I frequently encounter articles which include the word “have” in the title. I wanted to write mine without that word. It wouldn’t feel right to say “Top 3 Skills Every SDR Should HAVE”. Skills are trained, developed, and mastered. They are not innate.
There is no magic formula for becoming a great salesperson. So please, whenever you see an article or piece of content along the lines of “Start Selling RIGHT NOW!”…skip it. I was certainly not an expert in cold-calling when I began this profession. But with enough practice (at some point during the early stages of Tiller, we used to dial the phone over 200 times a day) it will get you there.
One helpful piece of information that helps me understand what works and what doesn’t is looking at historical data, which allows me to predict the most likely future outcome. I’ve had the honor to be on a team with some excellent SDRs; however historically, the real overperformers displayed very specific skills that enabled them to be an expert in the field.
After several years of making calls and listening to people making calls, I believe I have a decent understanding of what embodies a competent and seasoned SDR. If you are able (and most importantly, want) to develop and master these areas, you will hit the target. You can take my word for that.
Here they go:
- CONSISTENCY aka “Hit Your Numbers”
I love basketball and I’ve always loved Kobe Bryant’s consistency off the court. He became one of the best not because he was the strongest, the fastest, or a great shooter, but because he made sure to regularly go to the gym to keep shooting and to keep trying. He might miss 15 shots in a row during the game; but you can be 95% sure that out of the 1000 shots he was making around 447.
This is what it is all about; just because no one picked up the phone in the last 20 calls doesn’t mean you won’t achieve your weekly goal (whatever that may be for your specific company) as long as you hit your weekly call numbers by the end of Friday.
Reversibly, although you managed to book three meetings in a row does not translate to resting on your laurels. This may be the highlight of the day and you may not be as lucky for the rest of the day. It is recommended to envision a goal of daily call attempts and attempt to consistently reach that every single day. Everything will flow naturally if you are able to achieve this.
Further extending the basketball analogy, the number of daily calls could be compared to your shot attempts while the sales pitch would be your shooting form. It wouldn’t make sense to shoot the ball 1000 times with a different hand/ elbow and foot positioning every time. The same happens in our job.
Pitch is crucial to complete the consistency circle, otherwise we will be comparing apples to oranges. I’m sure there is a pitch that has worked well for your company historically, if not, this is something that you ought to perfect. Stick to that pitch, memorize it, read it over and over again until you are able to recite it on demand.
Remember, consistency = number of calls + pitch proficiency.
- EFFICIENCY aka “80/20 Rule”
I strongly believe in the 80/20 rule, or the Pareto principle. According to this, in many cases, 80% of the events come from 20% of the causes. Or, most of our results can be expl