4 types of SDR teams: Which one is yours?

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What type of SDR team have you created? There are four types of teams: Wanderers, Pragmatists, Isolationists, and Rockstars. Determine what your team’s archetype is so that you can learn how to foster and support your team in ways to help them be successful. Keep them focused and on the path to success.


My sales development team is full of _______. How do you fill in that blank? And, please, no profanity.

Usually, sales development teams display one or two clear teamwork archetypes. The environment your organization fosters and supports has specific characteristics–and things aren’t always pretty. Every team wants to be full of Rockstars. Along the path to SDR stardom, though, some teams lose their way.

So, are you Rockstars, Wanderers, Pragmatists, or Isolationists? It’s time to find your team’s archetype.

1. Wanderers: When Your Team’s a Little Distracted.

Your team’s wandering around online (or offline, for that matter), unsure how to hit prospecting targets.

Wanderers could be disengaged in their work. Employee disengagement is painfully common and costly. According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace report, up to 85 percent of employees are disengaged or not engaged. Worldwide, this amounts to $7 trillion in lost productivity and missed opportunities. Maybe even a few missed prospecting and sales targets.

The Problem

Your team feels unmotivated, lost, and uninterested. Maybe they’ve suffered from inconsistent standards or too many rules.

What To Do About It

You can tighten the reins and pull in your Wanderers back to reality, but maybe that’s the opposite of what you need to do.

Hire top performers then take a suggestion from The World Economic Forum: free them to do what they do best. Drop the micromanager role, and loosen the reins.

  • Don’t make unnecessary rules that frustrate your team.
  • Avoid promoting the wrong people or rewarding poor performers. Your superstars will take notice, and become Wanderers if you do.
  • Reward your star players, so they stay motivated.
  • Demonstrate strength and leadership, but don’t confuse that for harshness.
Your team's wandering around online (or offline, for that matter), unsure how to hit prospecting targets. 🎯 #Sales #Prospecting Click To Tweet

2. Pragmatists: You’re Getting it Done–and That’s a Good Thing. The Bad?

Your SDRs are hitting their targets by ANY means necessary, which isn’t always the right way to do things (even when it seems to work).

Maybe they’re finding leads, but the lead sourcing is a bit “suspect,” or perhaps their leads tend to wash out later on the sales cycle. Hmm…

The Problem

Your team is focused on metrics but missing the big picture. Alternatively, they know how to meet goals, but in the process, they’re taking shortcuts.

What To Do About It

The solution depends on whether their actions are just missing the point or deliberately crossing into an ethically-shady territory. Obviously, the honest thing to do is to prospect without using methods that could risk your organization’s compliance or hurt your brand’s reputation.

People who are prospecting the wrong way (and you’ll know it when you see it) need guidance. In some cases, even disciplinary action may be appropriate. Regardless, there should be standards, and it may take sitting down with the team and reviewing these standards to make them really stick.

While we’re at it, here’s a list of Pragmatist prospecting and sales behaviors you should abandon right now:

  • Not really listening to your prospects.
  • Offering a “bait and switch.”
  • Lying to prospects and telling them what they want to hear.
  • Guilting someone into buying.
  • Tricking people into scheduling a meeting with you or answering a phone call.
  • Not disclosing important information.
Your #SDRs are hitting their targets 🎯 by ANY means necessary, which isn't always the right way to do things (even when it seems to work). 🤔#Sales Click To Tweet

3. Isolationists: Your Team is…a Group of Individuals Trying to “Put the ‘I’ in Teamwork.”

They’re talented, if only they could start working together.

Instead, they’re all jockeying for the number one spot. It’s great that they want to be star players, and even a little competition on teams is a healthy thing. However, your team is competitive to the point that they can’t even seem to remember they all work for the same company.

The Problem

Your team members would all sell each other out to hit their targets. Throwing coworkers under the bus is nothing if it hits goals.

What To Do About It

Take a good hard look at your company culture and where you want it to be. Then, start thinking of what incentives and changes it’ll take to get there. Isolationists are in it for themselves, so you might need to reemphasize hiring the right people or change the incentives and conditions shaping your corporate environment.

Rewarding cooperation may be just the thing you need to reform your Isolationists. Whenever one person does something that benefits the entire company, that’s teamwork that should be rewarded. Sometimes, incentives do nothing but divide top performers against each other, and that’s definitely not what you want to do.

Your #SDRs are talented, if only they could start working together. 🤝#Sales #SalesManagement Click To Tweet

4. Rockstars: When Your Team’s Excelling at Prospecting

Congratulations, you’re absolutely crushing it! A highly-functional team of accomplished sales dev ninjas.

Whatever you’re doing, it’s working. Your group is cooperating and getting work done. There shouldn’t be any problems here, but keep in mind that even the best teams can still do better. Commit yourselves to continuous improvement and look for ways to boost your team’s performance. A sales engagement platform could help you get your SDRs on the same page, so that can be a worthwhile thing to add to your team’s arsenal.

Or…Do You Have All the First Three?

No SDR team is perfect. You can accept that challenge because it will help you find more ways to grow stronger as an organization. Many teams need help–help with prospecting, mastering social media, sales followup, or something else entirely.

Many teams need help--help with #prospecting, mastering social media, #sales followup, or something else entirely. Get to know your #SalesReps to know how to help them succeed. Click To Tweet

Regardless of what it is, you can get through this together. The best teams are always the ones that are relentless about retooling and finding something that works while also respecting the prospect and delivering excellent customer experiences. Your organization can do just that and commit to earning the Rockstar label, even if it’s not an immediate result of sales coaching, training, or hiring great people. Improvement happens in stages, so it’s important to give your team what they need and be patient while they seek better results.

Now that you know what your SDR team archetype really is, what’s your next step?

 

Are You Hiring for Attitude, or Hiring for Experience? Watch Now!


Darryl Praill

Darryl Praill, Chief Marketing Officer of VanillaSoft, is a high-tech marketing executive with over 25 years’ experience spanning startups, re-starts, consolidations, acquisitions, divestments and IPO’s. He has been widely quoted in the media including television, press, and trade publications. He is a guest lecturer, public speaker, and radio personality and has been featured in numerous podcasts, case studies, and best-selling books.

Praill is a former recipient of the coveted Forty Under 40 Award, and has held senior executive roles in leading companies including Sybase, Cognos (now IBM), webPLAN (now Kinaxis), and CML Emergency Services (now AIRBUS). He has raised over $50 million in venture funding across multiple organizations and consulted with world-class corporations including Salesforce, SAP, and Nielsen. He is a Computer Science graduate from Sheridan College.

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