Everyone must remember their formative years in sales – the trepidation, the uncertainty, the willingness to learn and perform. In many ways, the kind of salesperson you become depends on these formative years, and the quality of management you receive during this time. If you experience a lack of mentorship and guidance, if you’re measured against unreasonable standards or according to unclear metrics, it can take you much longer to realize your full potential.
As you grow in the industry, and eventually occupy a role in sales management, don’t forget this. It’s important to effectively manage entry level sales development reps (SDRs), not just for their personal growth but to maximize the company’s ROIs – a well-managed team of SDRs are going to more productive than a mismanaged one, 10 out of 10 times.
In this article, let’s look at some proven ways to effectively manage SDRs, to nurture growth and increase productivity. From lead tracking and automating workflow with sales development software, to establishing a winning onboarding process and promoting peer mentorship, here’s how to maximize the potential of each and every SDR you hire.
Develop a Strong Onboarding Process
Most managers understand the value of onboarding, at least in some nebulous sense. They’ve heard it discussed at corporate sales training programs or read about it online. But intellectualizing the concept is one thing; it’s another thing entirely to put strong onboarding into practice.
By standardizing the process, developing clear reference documents, setting clear expectations and taking the time to integrate a new SDR into the sales culture, you’ll be rewarded with a happier, more productive SDR – 25% more productive, potentially.
Monitor, Evaluate and Offer Feedback
An SDR who’s failing to meet their quota will have no recourse for course correction if they aren’t offered productive, actionable feedback. And you can’t offer productive feedback without keeping track of an SDR’s performance.
For a real-time view of each SDR’s sales activity, including call activity metrics, you need lead management software. Learn about the latest sales tracking software here, as well as how you can leverage sales development insights to create a more effective team of SDRs.
Sales managers are always looking for an easy way to maximize productivity without exhausting their SDRs. While that used to be a pipe dream (a “sales pipe” dream, if you will), it’s now pretty simple to enact when you deploy a sales engagement platform to automate workflow.
It’s a lot of pressure to put on SDRs when you ask them to manually prioritize leads according to gut instinct, but a sales engagement platform takes the guesswork out of it with queue-based routing, ensuring SDRs are always working on the next best lead.
The platform also auto-calls and auto-populates emails for them, as well as automating their sales cadence. In short, it removes a lot of the scarier processes involved with sales development and increases productivity in the meantime. A sales manager’s dream.
Finally, an easy way to set new sales development reps up for success, one that doesn’t require any software, is by fostering a culture of mentorship and peer guidance, rather than competition. Sure, a little competition is healthy among SDRs, but ultimately the team needs to operate as a team, working toward the same objectives. Encourage more experienced SDRs to offer support and pointers to newer hires.
Don’t be an absentee sales manager. Onboard them properly, automate their workflow, monitor their performance, offer insightful feedback, and foster a culture of peer mentorship. You’ll be rewarded with a team full of sales rock stars, and the exceeded sales targets that go along with that.