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Panel – Sales Confidence | SDR Event October 2019

What advice would you give someone who’s just started off in their sales role to make sure that they have the best possible start to their career?

I think this one ties in nicely enough with my talk a little, but to be honest just go like metal with everyone around you, like sometimes when you’re new to companies you know your manager all makes you introduce yourself to other people in the business and everything, and I’m sure some of you work like different sized companies, but typically the first thing I did when I came to my company was I just spent like half an hour in everyone’s diary who was in my office, office of 20, so not mental but literally just getting to know every different function all aspects of the business, how the whole sort of structure of the business works, so I’m getting a good perspective of everything that’s going on. And then through doing that you’re subsequently you’re starting to understand right well that guy knows his shit, I want to know what he’s about and start spending more time with that person, or you know you hear something interesting from someone else and then you’re going to get bit of an inside perspective into the business, but also into your role right, like you speak to your manager and they’ll sell the job to you and what you’re doing, but then seeing someone else you’re like oh well wait a second, that person does my job but they’re talking about and they’re telling me something valuable about them too. So I think very simply  put, when you’re new to a job, just make sure that you like really spending time just getting to know everyone around you so yeah.

So you all have your own boarding stuff you have to learn the process and you learn the product and your market and everything like that, but I think something we do is we have this thing where every Friday we’ll get together we’ll do a pitched you know presentation to the rest of the group. I think when you start I’d say just book something in that’s just throwing you in the deep end that means you got to learn something, you’ve just got to get yourself out then you’re gonna have to perform and book that in and then I think that’ll help you really develop.

I think the most important thing when you starting as an SDR is actually being one step ahead okay, so if you’re a manager asks you to do two and you do four okay. You always want to work a lot harder, you want to make sure that, you know every single prospect you want to make sure that you know the industry in and out just so that if your sales directors turn around and ask you a question, you can actually tell them this this and that okay. So I think that’s the most important thing. 

So I found out I had ADHD about eight months ago, which is kind of crazy. So when I start the job I was basically running around like a lunatic puppy, and it worked for a time, but what I’d say is just take it slow, and ask loads of questions, like when you think you’re asking too many questions, that’s when you’re asking enough questions, just keep asking and learning and then after that probation period, like this slow down with the questions, yeah just take it slow and ask loads of questions.

I think as I mentioned be a yes person, try and take advantage of every opportunity that’s in front of you. I think a piece of advice someone gave me on my first day also was add every single person you meet in your first six months on LinkedIn, it just helps you to understand where everybody is situated, and how everybody works together, and also leaves you with a killer network when you leave the company or they leave.

Okay so let’s have a – great volunteer hand up please if you’d like to ask a question, I will bring it over here.

So just to add context to my question first, so my name is Mike I’m the SDR manager at a company called Trip Actions. My task at the moment is to double the SDR team but I’m really struggling to find female SDRs or females in sales. And I think the question really another one put you on the spot but it’s mostly to Liz, what advice would you say, I mean looking at the room now it’s pretty male-dominated, what advice would you say to young female sales professionals that are trying to really develop themselves in this environment.

So I guess I’ll start by saying in London our current SDR team is of five people and they’re all women, so maybe I have a little bit of a bias but who cares. I would say in general probably the biggest barriers to people getting or two women getting started in this position is the dynamic in the room, so I think sometimes acknowledging the fact that like there’s a lot of dudes in here, ladies I think we can all agree with that! And then also just taking down what what the barriers might be, so like it’s super competitive, but you know it’s also about communication so framing what you’re talking about in such a way that maybe lend itself to more female skills but that are also very important, like all of these guys need to be able to speak to their prospects with extreme articulation, but they’re seen as hunters whereas I’m seen as a nurturer or communicator in the positioning of the position to females.

Okay another question please, I’m coming straight to the back.

I was gonna ask what’s the best way to spend your learning budget I’ve got quite a good one, I asked my LinkedIn Network yesterday and I got one reply from James Ski saying Sales Confidence and here I am! So yeah I read a lot, listened to a lot of podcasts and videos and stuff but different things when you have to spend money?

So we don’t have a training budget, but we are I know a pretty resourceful YouTube’s good place to start,, but like generally that there are so many companies out there and they’ll all try and get your attention for whatever but it’s just focus on really what you want the outcome for your team to be, like what do you actually want them to walk away from, and that will really help you focus like who you’re gonna choose because they will keep up selling and up selling more things and just yeah really focused down, but honestly like podcasts and like our boss empowers us, and like makes us, but like we want to go out, and we’re constantly learning ourselves and like we’ve been bred that environment to go out with listen to part like podcasts on the way to work, like and I’m constantly learning about my industry just from my own self. So like breeding that environment is a good place to start I think, and then people will sort of blossom into what they want to know about.

I think it’s well LinkedIn is a very good tool so I’d keep on that I’m spending more time on LinkedIn than Instagram it’s kind of worrying! But I’d say it’s also very important to actually keep it your own role, so be creative make it your own role kind of take advice from everyone, but also just keep a white board and just jot down ideas and actually look into making your own kind of statement and building your own kind of SDR, if that makes sense, building your own brand/

One more this isn’t a hashtag ad but the Venatrix like SDR training is actually really good. I learned a lot from it as well so I don’t know if you’ve done it. So that’s the only experience I had with training and don’t think we have a training budget or anything so yeah. 

Yeah just very quickly just to add on to all of those opinions and keep doing what you’re doing now like you’re asking everyone like and you’re networking and you ask to people from different companies what they’re doing like, one of the things I did when I was new to the SDR role and one things I did around to the management role, I spoke to Mike quite recently on a call and I was like we were leveraging each other, like what software you guys using, are these working for you, are they rubbish, we’re using this, do you guys know of any other better ones. You keep doing what you’re doing now, you’ll start to find out that there’s some other stuff you should be looking into and you’re doing the right thing.

Yeah I don’t think you need to rush essentially to spend your training budget but, and I think like a point I would like to add is that I think when you are doing your job you’re gonna all of a sudden and you’re gonna face things, maybe challenges, maybe things that you wish you could do a little better, so maybe you should make a little mood board of things that you’d like to do, maybe set out a list of objectives and that you would like to achieve, and if money will help you get there then spend it on it and very good question, and can we get another one please at the back again, I’m running everywhere, should have a skateboard down here.

My name is Ray – my question would be do you see the SDR role at all changing over the next five to ten years because of essentially the move towards more marketing led sales, or the evolution in different sales enablement technologies, and if so how will it change the ratio?

So our SDR teams actually gone through a bit of a evolution over the last couple years, so at one point we in almost all regions got rid of our outbound team, because our marketing was working so efficiently that we were able to generate enough leads that we didn’t need to have an outbound team in order to hit our numbers. We’re in the process of evaluating bringing that back, so to answer your question as to whether or not you think this is gonna change over the next ten years, absolutely I think it’s gonna change over the next ten months, and ten minutes even depending on every individual operates their business. And I think the marketing piece is interesting because as marketers kind of hit the nail on the head and then realize they need to readjust that that may change over time, but in general yeah absolutely I think we’re in first and massive changes over the next ten years.

Yeah I think one hundred-percent echoing a little bit what Liv said, but it’s basically it is going to change in terms of the market is always going to change, sales is always going to change, so it is going to change in terms of are we going to be glued into marketing, are we going to be sales, or are we gonna be a bit of both. Wow this is why it’s always good to kind of step out of the SDR role and kind of learn a little bit about everything, and in Matrixx, we kind of make, the SDR team makes sure that we’re kind of the glue between marketing, sales and and all of the other departments within the company okay, we have calls with the developers just to gather some ideas and actually look at what we’re doing in some regions, so I think just do a bit of everything and you’ll be able to adapt to those changes that the market is going to bring.

Okay we’ll get a couple more, and then we’ll finish off and you’re really making me run around.

So with regards to SDR, AE setup in your companies and I’m an SDR manager, just wondering how you guys actually split that out, because we’ve considered having one-on-one pairings with SDR and AEs before like we had in the past by territory, but also on we’ve gone from that to more of a SDR bank and round-robin system right now, so just wondering what you guys do your teams and what your managers do in your teams?

So I have a team of I think it’s five or four SDRs, one BDR at the moment in my team, the SDRs ae obviously doing the outbound so they’re working with the AEs. The ratio for us is two to one, so two AE’s to each SDR. And generally speaking I think that, you’ll speak to a lot of different people here who have different setups or maybe they won’t have designated ones they’ll just do it for a group and things like that, for me there’s an SDR manager and what you should be really thinking about is just like how is their relationship together. One thing I’m always emphasizing to my team but also the account execs is like how often are they sitting down, what’s the structure there bunch of ones, how are they actually collaborating with one another, to the extent where I’m not being too micromanage-y or anything. But also sitting down with the account execs and being like well how are you going on with your SDR, and doing with the SDRs I mean like how are you getting on with them. I mean the most efficient relationships will always be when they’re collaborating all of the time, I mean for me when I was in SDR I really liked my AEs and we got on very well, so when it came to targeting territories and looking at the market that they were working, we felt like we were one unit rather than I’m doing my job and you’re doing your job, so if you aim to get them doing that then you’ve hit the nail on the head in my opinion.

I’m a bit uniques so I can’t add too much than that we are a full end to end sales role, so we’re all SDRs, and then we’re put in to sort of full SDR all the way to closing roles there’s only three of us in the team. But what I think I’ve learned from that is I think kind of to add is just building that relationship, kind of knowing that I’m booking it the meetings for myself sort of thing he just builds the quality, and that if I’d apply that to my last role, I would have wish I sort of added a bit more relationship or a bit a bit more included maybe in like the Monday team meetings, like sales meetings rather than being separated which we were at the time that sort of stuff, so just bringing everyone together would be awesome.

I think it depends on the size of very of both teams, because one thing that I’m very cognizant of is protecting my SDRs because I don’t want to feed them to the wolves. I think having too big a ratio of having like five or six or seven to one they’re not gonna do a good job with any of those reps, because you need the type of relationship that was mentioned previously. And then opposingly, if you can have a 1 to 3 ratio I think personally that that’s like the sweet spot but depending on resourcing it’s not always an option so round-robin sometimes works, so it depends on your team but yeah.

Yeah it’s it’s it’s challenging and the the thing that I think of myself as being is like the gatekeeper, and it’s always my responsibility to like keep the shit of my SDRs space, and if the shit ends up being them being bombarded by so many requests that they’re not able to get their job done or hit their number or be happy and successful, that’s when I would step in and introduce a round-robin system, so it sounds like you might be in the position of making a switch.

So we actually have a one to one ratio, so every AE has an SDR, and that SDR switches between the AE every couple of months, and I mean it builds like really close relationships between the AE and the SDR to the extent in which at the beginning I mean there’s a lot of communication between the AE and the SDR, and so you know you’re building that trust, building that communication, understanding how each other works, and then sort of as it progresses you can start to come a little bit more autonomous and that gives the SDR as well like a little bit more freedom to pursue their job, because obviously SDRs want to move up into AEs, so that sort of develops it, but I understand that we’re also reviewing that as well, so I think it’s just a recurring theme, I mean not really shows right answer to it.

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