Sales Development

Sales Development

Sales Development Jonathan Poland

Sales development is a crucial part of the sales process that involves identifying potential buyers and developing qualified leads. This typically involves conducting research and planning, as well as networking and outreach efforts. By taking a proactive approach to identifying potential customers and building relationships with them, sales development professionals are able to help their companies generate new business and drive revenue growth.

Target Market
Defining your target market.

Sales Planning
A set of plans, targets and measurements for the sales process. Sales development objectives are primarily defined in terms of qualified leads that may be broken down by factors such as region, product, customer type and qualification score.

Research
Discovering information about your potential customers. Who are they? What are their needs? What is their financial position? Are they currently engaged by the competition? Who is buying right now?

Research Partners
Services that provide market and competitive intelligence. For example, an industry research organization that can provide a list of customers that are currently in the market for construction materials.

Data
Developing data and knowledge about customers, markets and competitors.

Technology
Development systems and tools to improve the efficiency and quality of the sales development process. For example, systems that automatically pull in financial information for leads.

Promotion
Marketing communication such as advertising designed to discover leads.

Promotion Partners
Developing and managing partners that can engage customers and generate leads.

Prospecting
The process of contacting potential buyers to generate leads.

Cultivation
In order to qualify leads, a sales development representative may require a fair amount of information. This may require carefully cultivating a relationship in a way that is helpful to closing the sale.

Needs Analysis
The sales development representative often begins the process of needs analysis.

Lead Qualification
Researching the needs, finances, reputation, budget and authority of leads to filter out those leads that are unlikely to close.

Handoff
Presenting everything you know about the customer and the competitive situation to the account executive who will handle closing.

Opportunities
The sales development representative may be involved in the first few meetings with the opportunity to transition the relationship. This is particularly common in complex B2B sales.

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