Podcast: How to Build a Sales Development Team w/ Ljubica Radoicic

| | Time to Read: 25 minutes

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Transforming traditional marketing into a full-blown revenue marketing engine

In this episode, host Shahin Hoda welcomes Ljubica Radoicic from Hexagon, a champion in creating innovative revenue marketing frameworks.

By explaining how Hexagon made a true transformation in their marketing approach, Ljubica will provide the elements to create successful Sales Development Teams. Tune in to get unique insights about how to get a perfect synergy between Marketing, Sales and SDRs in an organisation. 

This episode’s guest:

Ljubica Radoicic, Marketing Director for APAC of Hexagon PPM

Ljubica’s career has focused on helping businesses grow by building revenue marketing frameworks that convert opportunities across international markets.

She currently leads a team of marketers and SDRs as Marketing Director for the APAC region, where they have transformed the traditional marketing approach to achieve amazing results. Ljubica is an advocate for innovation in the creation of Revenue Marketing Engines and her upcoming book is set to be a must read among SDRs. 

Connect with her on LinkedIn

Conversation segments on this episode:

  • [1:04] About Hexagon and Ljubica's role as Marketing Director
  • [1:56] Hexagon's marketing transformation and revenue marketing strategy
  • [3:27] Ljubica explains the definition and goal of sales development
  • [5:09] The value of transitioning into SDRs teams
  • [7:36] The different functions of SDRs in Hexagon
  • [11:16] How the SDR team expands and grows an account
  • [13:35] The link between marketing and sales in Hexagon
  • [16:57] Hiring for SDRs
  • [19:31] The SDR toolkit in Hexagon
  • [23:58] Lessons learned from building a SDR team
  • [29:27] Onboarding an SDR
  • [30:44] Incentivising an SDR
  • [32:28] Hexagon's unique synergy between Marketing, Sales and SDR
  • [35:59] SDR versus Inside Sales Representative (ISR)
  • [38:57] Ljubica's upcoming book

Resources mentioned on this episode:

About the Growth Colony Podcast:

On this podcast you'll be hearing from B2B founders, CMOs, marketing & sales leaders about their successes, failures, what is working for them today in the B2B marketing world and everything in between.

Hosted by Shahin Hoda & Alexander Hipwell, from xGrowth

Get in touch!

We would love to get your questions, ideas and feedback about Growth Colony, email alexander@growthcolony.org


Episode Full Transcript:

[0:24] Shahin Hoda  Hello again, thanks for joining us at another episode of Growth Colony, Australia's B2B growth podcast. Today, I'm joined by the Ljubica Radoicic, the Marketing Director for APAC for a company called Hexagon. Now today, we're going to be talking about how organisations, especially in the enterprise level, can go about and build a sales development team. And what does that mean? What does that mean and how they should go about doing it. Now on that note, please Ljubica, thank you very much for joining me.

[0:59] Ljubica Radoicic  Thanks so much Shahin for the opportunity, very excited to be talking about sales development today. 

[1:04] Shahin Hoda  It's an absolute pleasure. Now, for those who might not know you Ljubica, can tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

[1:12] Ljubica Radoicic  Sure, definitely. So maybe I'll kick off and just talk about Hexagon a little bit. Hexagon is the leading global, as I said, engineering technology company that really, drive digital transformation, automation and data solutions across a wide range of industries. 

[1:27] Ljubica Radoicic  So Hexagon has a number of different divisions under its umbrella, and I'm part of the PPM division, which specializes in services process based industries such as oil and gas, utilities, manufacturing, energy, and the AC market. So we provide full asset lifecycle technology for these industries. That goes from design and construction through to operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of large process based facilities. 

[1:56] Ljubica Radoicic  So my role as the Marketing Director actually lead a small team available talented marketers and an SDR team. And we're really focused on local B2B marketing teams and brand building, demand generation, lead generation, retention, and market development. And over the past couple of years, we've gone through a huge transformation within marketing. 

[2:19] Ljubica Radoicic  So we've moved from a very traditional marketing operation, which is mostly focused on events and advertising, to a full blown revenue marketing engine, working hand in hand with the sales team to deliver on business objectives. So as part of this all encompassing transformation and revenue marketing strategy, we've introduced the sales development team. 

[2:41] Ljubica Radoicic  And we started from a location and now operate a huge team across the region. So otherwise, besides obviously, the role the hexagon I've been in B2B marketing for over 20 years, really focused and passionate about transforming and optimizing high performing marketing teams around delivering growth. focused on customer centric strategies that grow business and expand into new markets.

[3:06] Shahin Hoda  I love that. That's amazing. And I think it's definitely the objective, a lot of marketing departments to kind of transition from that the events department, to being more aligned with revenue and making sure that they're delivering and their KPIs that they're meeting and they're more aligned with sales team. 

[3:27] Shahin Hoda  Now, you know, you mentioned that you've built a SDR or a sales development rep team within the marketing team as well. But firstly, I would like to know, how do you define sales development? What is sales development?

[3:43] Ljubica Radoicic  Yeah, definitely. That's the million dollar question as they say. So sales development is really a specialized sales function and sales development is tasked with really lead discovery and prospecting outbound calling, lead account development and lead qualification. 

[3:59] Ljubica Radoicic  So the primary Goal of SDRs is really to build relationships with key prospects with a view to uncover needs, engage in a quality discovery conversation qualified the lead, and then hand over this lead to the sales rep. So there's specific threshold or criteria that obviously this prospect or lead needs to meet before it's handed over to sales. 

[4:20] Ljubica Radoicic  And this will again, depends on what sort of qualification overall is used within a sales organization. So for example, in my organization, we use the traditional BANT criteria, which is budget, authority, need and time, but others might use again, other qualification criteria. I think it's also really critical to understand the various nuances of definitions of SDR teams, and that's where I think there's a lot of confusion in markets. 

[4:47] Ljubica Radoicic  So you know, SDRs can be thought of in terms of inbound versus outbound lead development, even inside sales. And I think it's really critical to understand the differences and the purposes, objective that these kind of different specialisations within the overall SDR kind of function serve, and then how to best deploy them within a business.

[5:09] Shahin Hoda  Interesting, interesting, and why, you know, the the next question that I want to ask if somebody is in a B2B organization. Now, why would they need a sales development rep?  I mean, you know, in B2B, you have had your "salespeople" or maybe account executives, or BDMs traditionally, probably best known for for business development reps. Yeah. What, why this transition into SDRs?

[5:41] Ljubica Radoicic  Yeah, that's a good question as well. So it really boils down to, again, deploying the best person for the job. And I think overall, obviously, we know that buyer needs are evolving and becoming more sophisticated and the whole buying process is a lot more complex. today than it was five or 10 years ago. 

[6:02] Ljubica Radoicic  So I think overall, long gone are the days of the sales rep as a long as a lone wolf. And that is all about teamwork. So it's difficult to expect a BD or an account executive to to be a Swiss Army knife and to have to be multi talented. And we don't have the time for prospecting, cold calling, building pipeline. And that's really where sales specialisation comes into play. 

[6:27] Ljubica Radoicic  So SDRs are experts really at lead development and lead generation. And it really takes a special kind of person from what I've experienced to elicit the phone, you know, take that rejection day in and day out, build relationships and have quality conversations. So I think overall, sometimes we'll assess yours, you know, I looked I looked upon as a commodity or as a turn and burn, you know, function. They really do operate in high pressure environments. 

[6:55] Ljubica Radoicic  And again, for BD obviously, for business, it's better to, to have the BD being out there. And having face to face time with prospects for example and account executive rather than really spending their time you know, smashing the phones or prospecting, you know, through social selling, which again should be doing anyway. But it is about sales specialisation and really making sure that again the best talent is tasked with the best role.

[7:20] Shahin Hoda  Gotcha, gotcha, yeah and really dividing those responsibilities so that so that the people who are more experienced in in closing deals are mainly focusing closing deals rather than generating deals. That's that's really that's really cool. 

[7:36] Shahin Hoda  Um, you told you talked about inbound versus outbound Yeah, different requirement for qualification at different companies. How does this this SDR role look like at Hexagon? 

[7:50] Shahin Hoda  So you talked about now you focus on band qualification making sure that that it hits that level? Is it at Hexagon, they're mainly focused on inbound leads that are coming in or they're more focused on cold calling and reaching out to the, to the right prospects. What are some of the responsibilities that that these, SDRs have in Hexagon?

[8:14] Ljubica Radoicic  Yeah, definitely. So we do have that distinction even within an SDR function itself. So kind of three, three different buckets. So first of all, it's the inbound, the inbound focus SDR. And they're really tasked with kind of looking at obviously, all the inbound leads or market general leads. 

[8:35] Ljubica Radoicic  So anything that comes from example from marketing activity, campaigns, webinars, events, or really coming into the the lead queue within our CRM. So they do that sort of warm outreach. And really, I think from a career perspective, that's really a great starting point or entry point for someone that's looking to develop their career as an SDR so they would start off inbound. I was handling the inbound leads because that kind of process a bit easier. 

[9:03] Ljubica Radoicic  And then moving on to the more the outbound function, which is what I was just talking about now with kind of tying that in with, for example, account executives and business developments so that's really where you know once they've kind of learned the ropes and really, you know, starting to get a feel for prospecting over the phone, handling objection, that's when they're moved into an SDR outbound. 

[9:27] Ljubica Radoicic  So we, that's the setup that we have this with outbound studying a lot of that about not reach cold calling prospecting. Everybody, the SDR in an outbound role, really does take a special kind of person, as I said before to be doing that work then in day out, and we really see these kind of specialists,, as almost special forces, that are there, you know, breaking ground Special Ops, as I like to call them, breaking ground and we're the cleaner the way then for the sales team to come in and do their magic. So the SDR outbound, so they're they're they're doing the the kind of the cold calling and prospecting every day. 

[10:05] Ljubica Radoicic  And then the next step from from there is really the lead development, kind of specialist. And that's that next level is, again, having experienced conversations, ever looking to develop more high value strategic accounts. 

[10:22] Ljubica Radoicic  And for example, for us that lead development, or that's the more senior SDR assembly teamed up with a senior account executive, and then just look at okay, so how do we penetrate this account? How do we have more strategic conversations at different levels of the account, but that really goes beyond that whole kind of just a numbers game of, you know, making sure that we hit X amount of calls, and kind of, you know, make an X amount of sales appointments? 

[10:47] Ljubica Radoicic  That's a more strategic conversation that the lead development rep has. And then from then on, for example, the rep could potentially move into a BD roll on a roll or, again, they might remain as part of the SDR. So, that's kind of the setup or the model that we have as part of Hexagon. And we do have that distinction between the inbound sales rep, The SDR. So the regular SDR, and then the more senior SDR who is focused on lead development.

[11:16] Shahin Hoda  Right? So as he said, outbound is all about numbers. And hey, here's number of accounts that you want to target. But it sounds like this is very interesting. So the lead development SDR is I'm guessing like in every market, you would have a handful of really important accounts that you want to focus on those go to a are divided for collaboration between an a and a, an elite development SDR. Is that Is that how it works?

[11:45] Ljubica Radoicic  That's right. Yeah, we're like a strategic strategic account manager. So like a senior account manager.

[11:50] Shahin Hoda  Interesting. And, so what would be the responsibility of the SDR in that situation? Are they responsible for  for opening doors still or, you know, it's kind of like a 50/50 between the account executive or the account manager? What would there be will be kind of their responsibilities there.

[12:15] Ljubica Radoicic  Yeah. So there was possibly purely into, well, how do we expand and grow this account? So for example, an organization might have, obviously just relationships and selling it to one, one particular division or one particular team within an organisation. 

[12:34] Ljubica Radoicic  But then it's, again, opportunities, well, you know, how do we expand these relationships at a more kind of enterprise energy level? So how do we penetrate into different parts of the organisation, and that's where some aleca a senior strategic account manager would, you know, sit down with marketing and this again, plays pure into the account based strategy, or account based marketing was sitting down and really mapping out. You know, who's who in the organization who's who in the zoo? You know, what does that organizational structure look like? You know, who are the key players and then working hand in hand with a senior SDR, the lead development rep to then again establish those critical relationships within the other parts of an organization with a view to then expand the footprint and really be able to grow the account.

[13:22] Shahin Hoda  I love that that is, that is such a mature model that very rarely is seen that some on those both, three of those levels that I totally love that. 

[13:35] Shahin Hoda  So what are some of the when you're hiring SDRs and you mentioned it, you know, they're it's, it requires a different personality. It's a hard job to be on the phone, smile and dial and then get rejected. People hang up on you, you know, in the middle of the conversation, yeah. Or they just you know, if they're nice, they would say they're not interested. 

[13:58] Shahin Hoda  And then there are the rare occasions that something there is a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel. Yeah, but what do you look for when you're trying to hire an SDR? Because one of the interesting things and we had this conversation before, one of the interesting things about about Hexagon is that the the SDR or sales development rep team are under marketing. Is that is that correct?

[14:23] Ljubica Radoicic  That's correct. Yes. Yes. 

[14:25] Shahin Hoda  Why was that decision made in the first place?

[14:29] Ljubica Radoicic  Well, that's pretty close boils down to what is the role of SDRs within a particular organization. And I think for us within Hexagon, we really see that as a as a more kind of strategic function. So that's where really the SDR team is kind of the cobit, the conduit between or the link between the marketing and the sales organisation. 

[14:53] Ljubica Radoicic  So they're really there to you know, make sure that obviously in the leads generated by marketing. They do go through the whole of the lead scoring model that we have in place. But then it's you're looking at, again, you're qualifying this lead and make sure that a really qualified lead is handed over to the sales team. And that the team does have a quality conversation. 

[15:17] Ljubica Radoicic  I think it also is kind of, it's a way also to maybe, you know, bring off for, I guess, lift the value, and elevate the position of the SDR team within organisation, or within Hexagon to really truly serve their purpose, which is, again, you know, that whole lead development and business development and being part of that is still in process. 

[15:41] Ljubica Radoicic  Because I think traditionally from what i've experienced in my previous organizations and previous interaction with with SDR roles is that if they are part of the sales organization, then often they do become kind of administrators or support for the sales team. Or they become just booking, booking meetings just to kind of show I'm sure activity, for example against a sales rep. So they become no more than kind of glorified basically, telemarketing team or telesales team. 

[16:14] Ljubica Radoicic  So in that respect, it's really making sure for us that, again, the role of the SDR team is acknowledged. And that is a more strategic role that they play within kind of the sales, overall sales and marketing strategy. And they're there to, as I said, really have those quality conversations, qualified leads and make sure that, again, the sales team in hand is able to have a more valuable conversation have a more of a consultative sale rather than just booking for example, coffee meetings. So which which has been the case in a lot of, yeah, a lot of situations that I've encountered. So that really boils down to, you know, the position that that the team has within the Hexagon organisation. 

[16:57] Ljubica Radoicic  I think also going back to your question around Kind of hiring for SDRs and what we look for and the profile I think, you know exactly that, as you just said, Shahin is we're looking at for someone that you know, that has that kind of never say die mindset. And some of that's kind of willing to learn and evolve. And just being there and having a positive attitude, day in and day out. And that is really kind of motivated by the hunt more than anything else, and the super resilient and really able to kind of learn you know, learn from their mistakes or learn from the failures because again, you are faced with success and failures every day. 

[17:38] Ljubica Radoicic  So we're looking for someone that has that kind of growth mindset. But also is able to you know, maybe separate themselves a little bit you know, from from the day to day and is able to pick themselves up from you know, one call to the next call and start afresh because you never know right that next call is my you know what is when you might hit jackpot. So having the sort

[18:01] Shahin Hoda  In quota.

[18:02] Ljubica Radoicic  Yes, in quota, right. Exactly, exactly. 

[18:04] Shahin Hoda  That's right. And then the sweet commission. No, I get that. Do you have some sort of a litmus test Ljubica, in terms of figuring out whether this is a This isn't good. So this could be potentially a good SDR or not, is there like certain questions that you would ask or certain things that you would look for that is you use yourself as a litmus test?

[18:29] Ljubica Radoicic  Yeah, definitely. So we, so we're hiring SDRs, we do go through a whole year kind of rigorous interview and roleplay process. So we you know, we look at questions like attitude, kind of what, what their passion is what drives them, you know, how do they you know, face failure? How do they pick themselves up? How do they collaborate with a sales team because it was even though obviously, an SDR you know, operates on their own but there's still part of a broader organisation. 

[19:02] Ljubica Radoicic  And so teamwork is really critical. That whole dynamic, but also role playing. So how well do they take feedback and coaching? Because again, that's really critical. If you're unable to coach someone, then again, they don't really have that sort of growth mindset. So yeah, there's some key criterion considerations. But even more critical, is just their ability to develop relationships over the phone. And really, communication skills are super critical for an SDR.

[19:31] Shahin Hoda  Mmm, gotcha. Gotcha. I want to go back to the outbound SDR, an SDR that is going to, is making calls and is trying to open doors. When they start working at Hexagon or, you know, let's, let's say, maybe they've been working at hexagon for a while. I want to know what their responsibility is, is their responsibility, okay, you go and you find out any, any way that you can to break into this list. Now, you you Mr. Mrs. SDR you're going to be using phone, you can use email, you can use direct mail, you can use whatever it is, what's basically what's the responsibility and what kind of restrictions have you have you started to put around an outbound SDR?

[20:19] Ljubica Radoicic  So really they do have a lot of obviously tools at their disposal. Just from a toolkit perspective, whether it's technology. Yeah, the whole SEO enablement piece is really critical. So I think haven't really, I guess said any specific restrictions, but like, you know, being an SDR obviously they need to be brilliant communicators, but they also need to be, you know, fantastic marketers, as well. 

[20:45] Ljubica Radoicic  So, you know, having access to social media channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, so social selling is obviously big for SDRs. You know, having obviously email, even being able to run their own campaigns through for example, the market automation tool and the CRM that we use. Also think we're quite lucky. The industry that we operate in, we have access to various project databases, which is really your lead served on a platter. So, you know, we do know, you know, what are the big kind of capital projects happening. 

[21:19] Ljubica Radoicic  So, again, there's kind of a whole wealth of information available for us to use for prospecting, but also, even, like, even more sophisticated with buying intent, and using ABM tools, our technologies such as, for example, demand based or MRP, where we can actually ascertainable you know, what are our key accounts that we're targeting, what are they looking for, what are their you know, in the market for? 

[21:43] Ljubica Radoicic  So again, there's a whole kind of wealth of of tools and resources available for the SDRs so I think again, Long gone are the days where you know, the answer would just go through a director and pick up the phone so there's a whole you know, whole tech stack that they have available, including Dun & Bradstreet, ZoomInfo, just dropping a few names there. 

[22:03] Ljubica Radoicic  But I think also that kind of an interesting one, where we look at that from a market maturity perspective and how information is available. So looking at markets across, for example, the APAC Region, so Australia and Singapore, you know, where some of this technology does come in handy. But then when we're looking at regions, for example, around Southeast Asia, or Korean Japan, where, again, it is difficult to to get across this information. And then when there's also kind of more local language requirements. Then again, it becomes important to, you know, really know where to where to find this information, whether it's through company websites, through outreach, even asking for referrals. So that's where the, the SDR needs to be, you know, very resourceful in terms of how, how they come across this information and how they come again, how they're able to get in touch with prospects. 

[22:56]  Shahin Hoda  Gotcha. Gotcha.

[23:58] Shahin Hoda  Let me say I'd like to ask about some of the mistakes you've made in terms of building SDR teams, what comes to mind?

[24:06] Ljubica Radoicic

There's a lot. I think mistakes are inevitable and they're just part of the road of any sort of learning process. I think for I think maybe I'll talk about more of the lessons learned, I think mistakes are probably make on a daily basis, like, no one's perfect, but I think there's kind of some of the key lessons learned, which I think are really important to share. 

[24:28] Ljubica Radoicic  So first of all, I think it's important to really hire an experienced team. Because if you're looking to ramp up and really prove the business case, which is how we started up here, with our SDR function in the Asia- PAC Region. So we started with a small team and we really needed to ramp up quickly. So to do that, you will need you know SDRs that know what they're doing. 

[24:51] Ljubica Radoicic  So you don't have that luxury to you know, start from scratch with for example, hiring an inbound rep and then trying to get them to learn the ropes. It's really critical to again hire an experienced team. Which also means that you know, the, the cost will be high as well. So you know, making sure that anyone that's looking to start up a team you know, it's not you know, cannot be done the cheap right, because you're just not gonna succeed. 

[25:18] Ljubica Radoicic  And it's also important to to really obviously, you know, have that business case and to get buy in you know, from executives from leadership but also more importantly from from the sales organization if that's an issue that's being you know, driven by marketing as it was in our case so that's something as I said, that you know, really does require long term commitment and commitment from various parties and functions from an organization. 

[25:46] Ljubica Radoicic  Another one is definitely deciding on what sort of operating model best fits the organization thing. This is where probably had a you know, a few trials and errors and i think, it's all about kind of evolving and looking at what best fits the organization. So I think we'll have some setups in terms of, you know, SDRs that are more focused on geos or more focused on specific product or solutions. And I think that really goes back to how does that as your team aligned to the overall sales and marketing strategy? And also how does it align to the overall sales structure.

[26:28] Shahin Hoda  So today, we do have kind of a setup that's more aligned around particular kind of accounts, and also market segments or customer segments. And that goes hand in hand with really how our sales team, again, is focused on and again, how it fits with our overall go to market strategy. 

[26:49] Ljubica Radoicic  I think another critical one is really understanding the role of SDRs and how SDRs fits again within the overall sales and marketing process. And I think for us, it's been definitely a kind of an education and a learning exercise, especially for, again, the marketing team, but also for the sales team. And I think that goes to some of the points that I was making really around understanding what the role of SDR is, and how is yours fit within the broader sales strategy. SDRs are not there to be sales admins, they're not there to book coffee appointments with a sales team. If you want so much that we can definitely outsource that maybe to a third party. 

[27:32] Ljubica Radoicic  And that, again, goes in terms of, you know, the decision of the SDR model, and what best fits for organization. Is it about having an in house SDR team, or is it about for example, outsourcing to a third party? I think what we've found is, again, having an in-house team works a lot better because we do operate in quite a complex environment with you know, very complex technologies. So it's really hard for third-party to get their head around who we are as a business and the solutions that we sell, that would take a lot longer, for example for someone to get their head around. 

[28:10] Ljubica Radoicic  I think another one, yeah, there's just a couple more that I have in mind. So, again, it's about having a clearly defined lead management and handover process. I think that's what we're still kind of grappling with some of that, but again, it goes around, you know, how does it that's SDR team fit as part of the broader socialisation then I think the final one is just around, you know, having clear definitions of you know, what does that ideal customer profile look like? What does a qualified lead qualified lead look like? 

[28:43] Ljubica Radoicic  Removing really some of that subjectivity, from the handover process? And that goes and, you know, beyond, again, just, you know, sales and SDR but, you know, really setting out some of those clear as to laser runs, marketing, SDR, sales, to make sure that everyone really speaks the same language. So those will be definitely some of the kind of key lessons learned around this process for us. Yeah, that we've been having now for what, almost three years.

[29:11] Shahin Hoda  Gotcha, gotcha. I definitely want to come back and talk about sales. There were so many points in there and I took a lot of notes here. Um, but I definitely want to come back into and talk about the engagement between sales and the SDR team. 

[29:27] Shahin Hoda  But, I also like to know, you know, you mentioned you have a complex product, you're selling in a complex environment, multiple decision makers, and understand the customers really important. In your experience, how long have you found it takes for an SDR person to be onboarded and start firing in all cylinders? 

[29:52] Ljubica Radoicic  Uhm, so in our scenario, as I said, because we do operate in quite complex markets, oil and gas, process based industries. And, you know, you almost have to be a rocket scientist to, you know, to, to kind of sell some of the technologies there because they are so, so complex. So they have from, from the heart to the onboarding, the training, you know, could take anywhere from a couple of months. So let's say six to eight weeks to roughly three months, I'd say is, you know, until an SDR is fully ramped up. So yeah, it is quite a long process, because as I say, we do have quite a complex solution portfolio and we sell into kind of multiple types of organisations, personas. So yeah, it takes around three months to basically onboard and wrap up a team. 

[30:44] Shahin Hoda  Gotcha. Gotcha. And once they're onboarded, what's the compensation model? So I know some is the RS are compensated on a combination of for example, the number of meetings they book versus like a maybe a smaller percentage of, if there's any revenue materialised from that some are purely focused on meetings booked. How do you go and evaluate the success of an SDR?

[31:11] Ljubica Radoicic  Yeah. So yeah, it's really understanding what the sales processes and the KPIs and building up the KPIs and then, you know, really the commission structure around that. So, for us, it is kind of band qualified meetings booked, basically a month. So we do have monthly quotas for the SDR team, and then we have kind of some accelerators in there. So, you know, just to give a kind of let's take an example of, you know, 10, you know, 10 meetings a month, for example, bank qualified meetings. And then, you know, if they book 20 meetings or whatever 15 meetings then doesn't accelerator for 20. So then it doubles, basically, the commission doubles. So it's incentivizing the SDRs to overachieve their quota. And then there's also the end, so for any deals that have come out of the SDR, then obviously they would get another kind of incentive for any opportunities that have closed that have come from an SDR.

[32:14] Shahin Hoda  Interesting, interesting. So there is that connection to the end of like revenue being materialised and therefore, you know, this deal came from from this particular SDR they're gonna correct

[32:25] Ljubica Radoicic  Correct. Correct

[32:25] Shahin Hoda  Yeah, gotcha.

[32:28] Shahin Hoda  The kind of last point that I want to that I want to dig into is the engagement between sales and SDR team, specifically at Hexagon, since the SDR team is is under marketing and it makes complete sense that you know, you're saying the SDR team could become the the booking coffee's or yeah, you know, I'm preparing this presentation. Can you look into it and make it pretty or something like that? Yeah, and totally see how they become

[32:53] Ljubica Radoicic  Can you can you click clean up the you know, the CRM for me.

[32:56] Shahin Hoda  Exactly, exactly. So how did you how did you manage to convince, was there a lot of pushback at the beginning that maybe the sales organization were saying no, no distribute under us. And you had to like it, was there a little bit of a push from at that point when you were trying to put the team in place?

[33:17] Ljubica Radoicic  I'm not at all, I think maybe we're unique in that respect. But really, that initiative, and the whole business case, actually came from marketing. And I think it's something that the company tried to do in the past, but more of leveraging third parties, and it didn't really work out that well. I think for the reason, you know, that I mentioned is just because we are, you know, are we offering a unique environment. So I think there wasn't, like any sort of pushback, but it has been a really steep learning curve for the sales team because they've never really had, you know, the sort of the supporter or enabler previously said they have to do everything themselves. 

[34:00] Ljubica Radoicic  So I think that was really, really welcome with, with open arms to have something like this so that again, they can really focus on, on doing what they do best, which is selling. So I guess you have for us and how that works. It's really important around aligning SDRs, obviously, around the sales and marketing, so making sure that we speak the same language around ideal, you know, what does that ideal customer profile look like aligning around, you know, key segments solutions, and really aligning around our whole go to market strategy. 

[34:35] Ljubica Radoicic  So that's what's also been critical with kind of teaming SDRs with specific sales reps. So there is that whole kind of relationship that's evolving. And that we're, you know, can't be any more than let's say three reps because otherwise it just becomes too much. So that synergy, that relationship between you know, SDR and sales rep is really critical because, you know, they're basically tied to the hip. So having, you know, kind of daily standup calls, you know, check-ins is really critical. 

[35:03] Ljubica Radoicic  And that is a partnership that evolves and obviously takes time, you know, to, to kind of build that trust between the SDR and the sales rep because obviously, the sales rep needs to know that, well, you know, what's being handed to me by my rep is a quality lead, and I won't be wasting my time, you know, just because, you know, unless you're, you know, just wants to, you know, kind of tick the box and make sure that they get paid their commission. So that whole kind of trust component is really critical. 

[35:34] Ljubica Radoicic  And then it's really around the whole alignment piece around that, we all know that. Yeah, we're meeting the right criteria, and it is the right quality conversation and once that lead is sent over to the sales team, then the sales know that will that that lead will be at stage, you know, one or zero, again, depending on you know, what sort of decisions are made around the whole the whole buying engagement process.

[35:59] Shahin Hoda  Ljubica, that's been amazing. And I really enjoyed all the points that you brought up. But do you think there was anything that I didn't ask from our conversation around building SDR teams that you think the audience will benefit from?

[36:15] Ljubica Radoicic  Yeah, definitely. So maybe one key point is, you know, well, you know, how to get started if, if you decide that, you know, the SDR function is, is kind of the right team, for you to have as part of organizations. How do you go about building an SDR team? And I think from from my perspective, it's really key to understand, first of all, how SDRs fit as part of the broader strategy and how they enable and support the overall sales and marketing process. 

[36:46] Ljubica Radoicic  So without having a kind of understanding of what SDRs do and how they fit within the buyer’s journey and sales process. I think there's definitely potential to have, you know, a lot of issues and for the function to ultimately fail. So it's really critical to set what you need, even within the SDRs, as we said, there are nuances, you know, whether it's the inbound rep or the outbound, even in sales, and I think that's probably something that we haven't touched on in this conversation. You know, the SDR versus the ISR. And they're, you know, there's definitely differences there and sometimes even confusion. So inside sales, kind of, yes, more more sales over the phone versus, you know, true lead development. 

[37:26] Ljubica Radoicic  So once you understand, again, the frameworks and and you know, the set of data you have, then it's you're looking at building that business case and really developing an operational plan and playbook for the SDR team. So understanding, you know, what is that SDR model that we need to deploy? What are the key SDR processes, KPIs? You know, what does that ideal customer profile look like? Training, what is the SDR tech stack? Then what's the kind of overall call strategy which segments to focus on how to best deploy again, which sales reps to team up with so there's so many considerations as part of the development process. 

[38:05] Ljubica Radoicic  But you know, once that foundation is there, then you can definitely start looking at, you know, hiring the team. But I think from our perspective, it's definitely been a successful business case in a successful kind of project. And it's gone beyond, you know, something that has just been that we've been piloting in the APAC region. It's been so successful, it's been that it's gone global. And now we have teams that have been deployed across the different regions, including South America, EMEA and North America. 

[38:38] Ljubica Radoicic  And it's, uh, yeah, it's been something that this has seen a lot of value and really growth coming from. And again, from my perspective, highly recommended, but again, you know, be mindful of what you're getting into and making sure that there is buy in from various stakeholders within the organisation.

[38:57] Shahin Hoda  Yeah, otherwise it's dead in the water but I love the fact that it started from APAC. And now taking over the world of Lexicon. That's definitely that's a great, great sign. Now, I also know that you have a book coming out called "Journey To The Top, 10 Critical Tools You Need To Improve Your Revenue Performance." When is the book going to be out? Because I'm super eager to have a look at that as well Ljubica.

[39:24] Ljubica Radoicic  Yeah, yeah, definitely. So the book is due out in around mid-August. So we're just in the final stages. So there'll be a probably a website coming up in the next few weeks. But yeah, the book really outlines you know, this whole kind of process of like moving from basically a traditional kind of marketing setup, to really a true revenue market organisation. 

[39:49] Ljubica Radoicic  And it looks at how businesses can improve revenue performance. Really, what are some of the growth strategies, and kind of elements that they need to deploy to ensure ongoing growth and success. So I'm actually co-authoring that, that book with, with a business partner of mine. Her name is Eve Chen, based out of the US. And so we're very excited about the book and about the launch. So watch this space.

[40:14] Shahin Hoda  Absolutely. So, the website is gonna come up, there is no link right now.

[40:18] Ljubica Radoicic  Not at the moment, but yeah, anyone interested in finding out a bit more about the book and getting more information, definitely encourage them to connect me to Linkedin, and I’ll be providing updates through my Linkedin post.

[40:32] Shahin Hoda  Fantastic. Well, Ljubica, this has been amazing. I really enjoyed this conversation and I'm pretty sure a lot of our listeners will too, so thank you very much for joining us, and looking forward to future episodes as well.

[40:45] Ljubica Radoicic  My pleasure. Thanks so much for the opportunity Shahin. Lovely to talk.

[40:48] Shahin Hoda  Absolute pleasure.


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