Most companies have a web of acronyms and company-specific terminology, a special ‘in club’ of sorts. When used correctly this special language can help cultivate a unique company culture. However, when it comes to approaching the market and integrating new hires, standardised language around roles and responsibilities can avoid unnecessary confusion.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare
I’ve put together some thoughts on best practice naming for three of the most common sales roles found in mature sales organisations.
Sales Development Rep
Across organisations, many different names seem to exist for this function – lead development rep, account development rep, inside sales, sales development rep. I think ‘sales development rep’ (SDR) is the best as it avoids any role confusion with the term ‘inside sales’ and most professionally describes the activities of this role. This role includes tasks such as: following up on inbound leads, driving campaigns both together with marketing and individually, ensuring prospects are attending company sponsored events. This individual is ideally early in their career and eager to learn. Individuals in this role can provide a great pipeline for future inside sales reps, account managers and sales management. Most commonly this role reports to sales but in some organizations this position reports to marketing. Depending on the organization and relationships this can be a great idea, but taking into account the specifics of the company is quite important and each case must be considered individually.
The naming of this role is sometimes confused with those who help with lead generation, which is why I think SDR is a great differentiation. To me, inside sales is a junior quota-carrying role. This person manages either their own small value accounts or supports smaller upsell/cross opportunities into larger corporate or enterprise accounts. The root of the word ‘inside’ is because this was typically a sales role, however an office-based position. This person will occasionally travel to represent the company trade events or an occasional client meeting, but this is not a field role. This is a great position to hone sales skills with a small quota whilst developing on a path to taking a larger quota as a full-blown account manager.
This naming can also take many forms including account director, sales executive, etc. It is important that one name is used internally and where regional or industry variations are needed, allow individuals to adjust their external naming accordingly. This position is responsible for sales within a territory, defined geographically, by industry, account name or otherwise. This individual works together with the SDR ad/or IS rep, to coordinate and deliver his/her target. This person should be spending a lot of time in front of clients and prospects.
After developing a cooperative role structure it’s necessary to ensure an incentive scheme that is a win-win for both your organisation and sales teams. There are a number of best practices and proven statistics on how to get the most efficiency and motivate your teams.
If you would like to talk more about detailed role profiles or incentives for your sales organization, contact Sales Ops Help.