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To attend or not to attend? SDRs on demo calls

So here at my company, we're big on encouraging SDRs to attend and join demo calls, as a learning and professional development opportunity. After we onboard new SDRs we share live demo calls with them to see the whole process after their prospecting outreach. For more senior SDRs we team up with our AEs, and actively participate throughout the first demo to share our experience with the product from a user perspective (of course for the nature of our product it makes perfect sense). Personally, I believe that for certain demo meetings it's quite cool for the SDR who booked the meeting to be there, make the introductions, and perhaps even give their view if possible, as opposed to simply having a great conversation with a prospect and then pass them on to another person. It makes prospecting and sales more aligned and a complete team. I'm curious to see what do you think of this practice even within your company?

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    • Profile picture of Graeme Gilovitz
      @aussieg
      ( 2.2k POINTS )
      1 week, 6 days ago

      Great questions @aandree

      Having SDRs on calls is undoubtedly the best learning experience they can have – they hear how the information they pass on to their AEs is used, the questions the AEs ask and the questions/comments the prospects make (SDRs can learn to anticipate these during their outreach and qual calls).

      However, is it in their best interests to sit through live calls during peak outreach periods? I would say not likely. A good option we use is to record all client calls. We use zoom but have gong on top – Gong allows us to listen to the call and see video, we have listen in up to 2.5X speed (I listen to almost every SDR calls like this in the morning) and can leave private or public comments and can see transcripts and far more stuff.

      Something to way up though is the size of clients and the level of SDR/AE engagement with the leads. On mid market B2B I would recommend that SDRs more likely to leave after their handoff and listen to the calls via gong later. But if it is true enterprise when you have less of these calls per month, and if the SDRs and AEs works as a team then absolutely have the SDR on the entire call. The latter is what I did in my previous company and the SDR was able to add to the conversation rather than awkwardly listening in.

      One last consideration: if you have an AE AND Pre-sales attending AND SDR whilst there is only 1-2 prospects, it could be overkill and even intimidating for the prospect.

    • Profile picture of Katie Ray
      @katie_ray
      ( 1.7k POINTS )
      1 week, 6 days ago

      I think it is so important to allow your SDR’s to watch the demos for the prospects that they send to their AE. I also think that if you have an SDR who is wanting to see that process, its a sign that managers should take note of and remember when they are looking to promote someone. I would encourage the SDR’s to be a fly on the wall and take notes, then ask questions to the AE after. I also think it would force the AE’s to continue working hard and not get lazy if an SDR is watching– leads to more accountability on both ends. SDR’s will send higher quality leads because they are seeing what really needs to be established before sending it over, and AE’s will dig deeper because the SDR should tell their manager when the AE is doing a lazy discovery call (if they are getting paid on meetings accepted).

      What I would do is have the SDR make the intro, give a background with what qualified the prospect (This is ABC and they own ABC business. They are struggling with XYZ which is why I wanted them to talk to you because I believe LMN features can solve this. They are wanting to learn about PQR features.) and then have the SDR sit on mute and listen.

    • Profile picture of Charles Moreton
      @cmoreton
      ( 740 POINTS )
      1 week, 2 days ago

      I think this is a critical function os the SDR for 2 reasons:
      1. No one likes to get a call from an SDR only to be told some version of “Hi I’m here to ask you questions, see if y9u can buy my product but I can’t really answer too many of your questions so I’m going to pass you to someone more experienced than me. Are you free on X day?”. SDR’s should be the amazing initial contact the prospect has and ease the transition to the next point of contact.

      2. Training – as others have said, this is a great way for them to listen and, over time, participate in these calls. It will teach them how to plan, listen, handle objections etc… My clients also use this as part of their scoring model for promotion and it helps make a really well rounded evaluation to know when the SDR is truly ready to move up in role.

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