SDR’s want to hit quota to fully realize their on-target earnings in their compensation plan, in which many can earn over 100,000 per year all in. But, hitting the monthly sales quotas is no easy feat. Luckily, there are a few skills that’ll help SDRs feed their pipeline with more highly qualified leads and create opportunities.
Here are 12 skills that an SDR can work on to improve their selling game!
1. Manage your hours wisely
Everyday activities can easily be divided based on their priority. With a few hours in hand per day, it becomes necessary for SDRs to squeeze out a lot of productivity juice by focusing on activities that are important rather than spending time and energy on tasks that are low priority.
Managing your time is a skill that can be honed over a period of time. With effective planning, you can also decide which account needs more research and time compared to others.
2. SDR as well as a product expert
Become a ‘know-it-all’ when it comes to your product. Given how most of the pitches made by SDRs depend on the product and how it’ll solve the prospect’s problems - having a strong grip over the product and its features will help you pique the prospect’s interest easily.
Prospects will respond better when they realize that the sales rep has accurate information on the product/service. At the same time, ample product knowledge also builds confidence amongst SDRs, allowing them to feel self-reliant and unfazed during any meeting.
3. Become the ‘Marie Kondo’ of sales
Imagine getting ready to start your day, but you end up getting overwhelmed by the heaps of leads and prospect data. Organizing your leads at the end of the day or in the beginning will help you stay on top of the leads that need immediate attention without fail.
‘Divide and Conquer’ your monthly quotas with ease. Maintaining a solid schedule will help SDRs conduct timely personalized outreach and get a big fat sales pipeline in return.
4. Building relationships that go a long way
Building trust and a genuine relationship with a lead are precursors to a happy and satisfied prospect. The idea is to leave the prospect pleased before moving on to the final call with the account executive.
Crisp and clear communication usually leads to a strong relationship with the prospect. Communicating and actively listening to them on mail, phone, SMS, social media or any platform that you’re using to communicate with them will lead to increased confidence in you as well as the product.
5. Become an expert listener
The most important part of having good communication skills is knowing how and when to listen to your prospect. It is said that any successful sales call should comprise 70% listening and 30% talking by the SDR.
Only when you actively listen to your prospect and understand their pain points, would an SDR be able to provide solutions that actually add value to them. Active listening also helps in preparing well for meetings. It allows you to recognize an opportunity when it arises and have a real conversation around it, instead of following a robotic script.
6. Empathy not sympathy
Empathy allows sales reps to ‘walk a mile in the prospect’s shoes’ and understand their thoughts, problems, requirements, etc. This helps in building long-term relationships and trust which further influences the decisions made by the prospect.
Understand the true reality of the prospect’s problem by empathizing and not sympathizing with them. Sympathy would allow you to know something’s wrong, but empathy would let you feel and understand the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of the problem. Sharing more about yourself, actively providing a helping hand without being asked, etc. are a few ways of practicing empathy.
Suggested Reading: The power of emotional intelligence in sales
7. Knowing when to walk away
Walking away from a potential customer is hard. After spending hours of work, resources, and calls, it becomes difficult to know that the chapter has come to an end. But at the same time, disqualifying a lead will help you become a far better salesperson.
When a prospect doesn’t have any budget in mind, or they don’t see any value in your product, or over time you realize they won’t be a good fit, etc. - these are all clear signs for you to drop the lead and move on to other bigger and better prospects.
8. Be self-aware
As a sales rep, it’s important to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses so that you can steer the interaction accordingly and provide a great experience for your prospects. Identifying where you’re lacking will help you focus on those areas more and develop a plan to combat those issues more effectively.
A self-aware SDR will constantly ask their managers for feedback and won’t be affected by any negative responses. They'll be able to focus on their areas of growth and devise a plan of action on how to become a better sales rep.
9. Overcoming objections
Overcoming objections is usually marked as one of the biggest challenges that SDRs have to face. This is a skill that is learned over a period of time as SDRs will take time to understand their product from A to Z and get a better understanding of how the product will help solve a problem creatively.
This can be achieved by handling several meetings regularly and figuring out how the product/service can be presented differently to each prospect. Developing trust and an authentic bond with the prospect will also help in influencing the prospect in favor of the service.
10. Taking criticism constructively
Learning to take criticism well pushes an SDR to become a better sales rep. Instead of getting defensive and assuming the worst, it’s advised to take the criticism in good stead and be thankful for the advice. As difficult as it might be, in the end, this feedback is meant for you to top the charts and become a successful sales representative.
It’s a great practice to follow up with the person who gave you the feedback in the first place so that you can measure your progress and take note of deflections if any. As the saying goes, “Never let any criticism get to your heart.”
11. Hunger for more
Top SDRs are usually very curious and always have a penchant for more leads. The best salespeople are ‘’more hungry to sell, and more hungry to succeed.’’ There must be a constant drive to smash more targets, fill up the pipeline and beat more records, as this will motivate one to easily hit their monthly quotas.
Every SDR has a different reason to motivate themselves in order to reach their goal. Once they find that reason, it becomes very easy for them to aim for the stars and crush their monthly targets. Having an environment that fuels success would instantly help in boosting the motivation level.
12. Thirst for knowledge
Lack of knowledge in sales can be a deal-breaker for many prospects. SDRs must be constantly aware of ‘everything product’ and keep a tab of every change in the company - big or small.
SDRs must continually pursue and absorb information around the product/service from the in-house repository, colleagues, training & development sessions, practical learning, industry events, and online resources.
Consistently practicing these skills will help you become a better SDR and also give you the bragging rights for becoming a top performer.