We all understand the importance of training, whether you are starting a new job as a rep or a VP. In fact, companies are investing in all possible resources to make this experience productive for us. The duration of this program might change from a month to two, depending upon the organization we are part of. With time, technology is changing, training techniques are changing; so, why are we still learning the old way? We can’t undo what has happened but definitely shape our future. And what better way than strengthening the foundation?
We all want to prove ourselves when we join an organization. But with a new role, new responsibilities, new tools, new products, the first month can be a little overwhelming, especially if it’s your FIRST job.
The training period, especially the FIRST 30 DAYS are often referred to as the leisure/relaxation period. We hear this a lot, but does it stand true in today’s time? The answer is a definite “No”. Training is like planting a tree, when done right, reaps fruit in abundance and if done wrong, holds no value more than a log of wood. It’s 2019, with amazing talent around, there’s no place for an AVERAGE anything and certainly not in sales. We are investing time & resources in 30 GODDAMN days, why not make the best out of it then? Yes, from adjusting at a new place, making new friends to learn the product, we already have too much on our plates but remember, this time won’t come back. If you fail to add enough fertilizers or you fail to water the plant, the plant will never grow into a tree.
All successful people have 1 thing in common – They all plan their day/week well and in advance. I say take this learning from them and plan your training; plan it in a way that works best for you. To plan something, it’s important to set certain goals. To set goals, it’s important to KNOW YOUR GOALS and once you know them, you’ll figure out a way to achieve them.
A few pointers to make the best out of this time.
1) Understand the Training Program – You know the importance of the training but it’s equally important to understand what the organization has planned for you for the next 30days (or two months). Go through the program thoroughly, learn what’s in there and why? If 30days have been allocated to cover the entire training, can you match up with the pace? If the answer is no, reach out to your trainer/colleague for a better plan. If you believe it’s enough, what else can you add to your daily activities? Find out what are your trainer’s expectations from you, what you expect from your trainer and the training program? Divide the plan into weekly or daily goals.
2) Learn the way you learn better – There’s nothing you can’t find on the internet today. Few people are blessed with learning things from all mediums, yet some of us prefer reading the articles, few prefer watching videos and few listening to podcasts (recorded sessions). You know what you are good at, spend more time doing that.
Some sections can be described best visually, some via audio and others in different mediums. The key areas an SDR can focus on is, “How to engage the prospect, how to cold call”, “How to leave an effective voicemail”, “What an effective email looks like, etc.” For call & voicemail, a video/audio would be a better choice than reading an article. For an email, an article with examples of email templates would be the best option.
Do not ignore other mediums, divide your time wisely.
3) Know your people -interact with your colleagues from all the departments. Yes, spend 30 mins to 1 hour every day learning how they are adding value or what problems they are solving. Each department contributes to the success of an organization, find out who contributes what.
- Product team – The basis of every great product is the team that builds it. Know their journey and what it takes to deliver a successful product. Learn what’s in the roadmap.
- Marketing – What content is working for them and what isn’t, what channels are they using for marketing?
- SDR and AE’s – What challenges our customers are facing? What’s the impact of these challenges? How successful we are in helping our customers? Understand SDR & AE’s journey.
- Customer Support – Why are customers not happy with us, or why they agree to renew the contract year after year?
You might say I know what marketing team is responsible for or what customer support does. Every product has a different audience, so it’s important to know yours.
4) Learn from your customers – Who can describe the real challenges more than a customer? Dedicate some time of the day to customer success stories and know your customers.
Understand your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). Find out which company to target, who to reach out to, especially if it’s a cold reach. Do thorough research on the persona, learn about their responsibilities, what their challenges are and how you can help them overcome those challenges.
Your team must have identified already the ICP for the business; however, if you have joined a startup in its early stage, you might have to take that initiative.
5) Implement – Learning is important but implementing the learning is even more important. You wouldn’t know if a plan is going to work out unless you execute it.
- Start with discussing the learnings with your colleagues. Learn from their experiences, best practices and adjust your learning to fit your current training.
- Do some honest self-reflection & readjust. By paying attention to what hurts or isn’t helping, you can understand those things better. You can understand yourself better.
6) Set a Deadline – It’s easy to get carried away during this time, there’s no one to blame so make sure you set up a deadline for the tasks and hold yourself responsible. To make sure you never miss the deadline, start scheduling the tasks on the calendar, figure out the right time limit, use a timer to keep track of time and prevent yourself from working too slowly.
7) Measure your success & reward yourself – You can’t manage what you can’t measure. We invest time, put in the effort to achieve something, it’s important that we track our progress and know how far we have come from where we started. If you are not reaching where you want to be or not even closer to success, you know it’s time to change the strategy.
8) Don’t be afraid of trying new things – We are HUMANS and prone to making mistakes. It’s also important to try new things. Not every time you try something will lead you to success. But if you fail, it’s OKAY. Fail as many times as you try but start again and try until you succeed, and learn from your failures so when you step into a new job, you are ready for it. Make a note of your failures & pat on your back in the future after you reflect how far you’ve come.
You will be thankful you did.
9) It’s okay to ask for help – accepting new responsibilities, moving to a new role or joining a new organization brings change and change leads to certain challenges. Truth be told, we all struggle with the change and often hesitate to ask for help. Wise is not the one who knows it all, but the one who accepts his weaknesses identifies the gap and finds a way to fill them.
If you have a doubt, question. One can question only when he/she has some knowledge or understanding of the matter. If you do not know it all, ask for help. It’ll only reflect that you want to learn and employees open to learning are appreciated.
10) Start planning “post achievement plan” – You set a target for yourself and you successfully achieved it. Great! But what’s next? Remember, achieving something is not difficult, maintaining it, is! E.g If the plan is to lose a certain amount of weight – you set up a diet plan, an exercise plan, set up a deadline and with everything in place, you successfully achieve your goal. Most of us reach here and then stop and slowly start going back to where we were. After putting in all efforts the gain was temporary, start planning how to maintain what you have achieved before it’s taken away.
To all the SDR’s – While most organizations have some training plan in place, taking this extra step can take you to the next level. What are you waiting for?
Maryada is a Software Engineer turned salesperson. She has been an Enterprise SDR at amazing technology companies including Whatfix & SDR Team Lead at Azuga. Currently an SDR at Chargebee, Two pieces of advice she strongly believes in – Be open to Learning & Work hard every day like it’s your first. Outside of work, She loves to try different cuisines. Connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.