As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, the SDR function is likely the most valuable function in the organization yet is often under-invested with newly minted college graduates slogging away at cold to qualify objectives.  On average, half the time these SDRs work for Marketing, half the time they work for sales.

Salesforce is the daily tool of many of these SDRs, either SFDC Classic or Lightning or combination thereof.  SDRs are busy logging their activities of meetings, follow ups, phone calls – and seeing which of their prospects have had marketing automation activity (website visits, forms, webinars, etc.)  Typically SDRs are queuing up a cadence for their prospect using several valuable tools – Salesloft, Outreach, and Yesware;  by our estimates, Salesloft and Outreach are the most frequent tools we run across in our client base.   While Marketing Automation have tools that are functionally equivalent (eg Marketo’s Tout), we typically see these marketing automation tools deployed the least.

Typically we see these set of SDR enabling tools offering the ability to enroll a segment, set a cadence of email touches, allow end users to customize those cadences for the right situation, and report out on metrics.  Outbound dialing capabilities are usually found in other packages – InsideSales.com and Connect and Sell being two market leaders with various packages addressing that aspect.

However, there is a new entrant in the market in Sales Cadence and dialing capabilities –  and that’s Salesforce itself.

In the Spring 19 edition, Salesforce now has an optional package called ‘High Velocity Sales Tools’.  This for-fee add on capability not only replicates the cadence capabilities of the tools mentioned above, but it also gives an optional for-fee dialer capability.   More importantly, it gives Lightning Salesforce SDRs the ability to have prioritized workflow based on Salesforce Einstein capability – our early testing indicates that Einstein prioritizes the leads with Einstein Lead Scoring activity at the top of the queue, such that the most likely to close are worked on first.  This is potentially a huge leap over competitive tools BUT assumes Einstein Lead Scoring and Einstein Activity Capture is enabled and in place.  There is also a private workspace for SDRs to work within their leads which make it attractive.  In theory, this new offer should be more tightly integrated than that of a 3rd party tool.

While it may make independent companies like Salesloft, Outreach, and YesWare a bit nervous, Salesforce’s own track record of acquiring partners marketing automation and CPQ solutions show that the market can sustain both a Salesforce acquisition for native capabilities AND outside players.  Salesloft and Outreach have a few year head start over Salesforce so one would think their momentum will carry.  Where we’d expect Salesforce to make greater inroads with this newer capability are in brand new, pure Lightning installations moving forward.

What remains to be seen is how well marketing automation can complement the Einstein sales activity if the system is not Pardot – Marketers who are concerned about conversion should keep a careful eye on this.

Which tools are you using for your SDRs?