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.
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 simple ways to ramp up SDRs to see those results as soon as possible.
1. Set Expectations and Create an SDR Onboarding Schedule
You’ve hired correctly, so your new candidate is coachable. Now give them your 2-week SDR 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 these areas:
As a Sales Manager, you need to be actively involved with training new SDRs. This will send the message that their performance matters. It also helps you 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 to organize the information, and share it with your entire sales force.
Here are some suggestions for your library:
- Sales Playbook – This is your sales bible! Include best practices for:
- Industry Articles – Keep your team on top of your industry by sharing:
- Best practices
- New trends
- Top social media profiles to follow
- Sales Articles – Include useful reading related to:
- Scripts – Include your most effective scripts, so new SDRs can get up to speed quickly.
- Cold call scripts
- Voicemail scripts
- Email scripts
- Weekly Sales Huddle Slides – Provide anything you might share in a huddle.
- Competitor Overviews – Keep this updated, so your SDRs stay on top of the competition.
- SWOT analysis on each of your competitors
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
- How to stay positive during sales slumps
- How having the right attitude helps them reach their goals
- Time Management
- How to effectively manage your day
- How to spend time prospecting
- How (and when) to take breaks
- How to manage emails and 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
- “How” to listen.
- Key pain points to listen for during the qualifying phone calls.
- Tips to concentrate, stop selling the product, and ask the right questions.
4. Use Performance Management for Ongoing Training
Give your new hires meaningful work through Cascading Goals. Each quarter, have them set goals like:
- Read 2 books
- Increase my number of dials by 10%
- 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, the company sets this goal: “Close $500k in New Business in Q4.” Now, SDRs know how to track their performance, and it’s easy to 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:
5. Defend Your Culture
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.
- Getting them out of the office is the best way to break the new-hire ice and give them a chance to 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.
SDR Training: An Overview
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, these 4 tasks are priority-one:
- Develop a comprehensive training program
- Provide ongoing sales coaching
- Measure and monitor sales activity levels
- Keep defending your culture
By creating this framework, you can confidently scale your sales organization and ramp up your SDRs quickly!