Are you an SDR? Were you left out of your company’s Sales Kickoff? If so, you absolutely should not have been. I mean, it’s a free mini-vacation, right? WRONG! Sales Kickoff is a goldmine of opportunity for SDRs.

My opinion is that everything there is important for SDRs. You’ll network with all of sales – not just the ones you support. You’ll learn new strategies to talk about your offerings. You’ll boost your career. Of course, your level of success will depend on how much you put into your time at SKO.

As someone who has attended SKO as a rep, as a manager, and sometimes not been included at all – I believe these are the three things you should focus on at SKO.

Networking

Are you in the office daily with your sales counterparts? All of them? What about sales leadership, or sales engineering, or your channel team counterparts, or even marketing? If you are, you’re extremely lucky and I hope you’re taking advantage of the benefit you have. However, if you’re like most organizations, you don’t interact face-to-face on a regular basis with your counterparts. Being able to connect with your sales reps and external team members both in person and on a personal level fosters much better engagement and alignment. At the end of the day, we’re all human, and human connection is a key part of sales. Why not apply that with those you’re working with.

Sales Strategy

What is your company’s sales strategy? Do you understand it? How are you going to apply it in your role? It’s very easy as an SDR, specifically when the role is typically not closing business, to tune out when these conversations start. I challenge you to not only understand your organization’s sales strategy, but to find out how it applies to you – take the presentations, discussions, and conversations, and find out how to up-level them and apply them to your role. Understand what your organization is pursuing this year will help you understand what your sales reps are going to be focusing on and finding out how to apply this to your role helps you to be part of that. Who doesn’t want to be on the same path as their sales counterparts, and part of the excitement of SKO?

Career Growth

Where do you want to go in your career? Do you know what it’s going to take to get there? Having the chance to shake hands and introduce yourself to external, and in a lot of cases, titled members of your organization is like a mini-interview each session. Are you listening to the speakers and understanding how they impact the organization and your role? What about the presentations themselves? Your organization may be presenting a new sales methodology or discussing new products or features coming in the following quarters. Most sales methodologies include a component of prospecting and rapport building – this is your bread and butter as an SDR, so get the most out of it you can. Just because something isn’t directly related to your role or includes more information than you ‘need’, doesn’t mean it’s not impactful.

So, did you attend SKO this year? Do the points above resonate with you, or do you disagree? If you didn’t get a chance to attend SKO, talk to your leadership about attending next year. Get any recordings or presentations from this year and ask reps to share key points with you. Knowledge is power! And as an SDR, the more knowledge you have, especially when it comes to your organization, it’s people, and it’s strategy, the better it is for your career.

-Alec Erickson-

Alec Erickson is the Global Sales Development leader for McAfee, the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company. Her experience in the SaaS industry has come through years working in startups, with a passion for coaching and developing people, and crushing quotas! From Utah to California to Texas, and from SDR, to ISR, to Manager, she’s maniacally focused on revenue and helping those around her succeed in their professional pursuits. Outside of work Alec enjoys reading or walking her two dogs.