Post by Brenna Lofquist, Marketing Coordinator for Heinz Marketing

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) are often an underappreciated role when, in reality, they are crucial in making or breaking your pipeline. The onboarding process for managers can be very stressful dealing with a variety of personalities, the pressure of hitting new goals and an array of professional backgrounds.

Companies should be investing a great deal of time and effort into preparing their SDRs. This includes making sure they have an intensive understanding of the company and its background, the product or service, and any other details the organization deems beneficial.

An SDRs performance depends heavily on initial training from managers. While SDRs are ultimately responsible for their own performance, there are a few things that managers can emphasize and instill from the beginning that will them to be even more successful. SDRs are the ones on the front lines, reaching out to potential customers, you should want them to be fully prepared going into conversations so they are positively representing the organization.

Below are a few mistakes common to SDRs and how they can be avoided, whether that is more direction or training from a manager, or something an SDR can work on themselves.

No training or lack thereof

This is probably the most common mistake companies make. This could fall on the training manager or the SDR themselves. A brief training and then an ‘off you go, figure it out’ is not sufficient. Training should also not be limited to just the product or service. It should include specific tactics and training geared towards SDRs, this includes specific skills such as leaving a voicemail, writing a sales email, and overcoming objections.

A common training exercise that can be very beneficial when onboarding an SDR is to have them sit in with veteran SDRs. They can observe their conversations and get an idea about how to approach certain situations and see them in action, firsthand.

Lastly, make sure your SDRs are trained on the tools at their disposal. This is key because most of the time these tools can help them improve efficiency and productivity. SDRs are more likely to put in the effort to use a tool, if you can provide them with the benefits to their success.

No agreed upon goals

For an SDR to provide value to the organization, everyone must on the same page in terms of goals for the business. The definition can be refined and optimized over time however, a definition needs to be created from the get go so expectations are set for both sides.

Often, SDRs are more concerned with quantity over quality in their first few weeks of work. Make sure your organization is in agreement about the criteria for a qualified lead so you are not flooding your database, making data unreliable and incorrect. This also relates to not focusing on generating quality leads which can be a result of goals not being defined.

While this article only touches on two of the most common mistakes made by SDRs and their managers, it encompasses many details and factors that can be easily implemented for a more successful rep. If you put more time and effort into your SDRs upfront, down the road, your organization will benefit greatly.

Interested in taking a closer look at your Sales Development strategy as a whole?

Join Robert Pease and Matt Heinz for the latest Modern Marketer’s Workshop: Sales Development – The Essential Building Blocks for Revenue Growth, where you will learn how to develop the foundation and building blocks for successful Sales Development.