*Editors Note: This is a guest post written by the Head of Inside Sales at Namely, Chris Flores. Namely is an All in One HR solution for fast growing companies.
You did it! You just hired a new Sales Development Representative! He or she is 24 years old, with plenty of lead generation experience, is sharp, and is ready to crush it. Now what?
Whether they are SDR hire #1 or #20, you need to get them up and running quickly and efficiently. It’s your responsibility to show them the ropes so they can start producing for your company.
For many companies, the ramp-up time for new sales professionals typically is 6 months or more, but Inside Sales has changed. Sales Automation tools, like email and dialing technology, have turned SDRs into revenue generating machines. When you feed them the right amount of training with the right amount of technology, that machine pumps out killer results. Here are some hacks on how to do it:
1. Set Expectations and Create a Training Schedule:
You’ve hired correctly, so your new candidate is coachable. Now give them your 2 week onboarding schedule. Make it scalable by putting every new SDR through the same process, regardless of where they are in their career. The 2 weeks should be dedicated to product knowledge, buyer personas, competition, tools training, and plenty of role-plays.
As a Sales Manager, you need to be actively involved with training new hires. This will send the message that their company takes training seriously and you can accurately evaluate new hire progress. Here’s an example of an SDR 2 week onboarding schedule:
2. Create a Library of Sales and Company Resources
To make it easier for your new hire, create a library of all resources in the cloud. Use applications like Google Drive or Dropbox and share it with your entire sales force.
Here are some suggestions for your library:
- Sales Playbook
- This is your sales bible! You’ll find best practices for prospecting, objection handling, CRM maintenance, and how to use tools to maximize productivity.
- Industry Articles
- Always stay on top of your industry and share best practices, new trends, blogs, and top social media profiles to follow.
- Sales Articles
- Share resources on cold calling and email tips, social selling, new technologies, and new trends in sales development.
- Put your cold call, voicemail, and email scripts here.
- Weekly Sales Huddle Slides
- Throw in PowerPoint slides on product trainings, sales contests, and new changes in your sales processes.
- Competitor Overviews
- Have your reps complete a SWOT analysis on each of your competitors. It’s important to keep this updated as you want to stay on top of your competition.
3. Develop a Coaching Cadence
Now this is where SDR Ramp is important. After 2 weeks of training, the coaching should never stop. During your weekly team huddles or weekly One-on-Ones, create a team wide training schedule. With a consistent coaching cadence, your team will stay flexible and up to date on fresh sales strategies, competitors and new product releases.
Here are some topics to start off your coaching cadence:
- Mental Toughness
- Coach your reps on how to stay positive during sales slumps and how having the right attitude helps them reach their goals.
- Time Management
- Provide tips on how to effectively manage your day, spend time prospecting, take breaks, and manage emails and their calendars efficiently.
- Handling Objections
- Have your team share their responses to some of your most common objections. Make sure everyone is involved so they can learn from each other. Create that team culture of transparency.
- Active Listening Skills
- Teach your reps on “how” to listen. Talk about the key pain points to listen for during the qualifying phone calls. Ensure that they concentrate, stop selling the product, and ask the right questions.
4. Performance Management
Give your new hire meaningful work through Cascading Goals. Each quarter have them set goals like “read 2 books”, “increase my number of dials by 10%,” or “lead in number of opportunities created”. Personal or work related, it’s important to have your reps choose their own goals and have something to work towards.
The beauty of Cascading Goals is that they can align to a team or a company goal, for example, “Close $500k in New Business in Q4”. Now they can track and visualize their impact on the company’s success.
Here’s a snapshot of how we eat our own dog food by using our solution for its Performance Management system with Goal Alignment:
Startup culture isn’t about foosball & free beer. Define your culture, communicate it, and defend it from day 1. Here are some hacks on how to do this:
- Have them come in at 10/11am during the first week of onboarding.
- This gives you time in the morning to prepare and handle your daily activities.
- Take them out for team happy hour, or a company meeting before their start date.
- Get them out the office, it’s the best way to break the new hire ice and have them get to know the team.
- Clean their desk and have their new computer waiting for them on day 1.
- It’s an awesome feeling when you first walk into a new job and your shiny new equipment is ready for you.
- Buy lunch on the first day.
- Nothing better than a free lunch! Take them to a restaurant or order takeout, anything to keep the positive vibes flowing the first day on the job.
The more you can do to help your SDRs internalize new information the faster they will ramp up. When you find SDRs who fit your success profile, you need to develop a comprehensive training program, provide ongoing sales coaching, measure and monitor sales activity levels, and keep defending your culture.
By creating this framework, you can confidently scale your sales organization and ramp up your SDRs quickly!