It’s well known that there is no official route to becoming an SDR. It’s not like you can do a university course or night classes somewhere and then start sending out CVs. It just doesn’t work that way. That’s not to say that there aren’t skills you need to be successful as an SDR. There most definitely are but from a starting point of view, it’s more about your attitude than your academic background. And, let’s face it, there are things that can’t be taught. A positive outlook, a never-say-die attitude and natural curiosity are not the sort of things you’ll find in any schoolbook. As noted before though, there are skills an SDR must have and a lot of these can be taught. Having said that, the vast majority of our SDRs are university educated, are at least bi-lingual and will most likely have had some experience of working abroad, so nobody is starting completely from scratch in terms of entering a professional environment. To fully make sense of why SDRs go through training, it’s important to remind ourselves of exactly what the role of an SDR is:
SDRs are crucial to the sales process. They are responsible for qualifying leads at the initial stages in the sales funnel and must thoroughly research potential clients, connect with and talk to prospects as well as qualify leads before handing them off to more senior members of the sales team.
So, know that we know what the job entails, what skills do you need to learn to be successful in this role?
Research is an art form
In every communication you have with a prospect, it helps to know as much about them as possible. ‘What company does your prospect work for,’ ‘what’s going on in that business sector right now’ and ‘what does the prospect really need’, are just a few of the valid questions that need to be researched before any outreach is made. By conducting the research properly, SDRs are able to make an immediate, personalised connection with the prospect, which helps to build rapport. This is why SDRs are taught to research effectively, using all of the available tools at their disposal.
Be a Master of Communication
Whether it is written or spoken, the way you communicate will be of critical importance. It will define how you are perceived and how first impressions are made. On top of this, SDRs will have to communicate with many people of differing ages with different backgrounds, education levels and possibly even different cultures. This means they have to be able to communicate confidently and comfortably with everyone, regardless of whether they are in the C-suite or on the factory floor. There are techniques that can be taught on how to keep a conversation moving forward and how to move in the direction you want it to go.
Set Activity Goals
Every sales job has targets and KPIs but rather than seeing this as pressure, SDRs should view it as a consistent reminder of their progress and they should celebrate their wins. Aside from this, SDRs should always be testing and measuring their activity versus their results anyway. Put simply, this means that, if you know on average how many calls you need to make to convert one prospect, you know how many calls you need to make per day to meet your targets. This helps to remove any negativity after a rejection as the SDR know that there are more chances ahead to make the day a success.
Time is Money
In any sales job, there is always something to be doing. And, some tasks are going to be more important than others. In this situation it is particularly helpful if you are able to prioritise the important tasks from the less important ones. Once you have done that it becomes easier draw up your schedule based on that information. This is why SDRs are taught how to recognise which tasks should be completed first. Not only does leaning how to prioritise properly help to add structure to the SDR’s day, but doing things in the right order actually saves time.
Reporting Makes The World Go Round
Reports are the best way for your manager and your team to see what progress is being made. Ideally any report needs to contain all of the necessary detail, be concise and to the point. If people have questions, they’ll ask. But, the importance of reporting cannot be underestimated. It allows everyone to see the way things are going and if the current tactics are adequate or if they need to be tweaked in some way. In some cases, a report may show that the plan is not working at all and needs to be totally revised. This is why it’s so important for SDRs to learn how to write reports.
Obviously, this is just the briefest of snapshots of the amount of training that needs to be done and the topics that it needs to cover but if you’d like to know more, get in touch. We’re always happy to jump on a call.