Regardless of whether the Sales Development team in your company is under Sales or Marketing, your Sales Development Manager must manage the SDR team like a Sales Manager manages her sales team.
1. SDR Team Managers need to manage by two sets of numbers
Over the years, I have learned that the job of an SDR team is not to generate meetings. It is to generate pipeline for Sales. Each Sales Development Manager (“SDR Manager”) should have a pipeline quota they must achieve. Pipeline is King! If the SDR team achieves its meeting quota but misses the pipeline quota, that is a big failure in my mind. On the other hand, if the team misses its meeting quota but hits or exceeds the pipeline quota, that is a big win.
Sales Managers need to ensure that their Sales Execs are not sand-bagging and adding deals at a lower pipeline value. This is often a bone of contention for SDR teams. Sales Development Managers must meet with Sales Leadership regularly to keep both sides honest.
2. Track the Sales Development Manager’s time over 5 days
You can create a spreadsheet with columns that have a field label “type” and other fields for the days of the week (M-F). Some examples of these types include:
- Team meetings
- Coaching Individuals
- SDR Pipeline Review (The SDR Pipeline tracks the Key Conversations that each SDR has achieved and needs to be 2-3X the meeting quota)
- Meeting Approvals
- Other Meetings
- Admin Work.
Without fail, this exercise has shown me that most SDR Managers spend less than 12-15% of their time coaching and assisting their team to improve skills or experience. If your team is primarily made of junior SDRs, then senior Sales Managers need to work with the team regularly to brainstorm business development tactics. My recommendation is that management focuses 30-40% of their day coaching their teams. Time spent coaching a team with the use of the call guide, messaging, persona needs, and role-playing will help to elevate the team of junior SDRs.
3. Forecasting meetings and pipeline growth
This skill should be a part of every Sales Development Managers’ job. It is very important to track weekly progress, where the team is, and what the SDR Manager forecasts for the Quarterly regional sales. Forecasting is also important because if the team is off at any point during the quarter, the SDR Manager must pivot on their strategy to ensure that the team will still produce strong results with their support.
4. Build a mini business plan
This will outline how the team plans to achieve their goals and objectives in a specific amount of time. GOSPA (Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Plans, and Activities) is a 1–2-page plan which focuses on the manager and the SDRs on the how of achievement. Each set of quarterly goals should be given to team members. Most companies fall short by not engaging team members to determine the “how”. These documents should be reviewed with the SDR Manager to determine if the SDR has set realistic objectives and strategies.
Team members who review and update their GOSPA’s will be more successful than those who don’t. If a team doesn’t know how they will tangibly hit their objectives, they won’t succeed. Strategies may need to be changed, throughout the quarter to hit numbers. If the team has a method for developing a strategy, are monitoring where they are each week, and are responsible for the “how”, they are more likely to be successful.
Treat your SDR teams as a strategic part of your sales organization (even if they report into Marketing). The team will generate viable meetings and pipeline for the Sales team.
Focus your SDR Managers on what matters. Pipeline is King!
Email me at email@example.com if you want to reboot your SDR team.
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