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5 Essential Tips for SDR Managers

Being an SDR manager comes with lots of challenges and responsibilities. Many of your reps are probably young and inexperienced — maybe even just out of school. They need a ton of guidance. Even the more seasoned ones hit quota snags, get burned out and need coaching about life and work. 

Here are 5 ways to make the most impact:

1. Lead by example:

It’s not enough to tell your reps what to do or how to do it — you have to show them. That means smiling and dialing alongside them during power hours. It means sending out cold emails, leaving cold voicemails and reaching out to potential leads on LinkedIn. You’re busy managing, so you should only spend 10-15% of your time in the weeds. But SDRs learn best by osmosis–by watching others, whether it’s colleagues or managers, do something well. Or not well. It’s fine to crash and burn every now and then, as long as you show them how to keep moving forward in the face of disappointment.

2. Learn to recognize burnout:

This refers to your reps and you. If you’re not maintaining your own physical and mental health, how can you help reps take care of theirs? SDR is a high-stress role, particularly for those who haven’t been in the work world very long, and mitigating that stress is crucial for avoiding burnout. Be aware of your company’s PTO policy so your team gets enough time off to decompress. And make sure their work-life balance is as close to equilibrium as possible by reminding them to knock off at a reasonable hour, take time for exercise, family, doctor appointments — whatever they need to be at their best.

3. Encourage consistency:

It’s nearly impossible for reps to be consistently successful if they wait until the last month of the quarter to rev things up. It only breeds desperation and chaos. That’s why it’s vital for managers to encourage a mindset of daily preparation. Sales is a fast-paced gig, but slow and steady wins the race — especially when it comes to building deep pipeline that reps can rely on to fill gaps and mitigate risk as the year comes to a close and Q4 quota looms. It helps even if they hit quota early. That’s no time to decelerate. Remind them to keep churning and burning to get a head start on the next quarter.

4. Make friends with marketing:

The quality of inbound leads can make or break your SDRs — not only in terms of their financial success, but their overall happiness. That’s why it’s crucial to work closely with someone in marketing to ensure there’s a steady stream of feedback between the SDR team and the marketing team. Marketing needs to know what leads are good, what leads are bad, and what leads your reps ignore because they’re a waste of time. They’ll use that data to drive their marketing roadmap — which means better quality leads for you and your team over time. 

5. Get good at Salesforce:

That means learning how to customize this potentially powerful tool so it delivers optimal business value. You’ll need to create dashboards, manage lead generation operations, share important information — and make sure it’s as easy as possible for others to use. According to Salesforce, the areas you should strive to become proficient in include user management, data management, security, business analysis, automating processes, analyzing data, problem solving and communication. That’s a lot of stuff to master, we know, but it’s absolutely essential.  

Good luck and godspeed. Your team awaits!

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