3 ways to be an SDR entrepreneur

Not many SDRs have started and ran their own business. Toby Parkes has. At Sales Confidence Live, Toby explained how he applies what he learned as an entrepreneur to being an SDR.

Back in October, we staged another of our exclusive SDR-only events, in partnership with Venatrix. Every talk at this event was aimed at helping SDRs be as good as they can be, bringing value to the 100+ SDRs in the audience. Based on these talks, we’ve put together some articles. Even if you couldn’t be with us at the event, you can still get inspired.

Toby Parkes

Toby Parkes is Business Development Manager at LiveStyled, helping venues, clubs and stadia to become ‘Smart’ by identifying, understanding and rewarding their visitors digitally.

However, before joining the SaaS revolution, Toby had his own company, selling golf holidays. Trust me; there’s nothing like running a business when it comes to the things you learn: about yourself, other people, markets, everything!

In his talk, Toby shared the three things he has taken from the business world to his new career in SaaS sales.

‘It’s all about mentality. You’ve got quotas, you’ve got tasks to do, you’ve got to hit the amount of calls, you’ve got meetings. But what drives you has to come from the heart.’

1 — Get creative

One of the essential parts of an SDRs job is getting through to the right people. However, it can be a challenge a lot of the time. You’ve got gatekeepers blocking your way, or you don’t know who the decision-maker is. Sometimes, you don’t know how to make a connection once you’ve got hold of them.

So, think outside the box. Ask yourself, ‘what would you do if your life depended on getting hold of this prospect?’ Then, try everything. Whatever it takes. Don’t stop until you’ve done it.

‘Go on LinkedIn. Go on Facebook. Find out where they are. If they post that they’re going to an event in Berlin, go to Berlin. Tell them you’re there and want to have a coffee. More often than not, it works like a charm.’

2 — Challenge yourself

Say yes to everything, even if it’s totally new and outside your comfort zone. Sometimes you’ll have to fake it till you make it, but at least you make it.

SDRs like Toby are often expected to be experts in their industry so they can sell consultatively, but what if you’re not an expert? Pretend to be an expert and enjoy it, while you work on expanding your knowledge. Six months down the line, you’ll be an expert!

‘I’m a massive Arsenal fan, but one of my biggest clients is Spurs. I’m on the phone every day telling them how much I love them!’

3 — Be part of the story

Whatever you’re doing in your organisation, you are part of the story. It’s easy for SDRs to feel that they’re too small a part to matter, but you need to genuinely believe that everything you do makes a difference. It keeps you motivated.

‘When I had my own business, I felt part of everything, every meeting, every deal. Now I’m in a small team, I still make that emotional connection. I’ve built a strong relationship with my AE, so I can be part of that cog too.’

How about you?

Thanks to Toby for that excellent talk. Now, we want to know what you think.

What skills have you taken into sales from other jobs you’ve done?

What do you do to keep yourself motivated every day?

Finally, tell me about a time you’ve gone the extra mile to get hold of that elusive decision-maker.

Leave a comment below and share your story with the Sales Confidence community.

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