Providing consistent and effective training and development programs for your SDRs has never been more important. According to a PwC Study: Millennials at Work Reshaping the Workforce, and our own learnings in speaking with 2000 millennials interested in starting in the SDR role, you're likely to lose top talent if you don’t offer professional and career development.
Leadership & training opportunities that were provided by my managers and coaches early in my career have been instrumental in helping me build and lead my first company. If Paul Field, Jeannette Sanchez-Appel, Brian Crocker, Ruth Walsh, Diane Gustafson, Charu Chaturvedi and Amit Dhand are reading this, thank you. Thank you for providing me with the resources and support allowing me to advance in my career personally and professionally.
Today as a young CEO, I’m constantly challenging myself to not only develop my team, but also to find ways to provide the same support that my managers and coaches once provided me. When I think about what they’ve done, it’s wasn’t too complex, but it was extraordinarily important.
I’ve outlined 3 simple steps that you can use whether you are a new sales manager or experienced sales executive. Keep in mind this advice can apply to any entry level role.
Create a culture of learning & development.
Build it into your 1-on-1s with your team. Always ask what skills they would like to develop and where they would like to be in your organization a year or two down the road. If you are an early-stage startup or have younger employees, this could be different since younger workers are still finding what they are truly passionate about and you are evaluating their skills for the right role as your company evolves.
Encourage participation in external conferences or learning and development classes.
While some cost money, In Boston there are several free events on a weekly basis. I regularly look for anything valuable for my team. I couple of places I recommend looking are Bostinno, WeWork, or other startup community sources like Tech.Co.
Be proactive and identify books, blogs, and/or magazines that would benefit your team.
We've started using Slack to share articles almost on a daily basis since we have developed a learning and development culture. This helps us stay on top of the latest trends and strengthen our knowledge on the newest innovations in our area of expertise - sales development.
As a startup leader, I certainly can understand that time, cost, and resources are always limited. However, given that development is among the top reasons that millennials choose to stay with a company, I urge you to take these first steps and make sure your employees feel like they are constantly growing and improving.