Base salary should be roughly 60–70 percent of total compensation for sales development reps. Also, whenever possible, pay incentive compensation monthly. These SDRs aren’t your angel investors. Don’t make them wait for a payday.”
Don’t pay for closed deals. “For groups generating qualified opportunities, there is a strong impulse to equate quality with closed business. This often translates to paying the bulk of incentive compensation for closed deals that were sourced by the SDR. From a management perspective, this is couched in terms of “driving alignment with the business”. From a rep perspective, they will often refer to it as “screwing me for things outside my control.” It is my firm belief that you shouldn’t tie more than 20 percent of incentive compensation to “opportunities won”
Keep a lookout for more posts on this fantastic book.
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