The Sales Development (SDR) industry is a vibrant, fun, and endlessly fascinating group of people, companies, and challenges: David Dulay

David Dulay is the founder and CEO of Tenbound. I am excited to feature his interview.

Tell us about the founding story behind

After running Sales Development (SDR) teams for several years for B2B SaaS companies I was between jobs and picked up some consulting work to help companies start, train and run SDR teams. Mostly with people I used to work with who were struggling with their SDR program and knew my work. At the same time, I had been interested in entrepreneurship for many years, and dreamed of starting a company, but never took the plunge due to the proverbial “golden handcuffs”.

After several months I stopped looking for a regular job and found I could make a living and run a business doing something I loved with Tenbound, so I dove in 100%.

The Sales Development (SDR) industry is a vibrant, fun, and endlessly fascinating group of people, companies, and challenges, and over the years Tenbound has grown to become the center of this industry with our content, research, training, and events. When people need help figuring out Sales Development, they come to Tenbound. I believe that passion comes through.

How did your past experiences help you shape your sales coaching and advisory business?

Being in the Sales training and the SaaS industry for several years prior to going independent, I grew to understand the complex challenge of working in corporate environments and being responsible for generating a sales pipeline.

Having a third-party advisor come in to help fix problems can be a breath of fresh air for companies, as sometimes it’s hard to solve problems you’ve been struggling with and are too close to. By accessing Tenbound’s research and content, and then working through the challenges with our Advisors, we can help accelerate performance for companies.

What made you write the book “The Sales Development Framework?” and what insights a sales professional could gain from the book?

After being an SDR Manager myself, and then working with SDR teams through Tenbound, after a while, patterns of success with Sales Development leaders began to come up over and over. Initially, these patterns were developed as part of our SDR Manager/Director Training program and then further developed as the chapters in the books. These are boiled down to mastering Culture, Leadership, Hiring, Onboarding, Training, Coaching, Analysis, Results and Reputation. If you can nail each one, you’re on your way to running a successful SDR team.

Tell us about Sales Development (SDR) Program Score?

The Scorecard gives you a quick snapshot, based on the factors discussed in the book, of how your SDR program looks now and where there may be some room for improvement. It breaks your SDR program into the three big factors we always start with working with our clients: People, Process, and Technology. Usually, one, two, or three of these factors are broken in some way and need some work to develop.

For example, you could have amazing people, and great training/coaching, along with a bulletproof Sales Dev process, but you’re using old and outdated technology. Or your process is great, and your tech is state of the art, but you hired the wrong people and aren’t doing enough training and performance management. It’s never-ending.

You also seem to help people choose the right sales tools. How important according to you are Sales tools to run a sales process in a company?

The SDR Tech stack is growing each year, and Tenbound has gathered the major tools and services in our industry into what is the only comprehensive Market Map and Directory. Sales Development leaders can review all the tools and services in one place. Technology is critical to be able to compete today; your competitors are using these tools and if you don’t, you’re missing opportunities. Imagine driving a VW Bus in a Formula One race. You’re going to get lapped.

Tell us about your experience hosting sales podcasts. Personally, I wanted to learn your perception about a video interview and a podcast.

Back when I first started Tenbound there were just a handful of Sales Development-related Podcasts, and I didn’t see any focus on a higher-level view of the profession. We interview practitioners across the Go-to-market team; Marketing, Sales Development, Sales, Tech tools, SDRs, and everyone involved in building sales pipeline. The idea is to open the door to the conversations that happen at a high level and give everyone a seat at the table. We record most of the in audio format only but occasionally will add a video interview as well. Most people seem to prefer a video interview.

Share a few words about your experience organizing the Tenbound sales development conference.

Back in 2017 there were many conferences in the San Francisco area being held by software companies, and a few by independent third parties but not focused and dedicated 100% to Sales Development. I approach a conference company at that time in the space and they weren’t interested, so took the advice of Richard Branson and said “screw it, let’s do it”. Sales Development has always been seen as an “entry-level” role or a “dead end’ for career growth, yet at the same time is a critical strategic initiative for high-growth companies.

I thought it was time to elevate the profession and bring the top minds in the industry together to collaborate, network, and learn. The first one was a smashing success and they kept growing until covid killed the in-person conference business, and we switched to Virtual in 2020. We continued doing Virtual in 2021 and held our first In-Person event in late 2021 back in San Francisco. It was a big success and we’re planning our 2022 In-person now.

Tell us about your family and the place you live.

My wife and I live near San Francisco, have two boys in elementary school, and a rescue dog, all of which keep us busy. We both work at home, so covid is/was a huge challenge. My life is essentially my family and work, with the occasional early morning run or workout thrown in.

How can people reach you for sales coaching?

Reach me at Tenbound. Happy to set up a call and discuss your Sales Development challenges!

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