Reducing Ramp Time for Entry-Level Sales Reps

Mimi Alperovich
October 12, 2016

This blog is a contribution from Mimi Alperovich, Director, Sales Prospecting & Business Development at Threat Stack, and friend of LaunchSource.

When hiring entry-level sales reps, there will always be a ramp up time. Typically, It takes 3 months to feel confident in what you are selling and how you present yourself on the phone. Below are a few quick thoughts, based on my experiences, in both the BDR role and building a BDR team and some things that I have done to get the team fired up and producing.

Set Expectations from Day 1

On an average day, a BDR will make anywhere from 50 to 100 calls and talk to 5 to 10 people. On top of that, 9 out of 10 of your connects will tell you “no”. There are times when you might only reach one person on the phone. That might sound difficult or daunting but there’s a method behind the madness.

Understanding the metrics from day one and seeing progress will help with ramp up time. One of the only ways to get better is by doing, and while cold calling is one of the most difficult aspects of the job, it’s also one of the most necessary. It takes baby steps. First you make the calls, then you make the connects, and then you qualify.

It can't all happen in one day, and coming to terms with that will speed up the ramp time. In time, as you become more comfortable handling objections, and getting better at understanding the people you’re speaking with, the conversations will become more fluid.

Constant training

I am a big believer in learning as you do. I set up a 4 day training for the new BDR's before getting them on the phone and coaching them as they go. The first four days are broken down in product training and sales training- just enough to get them on the phone. Most of my training comes after they’ve experienced a few “struggle calls.”

This is so they know what they’re facing on the other end and in return, are more receptive to constructive criticism. Having new reps hear how they sound on the phone and getting real time questions will have them learning faster and understanding exactly what they are doing and how they contribute to the pipeline.

At Threat Stack, we do weekly product training and bi-weekly sales training. We also get together weekly as a team to discuss what we are hearing on the phones and what we can do better.

Team mentality

While the majority of your goals are going to be set for you to individually attain, remind yourself that this is a team sport. Having each individual invested in their own metrics and performance is very important and will drive them, but when it’s all said and done at the end of the month or quarter, you win as team and you lose as team. You personally might have crushed it, and that’s important, but if the rest of your reps are far behind, you may want to consider sharing some of the things you’re doing to drive higher connects and generate more successes.  

If this kind of mentality is shared across the team, you will see the team working harder and smarter. They will want to be on the same level as those around them. The team will also be more invested across the board in helping each other. When in a startup, it’s all about knowledge share. A good part of working with a small team is the ability to collaborate and grow to new levels. Keeping things a secret or having a selfish attitude drives a negative mentality and becomes contagious. Conversely, reps that share ideas and come together tend to celebrate the large wins more.