Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
May 8, 2017

#452. All About Inside Sales and SDRs. With Sally Duby.

Sally Duby, West Coast General Manager of the Bridge Group, Inc., and inside sales and sales development expert, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

[2:08] Sally sees hiring and retaining talent at the SDR level as the biggest challenge facing sales leaders today. A lot of younger people start without experience, but companies are not setting them up for success, so they leave.
[3:23] Hiring people as SDRs, with little business experience, and providing them little or no training or onboarding (except for about how great the product is), sets them up for failure.
[5:40] Inside reps and SDRs are staying about six months at any company, and then get recruited to the next hot company. If they’re not happy where they are, they are open to moving.
[7:21] Sally says it’s a shame VPs of Sales do not have a career path for SDRs. There should be levels within the SDR group, as well as opportunities beyond that function. It takes about a year of SDR experience for a hire to be productive.
[10:53] SDR is not a sales role, but 70% of the time it reports into Sales.
[11:30] SDR can function as entry level to sales, but the functions are less than the skills needed in sales. In order to be promoted to sales they need training and development.
[12:29] Sally says onboarding training could be about the buyer, not the product — what the buyer looks like, and the value the SDR can bring them. Sally says with knowledgeable discussions, the SDR could set more appointments.
[16:06] Sally discusses misdirected and inaccurate email campaigns, and how they waste everybody’s time.
[18:27] Sally discusses AI, and Chad Burmeister’s claim that an AI app can do 75-90% of the SDR role with greater consistency. So far, AI cannot engage the buyer on the phone with intelligent questions and conversations on the buyer’s needs.
[20:43] Sally looks at the role of SDRs in the near future. The sales team still needs to be fed, and sales reps are the better resource for customer engagement. She doesn’t see a lot of immediate change.
[22:59] Besides tech, Sally works with other types of companies. She finds them open to new ideas. She cites
Trish Bertuzzi’s Sales Development Playbook, and helping various sales teams to use the methods in the book.
[25:19] Outside the tech world, many companies are not utilizing data tools beyond basic CRM. Sally talks about tools that circumvent learning and curiosity by giving immediate solutions. A fool with a tool is still a fool.

April 12, 2017

#430. Winning with Account-Based Strategies. With Trish Bertuzzi.

Trish Bertuzzi, President of The Bridge Group, author of the Amazon #1 bestselling book, The Sales Development Playbook: How to Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth With Inside Sales, joins me again on this episode of #Accelerate! (Please also listen to my previous conversation with Trish on Episode #77.)


[:49] In 1998, Trish founded The Bridge Group, an inside sales consulting and implementation firm, focused on the B2B tech space. They have worked with over 300 companies, and if you are thinking about inside sales, she invites you to call!

[1:42] Trish sees changes in inside sales over the last year — the first being that the selling industry is waking up to the fact that they are boring buyers with lazy templates and approaches, and buyers have stopped listening.

[2:51] Trish says the evidence is in dramatically declining rates of engagement from inbound marketing. Whitepapers, webinars, and other offerings are not attracting many new contacts. In the sea of content, maybe 2% has value to buyers.

[3:40] Trish explains where buyers are seeking information today, and it’s not from vendors!

[4:11] Buyers are also not engaging in conversations with salespersons about the product, company, or salesperson. How do you address the buyers’ needs to engage them?

[4:57] To be successful in sales, you need to start with one thing: curiosity about the buyer. Trish goes in depth about the knowledge you should seek around your buyer to enable engagement about them.

[6:44] We need a learning culture. Challenge your sales team. Provide testing, certifications, and rewards for continuing their self-education. Give them opportunities to stimulate their mind. That’s how you will hire A players.

[7:55] The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals has a certification process, at a basic level. Sales is still not offered as a major at most colleges, so it would be challenging to have industry-wide certifications.

[9:15] The second trend is account-based strategies, or ABR (account-based revenue). It is more than outbound. It takes the concentration of all company resources on a set of accounts. You need an account story, and persona stories.

[14:28] Know where your sweet spot lies. It takes many resources to use ABR on any account, so pick accounts carefully. Sales and marketing must work as one. Trish gives details how to do this.

[16:24] The ABR pentagon is five sides of sequential preparation to launch an ABR approach: Strategy & Alignment, Account Selection, Players & Positions, Account Insights & Plays, and Tools & Measures. Trish these discusses in-depth.

[28:09] Trish covers a company case study of growth from $10 million to $100 million, by an Account-Based Strategy, after refocusing on account selection. They needed to pick larger accounts. ABR is ineffective on accounts less than $50K a year.


December 8, 2016

The New Power of Inside Sales. With Anneke Seley & Britton Manasco. #325

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! are my guests Anneke Seley and Britton Manasco, coauthors of the new book, Next Era Selling: 5 Strategies to Make Your Business Unstoppable. Anneke is the CEO and Founder of Reality Works Group, and coauthor of a previous book, Sales 2.0: Improve Business Results Using Innovative Sales Practices and Technology. Britton is the CEO and Founder of Visible Impact. Among the many topics that Anneke, Britton, and I discuss are how they came to write their book, the external trends that are forcing sales organizations to change, what established companies can learn from agile startups, and the new melding of inside and field sales teams.

October 26, 2016

How to Increase Win Rates on Qualified Leads. With Dan McDade. #289

My guest on this episode of Accelerate! is Dan McDade, Founder and CEO of PointClear and author of The Truth About Leads. Among the many topics Dan and I discuss are the importance of sales & marketing alignment in lead generation, effective strategies to improve sales & marketing collaboration, the differences between inside sales reps and outside sales executives and how to choose the right candidates for each role, and establishing good KPIs, such as the percentage of sales qualified leads an effective sales organization should expect to close.

September 16, 2016

Does it Have to be Quality vs Quantity in Prospecting? With Bridget Gleason. #255

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my very special guest, Bridget Gleason. Today’s conversation is all about the pros and cons of quantity vs. quality when it comes to proactive prospecting by inside sales teams. Is it an either/or question? And, we also dig into what should you be doing to fill your pipeline with qualified opportunities and increase your close rate. Join us now!

June 20, 2016

Using Inside Sales To Increase Revenues in Competitive Markets. With Lynn Hidy. #181

Lynn Hidy, the founder of, is an expert at creating profitable inside sales teams. In today’s episode, Lynn and I discuss how companies can use inside sales to grow revenues in competitive markets. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • How to build a motivated and enthusiastic sales team.
  • The impact that your verbal “body language” has on buyers.
  • How to accurately track of your selling time.
  • Measuring the activities that move you forward in your prospects’ buying process.
  • How to create an effective sales script.


May 19, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 159 with Jamison Powell. Is Cold Calling Still Cost Effective?

Jamison Powell is the Vice President of Sales for New Voice Media. New Voice Media provides a call center software solution designed to help you sell more by increasing the efficiency of your inside sales team. In this episode, I talk with Jamison about how to utilize the benefits of the latest sales technologies to increase your sales. Among the topics we discuss:

  • Why do sales reps still treat their customers like strangers?
  • Is cold calling still a cost-effective way to prospect?
  • How to automate your sales process using the latest sales enablement technologies.
  • Why phone-based, or conversation-based, sales will remain the most effective way to connect with prospect.


May 8, 2016

The Best of Accelerate! How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue. With Aaron Ross

In this episode, originally published on Feb 9, 2016, Aaron Ross, discussed the lessons that sales leaders had learned about building highly scalable revenue machines in the time since the publication of his influential first book, Predictable Revenue. He has captured many of these lessons in case studies contained in his new book (written with co-author Jason Lemkin), From Impossible to Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue. In this information-packed episode we discuss key topics from this book including:

  • The steps required to plan for sales success.
  • How to increase you chances for success by Nailing a Niche
  • Why you can’t prove your sales model by selling to friends of friends.
  • How to avoid being trapped in the Trust Gap
  • The vital role that Customer Success plays in driving revenue growth
  • And much, much more!

Want to learn how to accelerate revenue growth for your company? Don’t miss out on this episode!

May 3, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 147 with Bob Perkins. The Future (and Present) of Inside Sales.

Bob Perkins is the founder and Chairman of the rapidly growing American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP). (If you’re in sales and you’re not a member, you should join.) He has more than 20 years of leadership experience focused on building, improving, and leading inside sales teams. In this episode, Bob and I talk about the future development of inside sales and the increasing impact it will have on all sales reps and businesses. Be sure to listen as we cover many topics including:

  • What are the short-term challenges occurring within inside sales?
  • How does the increasing use of sales technologies affect inside sales?
  • How increasing sales automation could change the P2P (person to person) aspect of selling.
  • The future evolution of more specialized roles in sales.
  • How traditional sales training needs to change to meet the need of inside and field sales teams.
April 21, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 139 with Micheline Nijmeh. Improving Sales Team Productivity.

Micheline Nijmeh is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at LiveHive, a unified Sales Acceleration Platform that delivers enhanced sales team productivity, email effectiveness, and follow-up through automation and engagement analytics. Among the sales productivity topics Micheline and I discuss are:

  • What forces are shifting the balance between inside sales and field sales positions?
  • What necessary sales disciplines have slipped in recent times as sales increasingly shifts towards inside sales?
  • Why sales on-boarding processes need to change and how to decrease the amount of time required to train new sales reps.
  • What inside sales reps must do to create positive first impressions on prospects.
  • How to prioritize your investments in new sales technologies.
  • What are buyer-side analytics? And why are they important drivers of sales productivity?