Six Crazy Easy Tips from Experts to Boost New SDR Success Rates

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Effective management of new sales development reps (SDRs) is key to boosting their success rate. To do this, you need to focus on training, conduct comprehensive onboarding, help new reps engage with mentors, encourage self-motivation, teach new reps to be proactive, and set attainable goals.

Do you ever find yourself wondering how you can help boost success rates for new sales development reps (SDRs)? In the first episode of my podcast, INSIDE Inside Sales on SLMA Radio (Sales Lead and Management Association), I talked with Lori Richardson about How to Succeed as a New SDR.

Lori has helped onboard over 1,000 SDRs, BDRs, and AEs in the last three years. She is the Founder of Score More Sales, a sales consultancy that helps company leaders to address issues in their sales teams and grow more revenue. Below I’m revealing some of the insights and sales tips we uncovered for sales leaders, as well as some post-show thoughts sparked by our conversation.

6 Tips to Boost Success Rates for New SDRs

Tip 1 — Focus on training as a process, not a one-time action item.

There’s no set prescription for how to succeed in sales; it’s a constant learning process. According to HubSpot, high-performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training as low performing ones. Surprisingly, the average company only spends about $2,000 a year in sales training compared to the $10,000 to $15,000 to hire an individual. Is it time to reevaluate budget allocation and place the focus on enabling your team with knowledge?

Tip 2 — Conduct comprehensive onboarding; it’s a necessity for success.

As a sales leader, you have insights into your business that you can’t expect a new sales rep to know. What are the common objections? What wording should they use on a call? When is the best time to call? These are all items that you should cover during your onboarding process, as well as automate through a sales engagement solution.

Brainshark reported that about 60 percent of sales reps don’t fully ramp up until they’re in the position for a minimum of seven months, and 20 percent take a year. Guidance, playbooks, and other forms of direction are helpful, but Lori says that “there’s a certain amount of learning that just happens as you go along, and I think patience is what’s really important.”

With new sales reps, there’s a certain amount of learning that just happens as you go along, and I think patience is what’s really important. #traing #onboarding #sales Click To Tweet

Tip 3 — Help new reps engage with successful salespeople at the company.

Create a mentorship/shadowing program, or at least let your new hires know who is an ideal person to look up to in their role. It should be someone that is happy at the company and hitting their quotas. Your newbie rep will learn a lot from watching how other experienced sales professionals engage with prospects and achieve success.

Tip 4 — Encourage self-motivation.

Lori recommends sales professionals take a moment to look in the mirror at the end of the day, and ask themselves, “What did I do today that’s going to lead us to more revenues in the near term?” She says the exercise will keep them on track and lead to more closed deals.

Motivation is not something that can be taught. The SDR needs to have their own drive for success.

“What did I do today that’s going to lead us to more revenues in the near term?” #sales #motivation Click To Tweet

Tip 5 — Teach new reps not to wait around; pick up the phone and call.

Teach your new reps that when they’re not getting a response on their email, to pick up the phone and call. They must get over whatever it is that’s holding them back – inexperience, lack of confidence, fear, etc. – making calls is not an option.

Daniel Disney tells a story in this blog post about how a salesperson taped a note to their phone that said, “Pick me up. I make you money.” Humorous, yet encouraging to take action. He also shares a few tips to overcome the fear of making cold calls that will be useful for your new SDRs.

Tip 6 — Set attainable goals.

A study from Harvard University discovered that students who followed a goal-oriented plan performed 30 percent better than those who didn’t. Your new SDRs may not be in school, but they are learning. Instead of shouldering them with an intimidating quarterly quota, Lori recommends small goals. It could be to close the first deal, make a certain number of calls, etc. Anything that creates a sense of achievement when attained.

Remember, no one has all the answers. When starting out in a sales career, everything is new, and it’s hard to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Support your team and the sales profession as a whole by passing on your knowledge and patiently guiding your new SDRs to sales success!

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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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