Guest Post by Sales Development and Project Management Pro Daniil Krets

Knowing how to run a good process has unquestionably been helpful as a manager, and it was also a force multiplier when I was an individual contributor. Before focusing on building a career in Sales Development, I’ve been super passionate about Project Management. I ran complex projects in fintech for years before moving to the US and making a transition to sales. I even secured a PMP certification back in 2016 which I’ve been finding extremely valuable ever since.  For example, as an SDR, whenever you have a slow week and ask your manager how to bounce back you’re most likely going to get a similar answer every time: trust the process. 

This is why the process is so important in Sales Development. The essence of Sales Development is building a repeatable, measurable, and predictable process that scales with the business. In this blog post, I will dive into the key knowledge areas of Project Management and how they align with Sales Development. I will provide examples to highlight some of the key components of a successful sales development strategy and what SDR Leaders need to focus on to build a good process. 

 What does Project Management have to do with Sales Development? 

Actually a whole lot. If you run a basic search on key knowledge areas the waterfall Project Management methodology focuses on, the list is going to look like this:

  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Time Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Resource Management
  7. Project Communications Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management
  10. Project Stakeholder Management

Let’s see how each one aligns with Sales Development. By doing this, we will unpack the similarities and see how project management skills are relevant in sales development and identify the top 3-5 most important “project management components” of sales development an SDR Manager should polish to be successful.

Let’s dive into each individual component:

  • Project Integration Management:  Without getting into too much detail, this knowledge area focuses on assigning a project manager, identifying key project components, and fundamental plans of the project. “Integration management takes various processes, systems, and methodologies and brings them together to form a cohesive strategy.” 

I’d say from my experience, that this piece is something a lot of new SDR managers struggle with. Defining the tasks/processes that hold your “project” together is the easy part. What’s quite complicated is prioritizing these processes and identifying what exactly and at what stage is key to supporting the SDR function to move the needle on performance. 

Another component that stands out when I think about this knowledge area is integrating and defining the scope of Sales Development within the organization. As an SDR Leader, you have to be a bit more involved in sales and marketing than you’d like to because you’re sandwiched between the two parts of the funnel and the state of both heavily influences your performance and what ultimately your “project” needs to look like. 

  • Project Scope Management is super important as an SDR Leader – what is the scope of the function at this particular stage of the organization? Within this area, I see 2 components: 
    • Making sure you’re fully aligned as an SDR Leader before you take the job and fully understand what you’re signing up for. 
    • Making sure there’s an ongoing process of defining and confirming the goals and objectives you need to deliver on with your stakeholders. If you are building the function at a startup from scratch there will be a lot of pivots in the strategy and goals. Make sure you not only know what and when needs to change so you’re being a good partner to other teams and the business but also know that in advance enough to have time and resources to pivot.
  • Project Time Management: The most successful SDRs I’ve seen manage their tim