There are lots of other creative, low-cost ways to keep your SDRs engaged and happy. SDR ruts are avoidable if you are deliberate about the culture you create, and make the right investments of your time and energy into systematically building in ways to sustain the ongoing efforts of the role.
I am a believer that SDRs have the most difficult job on the sales team—trying to break through to busy buyers to get that first “yes”, drawing them into qualifying questions and gaining commitment on the next steps. This stuff isn’t easy. As a sales leader, you have to head ruts off at the pass.
The Generalist. The Metrics-Drive Hard Ass. The Bull in a China Shop. The Keynote Speaker. The Blogger. All in all, I am so grateful for all of the experiences I had with the 5 sales consultants. I hope this helps you decide what type of sales consultant is right for you, and what to expect out of the engagement. Of course, results will vary—so much of what happens between a consultant and an organization is chemistry, timing and culture.
So often reps, and sales managers, are afraid to disqualify a deal and get it out of the pipeline, but all that does is take up space (mental and actual) for the good deals. A prospect who is dark, or a prospect who is not working the deal with—these are just false positives. False hope. And hope isn’t a strategy to hit quota. It’s a crutch that prevents you from working on the skills needed to sell value and sell solutions to business problems.
I have lots of ways I like to approach planning and goal setting, depending upon the team, the situation, the company culture and the goals. Planning is contextual—I am equally down for a formal, rigorous, highly detailed plan, or something scribbled out on the back of a napkin. Each has their merits and their place. If you are a leader who eschews planning, but knows you need to do it anyway, here is a simple framework.
When I first found myself actually running a sales team (versus running a small band of gypsies trying to sell a pre-market product in a nascent category), I didn’t really have a rudder. Or a culture. Or a process. Or…I didn’t have anything. Just a team of people who wanted to work at our company and sell our product. It was a start. Here’s how I set out to create my foundation.
There is no one right way to run a lean, profitable company. Every team, every product, every market is different. It’s the spirit of running profitably that’s the same no matter what size or shape the company is. So the formula is really pretty simple…
Many times in the early days of running our first company, I lost my temper with an employee. I criticized and I complained. If things weren’t done exactly as I wanted them or if someone had not lived up to my impossibly high expectations, I was pretty vocal in my displeasure. I didn’t go on rampages, and I didn’t scream at the top of my lungs. But I would be too candid, too firm, too upset, too frank, too unpleasant about whatever the disappointment was.Here’s how I learned to contain my emotions at work.
I only have a few entrepreneurial regrets, and losing my ability to do deep work is one of them. As we grew, I wasn’t doing the deep work myself anymore, I was supervising the people who did the deep work…I blame myself and the choices I made that let me slip into this distraction-filled, adrenaline-fueled existence. A company needs its leaders to do deep work, so this was definitely a shortcoming of mine. I was allowing the shallow, urgent work take all of my attention, and lulling myself into thinking that was my job. Here’s how I am fixing it.
As a sales leader, can you or should you, expect your sales reps to be ‘always on’?YES. Within reason. That’s the job of a sales person, and we shouldn’t be afraid to expect that of our reps.