These days, sales managers are having to balance both training and leading teams of SDRs remotely. Even in-person teams have their own issues and problems. With no clear answers for the questions: 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? It's easy for sales managers to fail.
As a sales manager, how can you ensure this doesn't happen?
We asked 11 sales leaders for their #1 tip for managing SDRs. This group is comprised of millennials and baby boomers. From companies small and large. They offer a variety of perspectives, all by people who have proven that they can successfully lead a sales team. Among them, they have trained or managed hundreds, if not thousands, of sales professionals in their careers.
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 (CEO and Founder @ Scott Leese Consulting, LLC): "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 Mealy (Sr. Director of Business Development @ Brex): "Build meaningful relationships with individuals and create an environment of positivity and trust.”
Annie Lei (CSO of Global Strategy and Business Development @ 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 Attentive): "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 @ AlwaysHired): "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 two legs to correct it."
Derek Rahn (VP of Sales and Customer Success @ 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 Commercial 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 (Sr. Account Executive @ Verkada): "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."
Some of their answers may be surprising, and others may be things you already know. But they can give you a good start for how you as a sales manager should lead your team. Remember, you also must be willing to listen and adapt. Sales is always changing. The relationships between your team and your customers are always changing. And your team is always changing. Flexibility in sales is crucial for long-term success.
We have SDR candidates that are trained in Salesforce, Outreach, are ready to book demos, and want to interview with you. We support companies like Mulesoft and Workato grow their sales teams, and our SDRs have less than a 10% churn rate SDRs and hit quota 40% faster. Schedule a call with our team and see why we're the choice for SDR talent for Okta, Demandforce, SalesLoft, CallidusCloud, and more.
About AlwaysHired Sales Bootcamp
AlwaysHired Sales Bootcamp is an intensive remote live instructor-led sales training program connecting hard-working and motivated job seekers with high growth technology companies across the country. Founded in 2015, it has 250+ alumni working at companies such as CallidusCloud, Google, Mulesoft, Okta, Yelp, Lever, Demandforce, and more.
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