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20Sales: How Rippling Built Their Sales Machine: How to Hire, Train and Manage the Best SDRs, What is the Right Comp Package for Sales Teams & The Playbook to Start and Scale Your SDR Team

Fri Jun 07 2024
Sales DevelopmentSDRsOutbound SalesHiring SDRsOnboarding SDRsEffective SDR StrategiesSDR Success FactorsEnhancing SDR OutreachSDR Career Paths

Description

This episode covers key insights and strategies for Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) in building and scaling sales teams. It explores the importance of experience in sales development, the role of SDRs as a bridge between marketing and sales, effective hiring and onboarding practices, and tips for success in SDR roles. The episode also discusses the future outlook for sales development and the evolving landscape of outbound sales.

Insights

Experience in sales development is valuable

Even if not directly in that field.

Sales development is a crucial pillar

Within the go-to-market function.

SDRs play a bridging role

Between marketing and sales teams.

Promoting SDRs internally is common practice

For career development in sales organizations.

Outbound sales is still relevant and evolving

With AI playing a role in streamlining tasks for SDRs.

There is a concern about AI and automation

Leading to less appreciation for personalized outreach in outbound sales.

The debate on whether SDRs should report to marketing or sales

Depends on the organization's focus on inbound or outbound strategies.

Different types of MQLs have varying conversion rates

Highlighting the importance of close alignment between SDRs and marketing teams.

AEs may benefit from relying on SDRs for prospecting

To focus on closing deals.

Hiring the first SDR should be someone experienced in both prospecting and closing

To build processes and scale.

Chapters

  1. Sales Development
  2. Outbound Sales and SDRs
  3. Building and Scaling SDR Organizations
  4. Assessing and Hiring SDRs
  5. Effective SDR Strategies
  6. Onboarding and Performance Management for SDRs
  7. Success Factors and Morale in Sales Teams
  8. Enhancing SDR Outreach and Career Paths
  9. Tips for SDR Success and Future Outlook
Summary
Transcript

Sales Development

00:00 - 06:42

  • Experience in sales development is valuable, even if not directly in that field.
  • Sales development is seen as a crucial pillar within the go-to-market function.
  • SDRs play a bridging role between marketing and sales teams.
  • Ashley Kelly, VP of Global Sales Development at Ripling, has significant experience in scaling sales teams.
  • Promoting SDRs internally to higher roles is common practice for career development in sales organizations.

Outbound Sales and SDRs

06:20 - 12:31

  • Outbound sales is still relevant and evolving, with AI playing a role in streamlining tasks for SDRs.
  • There is a concern that AI and automation may lead to less appreciation for personalized outreach in outbound sales.
  • The debate on whether SDRs should report to marketing or sales depends on the organization's focus on inbound or outbound strategies.
  • Different types of MQLs have varying conversion rates, highlighting the importance of close alignment between SDRs and marketing teams.
  • Sales Development is advocated as a standalone pillar within the go-to-market function, acting as a bridge between marketing and sales.

Building and Scaling SDR Organizations

12:03 - 18:14

  • AEs may benefit from relying on SDRs for prospecting to focus on closing deals
  • Ripley had a complex SDR organization supporting various functions and focusing on cross-sell and upsell
  • Hiring the first SDR should be someone experienced in both prospecting and closing to build processes and scale
  • Founders or high-level sales/marketing individuals should lead in building the initial sales playbook
  • SDR hiring process can consider candidates with diverse backgrounds like recruiting or call center experience
  • Interview questions for potential SDRs should focus on coachability, ability to navigate change, and examples of handling feedback

Assessing and Hiring SDRs

17:47 - 23:48

  • Candidates are asked tough questions about their failures and how they implemented feedback to assess coachability.
  • Motivation factors like being money motivated or seeking growth and recognition are important in hiring for sales roles.
  • Organization skills, such as being highly organized with calendar blocks, are crucial for success as a Sales Development Representative (SDR).
  • In the interview process, candidates undergo phone screens, role plays, and email assessments to evaluate their coachability and skills.
  • Role plays like elevator pitches test candidates' ability to adapt and improve based on feedback.
  • Email tests assess candidates' writing skills and ability to engage prospects effectively.

Effective SDR Strategies

23:21 - 29:26

  • Cold email outreach and personalization are important for SDRs to be effective in their role.
  • AI is making email communication more challenging as it can be used to generate emails without clear authorship.
  • SDRs are interested in using AI tools to enhance their productivity.
  • Compensation packages for SDRs typically include a base salary and variable pay based on quota achievement.
  • Some companies have experimented with putting SDRs on a revenue model, but its effectiveness varies based on the business model.
  • The hiring approach for SDRs has evolved, with a shift towards considering candidates with prior SDR experience.

Onboarding and Performance Management for SDRs

28:59 - 35:15

  • Due to tech layoffs, there is more talent available for SDR roles.
  • Employers should trust their gut and interview process when hiring post-COVID.
  • A common hiring mistake is rushing the process without focusing on quality interviews.
  • Effective onboarding for SDRs involves getting them on the phone by week two and providing ramping goals.
  • SDRs are not expected to close deals in the first month but have ramping quotas leading up to full ramp at month four.
  • Outbound sales take time to yield results, with an average of two weeks for a sequence to be effective.
  • Monitoring account to S1 and account to S2 conversion rates helps set targets for SDRs based on ACV levels.
  • Quotas for SDRs vary based on ACV levels, with higher ACVs requiring fewer but higher quality opportunities.

Success Factors and Morale in Sales Teams

34:47 - 40:38

  • Lower ACV requires higher number of S2s for qualification based on CAC payback perspective
  • Monitoring inputs like calls, emails, and account interactions is crucial for SDR success
  • Proactiveness and engagement with leadership are indicators of potential success in new hires
  • Managing morale in sales teams involves close support, focus on basics, and celebrating small wins
  • Short-term goals and daily functions like call blitzes help drive motivation and performance in sales teams
  • Collaboration between SDRs and marketing can enhance prospect awareness through direct mail campaigns

Enhancing SDR Outreach and Career Paths

40:13 - 46:44

  • Opportunity for SDR and marketing teams to partner better in the ABM world
  • Utilizing direct mail campaigns to warm up prospects before SDR outreach
  • Starting a podcast can be an effective strategy for engaging with target personas
  • Challenges in scaling an international SDR team include time zone differences and communication
  • Traits of successful SDRs include overcoming adversity and willingness to learn from failures
  • Offering different career paths within the company for good contributors who may not want to stay in sales
  • Importance of time management for a leader overseeing multiple functions and geographies
  • Adapting motivation methods based on cultural differences when managing international teams

Tips for SDR Success and Future Outlook

46:21 - 52:59

  • In-office SDRs perform better than remote ones, especially for outbound sales.
  • New SDRs are advised to shadow and mimic top performers before adding their own touch.
  • Best SDRs use sales recordings to analyze metrics and improve performance through data-driven coaching.
  • The stigma around SDR roles needs to change as every market and industry is different.
  • Some advice given to SDRs, like warming up deals for A.E.s, is considered ineffective by some professionals.
  • Having supportive bosses who provide autonomy and trust is crucial for the success of SDR organizations.
  • Sales development is expected to reach the executive level in the next 10 years according to Ashley.
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