The more you invest in SDR training, the better they will be. In a crowded market, you can’t afford to let them learn on the job. Let’s find out more.
Most of the companies I work with at SalesWorks will hire the majority of their SDRs straight from education. It’s how I started too, going straight from university into a sales development role. For me, I knew for a while that I wanted to get into sales, I’d even done some internships. However, I’d never done anything like sales development before, and certainly hadn’t had any formal training.
In this article, we’ll look at why many companies in our industry don’t invest in specific training for their SDRs – and why they should. Let’s go.
Why companies don't invest in SDR training
As I see it, the main reason companies don’t invest in SDR training is because they believe they won’t see a return on it.
The average ramp time for an SDR is three months – and they typically stay in a role for 15 months. So, you only have a fully-productive SDR for twelve months.
Because the tenure for an SDR is so short, it makes more sense to companies for SDRs to learn on the job, without the need for training or extensive onboarding. Companies believe SDRs can get the bare minimum skills they need through 30-minute training sessions or coaching with their manager. But, 30 minutes in a team meeting does not give SDRs the structure they need. It’s not formal, nor progressive or practical.
If you were to put your SDRs through a specific sales development training program, would you see a return on your investment, even in that short time? I believe you would – and I’ll explain why.
To be a top-performing SDR, you need a set of skills that other types of salesperson do not need to rely on as much.
Towards the end of last year, I wrote an article about what it takes to be a successful SDR. You can read it here, but here are my six traits that make a top performer:
- Eagerness to learn
- Communication skills
You’re unlikely to be born with all six of these attributes. Nor are you likely to have all of them coming straight out of university. But with some training and on-the-job experience, you can develop these talents and thrive.
SDRs are your company’s brand. They are the ones that have the first interaction with your potential future customers. It’s make or break – so why do customers trust fresh grads with no specific training to do it?
At this stage of the sales process, your SDRs’ interactions need to be of a high standard, demonstrating how you can add value.
Letting them at potential customers with no training on the soft skills that they need is a recipe for disaster.
Perhaps another reason why sales leaders don’t invest in specific training for their SDRs is that they didn’t have that kind of training when they were coming through, and they did OK thank you very much.
The thing is, sales development has come a long way from that smile and dial, boiler room, cold calls only game. Today, it’s all about quality conversations, going in-depth with a prospect and their organisation and creating moments that matter where you stand out from the crowd.
Could you do that in your first job straight out of university?
How to train your SDRs
Now you know the value of SDR training, what should you be training them on?
Well, that’s where SalesWorks comes in, but here are three places to start:
- Personalisation – What can you find out before your call that will help you make a unique connection with your prospect? How do you tap into what’s keeping them up at night?
- Leading with value – You’re not selling a product; you’re solving a problem. How can you make your prospect understand your approach from the initial interaction?
- Storytelling – People don’t remember pitches; they remember stories. Can you make your prospect the hero of their own story? (With the help of your product)
The market has never been this crowded, which means it’s harder than ever to stand out. If you hire the same way as your competitors and don’t differentiate from day one, you’ll achieve the same results.
Request a consultation to learn more about how SalesWorks can partner with you to improve performance through sales training.