Are you involved, responsible for, or dependant on Sales Development and pipeline growth for a B2B SaaS or Cloud company?
If you answer yes to any of the above, this is an excellent conversation to gain new insights and hear innovative approaches to maximize pipeline development.
Kyle Coleman is the Vice President, Revenue Growth and Enablement at Clari. This role includes sales development, sales enablement, and demand generation at Clari. This integrated approach to pipeline development is unique in the B2B SaaS industry.
Kyle highlighted that having enablement as part of the same function ensures the messaging and campaigns that demand generation invests in developing make it to the target audience across every channel.
Integrating sales development and demand generation as part of the same organization with common goals and measurements is unique. When asked, Kyle believes this is more due to transition and logic, and one of those legacy thoughts is that "quantity" of leads versus "quality" of outcomes such as pipeline dollar growth and new ARR.
Though Kyle mentioned that it is still important to measure more traditional metrics like website visitor conversion rates, leads, paid media performance, etc. - the ultimate measurements for Sales Development and Demand Generation are PIPELINE and REVENUE.
Where does the combined function of Sales Development and Demand Generation report? Kyle reports directly to the Chief Revenue Officer, while also having a dotted line reporting relationship to the Chief Marketing Officer. Kyle highlighted that his function is the core functional "connective tissue" to align marketing and sales.
The Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) does not have responsibility for all marketing. However, in Clari, since demand generation is part of their responsibility, it frees marketing up to increase their focus on brand, content marketing, product marketing, and corporate communications. Account Management and Customer Success reports into the CRO, which provides a well-integrated approach to the entire customer lifecycle, including acquisition, retention, and expansion.
Kyle is also blazing the trail by having dedicated Sales Development Reps focused on existing customer expansion in partnership with Account Managers. This is a new approach within Clari, and the process continues to evolve. Today, the Account Management team focuses more on existing customer renewals. The existing customer Sales Development Rep is responsible for sourcing, educating, and qualifying up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. The existing customer sales development resource is called an Account Development Manager. The Account Development Manager is compensated against qualified opportunity pipeline and has a management by objectives focused on expanding business within key target, strategic accounts.
Kyle continued to refer to quality as a major topic, so we asked "how do you define quality" for sales development at Clari? Clari does NOT incent on booking meetings, it is more focused on outcomes, specifically qualified pipeline. SDRs create a Stage "0" opportunity, and then the Account Executive determines if the opportunity is qualified, and that is the first incentive component for SDRs. Clari does not use "BANT" but uses more nuanced criteria, including seniority, readiness, and next steps defined versus budget and timing. This approach is primarily due to the "Revenue Operations" Technology space still evolving and often not a budgeted line technology.
If you are evaluating new and better ways to accelerate pipeline growth, Kyle is a great follow and listen!