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If you're an SDR who is average or below, your job’s on the line.

June 29, 2020
by
Kyle Vamvouris
Illustration of people jumping.

It's not an enjoyable topic. It's a discussion that is happening behind closed doors that no one wants to talk about. The majority of SDRs are replaceable.

Are some great SDRs getting laid off because of the current situation? Yes.

But that is only AFTER a decision was made on which SDRs are worth keeping.

So let me repeat it.

If you're an SDR who is average or below, your job’s on the line.

This is not meant to be a doomsday announcement, because it’s not. I am going to outline exactly what you should do, over the next 6 months, to be as valuable to your company as possible.

You cant control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond

Activity. Activity. Activity.

When things get tough and conversion rates drop there is only one cure, increase the inputs.

For example...

If you're cold calling and your connect-to-meeting set rate drops by half, you need to double the number of calls you make.

Sometimes the activity input isn't possible. For example, there are only so many calls you can make in a day.

But there is always more you can do and when times are tough you have to max out your capacity, even if you have to temporally sacrifice work-life balance.

The SDRs who will survive this crisis are the ones who get very focused on what they can control.

they do NOT throw their hands in the air and complain...

Action Tip: Calculate how many calls/emails you have to make in order to get 1 meeting. Look at historical data and recent data in order to see if that number has changed. Using the recent number, calculate how many calls/emails you would have to make in order to hit your quota. That’s your new activity number!

People trust transparency, so over-communicate to your manager

The most important relationship you have as an SDR is the one you develop with your prospects.

The other is the relationship you develop with your manager. During times of crisis, you're not the only person who's work is being severely impacted. They too are experiencing a lot of unknowns and will appreciate your transparency.

This is why it's so important to communicate effectively with whom you report to. Do not stop at effective communication, but over-communicate. Do not leave anything left to the imagination because your boss won't know your efforts if you don't tell them... Shocking I know.

Below are a few things you should cover in every one on one.

  • Activities you've done since your last one on one - Calls, emails, etc.
  • Meetings scheduled
  • Updates on completed meetings
  • Progress on your accounts

One more thing to add and this is an important one. Any bad news or lack of progress must be followed by what you are going to do about it. Then, during your next one on one, you should share the results of the actions you took. Never tell anyone a problem without having a solution and never propose a solution and neglect to take action on it.

Action Tip: Give your manager a call and update them on your progress for the week. Do this outside of your one on one and make sure they are aware of your activities and what success you have had. Moving forward, follow the structure above during your one on one meetings so that your manager and you are always on the same page.

Grab your streamers and party hats and celebrate the little wins!

Times of crisis are stressful and it's helpful to adjust your success criteria to match the times.

You may not book as many meetings but that doesn't mean you shouldn't celebrate what progress you have made.

You didn't book the meeting but your prospect told you to reach back out in a month? Celebrate - They didn't ghost you.

You finally spoke with the decision-maker of one of your accounts and they said they don't have a need for your solution? Celebrate - you don't have to waste time prospecting into that account.

At this point you may be saying "Kyle, are you saying I should be delusional?"

no.

If all you focus on are the negative aspects of what happens you're in for a long ride. Find the good in everything and take action on what you can control. That's how you avoid getting derailed in times of crisis.

Action Tip: Look at your progress for the week and find one thing that has gone really well. Post in your team slack channel “Hi team! I know things have been challenging lately and I think we should all celebrate the little wins, so let me kick this off. [Insert your little win here]. What little wins do you all have so far this week?”

You're part of a team, be a star player AND supporter

There is being a team player and there is BEING A TEAM PLAYER. Make sense?

As sales professionals, we often get very tunnel-visioned on our own efforts and neglect the needs of our colleagues. I don't just mean other SDRs, I am talking about every person across all departments.

The COMPANY is the TEAM. It's important to be helpful to everyone across the organization.

The more value you provide to the organization, outside of your day job, the more valuable you are to the company. Diversify the value that you provide.

This does not mean slacking on your daily work, far from it. Outwork everyone AND be helpful to other departments. Doing so shows that you not only care about doing a great job but also about ensuring that the company is successful.

Action Tip: Reach out to one person from outside your department and ask them if there is anything they need help with. Repeat this until one person takes you up on your offer and do a great job on the project.

There is no doubt that the current climate has complicated the lives of many. There are a lot of great SDRs that have lost their jobs and will continue to. All you can focus on is what you can control, specifically the actions you take. As an SDR community, we had it good. There were more jobs than we knew what to do with. Now, in order to survive, you must be in the top percentile of SDRs. I believe everyone is capable of being in the top percentile if they put in the work. Check out “15 Traits of Highly Effective SDRs” (scroll down, its free).

TL;DR

If you are an average or below SDR, your job is at risk. There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of making the cut.

  1. Increase your activity to the highest output you're capable of.
  2. Over-communicate to your manager and make sure they know your activities and progress. Also, make sure to provide solutions when things aren’t going well and take action on those solutions.
  3. Celebrate the little wins to keep yourself in good spirits during challenging times.
  4. Do a great job at your day job and provide value to other departments if needed. During hard times companies are typically doing the same amount of work with fewer people. Help those stressed departments by offering your support.

Action Steps

  1. Calculate the number of activities you need to do in order to hit your quota.
  2. Keep your manager up to date on your progress, roadblocks, and solutions.
  3. Reach out to your team and celebrate the little wins!
  4. Ask members of other departments how you can help them.
  5. Download “15 Traits of Highly Effective SDRs” (see below, its free)

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