Musings of a Sales Development Representative

time sales developmentOne of the biggest complaints I hear is that there’s never enough time. Jagger thinks it’s on his side, Croce’s saving it in a bottle, Cher wants to turn it back, and Lauper put it on repeat. The rest of us mere mortals are caught in a showdown racing minutes between hours, chasing deadlines, making quota, trying to find more time. Our days stretch into weeks, weeks into quarters, and quarters into years.  It’s measured and calculated and semi-responsible for most of our fears. It’s fleeting and vulnerable, highly uncontrollable, yet when caught in the moment, as seen in its purest form, time is the resource we cannot ignore. So I ask you, how many hours a day do you spend on the phone doing sales development? Is that how you like to spend your time? I’d be happy if you told me one hour. I’d be impressed if you said two. For me, I don’t even hit my stride until three (hours that is) because that’s all that I do. There’s no time for lunch.  My hunger for leads has its own appetite. It’s only quenched by my thirst for success. It was Winston, Mr. Churchill, who somehow put it best “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

So, after two decades of 8 hours a day in the lost ticker tape of countless numbers dialed I can truly say, thank you Winston, you make sense each and every way. I type this to you, my B2B friend, take faith in this prospecting mission as we sift through the sands. And with a giddy up, I’m back on my horse, embracing the Lone Ranger and Tonto’s spirit in chorus. Captured in the thrill of the hunt, digging deep, uncovering B2B sales leads. My search begins at its root and I use a phone to plant the seed. It takes time for sales development to grow. I’ll come back searching for the tree. By then it should bear some fruit to share between you and me. This is my world and it spins around demand generation and acts as a constant reminder of my needed participation. It has built a sales pipeline, one call at a time, by legions of lead gen, many times refined.

Sales Development has Evolved

telephony sales developmentI remember when I first started doing sales development for telecom during the late ’90s. People would ask me “V…O…I.. what?” and I would respond with VoIP “tel-ef-o-knee” never knowing it would eventually become a household word: telephony. VoIP spread like wildfire burning down the walls of TDM architecture and eventually consuming the PBX. It was the telecom buzz word of the time caught in a wave of telecommunications advancements. CTI and API came together providing user-friendly administration and GUI manipulation. Competition in the marketplace was rapidly growing and emerging from every corner including some multi-national organizations who probably never would have wanted to even enter the telecom business but did so solely because of VoIP. Everybody wanted a piece of the action and all I wanted to do was enjoy the ride. In many cases, just the mention of VoIP stimulated sublime conversation. People who didn’t quite understand it, still wanted it. I continued pressing the buttons, playing the numbers game, smiling and dialing every digit I could get my fingers on. I was on a constant search, just trying to find the right person to speak with, gathering organizational information, trying to uncover needs, hoping to turn them into leads. This is door knocking in the 21st century.

Now VoIP is no longer a mystery, it’s on every corner and a staple of the industry. It’s the point at which we dive off into the next phase. Unified Communications as a Service, which is just way too long to say and even it’s abbreviation UCaaS doesn’t give it away. SaaS, sure has a little more of a ring although Software as a Service can cover way too many things. Recently, it has simply been referred to as CaaS – Communications as a Service. So, someone looked up and noticed what is on the chart, how all is connected by this bubble of art. It symbolized the internet and shared pathways by design, but it just looked like a Cloud, which conveyed what was in mind.  Floating connectivity, the simplified source, navigating the internet’s relentless buzz of course. So, this has become the new breed of telecom. It’s licensed and packaged and quick off the shelf, it’s easy to manage and offers great wealth. We’re in a race for subscribers and every day counts. The winners will exceed in service while the losers bow out. Mobility and flexibility are the new names of the game, but the numbers I dial all seem the same.

Sales Development beyond VoIP

Telecom was the name of the game for many of my years as a sales development representative for two publicly held technology companies and is certainly still a specialty. However, today we also have lead generation experience with Contact Center as a Service – CCaaS, WLAN, video conferencing, collaboration, video surveillance, Software as a Service – SaaS, mobile applications, managed services, IT support services, professional sales and services, etc… Whatever the solution, I have found that if you have the communication skills, persistence and the ability to effectively communicate the business value proposition while identifying needs then you can always provide quality leads.


Busy Sales Development There are many challenges in this race against time. I can almost hear the automated attendants waiting in line. They soak up minutes upon minutes and spin you in circles. They’re the washing machine of operators that lead to Caller ID’s smirkle. Just getting someone on the phone can be a job in and of its own. Contacts hide in meetings and behind their desks too. I’m sure they’re working very hard to grow their business or maybe just trying to reach the ever-elusive empty inbox. This quest of picking up the phone, is really all about trying to connect with whomever is alone. I keep thinking there’s someone waiting for me over on the other side and I’m sure they have some kind of needs I’ll have to uncover to find. So armed with the right questions and patience in a bunch, I’ll work tirelessly in my efforts to apply the human touch. Because at the end of the day, for all it’s worth, all I’m trying to do is introduce organizations that need each other. So let me do the hard work, while we feed you with a silver spoon, because we’re great at stirring this bowl of sales opportunity and singing our tune.

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