Study: Sales Development Teams Move To LinkedIn

GDPR requirements are forcing sales development teams—the teams that drive in new customers--to move from email and other channels to LinkedIn, according to the 2019 Sales Development Benchmark report, a study conducted by TOPO.  

Of the sales development reps surveyed, 42% report from two to five LinkedIn touches in their touch patterns.

Moreover, several European sales development reps say LinkedIn is their only outbound channel, largely because of strict enforcement of email and phone restrictions.

The study notes that the triple touch, consisting of phone, email and LinkedIn, has been widely used for the past four or five years.

AI bots are increasing in usage, and 8% use AI-driven email tools.  25% use chat as a channel, and the number is expected to grow by at least 50% this year.

Of the account-based marketers polled, 88% cite outbound sales development reps as one of their most effective channel tactics.

But these teams face challenges, including:

  • Live call execution—38%
  • Execution of account-based go-to-market strategy—35%
  • Using technology tools to increase rep activity—33%
  • Clearly defined ideal Customer Profile or target account lists for SDRs to pursue—32%
  • Hiring and onboarding—26%
  • Alignment with sales on qualified lead definition—23%
  • Clear expectations for how SDRs should customize messaging—23%
  • Detailed touch pattern that SDRs hollow--22%
  • Objectively defined process for the SDRs to follow, including handoff to sales reps—20%



But some of those same demands are key drivers of success:

  • Hiring and onboarding—49%
  • Live call execution—40%
  • Using technology tools to increase rep activity—39%
  • Detailed touch pattern that SDRs follow—30%
  • Clear expectations for SDRs—28%
  • Objectively defined process for the SDRs to follow, including handoff to sales reps—28%
  • Rep retention—20%

The study found that 65% of SDR teams report to sales, 23% to marketing an 12% to other departments.

Of those polled, 33% focus on outbound activities, 31% on inbound and 36% on a hybrid.

TOPO surveyed 180 professionals at high-growth B2B sales development organizations.

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