From his first job as a box office cashier, Stephan has always had a taste for sales. Drawn to the consultative approach, he took on many different sales roles before becoming the Sales Development Manager at SteelHouse. 

He spoke to Tenbound about the challenges his team face, how sending physical gifts helps them stand out, and much more. 


Sales Development challenges

For Stephan, the biggest challenge is getting in front of the right people. A lot of decision-makers today still don’t want to take the phone call or reply to the email, even if they know it’s something that they’re looking for. 

Once you’re in front of the right person, how do you stand out? Just how much more creative can you be? While there’s plenty you can do in terms of research and personalization, sometimes that still isn’t enough to get a response. Finding new ways to make your message even more relevant is a constant struggle.

Finally, the internal workings of companies and how Sales Development supports both marketing and sales brings its own challenges. Having worked on both sides, where the Sales Development team reported to either sales or marketing, Stephan is very familiar with how difficult that can be. 

Using technology to stand out

Stephan’s number one tool at SteelHouse is their Sales Engagement platform. They use Apollo, which combines prospecting and the engagement into one tool. They also use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find the most up to date information about companies and the people who work there. 

One tool that’s been particularly useful is Sendoso, a platform for sending gifts to prospects and clients. It’s enabled the team to get creative with what they’re sending out; sometimes it might be a Starbucks gift card, other times it might be a lawn chair with the prospect’s university insignia on it. Either way, it’s getting them in front of the right people and starting a conversation. 

Combing Sales Development strategies 

SteelHouse uses both an account-based and demand gen approach. For Stephan, the key is consistent communication. That means talking with the sales team to confirm the exact strategy and approach for going after accounts, while marketing gets the right message in front of the relevant people at those companies. 

On the demand gen side, SteelHouse has a great team that’s always producing content around their offerings and the space that they operate in, content that gets a lot of interest. All of that comes back to the SDR team for qualification before being passed over to the sales team. 


These are exciting times for Stephan, with a growing team and plenty of innovations in the industry. For the Sales Development team at SteelHouse, he can’t wait to dive in and explore more options for creativity in 2020. 

From there, Stephan wants to continue the success they’ve seen so far: “We just can’t take our foot off the gas pedal. Like I tell my team all the time, I don’t ever want you to think that getting to 100% means your job is done. What are you doing to make sure you’re at 150% of your goal? How do you get to 200%? How can you keep on going all the way to the last day of the month?”

If you’re looking for ways to improve your Sales Development program and overcome similar challenges, contact us at Tenbound today for a no-obligation exploratory call.

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