10 essential tips for onboarding an SDR


10 essential tips for onboarding an SDR

The SDR postition is crucial in bringing your SaaS quality opportunities. Learn how to ramp-up your reps quickly and effectively.

The position of an SDR (Sales Development Representative) is a key member of the sales team and processes. It’s very complicated to find and contract a good SDR. It costs the company a lot of time and money—so it’s incredibly important to design a good onboarding process for them. Without well-trained SDRs, the entire sales chain would stop and there would be no pipeline nor would there be any opportunities for contracts or growth.

SDRs want to get the best results in a short period of time, but it’s our responsibility to prepare them with a good, thorough onboarding. This will give them the knowledge and tools they need for long-term success. The main objective of the onboarding is to give the SDRs a solid starting point from which they can quickly “ramp-up” from. This will improve efficiency and directly impact the company’s objectives in a positive way.

The SDR onboarding process has three objectives: firstly, to get to know the company and the product, or the solution which we sell. Secondly, to be fully aware of our target market. Thirdly, to become familiar with the tools and processes of Outbound.

Here are 10 essential steps to follow to ensure a perfect Onboarding for new SDR hires:

  1. Present the company and the team: it’s important to emphasize the culture of the team and the values that you have so that the new SDRs take these on board. Also, now is the moment to do a who’s who of the team. Present the members of the team and explain their responsibilities within the company. By doing it this way, the SDRs will know who to turn to when they have a problem or when they need a certain member of the team.
  2. Introduce the current situation of the company, the sales strategy, as well as the long and short term objectives. This way, the SDR can be better integrated into the sale department and know what the end goal is for the team as a whole.
  3. Take time to explain the roles that the SDRs play in the sales team, what objectives they have, and what processes they should follow. It’s important that the SDRs understand the key figures in the sales team (not just their role, but that of Market Research and Account Executives too), what objectives these key figures have, and how SDRs can reach them. With the role of the SDR, they are hired primarily to secure quality meetings which the Account Executives can turn into sales opportunities—for this, expertise and processes are fundamental. To get to the point where SDRs can hand over quality leads to AEs, they must Prospect the leads and qualify the companies that Market Research have delivered.
  4. It’s very important to teach the recently landed SDR to manage their expectations. They have to know who is the target market which the company is focusing on in the first place so that they can attain their objectives in a realistic way.
  5. The tools they need to reach their objectives: The playbook (the manual where all wisdom about sales in the company is collected), the CRM (a technology where all sales information is recorded), and the other tools used to manage their work to the highest standards—which give them the superpowers they need to be the best.
    This way an SDR can perform an extremely effective search for leads (through LinkedIn, Sales Navigator, and perhaps another database), start prospecting through calls, or begin emailing with the right message for each industry, position, or role—and of course, collect all of this information through mail tracking tools and a dialer.
    Thanks to these tools available to the SDR, they will begin to manage their leads and the cadence with which to contact them.
  6. What is the problem that the company solves with its solution, service, or product?
    The SDR must make leads aware of the problem and sell the solution. This is why they need to know the trends of the industry in which we work and the problem that we solve in depth.
    The most important thing here at this point is that the SDR believes in our solution so that they can sell it. During Onboarding, it’s time to show use cases, success stories, and of course, to speak about competitors. You should discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, compared to yourselves.
  7. The Ideal Customer Profile. Which companies are the company targetting? Then more importantly, who is the buyer persona? The job of an SDR is to find the right person within the company of which we want to generate a business opportunity—and they need to know exactly who to look for here. Also, they will learn what pain points the ideal customer has and how our product can help them. They will learn how to connect and engage with the potential lead.
  8. We need to teach the new hires how to organize their time, prioritize their tasks, and stay on top of everything. It’s important that they learn to keep their data inputs tidy within the CRM so that it’s easy to pull information from it at any time.
  9. Hands-on: practice what they’ve learned in real-life.
    The new member of the team has to practice prospecting through cold-calling, emailing, etc.
    At this point, it’s a good time to find a mentor within the team who can teach them how to do specific things and practice with the new team member.
    We find that roleplaying exercises with both good and bad clients can help SDRs as they’ll learn how to manage objections and doubts.
    The objective here is to record how the exercises went, review them (whether they’re audio or text reviews), and improve.
  10. Encourage good work and attitude through coaching. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to focus on improving and maximizing the communication and outreach skills of an SDR.
    It can be helpful to schedule regular 1:1 sessions with the new hires as soon as possible to encourage them to improve their skills.

In conclusion, the onboarding shouldn’t be seen as just part of a list of things to do before an SDR can be put on the phone, instead, you should think of onboarding as a future investment. As you make the onboarding more defined and standardized, the “ramp-up” will be quicker, and then the activities of the SDR will begin to affect company growth quickly.

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