Episode 11 – David Dulany – Keeping up with sales technology, focusing on “blocking and tackling” to build a solid business and the difference between sales development and business development

The Talent, Sales and Scale show is back with a special guest – David Dulany, Founder/CEO at Tenbound. David talks about the state of sales tech, sales development, and much more! On Episode 11, David and Bryan go over:

-the importance of staying up to date on sales technology in the market

-why searching for hacks is a waste of time – you’re better of building a solid business!

-the history behind how David got involved with the sales development industry

Plus SO much more! 

Tenbound’s website:

You can connect with David on LinkedIn here:

Read Full Transcript

Bryan: All right. So Bryan Whittington here with The Talent, Sales and Scale Show. And today we have a real treat. We have David Dulaney with TenBound. The last time we were talking together was getting shot in the head with Nerf bullets with his kids. So welcome. Is it safe over there in TenBound Land, David?
David: I sure hope so. I’ve got the door barricaded and a table in front of it. So hopefully we’ll be able to do this.
Bryan: That should last five minutes; good luck with that. All right. So anyway, hey, the reason that we have David on here, other than being a super cool guy and coming up with TenBound, he’s put together this Marketing Map. And he’s talking with some of the latest and greatest people in technology, specifically around sales development, SDR, sales enablement-type tools, whether it’s technology or even delivery. I mean, he’s got services on there, he’s got training on there. Hopefully my company’s on there. I’ve got to make sure that our marketing team has us on there. But I mean, tons of different stuff on there. And so what we wanted to talk to David about today is how do we wade through this onslaught of technology? I mean, should I use it, or is it just going to help me be worse faster? So how do we know when to use it and what to use and all that good stuff? So welcome, David.
David: Yeah; thanks so much. I’m excited to talk through this. It’s interesting because you know, the sales development industry has sort of formed in I would say the last ten years. The book came out probably in 2011 called Predictable Revenue.
Bryan: Yes; Mark Rosso.
David: Right, exactly. So I’m sure everyone’s familiar with that. And he documents how he helped build the

sales development engine. And it essentially became sort of the bible, at least here in Silicon Valley, of software service companies on how to grow fast and how to go to market, using the sales development function.
And so, you know, I had been running sales development teams for several years at that high-growth tech companies, and really saw a need in the marketplace to kind of bring this industry together, and sort of normalize it and make it more understandable for folks who are new to sales development, or in the business and trying to improve their performance.
And one of the things that we saw initially was that there were different maps out there. There’s the Martech 5000. There are sales technology maps that are covering off on large technology and service ecosystems. But there wasn’t one specifically for this niche, for our little world that we live in of sales development—the SDR/BDR out-sourced world. And so that was the initial impetus for putting it together.
Bryan: Okay. Well, it’s been an outstanding piece. And I just happened to stumble across it through a simple Google search. Now one of the first things that I always ask for (and I appreciate that background), but how did you develop this expertise in this area? Because, I mean, it’s pretty fast-growing; there are a couple of major players with a bunch more coming in. I mean, how did you really develop that expertise?
David: Yeah,. Absolutely. So, you know, I was in the sales training industry for a big part of my early career. But I had always wanted to get into technology.
Bryan: Okay.
David: So I got my foot in the door as a sales rep at a technology company called GlassDoor which eventually became huge.
Bryan: a small, little place. (Laughter)
David: Yeah, little; you may have heard of it. (Laughter) But at that time we had a sales team that was doing the SDR prospecting work, inbound lead qualification. They were running demos and they were taking care of the customers. It was very early on.
Bryan: Okay.
David: It was like in the old days of the sales rep doing everything. And so, you know, just working with the management team there, with predictable revenue, with some blog posts from Marketo who was putting out amazing content back then and some frameworks, we created the first sales development program at the company and started to really focus on bridging the gap and doing everything that sales development reps do. And it became successful. And I was able to do that at a few other companies.
And I started to see patterns. I started to see the same problems coming up over and over, the same struggles that people were having, and just kind of the same lack of an industry-wide overview of what sales development was and all the key players. And so we saw that niche and just went for it with TenBound. And now we’re going on four years.
Bryan: Nice, okay. Which is about twenty years since Start-Up Land, right? (Laughter) So let’s talk about that. So what patterns did you start to see, David? I mean, because at least from my perspective, I’ve been in sales whenever we were using paper. And you know, I used them. I’m a Sales-Force client. And you know, Sales-Force, that CRM, that was supposed to be the end-all and be-all. And it wasn’t. Salespeople hated putting the stuff into it. They looked at it as Big Brother looking out. It really didn’t bring a lot of automation. So people bucked the system.
But I really see in this business development that we’ll hit on what this actually means, because in Pittsburgh here, believe it or not, there are a lot of people who don’t even know what that means, right? They still think it’s that clad hand and going to networking events. That sales development piece is actually business development. So, you know, how did you see that transform from the sales enablement, that getting out of just CRM? Can you speak to that, those patterns that you saw there?
David: Yeah. I mean, you raise a good point, because it’s sort of a standard practice now in Silicon Valley and just sort of the tech industry that once you have a decent software as a service product, one of the hardest parts of that sales process is just landing new accounts and signing up people for the subscription. And so, you know, just going back to how this whole thing started is that these companies started to break their teams into sales development; (some people call it business development), that are specifically focused on outbound prospecting and qualified inbound leads. And then they’ve got an account executive team, which is taking those appointments set, doing a demo and closing a deal. And now they even have a customer success team that then takes the deal and makes sure that the people never cancel their subscription.
So it’s important to just lay the context that what we’re talking about here is the front-end process of knocking on doors, making cold calls, following up on leads, sending emails, etc., that we really focus on with this sales development via the business development world.
Bryan: Yes.
David: The reason that we call it sales development is that it’s a little bit tricky in the nomenclature because there’s a whole other practice called business development that’s prevalent in tech companies, which is creating partnership between companies and doing reseller and affiliate relationships. And that’s not what we’re talking about here right now. It’s more of that front-end prospecting and lead qualification.
Bryan: Yes. So some translation for those that might not be in the technology space. So I’m thinking of those in manufacturing, right?—those who used to go to events and trade shows that are just absolutely shut down for the foreseeable future. So they might be looking to change their go-to-,market strategy and do more of this sales development.
And so with that in the old days it was called inside sales, or in IBM days it was demand generation, right? So it’s the outbound cold calling, cold email—whatever it takes to get in front of somebody to have those conversations.
And then they broke it up just like manufacturing. I’m not sure with your sales training if you would agree with this or not. But what we’ve really found, Devoid,. Is that there are different skill sets and characteristics of somebody that can hunt, do that demand generation, that SDR sales development rep hunter, DBR, the inbound lead conversion type person, versus the AE or the outside sales person in the manufacturing of the old days. There are different traits and characteristics as to what we’ve found. And so by breaking up that whole entire process, they almost made it like a manufacturing process with specialists in each area. Is that a fair summation?
David: Yes; 100%. You know, when you’re in high-growth mode and you’re trying to sing up as many people as possible, you need to be out in the marketplace—knocking on doors, talking to new folks, following up on leads, making sure that any demand that’s happening gets a human touch. And then that can convert to an appointment for your sales reps.
And so yes to your point. You can even break out the sales development team who is doing all this into outbound hunters, cold callers—you know, the really extroverted type of position. And you can break that down to having an inbound team. Or if you’ve got a lot of inbound leads that are not quite qualified enough just to hand them to the sales team, you could have an inbound team just methodically going through and making sure that those are all attended to. So it’s really a machine that you build in order to make sure that everyone’s time is being prioritized correctly, and you’re focused on building that pipeline.
Bryan: Yes. Now the curious thing that you say about that with that with that extroversion, that demand generation, what I’m finding is, especially with these sales enablement tools, yes you need extroversion, maybe. But that’s really quick to connect. I’m able to engage somebody and build trust almost instantaneously. Yet be curious enough to know the numbers, because it’s unbelievable, the insights that I can gain from these sales enablement tools. So it’s being able to sift and filter through what those are actually telling us. So have you seen a massive shift there?
David: Yeah. I mean, sales has always been sort of a dark art.
Bryan: Yes.
David: You know, there’s definitely an art to it, and how you persuade and work with people, and your sales skills that you learn, the soft skills. But more and more it’s becoming a science. And the best sales leaders and marketing leaders out there now are able to combine those two and bring a scientific aspect to it of testing and inter-rating and running reports and things like that.
It’s almost swung too far, you know, (laughter), relying on the technology, because to your point, when we started the initial sales development program at GlassDoor, we had

which is essentially a Rolodex, a file cabinet of your accounts and contacts and information. And we had a spreadsheet with a list of names and phone numbers. And it was just methodically going through back and forth, and calling and reaching out to these people. So—
Bryan: Smile and dial up.
David: Smilin’ and dialin’; yep, exactly. But you know, nowadays, as you can see, if you take a look at the market map, you know there are all these different systems that have been created in the last five to ten years to facilitate that process that I just went through. And each one of them takes a tremendous amount of consolidation, integration. And then there’s a lot of data being collected that can then be analyzed by the manager and the operations people to increase the performance of the sails team. So there’s a lot to it.
Bryan: Now you had said originally (And I got you off track there, so I apologize), whenever we started doing definitions you started to see a pattern. What were the patterns that you saw?
David: Yeah, definitely. So one of the things, you know, is that there is so much of a reliance on that tech that’s plugged in to enable the reps that there’s not as much of a reliance on the old school sales techniques and sales skills training. That used to be the main thing when you were in sales because there wasn’t a lot of technology. There was a piece of paper and a phone. And you could even go out and talk to people, and that whole aspect of it.
And a lot of this is inside sales. It’s sitting in front of a computer. Even your phone is integrated with the computer. And so literally, you know, what we see is that the reps who are doing this are so wrapped up in the technology that they just lose the connection with the prospects and the customers, and kind of almost become semi-robotic.
Bryan: H’m.
David: And that’s just something that we see a lot. And it manifests itself in that there’s a lot of spam going out. There’s a lot of automated messaging. You know, there are a lot of people who, if they actually did pick up the phone and get a prospect on the phone they would just lock up and not know what to say, (laughter), because we’re used to using this and texting all the time. So the technology is kind of washing out the traditional sales skills. So that’s one thing for sure.
Bryan: Yes. I’ll tell you a funny story on that. And literally people are so used to hitting voice mail, voice mail, voice mail, full entry—this and that, and never getting hold of anyone—that somebody actually picked up and said, “Hello.” And the salesperson goes, “Oh, I thought I was going to get a voice mail.”
And he goes, “I can help you with that.” And he put him right into voice mail. (Laughter) So you have to be on your feet with these things.
David: Yes.
Bryan: Yes. So okay, they’re over-reliant on these technologies. But I wasn’t expecting you to say that. You’re kind of rocking my world here, because I would have thought that they were able to have more conversations more quickly through this. So you’re saying that they’re really heavily reliant on emails, those automated emails of which we all get a hundred a day that have the same subject lines. They all look the same, so they’re just falling into the noise. And so you’re saying that even with all this technology most people are calling less?
David: Well, not necessarily calling less. But I would say that there’s a shiny object syndrome that inevitably happens.
Bryan: Okay.
David: And there’s also a lot of turnover within start-ups and even more established companies where someone goes on, they buy something that’s supposed to solve all their problems.
Bryan: Right.
David: They plug it in. It’s not necessarily integrated with SalesForce. It’s not necessarily integrated with all the other things that the other person bought who doesn’t work there anymore. And so now you’ve got this sort of Frankenstein sales system that’s set up that nobody is really overseeing or operating at the potential that it could be.
And then you plug in. Usually SDRs, the sales development reps, are new to their career. They’re just coming into the marketplace. And they’re not super familiar with how everything works. And so they are kind of left to their own devices with this mishmash of tools. And it ends up being an uncoordinated outreach effort.
Bryan: Okay.
David: And so the main recommendation there in looking at that pattern is to take a step back, blueprint the process of your sales development program, and then strategically plug in the tools and the services that are missing from that process.
Bryan: Okay.
David: As opposed to just this willy-nilly approach.
Bryan: Okay. So let’s talk about that, because my sense is—I know the answer to this but I’ll throw it out here,--my sense is that these things aren’t cheap.
David: Mm-hmm.
Bryan: This investment is extremely expensive. So there is no silver bullet out there. So even with all this technology you’re saying that the same fundamentals still apply. If you don’t have a process, if you don’t use systems and process effectively, then I don’t care how great the technology is; it’s just not going to work. Is that right, or—
David: Essentially yes, exactly. And you know, in sales we’re not necessarily known for our process orientation. (Laughter)
Bryan: Really! I thought we were super detailed! (Laughter)
David: And you know, after a ascertain size most companies will have someone who is very process-oriented. They call them sales operations or marketing operations, or even revenue operations, right? There is somebody in charge of organizing all this.
And as you go further up the size of these companies, especially tech companies, it becomes more and more sophisticated. And so to your point, having a solid process in place, or at least a hypothesis of what the process should look like, and then plugging in the tools based on what you need to accelerate the process,--
Bryan: Right.
David: It’s kind of the opposite of the way at least most start-ups work.
Bryan: Yeah. Now I don’t want to over-simplify here, or say that all companies are more or less the same, right?—which they are. But what are the steps that you would suggest? Because if I’m not mistaken, you actually help companies to do this, right?—to set up the process.
David: Yeah, we do. I mean, it’s part of a playbook. You know, for the sales development playbook we’ll map it out. And so definitely; there are certain steps that have to take place.
Say you’re looking at the market map, to your initial point. You’re looking at the market map. Oh my gosh, there are all these quadrants, all these companies. It’s like how do I even start with this?
Bryan: Right.
David: And so there is a certain methodology of going through and studying it up so that you can hit the ground running.
Bryan: Okay. So by the way, this market map, you can Google “Market Map TenBound.” Or if you want to give a quick shout out, where can they find it?
David: Yeah. Just head over to

And then drop down on “Research,” and you can download it for free.
Bryan: Okay.
David: Yeah.
Bryan: And TenBound is spelled out:

So definitely check it out.
So now, can you lay out a couple of those processes, because I’ll share ours with you. But what is the process that you might recommend for most organizations to take?
David: Yeah. I mean, the backbone of the whole thing is going to be your CRM.
Bryan: Okay.
David: You know, you need some place. And SalesForce is a big one. But there’s a bunch of different companies out there, depending on your size and how much money you have basically. (Laughter) And so get your CRM in. That’s your file cabinet with all your accounts and your contacts and opportunities.
And then, you know, the next thing that you’ve got to have is good clean data. One of the market map leaders just went IPO a few days ago. He called Zoom Info; they’re terrific. But there are a lot of great companies out there. But you know, the lifeblood of sales development is good clean data; you’ve got to have that. And it’s got to be organized in a way that’s productive for your team.
Bryan: Right.
David: So how many accounts are labeled as high-pipe potential accounts, and having the contacts in there. So you’ve got to have the data.
And then the next step is called the sales engagement platform. And these have been huge bonuses for the sales development industry, in that a sales engagement platform takes your CRM data and your clean prospect data and puts it into an organized system for the sales development reps to follow every day, almost like a to-do list or a check list, so that you can make sure that you’re calling people enough, you’re emailing people enough, you’re hitting them on social enough, and you’re just staying on track with your day.
Bryan: Right.
David: So some of the top ones there are listed on the market map as well.
Bryan: Okay, perfect. So you go to that sales engagement. Now I wasn’t expecting you to lay out the whole entire piece. But I’ll tell you what, everybody,--
David: Sorry.
Bryan: No no no; that’s great! (Laughter) (Laughter) I love it! So what David just did there is that he goes, okay. So they call this your technology stack. He just laid out your technology stack. You have your CRM, you dig your data, wherever that’s from. But my goodness, make sure that’s clean, because you can probably speak to this more than I. If you have bad data, especially if you’re doing email marketing, really bad stuff can happen. I mean, you get blacklisted and shut down and spammed. I don’t care how important your message is. You can’t even email internally because you can get blacklisted if you use this stuff wrongly. So make sure that you have clean data there.
And now you brought up something that is a really good best practice of segmentation. So can you talk to me a little bit about any best practices you can share, about how you suggest to these folks to break up their market segmentation?
David: Yeah. It’s super-important, because you know, like you said, it’s a lot of work to get your data organized correctly and make sure that it’s in the system, that you’re not spamming people because of all the different things. And there are a lot of regulations too where you can get in big trouble. So it’s a lot of work. But once you get a clean data set, then you’re going to be good to go. So put the work in on the up front.
And you know, the most basic explanation is that you look at things from an account level. What are the top accounts that would make or break your company, that would make an amazing addition to your customer portfolio? Those are going to be you’re a. accounts. And then you’ve got sort of that meaty middle, which is to pay the bills. Trish Bertuzzi calls them “your bread and butter accounts.”
Bryan: Right.
David: They’re the meaty middle. And then the C. accounts could be just whatever comes in, you know? It’s an inbound lead. You’ll talk to them, but you’re not going to go after them proactively. And then you have your D. accounts, which is that we’re never going to be able to sell this company.
Bryan: Right.
David: You know, don’t even contact them; just put them to the side. You know—
Bryan: Your competitor that downloaded the white paper. (Laughter)
David: Exactly, yes. I mean, it’s just two guys in their garage; something like that.
Bryan: Yeah, right.
David: So start at the account level. And then within those accounts there are going to be two or three people, depending on the complexity of your sale, that you need to talk to. So you have to make sure that they’re at least in the A. accounts. You’ve got those two or three people. And you’ve got some kind of strategy to start reaching out to them. And that right there is a lot of work to get that organized. But once you do then you’re saving a lot of time. And you’re not burning your addressable market.
Bryan: Yes. And so a couple of things there, right? So a lot of people won’t do that because it is tedious work. It’s arduous to do, right? So most people won’t do that.
And a couple of things will happen—at least from what I’ve seen; I’ll be curious on your feedback. But if I don’t do those things, then each call is going to be less effective than it otherwise could be. I’m going to burn through my SDRs or BDRs because they’re going to get frustrated. My sales management team is going to get frustrated and maybe even fire some talented people because they didn’t do their job, which makes hiring new people difficult because they have frustration with GlassDoor who we talked about already.
David: Mm-hmm.
Bryan: Being out there these people have no idea what they’re doing. So really bad stuff starts to happen if you don’t lead with that front end. And the other side of that is what we talked about earlier. There’s really no difference under the sun what type of business you are. You have to do this no matter the type of business to get that segmentation down. So any other things that we should watch for if we don’t do this segmentation that I missed?
David: Well, yeah. I mean,. Like I said, there are all sorts of regulations. You can get in trouble, especially with some of the new regulations that are coming out. And also one thing to keep in mind is that one of the quadrants in the market map is the outsourced industry. I mean,. There’s a massive outsource sales development industry, where if you just don’t want to deal with any of this crap, (laughter), just hire one of these companies; there are some great companies. And then—
Bryan: I think we’re one by the way, just so I can give a shameless plug for us.
David: 100%; yeah, right. Call Bryan. If this is too complicated, call Bryan; he’ll take care of it. (Laughter) But then the reason I bring that up is on the data side. If you’re just like this is really way too much work; it’s too tedious; we’re just starting out, you can outsource a tremendous amount of the lead cleansing and lead qualification to get the list right before you even put it into your sales engagement platform or your CRM.
Bryan: Sure.
David: And that’s something that smart companies do all the time.
Bryan: Yeah, because if you think about it, you talk about a junior SDR, and your sales development rep, and the senior one. And these companies are asking these SDRs to build their own list. But if you think about it, list-building is an arduous, tedious administrative task. And these people are supposed to be able to connect quickly with people which is quick connection, probably low attention to detail, and then asking them to build out a list. They’d rather jam a pencil in their eyeballs then build out the list. So they’re going to screen through that as quickly as possible.
So I couldn’t recommend highly enough doing the outsource data. We don’t, and we’re looking at alternatives. And our people, to do this properly (and I have specific people that are detail or administrative folk to do this), are taking hours to do this for all of our different clients so we get it right. So if you don’t have that skill set within your company, outsource, outsource, outsource. So good; that goes to the segmentation; that was a really good point. And then you go to the sales engagement.
So on that sales engagement, now that we’re starting to do our outreach, any best practices there? How should we run the process from that vantage point? Because whenever I was thinking process, I was thinking at that point that you gave us a process from beginning to end, which I love. So at that sales engagement piece what does the process look like there?
Yeah. So you know, it starts with the account selection and having it cued up for at least the quarter. If it’s an A. account you could be working for a whole year.
Bryan: Right.
David: And then making sure that you’ve got those two or three prospects that are involved in the decision making or the influence of your product. Get them into the sales engagement system. And then try some different A./B. testing that’s monitored for at least a couple of weeks on each of the campaigns that you’re doing. And if you have a marketing team that’s even better. They can help with writing some of the emails, writing some of the social touches, helping with the scripts for the phone call section. And try different things and see how they’re working over a two-week process.
And you might find that I have to call each of these five times. I have to email each of them three times. And I have to follow them on social media and like one of their comments at least twice. You find a good formula. And then you A./B. test against that. That’s just a continuous process.
And again I’ve only said “process” about a hundred times. (Laughter) The pattern that we see that’s really difficult for people is that it’s blocking and tackling. It’s an arduous, detail-oriented, long-term process of monitoring the results. And some there’s got to be somebody who’s in charge of it. If you have a great SDR manager who’s analytical, or someone on the operations team, someone has to be in charge of making sure that you’re monitoring the success of the A./B. testing, and that you’re learning from it, because that’s how you’ll continue to improve your messaging and improve your results.
Bryan: You know, you bring up a good point. I’m not sure if you’ve read the book called Atomic Habits.
David: No.
Bryan: But in Atomic Habits and what it talks about, the author gets to interview gets to interview this physical trainer, this sports trainer that was working with all these Olympic athletes. And he asks. He goes, “Hey listen. What’s the difference between these world-renowned absolute best of the best Olympic athletes versus somebody else? Is it genetics? Is it hours of practice?”
And you know, the person thought for a couple of minutes and he goes, “You know what? It is all of those. But the people that are outstanding are so disciplined in the mundane.” They keep doing the standard blocking and tackling over and over and over again without getting bored. They’re in the pool swimming laps. They’re in the weight room lifting weights no matter how they feel.
So just like you said there,--and I love that,--is, you know, you have to keep doing. You figure it out. And how many times have you heard this? “Oh, yeah; we used to do that. It worked really well. I don’t know why we quit.”
David: Yeah.
Bryan: Well, you quit because you got bored, right? You have to keep at it. So that’s a really, really good point.
David: 100%. And the tenure of your average sales development rep is like 18 months, because it’s seen as a way to get your foot in the door at a hot tech company and get some experience. And then as soon as you can get promoted you move out of the organization and start going into becoming a regular sales rep, or jo8in the marketing team or just do anything else to get out of this position as quickly as possible. So there’s a lot of tribal knowledge that goes away.
Bryan: Right.
David: And especially the top performing SDRs get promoted quickly, or they leave for a different company. You know, this could be changing now with the crisis. But you know, to your point, if nobody is sticking around long enough to continuously do this, then you’re losing a lot of that learning. And it’s another advantage of this. You know, not to pitch too hard here, but the outsourced SDR companies that stick around and have a good reputation, all they do is run sales development all day.
Bryan: Right.
Dave: That’s their whole company, you know? So they’re going to be pretty good at it.
Bryan: You would hope, right?
David: Yeah, you’d hope. (Laughter) Versus a company that sells automated router systems, and they have three people doing sales development over there. I mean, obviously, which one is going to be more process-oriented?
Bryan: Yeah, correct. So I really like that. I want to be cognizant of your time here. This has been really good and I could talk to you all day. So I can’t thank you enough, David. So what are some of the challenges that we should avoid? So or those that are listening, what are the challenges that we should really avoid that you stubbed your toe on or that you’ve seen others do?
David: Oh man, there are so many! (Laughter) One is that there is a very stereotypical hiring profile for SDRs. And you know, it’s someone fresh out of college who doesn’t know any better. (Laughter)
Bryan: Right.
David: And he’s just looking for a job. And they seem really bright and they have a checklist of the skills that you’re looking for. So you put them in. And the hope is that with their brightness and energy and smarts that they’ll just kind of figure out sales development. And you know, it just crashes and burns all day. A lot of the clients that we see try that. It just doesn’t work because it’s a lot more complicated than that.
And so, you know, I would just say that if you’re thinking about doing this, open up the hiring profile a little bit. Maybe pay a little bit more. Get somebody with a little bit more experience that can kind of set up the processes and write the scripts and give you the playbook and do a lot more. Take this more seriously and you’ll get much better results than just hoping for the best.
So that’s one thing. Even if it’s a company that got a little bit of money and they really want to do this right, we would recommend hiring an experienced manager first—a non-revenue generating manager—to set up the infrastructure, put everything in place, and then plug in the people. That’s expensive and long-term. But if you’re thinking about long-term scale and doing it right, that’s a great way to go.
Another quick thing is, again, if you’re sort of like, you know what? I can’t even deal with this right now?, there are some great outsourced SDR companies out there. We list them on the Market Map. We also have a directory. If you double click on the Market Map, underneath there’s a directory of companies. You know, bookmark a few of those. Have a few conversations because that might be an option too.
Bryan: Yes. So let’s go back on the idea of that hiring piece. So what should they do instead? So in addition to opening up the criteria and hiring the manager, anything else that you might suggest?
David: Yeah. I mean, if you’re really early on this, if you want to get an actual contributor in there, then open up the candidate pool to people who have been sales reps in the past, and so they know how to organize a territory. Maybe something happens; you can do everything remotely now. So they could be anywhere in the country, you know? They might have had some great experience. They could have been a stay-at-home mom whose kids are in school. She was a great sales rep but she had to take care of her kids, which is a lot harder than being a sales rep. (Laughter) And she wants to get back 9in the business. I mean, there are all sorts of different hiring profiles out there.
There is a very stereotypical profile that people just follow mindlessly.
Bryan: Yes.
David: And that’s not necessarily the best one. And it’s someone you can a whole lot more responsibility for. Not only do we want you to cold call and follow up on all the inbound leads, but we also need you to set up the process and write the playbook, and start to think about who would be a good match for this position. And then have them kind of lay the groundwork for you, versus the “you figure it out” type of thing.
Bryan: Yeah; all good stuff. I was expecting you to say, especially with your background, really having your coaching and training of them as well. And I think that’s probably already just baked in there and just assumed, because you said to hire that sales manager first, which that person is going to be able to do. But the biggest challenge that I’ve seen companies make over and over and over again is that they just throw the salesperson at them, and just hope and pray that that’s going to work out. “Hey, you’re the salesperson; just figure it out,” right?
And like you said, it just absolutely doesn’t work, especially with the complexity today and how much everything changes and how noisy it is, because everybody is saying and doing the same stuff. So how do you truly differentiate yourself? And so that really talented salesperson is critical there. So I really like that.
David: Exactly. I mean, people just want the results. And I get it. I mean, I run a business, and so you just want the results, you know?
Bryan: Right.
David: And the training people is the last thing you’re thinking of, because it feels like an expense. But if you think about it,. Especially with sales development, there’s an almost zero barrier to entry.
Bryan: Yeah.
David: You don’t have to have a Ph.D. There’s no license; there’s no Bar Association or anything. (Laughter) And so you’re taking someone, especially someone right out of college. I mean, they have no training. They have no experience. They don’t know how any of the tools work. They don’t know the industry. And you’re just expecting them to produce results? I mean, come on!
Bryan: Yes.
David: But I have to tell you. I mean, one of the hardest things that we have to sell at TenBound is SDR training, because people are just like, you know, we’re already spending a ton of money on the people and the technology and the computers, and all this stuff. Now we have to train them? We’ll just do that ourselves. And then it never happens, and they’re not getting the great results that they could get.
Bryan: Yeah. So if you think that, and you think that TenBound and engaging them with training is going to be expensive, here’s a scary thought. $213,894 is the cost of a bad hire; that’s an SDR. So it’s $213,894.
David: Where do you get that?
Bryan: Yeah, right.
David: Where do you get that from?
Bryan: And so there’s a guy by the name of Brad Smart who wrote a book called Top Grading. And in Top Grading, for sales they give the calculator. So we calculated it out.
David: Yes.
Bryan: And we have a spreadsheet that you can contact us for and we’ll send it out to you. So yes; that’s absolutely it.
Now how about if I wind us down with this: the best business hack for yes? Is there a book that you would suggest or a podcast or a guide? Other than the Market Map, what would you suggest?
David: Dude, I wish I knew. (Laughter) If anybody knows, let me know. (Laughter) The word hack just scares the s--- out of me. (Laughter) In business, from what I’ve seen, it’s the basic blocking and tackling; there’s no silver bullet. I wish there was. I think it’s just having a good strategy and then executing the crap out of it every single day, day in and day out, and keeping a positive mind frame as much as you possibly can. I mean, honestly I wish I had a better answer for you, man.
Bryan: So your hack is to set up your systems and process and run a good business; I love it. Perfect.
And then trends. You’re the guy on the front lines. Are there future trends that we should be aware of?
David: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s interesting that the crisis has really pushed forward the home-based work and the virtual work five years in three months.
Bryan: Yeah.
David: And people are realizing more and more that hey, you don’t necessarily need to have an office. You don’t necessarily need to have people all sitting together in one room. You don’t necessarily need to be commuting. All these things are finally that people are realizing that we don’t live in the factory industrial revolution anymore.
Bryan: Yes.
David: We live in 2020. And I think that eventually people are going to realize that we don’t need office space, or as much. Or it’s going to become much more flexible. And as a matter of fact, we don’t need to hire people right here in our local area. We can really get our hiring from all over the world.
Bryan: And at some point it’s going to be, you know, if I can hire an SDR, (just bringing it back to the sales development thing), if I can hire an SDR that sounds great. It’s very productive; it follows my process. And if they happen to live in Bangladesh or China or Southern Australia, then so be it. I mean, they’re producing the results. And that’s essentially what businesses want from the program. They want us to be a nice, steady, healthy pipeline. And it doesn’t matter what the physical location is anymore. So I see that as a big trend.
Bryan: Okay, nice. So hire anywhere. Make sure you get ‘em, because we’re going virtual. Love it.
All right. Well, David, this has been fun and so informative. I can’t thank you enough for this. So, you know, who should reach out to you, how should they do it, and why should people reach you?
David: Yeah. If anyone has any interest in sales development, we’re definitely the hub of the industry. And we’ve got a ton of free research, we’ve got paid research. We’ve got events all year round around the topic. And if this is something that you’re interested in, come on over to TenBound and we’ll get you some good info.
Bryan: Okay, so it’s TenBound. And you have a podcast too, right?
David: We do, yes. We’ve got The Who Nine, the weekly podcast drops, monthly Web&Rs, and then this big virtual conference that we’re doing in lieu of the live conference this year.
Bryan: Okay. And when is that?
David: So actually the virtual conference is coming up here on June 18. And there’s another one on August 17.
Bryan: Okay.
David: The June one is leadership-based, for people running the teams. And then August is going to be for the leaders, the ops and the reps. So they’ll get some free training and stuff like that. So it’s going to be great.
Bryan: Perfect. Well David, again, thank you so very much. I really enjoyed the time. I appreciate the incredible insights here. I hope everybody appreciated that. So thanks so much. Bryan Whittington signing off. We’ll see you next time.

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