Too often, the role of sales development is minimized in an organization. By celebrating this role and valuing each function of sales teams equally, organizations that celebrate and reciprocate that feeling of how important sales development reps are to the broader organization have higher performing and more productive sales teams.
In this episode, Alea Homison, Vice President of Sales Enablement and Sales Development at AlphaSense, talks how to celebrate sales development reps and the importance of valuing each function of sales teams equally. She specializes in building sales enablement programs for organizations focused on growth and scalability, and has developed and managed a variety of high performing teams throughout her careers in sales, sales strategy, client service, corporate strategy, and investment banking.
- Put your people first. Make it a priority to deeply understand the people on your team. For example, understand what motivates and inspires them, understand their personality, and how you as a leader need to make certain adjustments for certain individuals based on their personality profile.
- Be intentional about how you interview sales reps, so you can be sure that you are identifying and attracting the right talent to your team.
- We all have our own biases in the hiring process. You need structure to be able to compare like for like.
- The four key criteria to focus on for hiring is: general mental acuity, curiosity, conscientiousness, and grit. Data tells us that these characteristics move the needle with respect to success in roles. Chemistry is also an important competency piece to consider during the hiring process.
- People that are leading a function should be obsessed with that function. Know the impact that you can have on someone’s career by being a great mentor and leader of a sales development team.
- Value each function of sales teams equally. Don’t minimize sales development and their contribution to the organization based on how long they’ve been doing sales. Elevate and celebrate them in an equal way to account executives and customer success managers.
- Hire sales development managers that love sales development and understand how essential it is to the success of an organization. The organization should reciprocate that feeling of how important sales dev is to the broader organization.
- Data from Leading Sales Development says if you’re a former athlete from a team sport, you’re no more or less likely to be successful than a non former athlete, however, individual sports athletes have an even greater chance of being successful in a sales roles because it is your solo work and ethic that contributes to your success.
- A weekly cadence with the chief revenue officer, their direct reports, the customer success leader, and account executive and sales development leaders allows you to have consistent alignment and move things forward on a consistent basis. By doing these weekly syncs, you give each other that time back at the end of the month. So at the end of the month, you’ll actually reprioritize time and be giving bandwidth back to each other as much as possible.
- Conduct internal quarterly business reviews. Account executives should be treated as though they’re owners of their own business and so essentially, it’s a readout of the prior quarter: what went well? What didn’t go well? How do they believe they need additional resources or support across the organization going forward?
- It’s also a really excellent exercise to get account executives to think about their territories as your own individual businesses, they are CEOs of those businesses. So how might you think about marketing support for your business? How might you think about enablement, or development, or strategy support for your business? And so it really does switch also the mindset of the account executive to think more like an entrepreneur and more like a CEO for their business, in a way that I think is really productive from an ownership perspective, but also from a motivation, perspective as well.
- You owe your team systems that will allow them to be successful. Hire smart and capable people and give them creative freedom within those systems.
Links mentioned in this episode:
Alea Homison is Vice President of Sales Enablement and Sales Development at AlphaSense where she is responsible for the development, acceleration, and optimization of talent across the sales and service organization. Alea specializes in building sales enablement programs for organizations focused on growth and scalability. She has developed and managed a variety of high performing teams throughout her careers which spans sales, sales strategy, client service, corporate strategy, and investment banking. Alea holds a M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in Risk Management and Business from Gannon University.