You have a great product and have started to develop the sort of reviews and reputation that should appeal to at least a sizeable chunk of an IT market that Foundry says will pass $5 trillion in value this year. You have recruited partners for a channel program, put together solid sales and marketing teams that know your narrative backward, and are well trained in handling objections and spying opportunities. You have enough money to accelerate and, understandably, your CEO is telling you that the opportunity lies in top growth. You’re going for it with everything you have, touting new products and shooting for new territories and markets … but something is stalling you with advancing your sales development operations?

If that sounds familiar, you’re far from alone. Even some of the world’s largest tech companies needed some help when they were scaling up, especially when they wanted to globalize and didn’t have sizeable teams on the ground in new geographies and markets. And even quite mature companies can struggle to attract delegates to events or develop leads in markets that they aren’t deeply vested in.

Sales development operation has always been a challenge. It lies just outside the core competence of the main sales teams that are focused on the largest accounts or keeping the installed base serviced and don’t have time to forage for the leads and do the other necessary legwork that paves the way to sales success. What are you going to do?

To dig into the sales development operation challenge, Foundry SDS surveyed over 300 respondents across North America, Europe, and APAC. All the audience worked for technology firms with over 500 staff in senior positions in sales, marketing, or general management. 

This is what they told us about the challenges they face.

Sales development teams have a lot on their plates

When we asked about the current scope of their sales development efforts, at least four in 10 respondents cited one of 11 (yes, eleven!) areas, from appointment setting to creating cross-sell opportunities from their existing customer bases.

And even when we broke that down by asking the panel to name their single biggest area, we still found that all those responses had at least seven percent of votes and four responses garnered over ten percent of votes each. 

If they have a lot of tasks on their agendas, then they also see a lot of challenges involved.

A laundry list of challenges with sales development

Again, there was that laundry list of issues cited, although, at least this time, we saw a couple of challenges stand out: cost management and the pace of change pressurizing teams to keep up.

And again, when we drilled down to ask for just the biggest challenge, those two led but, cost management aside, the obstacles just kept on coming in close to even relevance: hiring/retention, flexibility, technology support, management expertise, and more. Is this starting to sound familiar at all?

The Growing Demand of Outsourcing

Selfishly, we wondered whether this was a scenario where outsourcing could help, so we asked about reasons why our audience has done, or may in future, use a third party for assistance.

And for the third time in a row, it was the volume of answers that was notable, with nine answers delivering at least 42% in mentions, from reporting transparency to sales scalability, local culture/language skills, and superior contact-center technology.

If you’ve been paying attention you won’t be surprised that for the third time in a row, we asked the panel to name their biggest single reason… and again the answers were all over the place.

Even with a great product, challenges do arise with sales development operations. The good news is that there are tons of solutions. Check out the full report, ‘The Sales Development Landscape into 2021‘ to learn more.