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Podcast - Hard Skills Needed to Succeed at SDR Management

On a recent episode of the popular “Predictable Revenue” podcast, Teamflow’s Head of Revenue, Josh Garrison, talked SDR management with host Collin Stewart. Their insightful conversation ran the full gamut, from hiring and team-building to coaching and firing.

Here’s a sampling of the topics Josh addressed:

On qualities of a good SDR manager

There's a basic level of competence that you absolutely have to have to be respectable. Is your email game on point? Can you crush a cold call? Can you build and manage a pipeline?

On advancing your career as an SDR manager

You have to stop thinking just about what you can do to hit your number and start thinking about what you can do to help your team hit their number.

On effective SDR coaching

A manager can be most effective by jumping in in real time. If you hear a rep say something on a call that’s not serving them well, don't wait until the end of the day to deliver feedback. You have to do that right in the moment. But one of the things that’s hard to teach is how not to over-coach.

On SDR hiring 

The first interview call is 30 minutes. I ask them what the difference is between an extraordinary salesperson and a mediocre one. And maybe they don’t know the answer. What I’m more interested in is how they justify their answer. I also have them do a short project. You’re mainly looking for coachability, hustle and motivation to make money.

On how to fire an SDR who’s not the right fit

It’s better to proactively ask people like, “Do you think this is the right role for you?” And if not, it's much better to fire quickly. I would much rather let somebody go at month two than to let somebody go at month eight, because that means you've sunk six unnecessary months into a person who was not going to work out.

On holding constructive and productive 1:1s

Gauge how your SDRs are doing on a scale of 1 to 10, then follow that up by asking what you can do to get that number higher. Then I start to get into the nitty gritty of the job.

On coaching SDRs out of a slump

The most common reason SDRs hit slumps is they’re burned out. There’s a vicious cycle that happens: In order to hit quota several times in a row, the SDR has sacrificed certain things. They didn’t take time off. They neglected their health. And now they’re starting to dread going to work every day. But they don’t have the awareness to realize the only way to come back from this is to step out of it. They have to take time off. 

On giving call feedback

Transcribing calls in real time — not a word-for-word transcript, but actually diagnosing what’s happening and creating a document for your reps — is very helpful because you don't have to spend a lot of time listening to a recording afterwards. For newer reps, focus on one point of feedback at a time — something they’ll need to improve during their next call session. More seasoned reps can handle two or three points. 

On building an SDR team

For a team of five, you don’t want five fresh people. Your initial hire should be someone who has done the job and been successful at it. Then, once you have a couple of more veteran SDRs in place, you can roll the dice a bit more on next hires. Ideally, your more experienced SDRs will begin mentoring the less experienced ones. 

Everything here is covered in much greater detail on the podcast, so check out the whole episode when you get a chance. We’re confident you’ll glean some valuable insights. Thanks in advance for listening!