How to push past the grueling aspects of the job and connect with a higher purpose
The sun is shining bright outside and it’s a perfectly crisp afternoon. I can see the wind rustling the leaves on the trees outside but all I hear are ring tones blaring into my right ear. Then, all of a sudden: “Hello! You have reached John at Company X. Leave a message and I’ll be sure to call you back.” John will not call me back... most likely.
Pairing the voicemail with an effective email may elicit a response. There are ways to improve the quality of outreach so that more prospects engage, but let’s not kid ourselves: the SDR position is a daily GRIND. It can feel like you’re talking into the wind. On a good day, you will have the opportunity to talk to several prospects over the phone. On a great day, your messaging will resonate with most of them and they will agree to meet with your organization.
The SDR position will wear you down if you let it.
It is vital to count the small wins and constantly remember your purpose, and the immense value you bring to your organization.To appreciate the SDR position, it is important to remember why it exists in the first place. A couple of decades ago, there was no need for the SDR position. A salesperson could earn a meeting with a potential client because they held key information about products and services available in the marketplace – there was not an easy way for buyers to do their own research. As markets became more and more crowded and information became more widespread through the internet, the level of “vendor noise” rose. Buyers tried to avoid the barrage of messages by avoiding picking up the phone and deleted emails en masse. Salespeople had to spend more time reaching prospects and creating a differentiated message. A new skill set was needed that was quite different from traditional selling methods. The SDR role emerged to specialize in this skill set.
The SDR role is much like hitting in baseball: if you are consistently making positive contact with the ball in just 30% of your at-bats, you’re a stud.
Preparation and patience help in this role, but it’s also about being able to focus on 3 successes, rather than 7 setbacks. There is no magic daily schedule. There are no silver bullets to the SDR role. There are statistically proven best practices to improve important KPIs, but equally important to this job is a discipline and a mindset of seeing beyond the day to day activities.
Some out there will disagree and say that there is a daily structure that an SDR should follow. I am not denying the power of a well thought out schedule, but I must point out that every company has a different target audience. Therefore, it would be silly to say there is a master SDR schedule everyone should follow. A lot of variables go into determining a daily schedule. For example, different prospects require different mediums: some are easy to reach by phone, others by email, and a few by social media. Each medium requires a different approach. The major factor that will provide proper daily guidance in the SDR role is your set of metrics. Be aware of these metrics and divide them by the number of days you have in a month/quarter to achieve that goal on a daily basis. Here are some important metrics you can consider:
- How many accounts/contacts do I need to prospect to get a meeting?
- How many dials/emails lead to a response/conversation?
- How many conversations/responses do I need to result in a meeting?
Now that you know your numbers, hold yourself accountable to those numbers daily, which is tough. Do your best with every prospect on every instance of outreach. If you hit those metrics, consider that day a win and trust that results (read: scheduled meetings) will come. If your company has the right process and methodologies in place, your consistent efforts will surely pay off. After all, your product/service exists because there is a need in the market. There will always be someone willing to take a meeting if you take the right approach.
My final words of advice: Hit your metrics. Stay motivated. Take a break when the ringing is making you crazy. For me, I like shooting pool with my colleagues or on a particularly nice day, all I need is a walk around the block.