SalesLoft’s SLA Template for Sales Development

Sales Development is not a new concept, but it is finally coming out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

High growth companies have used this form of professional appointment setting as the main driving force in their customer acquisition machine.

The Sales Development team works alongside the sales organization to set qualified demos and appointments and therefore must form an agreement. An SLA (Service Level Agreement) outlines the “code of conduct” between the two departments. The goal is a documented set of rules, guidelines, and expectations between the two parties to remove gray area and leave as much black and white as possible.

[Tweet “Every Sales and Sales Development Team needs a Service Level Agreement! Here’s @SalesLoft’s”]

The key to success is having the heads of both departments in the same room to hammer out the compromise. Open dialogue and transparent communication is integral to ensuring the needs of both parties are met and and buy in from both sides is achieved.

SalesLoft’s Head of Sales Development, Sean Kester, and Director of Sales, Anthony Zhang, collaborated to create their internal SLA.

1. Lead Qualification

Sales Development Responsibility: SDRs qualify prospects based on the first two sets of the ANUM model, Authority and Need. If the prospect does not have Authority (Can they sign? Were they asked to look into this solution by their manager? Do they hold the credit card?), or Need (Do their prospects exist on LinkedIn? Do they have a sales team? Do they actively prospect to discover new leads?), then the Sales Development Rep will not receive credit or commission for the demo.

  • Outbound: Outbound SDRs agree that they will identify and prospect only into the ideal customer profile:
    • Titles: VP’s, Manager’s, Directors of Sales, Marketing, Inside Sales, Business Development, Sales Development, Market Development, etc.
    • Departments: Sales, Sales Development, Marketing, Marketing Development, etc.
    • Company Sizes: SMB, Enterprise, etc.
    • Industries: ex. Software, Marketing, IT, Finance, etc.
    • Function: Lead generation and new business development
  • Inbound: Inbound SDRs will respond to marketing generated leads and inquiries to identify whether the marketing generated lead falls under the Authority and Need qualifiers before they pass to the Sales Executive.

Sales Executive Responsibility: The Sales Executive will assume that the prospect / lead falls under the first two sets of the ANUM model, Authority and Need. The Sales Executive will dig further into the prospects’ situation with specific questions to identify problems and gaps in their prospecting strategies, and create a sense of Urgency. Once Urgency is created through various questions, pricing is presented and budget is identified.

2. Lead Passing:

Sales Development Responsibility: Once the lead has been qualified, the SDR will access the Lead Pass Sheet and pass the lead out in a Round-Robin fashion. If the Sales Executive that is next in line is not available for the demo at the proposed time, the SDR may skip that particular Sales Executive and move to the next one in order to get the demo in place. However, the SDR agrees to make the previous Sales Executive their priority, and pass the lead to them when the next demo has been scheduled.

Sales Executive Responsibility: The Sales Executive understands that a “perfect” Round-Robin lead pass system is not always feasible because of conflicting times, calendars, and other priorities. The Sales Executive will trust the Sales Development Team and Process in receiving a fair and equal amount of demos.

3. Lead Ownership:

Sales Development Responsibility: The SDR will assume full ownership and responsibility over the prospect until the prospect has completed a demo with the Sales Executive. In cases of Demo Missed, Demo Rescheduled, Demo Cancelled, and No Shows, the SDR is required to reschedule the meeting back onto the Sales Executive’s calendar.
The Sales Development Rep will not receive any commission until the demo has been completed.
It is in the SDRs’ best interest to send a reminder email the night before or morning of the meeting to ensure the best chance of the prospect showing up.

Sales Executive Responsibility:

  • Post Demo: The Sales Executive will assume full ownership and responsibility over the prospect once the demo has been completed. This includes Follow-Up Demos, meeting with additional members from the team, and coordinating next steps.
  • Prospect Running Late: The Sales Executive will have a “small window of ownership” if the prospect is running late. The Sales Executive may send an email to the prospect 5-7 minutes after the proposed meeting time to confirm the meeting and send a reminder to the prospect. After 11-13 minutes, the Sales Executive must chat, call, or email the SDR to notify them that the prospect was a No-Show.
  • Giving Up Ownership: If the prospect becomes disengaged and “goes dark,” it is the Sales Executives’ responsibility to either continue to re-engage, or pass it back to the SDR lead pool to prospect into with the understanding that the prospect will fall back into Round-Robin rotation.
  • Failure to Show: If the Sales Executive, in a case of emergency, cannot run the demo that has been scheduled, they must immediately notify the SDR and work with them to find a substitute Sales Executive that can run the meeting. The Sales Executive will also forfeit their demo to the other Sales Executive. It will not count against the Sales Executive that takes the demo, and Sales Executive will not be backfilled for their forfeited demo. If a Sales Executive does not show up (or is late) for a demo that is scheduled on their calendar, punitive measures may be taken.

4. Google Calendar:

Sales Development Responsibility: The SDR should not schedule any meetings over the Sales Executives’ existing events. The SDR understands that if an open slot is available on the Sales Executives’ calendar, then it is safe to assume that the Sales Executive is available at that time. If a Sales Development Rep schedules a meeting on top of an existing event on the Sales Executives’ calendar, it is the Sales Development Reps’ responsibility to reschedule that meeting for the Sales Executive.

Sales Executive Responsibility: The Sales Executive is responsible for keeping their Google calendar updated at all times. They must block off all “busy times” on their calendar, which includes holidays, vacations, lunches, doctors’ appointments, phone calls, meetings, and other times at which they may not be available to run a demo. The calendar must be visible and clear in order for the SDR to schedule a demo. The Sales Executive agrees to forfeit the demo if they fail to mark an existing event on a calendar, and a demo is scheduled over it. In essence, they will be skipped on the Lead Pass Sheet.

5. Marking Demos in CRM and SDR Compensation:

Sales Development Responsibility: Once the demo has been scheduled, the SDR will create a specific Open Task for the Sales Executive in Salesforce (i.e. BDR Demo 1) for the Sales Executive to close after the demo has been completed. The SDR understands that they are paid based on Demos Completed by the Sales Executive team. The SDR will not actively close any Sales Executive assigned tasks. If this occurs, it is considered fraud by the company (paying themselves) and punitive steps may be taken.

Sales Executive Responsibility: The Sales Executive understands that the SDR is paid based on their number of Demos Completed on a monthly basis, and are reported on on a weekly basis. The Sales Executive agrees to close the Open Task assigned from the SDR as early as possible, preferably right after the demo has been completed, but at the latest End of Business that day.

6. Trust and Respect Amongst The Teams:

Sales Development Responsibility: The SDR will assume that the Sales Executive is operating under the best interest of the company, and will do their best to close the deal. The SDR understands that the Sales Executive will, to their fullest potential, understand the situation, needs, and pains of the prospect, and will not “unqualify too early” to “give up too soon.”

Sales Executive Responsibility: The Sales Executive will assume that all leads passed over qualified to the best of the SDRs’ ability, and were not passed “unscreened.” The Sales Executive will not treat the SDR as a “lesser” person or a personal assistant. The Sales Executive understands that the SDR has one of the hardest jobs at the company, and will at every opportunity, show appreciation and support. They are, after all, lining the Sales Executives’ pockets.

Sean is currently the VP of Product Strategy at SalesLoft. As an early stage product leader for SalesLoft, the application of record for the sales development team, he is driven by the desire to impact the lives of sales development professionals.

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