There are countless pitfalls for SDRs and sales managers alike when working in technology sales. How much sales training should the rep be receiving? What should the time management for the sales manager look like? How much blame should be placed on a sales rep versus a sales manager for not hitting quota? All of these questions arise when quotas are not met. The way(s) to ensure this doesn't happen?Learn from 11 sales leaders what their #1 tip is for managing SDRs! This group is comprised of millennials and baby boomers. From companies small and large. I wanted to get a variety of perspectives from people who have proven that they can successfully lead a sales team. Between them, they have trained or managed hundreds (if not thousands) of sales professionals in their career.So, "what is your #1 tip for managing sales reps?"
Richard Harris (Founder @The Harris Consulting Group): "There is no such thing as a 'difficult' conversation. There are however 'uncomfortable conversations.' When you have to engage one of these conversations. Acknowledge your own discomfort, write it down, 'this makes me uncomfortable because...' and then write the response back to yourself about how to handle the discomfort.Sam Nelson (SDR Leader @ Outreach): "Hiring effectively is the most critical part of the job."Scott Leese (SVP of Sales @ Qualia): "My job [the job of sales managers] is to help them [sales reps] remove obstacles (real and perceived) out of the way. Simple as that."Ashley Kelly (Sr. Director of Business Development @ Brex): "Build meaningful relationships with individuals and create an environment of positivity and trust.”Annie Lei (SVP of Business Development and Strategy @ Surkus): "Set clear goals and a path to get to those goals. But most importantly, make sure your team knows you got their back as they set out to achieve those goals."John Affourtit (VP of Sales at Operam): "Always ensure an alignment of incentive for your team both individually and as a group. Alignment drives motivation to succeed and win."Gabriel Moncayo (Co-Founder & CEO @ Always Hired): "Remember what they care about. Are they saving up for a ring, a trip, a house? Most people in sales have financial goals. Remember those goals and always speak to them."Chris Dyer (Head of Sales @ Deepgram): "For literally any issue, you can solve it with the Behavior, Attitude, Technique triangle... A performance management technique where if an SDR is having an issue with something like cold calls it stems from one of those legs of the triangle and you use the other 2 legs to correct it."Derek Rahn (VP of Sales @ LeadGenius): "Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Living in the trenches with the reps and demonstrating the 'right' behavior is the only way to get true adoption of best practices. Basically, walk the walk."Tom Hemmingsen (Director of Sales @ Five9): “At the simplest form we strive to create an environment where every member of the team has access to continuous skill development, a path to promotion and fair compensation for their work.”Andres Cano (Sales Manager @ Plethora): "Sales is like working out at the gym, muscle doesn't build overnight. It takes time, discipline, and a countless number of reps and sets. Give it a few months and you will see your results when staying committed to the process."
The answers from these industry titans are only the beginning. They give you a good start on how a sales manager should lead their team. But you also must be willing to listen and adapt. Sales is always changing. The relationships between your team and customers are always changing. And your team is always changing. Flexibility in sales is crucial for long term success. Remember this (and everything said above) when you are managing your group of SDRs.
Reminder: we have sales training videos online that will give you a preview of what our bootcamp is like as well as the day-to-day life of SDRs.We also have other blog posts that may be of interest to you including: The Best Sales Stack, Do You Need A Degree For Sales, and Death Of A Salesperson.