Your SDR’s do a great job setting the stage for your sales reps. But you and I both know you could get more out of them. I’m here to tell you that you can get double their impact – this year.
But ultimately, it’s going to count on you and your training prowess as you focus on the 4 needle-movers that I have seen work every time. Read this over and over if you want… but you must execute. I want to hear back on this one because I know this is as good as gold.
#1 – Train them to do Needs-Based Selling
Oh, mistake of mistakes: Your SDR is on the phone with a prospect and misses out on key differentiating info that changes everything, because they’re not really listening. The SDR thinks they have it all under control, thinks they know the sales process for this product or service like the back of their hand.
Your job is to remind them that if they’re looking at the back of their hand, they’re looking at the wrong place! No two calls are alike, and telling is NOT selling.
Wake them out of the stupor by training them to listen again. Train them to bring a consultative approach to the each call.
One of my all-time favorite examples of this is the 1999 “Selective Attention Test” by Simons and Chabris. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/vJG698U2Mvo Maybe have them watch it too, to prove your point.
In your next training, teach them to listen for specific telltale phrases and have them tell you how they would realign their messaging, and how they’d change their questions as a result. This will win you back real qualified opportunities that they’ve been systematically missing.
#2 – Train them in Teachability
Teach them to be taught. Tough requirement for doubling your revenue, but worth it. So, which of your SDR’s has the biggest ego problem? Let’s talk about that. Maybe they’ve “earned” their ego by being untouchable on the phones. But a big ego can only get an SDR so far. Eventually, they’ll plateau and need to face their new max point soberly.
If you want to train a stallion, you need to help them identify their breaking point. Help them to understand the difference between confidence and ego, and how one is productive while the other is counterproductive.
Depending on the person, you can be direct. You could ask them about their stresses, temptations, past failures. Then ask them about their lucky breaks, or times when someone gave them an undeserved leg up. Make humility and teamwork a metric they can work on improving. Guide them through the process of setting personal goals so they can develop in the areas that you, as their leader, point out to them.
#3 – Build up Their Grind and Hustle (Yes, This CAN be Trained)
In psychologist Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, she explains “where talent counts once, effort counts twice.”
Duckworth highlights a specific formula that illustrates this well:
TALENT x EFFORT = SKILL
- Without effort, talent is useless. Without talent, effort isn’t skillful.
SKILL x EFFORT = ACHIEVEMENT
- Without effort, skill will lead you nowhere. Without skill, effort won’t result in meaningful achievement.
The key component of skill and achievement (both of which you’ll definitely want from your SDR’s) is effort, otherwise known as grind or hustle.
Train your SDR’s in effort by helping them set reachable goals. Point out even their most micro-successes toward these goals so that they’re acquainted with their own growth. It’s your job to help them see how improvements can be attainable, but go the extra mile by showing true belief in them. Tell your SDR’s that you know they are capable of great things and help them arrive at a clear vision they can hope for.
#4 – Train them in Grit and Hunger
The SDR faces rejection hundreds of times a day, and no matter their skill level, this is just par for the course. While no level of training can make them impervious to rejection, you can teach them to bounce back faster. To build grit and keep the hunger, help your SDR’s see that setbacks are temporary and required on the path to success. It’s imperative that they keep a big-picture perspective as they continue to pony up.
If an SDR comes to you with a broken spirit or a beaten-down attitude, don’t leave that conversation without helping them take one meaningful action toward their goals. This tiny bit of momentum will make a world of difference for them. Sometimes, one small action is all that’s needed for an SDR to get back on track.
To help them regain a positive view of themselves, remind them of a time when their problem solving or instincts showed up and saved the day. Above all, be sure your SDR’s work environment is supportive. If the workplace has an overall negative vibe, all your efforts to help them build in this area will be thwarted. It’s worth the fight.
Remember, everyone is different when it comes to bouncing back. Ask your SDR what has worked for them in the past to recover after setbacks in life, and help them connect the dots.
Do you as an SDR manager have the support you need to see this through? These 4 areas seem simple but in practice, they are anything but. As a manager of people, you’ve built up an arsenal of techniques that work well for you with different individuals. Now with these 4 areas to work on, all that know-how is about to pay off – big time.
I know my readers are some of the most talented sales managers around, or I wouldn’t dangle these 4 ideas along with the prospect of doubled leads. It takes real dedication to get it done. Want to talk through any of these? I’m happy to be a sounding board for you.
Until next time,