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lessons ive learned as a sdr

Things that I have learned while being a SDR

Being a SDR is some of the most necessary, backbreaking work that most sales professionals will ever undertake. But it is necessary. Being a top performing SDR does not come easy.

When it comes to sales, it is all about your experiences. Pushing oneself into uncomfortable situations like getting hung up on, having long days that consist of what feels like zero progress, your AE’s who you know can’t close a revolving door telling you your well-qualified appointments are trash, and the rare yet fun occasion of being dressed down like you insulted the Dalai Lama yourself. It’s a blast.

Once the success starts rolling in you begin to realize that through that process you have been learning, galvanizing your armor, and honing your craft, and all of that success could not be done without going through a bad day or two.

Let’s take a moment and reflect on my time as a SDR. I learned quite a bit that shapes the role and how I became a top performing SDR. Here are a few things I learned that stick with me every day. And yes I’m going to say it – having a real-time sales coaching software like Abstrakt (not the reactive kind like conversational intelligence software) would have been a big help 😉

1. Create Value, Fast.

I had the distinct pleasure of being an SDR in a pre-COVID world. People were at their desks and everyone had a work line. Email, Phone Calls, and the occasional LinkedIn message would get me where I needed to be.

Not so much anymore.

The job has gotten harder for obvious reasons. SDRs and top of funnel sales teams have a swiss army knife of various software and products to book that ever coveted meeting.

The one thing that has not changed is the fact that you need to create value and you need to create it fast.

Making 100 calls a day can be very monotonous, but when you are making that 100th call what the hell do you do when someone actually picks up?

You have 30 seconds to get them to a point where they are agreeing to not a meeting, but another 60 seconds. How did I do that?

Well, you need to be prepared.

I always, always, always had something specific whether about the prospect, the company, or pain point at the ready. You need to be doing the same, even more so when the average pick-up rate is getting larger and larger. Providing value, fast is the best way to become top performing SDR, fast.

2. Tenacity

This may come as very obvious to most reading this, but no matter what happened good or bad I had to stay level-headed.

Each call you get is a chance to win, learn, and grow.

The only way you can get more reps to improve is by being tenacious. When it feels like the cards are stacked against you or your road is paved in gold, work hard. Use your tech stack as an advantage – whether it’s conversational intelligence software or other sales coaching software – it will all help.

The more reps you can get by focusing on your craft to help you grow, the better. Make one more phone call, send one more email, and prepare one more time, as all of those extra reps will pay off.

3. Be Interested in Something Other than Yourself

In my day it was a whiteboard, now it is a Google Doc, Notion Table, or SFDC Report. There was no better feeling in the world than being able to update that board with a number that makes your month, quarter, whatever, go up and to the right.

Reflecting on the meetings and deals I have won, far and few between were ever related to the solution I was trying to provide.

96% of my wins were when I put my wants and needs to the side, ( and trust me there were a few times when I most certainly NEEDED a meeting to be booked) and learned about the prospect and their problems. I would offer up a solution(s) to help remedy their pains. But building genuine relationships was the key to winning those conversations.

Those relationships I have built have benefited me more times than I can count and much further down the road past the initial closed won.

Being an SDR provided me with many skills I still leverage to this day, but those are a few I know directly came from the role. There is a lot of tumultuous water out there for the SDR, but with the right mindset and drive you can learn a thing or two along the way. This also includes from a manager’s perspective, when sales coaching your SDRs is a focus – turn it into something that can make a big difference.

Those valuable lessons will take you places not only in your career but more importantly, in life.

From a Top Performing SDR to Head of Growth

While I am here to deliver lessons – I can tell you if you implement these things, you will be able to achieve a top performer status. Listen to the sales coaching your managers provide, follow the processes, and always provide value.

Back in my day, we didn’t have the sales tech stacks that SDRs have now. Use that to your advantage! Technologies like ours at Abstrakt, real-time sales coaching, can be a game-changer. Whether you’re a new SDR or a seasoned vet, if you want an advantage then it’s time to look at your tech stack.

The world of conversational intelligence software is evolving into real-time software. Take advantage of that!

Good luck to all those SDRs reading this. Good things will come your way if you stay focused and build your network.

P.S. if you want a demo of Abstrakt, book it here.

Author

Spencer Fossen - VP of Customer Success

Spencer is a husband, father, and SaaS jack of all trades. As the Head of Growth at Abstrakt Spencer uses, “making life easier for the end user” as his north star. From SDR to where he is today, the journey has provided him with the insight and experience to understand how to make life easier for those in SaaS’s toughest roles.