Have you ever heard the phrase “Practice makes perfect?” In the SDR world, this isn’t just a motivational phrase, it is a reality. The more times you cold call someone, the better you get. The more times you prospect, the faster you get. The more conversations you have, the more meetings you get… I think you get the point.
I have just made it to my 9 month anniversary as a Sales Development Representative (SDR) for Masergy. Throughout the course of my career at Masergy, I have come to discover a simple equation that I believe is the principle to being an effective SDR.
The SDR Equation
Let’s examine this simple physics equation. Power is defined as the rate at which work is done upon an object. In other words, power is related to how fast a job is done.
If we take this simple physics equation, and change “power” to “success” we can derive, what I feel to be, the SDR equation.
The amount of success you will have as an SDR is directly related to the quantity and the quality of the work and time you put into a specific account or lead. If you are not willing to put in the work, you will not be successful.
Now that we have an understanding of what elements are needed to have success as an SDR, let’s break the equation apart for further examination.
When you hear the word “Success” what comes to mind? In the world of sales, a few answers might be exceeding quota, booking appointments, or closing deals. However, the true definition of success is the accomplishment of a purpose.
While every salesperson would agree that obtaining these elements would make you successful, they would also agree that one does not simply exceed quota, book appointments, or close deals by simply showing up. They must put in the appropriate work and time first.
The definition of work is an activity requiring mental or physical effort in order to achieve a purpose or result. My success as an SDR has been directly related to the quality of work that I do each day.
When I began as an SDR, I specifically remember asking one of my veteran colleagues what it will take to succeed in this role, and he said: “Do the same things every day.” His statement hit me like a ton of bricks. This may be the most important statement of my sales career. Sales is all about having the same conversations, selling the same products, and overcoming the same objections. If you practice each of these things every day, you will master your craft.
I work on all of these things each day.
Know what you are going to say
- Listen to past call recordings, read through call scripts, and read through company research before making calls.
Understand your audience
- Learn the language of your prospect. If you can speak about things such as return on investments (ROI) to C-Level executives, you will gain credibility. However, if you talk about features of your product, you will be passed to another person that can speak that language.
Understand your product/service
- Learn as much as you can about your product(s) and industry so that you can gain credibility and you will be seen as more of a consultant rather than a salesperson. Don’t sell a product, sell a solution to a problem.
Know the objections and how to overcome them
- Replay past objections in your head and anticipate your rebuttal. I create cheat sheets of every possible objection so that when I receive that objection, I can quickly overcome it.
The definition of time is to plan, schedule, or arrange when something should happen or be done. Now, remember, to be a successful SDR you must “do the same things every day.” You can practice your pitch, learn the language of the prospect, learn your products, and overcome objections all day, but if you can’t manage your time, you will not be as effective.
When I was in my new hire training class for Masergy, our VP of North America Sales, Keith Hatley, explained how easy it was to have success in sales. He said that it was so easy, that most people don’t do it. He told us to schedule every hour of our work day. I really took this statement to heart. Every hour of my day is planned out before my day actually happens. Like I said, I do the same things every day, at the same time.
So why is this so important? In the SDR world, it is so easy to get lost in prospecting and company research. You can research all day and find the best prospects to call, but if you never call them, all of that work was pointless. However, if you set aside a few scheduled hours of time each day only for prospecting and company research, then you will have plenty of time left to apply what you have learned in your outreach.
I decided to share this equation with people because it works. Each piece is dependent on the other. Without time management, your work is pointless. Without good work ethic, your time is wasted. And with pointless work and wasted time, you won’t have success. If you want to be successful as an SDR, then take the advice that I have shared: Work hard, learn everything you can, and schedule your day.