Sally Duby, the Chief Sales Officer at The Bridge Group and a co-founder of the Silicon Valley VP Sales Forum has seen the evolution of inside sales and business development for 25+ years.
In this episode of Selling the Cloud, we discuss the evolution of Inside Sales in the SaaS/Cloud industry, and specifically how Inside Sales is being used in the pursuit of enterprise-class customers.
Sally first learned the craft of Inside Sales at Oracle, which was the first traditional enterprise software company to prove that inside sales is applicable for enterprise software sales.
Leap forward to 2021 and the path to become an Inside Sales professional often starts in the Sales Development Representative (SDR) role. This role is about learning the outbound lead generation and opportunity qualification process and is the traditional stepping stone to an inside sales role.
Traditionally, Inside Sales ran the full lifecycle of lead to close for SMB or mid-market target buyers, and/or total contract values less than $25K...that dynamic is changing. COVID has accelerated the evolution of the Inside Sales function to more effectively focus on and close enterprise-class deals up to and above $100K ACV. SaaS companies define "Enterprise" target markets by employee size (such as > 10,000 employees) or revenue (such as > $1B).
Chief Revenue Officers are not investing enough time in understanding, valuing, and promoting the Sales Development function as a great starting point for future leaders of the company. In fact, with marketing and sales becoming more integrated, and responsibilities blurred, the skills an SDR develops in gaining buyer engagement and interest before transitioning to sales bodes well for understanding the tactics required for marketing and sales.
Sally highlights why serving in multiple roles across sales and operations is a critical investment that early-career sales professionals can make to pave their road to the Chief Revenue Officer role. Sales Development Rep, sales operations manager, inside sales - commercial, inside sales - enterprise, and even revenue operations or growth marketing are all great roles to build the next generation path to become CRO!