Why the SDR Model is Overused with Loren Padelford (Shopify)


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Nearly five years ago, Aaron Ross changed the world of software sales with his bestseller Predictable Revenue. He articulated a sales model that his team used to add $100M+ in revenue at Salesforce. As I’m sure most of our readers and listeners know, that model is centered around a “Cold Calling 2.0 outbound process” that has been widely adopted in the SaaS community since. The Predictable Revenue-based framework we’ll focus on here relies on two key roles: Sales Development Reps (SDRs) and Account Executives (AEs). As we’ll discuss, this SDR-AE paradigm is nearly ubiquitous, but brings with it several serious shortcomings that are rarely discussed. These shortcomings can often increase overall costs of customer acquisition and put key deals at risk, the very things it aims to mitigate.

Our guest today, Loren Padelford, is the Chief Sales Scientist at Shopify. In less than two years, he’s built Shopify Plus (of which he’s also the General Manager) into an 8-figure business, scaling its sales team from zero to 70+ heads. Loren has been a software sales leader for 10+ years, and prior to Shopify held roles with Skura, Active Risk Group and Dyadem. In our podcast today, he’ll share views on why many companies blindly adopt the Predictable Revenue-inspired strategy described above, and explain the alternative sales model that he’s used to great effect.

This podcast was one of the most insightful I’ve had the chance to host to date. Over the next five years, however, I think the framework Loren outlines will become increasingly prevalent as customers are desensitized to inside sales approaches that are over a decade old. I highly suggest every salesperson take a listen. Enjoy and happy holidays from team Bowery!

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