The 3rd annual Tenbound Sales Development Conference took place in last fall San Francisco, with over 500 of the top minds in Sales Development. 

This year the agenda included tracks on Sales Development Leadership, Revenue Operations and Rep Training. 

We heard feedback from many of the attendees, and put together this list of 5 highlighted takeaways we found most interesting and impactful.

We hope these snippets are as helpful for you all as they are inspiring and motivating for us as we plan our 2020 and beyond events.

We’re working hard to make the Tenbound Sales Development conference the most relevant, impactful, engaging and worthwhile event for the Sales Development community!

Top 5 Hot Takes:


20% is the magic number for personalization


Although it’s tempting to see anything with an 80/20 split with a skeptical view as it’s seemingly the go-to for just about anything, it often is the output of actual research. As Jeremey Donovan from Salesloft shared (and given the data Salesloft can draw from in addition to his background in relation to research I’d trust them on this one), crafting your messaging templates to include 20% personalized content based on your research yields the best return for your time. Interesting as well is that it wasn’t a negative to personalize more than 20% by any means, but the resulting efficacy wasn’t apparent, so sticking to the 20% rule of thumb would be the most efficient and effective guidance for you and your teams.

Many companies don’t capitalize on inbound inquiries

Patrick Purvis from DiscoverOrg shared some eye-opening stats with us from their research. Only 20% of leads who fill out a form get called from a rep, and 50% don’t get responded to at all! Sales and Sales Development managers take note… if your team isn’t rapidly responding to inbound inquiries that needs to be fixed ASAP. He suggested to consider setting up some fake email accounts to test your team. You can then analyze their response times (or discover when there is no response), and use those learnings to coach your team to improve and identify any procedural gaps if found.

It’s okay to throw scalability out of the equation at times

It’s easy to get caught up in the mindset of chasing automation, efficiency and maximization of conversions. Sometimes reminding yourself that stepping away from that and getting creative is worth the effort. Hyper-customized and/or prohibitively expensive outreach may prove effective for the targets you haven’t been able to work your way into by other means or feel they absolutely need to hear from you. As Ryan Riesert with The Sales Developers and other breakout sessions dove in to, customized 1:1 videos, relevant or very personalized (or researched) swag/gifts, handwritten notes, etc can make a world of difference. If you need to make it happen or want to try something bold, step out of your day to day formulated process and get creative… even if it costs you time and/or a bit of budget. Getting that deal you’ve been coveting will make it all worth it!

Never forget to invest in your SDRs

It’s easy to get consumed in the metrics, efficiency, optimization and conversion rates for your SDRs, but at the end of the day, they are aspiring professionals with career ambitions of their own. Helping them succeed in their current role should always be the priority, but ensuring time, guidance and resources are also allocated to their career development should also be prioritized accordingly. As Katherine Andruha from presented, happy SDRs are productive SDRs, and making sure they are valued as people by investing in their personal growth yields better results for your company from them.

Sales Development is no longer a side initiative of the sales or marketing department

It’s amazing to see the community expand in this capacity. Just a few years ago, SDR wasn’t a common term, and was typically a catch-all phrase for entry level “cold callers”. Seeing 500+ professionals in attendance at the only conference purely dedicated to Sales Development is an amazing validation of the value Sales Development is bringing to organizations around the world. 

There is a whole ecosystem of software purpose-built for the Sales Development function and enablement, and it feels like we are just seeing how large and impactful this community can become. We can’t wait to see how this community grows in the years to come, and the positive effect it will have on those businesses who embrace and support it!


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