At The Harris Consulting Group we have been very fortunate in our business to help build or train many different sales teams and more specifically SDR teams. The Sales Development role, while perhaps new to many is not really that knew in our opinion. They used to be called Telemarketers, then Telesales, then Inside Sales, then Lead Gen, and now Sales Development. While the other names mentioned still exist it is the new SDR Team that is all the rage and has become very specialized.
So when I heard about Rainmaker2015 in Atlanta being hosted by SalesLoft and they were putting on the first ever event designed specifically for the SDR Role I just knew I had to go. I could not have been more excited. I have been a fan and user of SalesLoft for a few years now.
If you want to know what made Rainmaker2015 so special you can read our other post here. However that is not the purpose of this article. The purpose of this article is to give those who want to build or improve a SDR team some tips and best practices learned along the way. Many of these items do come from the Rainmaker conference while others are based on our experiences working with clients like Mashery, Spanning, LevelEleven, Gainsight, and Outbound Engine.
Take a look and let us know what you think:
Building an SDR Team
- If you want to go into high growth as an organization you better have an SDR team.
- SDRs are the future of business revenue.
- The SDR is officially a job with real skills.
- SDR Team does not report to sales or marketing, it is it’s own unit.
- Sales Development is here to stay and must have a seat the executive table.
- Sales Development is like parenting. Not just the reps but the prospects too.
- SDRs are not your “cheaper solution” to market research. Don’t waste their time.
- To scale a good SDR team you need: Training, Efficiency, Measurement, and Coaching
- Just because someone managed a closing team does not mean they will be good at managing SDRs.
- Those who look down upon or see the SDR role as lessor role than a traditional sales role are cancerous, get rid of them.
SDR Team Landscape
- Always have at least 2 SDR’s, even for an early stage start-ups.
- Always hire SDR’s in pairs, they will do better.
- Average SDR tenure 14.2 months.
- Ramp Time for an SDR is around 1 month
- High Growth Companies have 1:1 SDRs to AE ratio and Super High Growth Companies have 2:1 (2SDR:1AE)
- Just like sales teams, SDR teams should specialize: Inbound vs Outbound, Market Specialization, and Enterprise vs SMB or Mid-Market are a few suggestion
- SDR’s must be great communicators in written and verbal formats
- If your SDR’s do not have their own specific dashboards based on their job, then you do not have an SDR team.
- Grow salespeople not sales.
- 3 Types of Training: Product Training, Tools Training, and Sales Training
- SDR training is 1-2 weeks, 2 weeks is best practice
- Training never stops
- No 1:1s in the office, no laptop, go for a walk. Get to know your people.
- Coaching an SDR on live calls is most invaluable training of all.
- Your SDR’s should go on sales calls with their AE’s
- SDR’s should always run the intro to the first call with the AE and properly do introductions and handoff.
- SDR should join as many sales calls as possible without distracting them from their regular job.
- Tools exist where a rep can walk in the door and know who to call, who to email and which script or outline they should be using based on which the specific touch of that person in their cadence.
- You must teach SDR’s not only how to listen, but also what they should be listening for.
- The phone is not dead.
- If you do not have phones, you do not have a real SDR team.
- Dialing a phone is still a requirement of the SDR Team and a part of the SDR Process
- Absolutely no way to make 100 calls and log tasks in SFDC. If you believe this, you’ve never tried to do it yourself.
- Going old school with phone “Power Hours” still works as long as your team has the proper resources.
- Tools exist to where a team of 4 SDRs can drive 80,000 dials in a single year.
- Prospect accounts, not people.
- Prospecting is about making it personal to the people at those accounts.
- Prospecting is about being genuine.
- Prospecting is not just about smile and dial.
- Prospecting is not about email blasting.
- No account is done until at least two people say no.
- SDRs cannot properly prospect unless they have the right message based on industry, title, and role.
- For an inbound SDR team to be really good, they still need to do some outbound prospecting
- Be very specific about their job role
- Be very specific about the metrics and kpi’s they are required to maintain.
- Be very specific about a potential career path.
- Any misalignment between what is said in an interview and what reality is like for an SDR will hurt your chance for success.
- If possible, have an SDR ghost a current SDR while making phone calls as part of the interview process.
- Tell your candidate being an SDR is a grind and they will probably hate it. Then measure their reaction.
- Ask your candidate the following:
- When was the last time you lost. If they can’t remember, they are not a good candidate.
- How does it make you feel when you lose? If they say “they don’t mind”, they are not a good candidate.
- What’s the best reward you ever got for doing a good job? If they don’t have an answer, they are not a good candidate.
Hopefully by now you’ve found 1-2 ideas that will help you on your journey towards building a highly effective and efficient SDR Team. While not all teams are the same the challenges they face are very similar. If you have a challenge you’d like to get some advice about please just contact us.