Becoming the #1 SDR in the Company

Tom Murdock
October 19, 2016

I get asked all the time, "What can I do to be the #1 SDR in my company?". I've talked about this a lot and I thought it might be helpful to document it a bit more thoroughly here for the LaunchSource faithful!  I'd love to hear your thoughts after reading.

Consistency, predictability, and repeatability are what will make you Number 1. Here's how:

I'll spare you the cliche answers of "motivation and determination" as they're relevant for any job or field.  Here are some that I've seen throughout the years:

1. Be a product expert. Know your company’s product inside and out - better than the best sales rep in the company.

Note: you won't be able to do this by just going through onboarding and training. Make extra effort to speak with others in the company (once you have a baseline understanding) to learn the deep details. You should be able to act as your own sales engineer in 90% of conversations if you had to (but don’t, bringing a more technical person into customer conversations brings you and your company more credibility).

2. Have genuine empathy for your prospect.

To do this you need to understand your current customers’ and prospects’ daily struggles that your product solves (back to my point of being a product expert). What I've noticed from interviewing well over 1,000 recent SDRs/AEs and managing over 100 is that this becomes the most difficult attribute to acquire because it takes time and experience.

If you can accelerate this learning, you'll quickly increase your success. Talk to the top AEs in the company. Stay late and listen to calls with them. Practice writing recap emails for their discovery calls (this has the added benefit of helping them and teaching you how to do the next job in your career progression). Talk to you customer success reps and come in early/stay late so you can listen to current customer conversations to understand how your company helps them. Get in your customers’ shoes in any way possible to learn what their day to day is like.

3. Take whatever quota your company gives you and mentally double it.

Work like they gave you a double quota. Most reps talk all day long about how they're going to “get to quota”. If you act like hitting quota is like getting a 50% on an exam, you'll have the work ethic, grind, and approach that will at the very least have you at the top of the “willingness” score board (most managers look at a reps knowledge/ability and their willingness to do what it takes. Those who score high in willingness but need help developing skills should get the most attention from their managers).

4. Go into it realizing it’s one of, if not the, hardest jobs in the company.

No pipeline = no revenue = no company. There will be weeks where you want to say forget it. Push through and come back on Monday as jacked up as you were on day 1. There will also be weeks when you think you're awesome and the best SDR on the planet. Act like you've been there before, knock yourself down a couple pegs, and come back Monday fired up to do it again.

Remember that you start every week/month/quarter at zero - and so does the person next to you who is coming for your crown. In other words, you're only as good as the next one. This will fuel your work ethic and help you develop a consistent, repeatable approach regardless of outcome. Don't let your emotions swing like a pendulum. The best reps are onto the next one, not basking in the failure or glory of the last one.

Get after it!

About the Author:

Tom Murdock is currently Sr. Manager of Business Development at HubSpot (NASDAQ: HUBS).  In his spare time, he runs the AcceptVoice blog.  Follow him on Twitter @TomMurdock