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2021 Reset: Self-Care for Frontline Sales Reps [Webinar Transcript]

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2021 Reset: Self-Care for Frontline Sales Reps [Webinar Transcript]

Find out where to find motivation as an SDR or AE and check out some proven tactics to help avoid burnout, plus organizational tips.

The issue of mental health has become a hot topic after a particularly tough year for sales reps.

So, we recently hosted Sarah Hicks, SDR Manager at Predictable Revenue, and Seb Sanders, Account Executive at Bloobirds to share their tips and tricks to avoid burnout, find daily inspiration, and how they organize their workday at home.

Here’s what we discussed during the webinar:

  1. How do you organize your day as a remote SDR?
  2. What keeps you motivated between cold calls?
  3. What tools do you use to plan your day as an SDR?
  4. Are there any LinkedIn influencers who inspire you every day?
  5. Any tips to combat burnout as an SDR or sales rep?
  6. How can leaders help SDRs combat burnout?
  7. How did you progress from an SDR to an AE or manager role?
  8. What tips would you share with new SDRs?
  9. What is the best data tool for SDRs?
  10. How can you get the most out of LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Watch the webinar on demand or read the highlights below 👇

How do you organize your day as a remote SDR?

Sarah Hicks: ‘One of the things that are important to take into account in my opinion is where your prospects are.’

You need to make sure that you’re calling prospects at a time that makes sense for them. Not necessarily just at a time that makes sense for you.

Sarah Hicks, SDR Manager at Predictable Revenue

‘So I recommend blocking your day to leave times for those specific tasks; so you’ve got your couple of hours calls in the morning, a couple of hours in the afternoon. And then you leave extra time for research or whatever is the most time-consuming task that you have in your day.’

‘But, absolutely, blocking your calendar I find to be really useful.’

Seb Sanders: ‘I completely agree, actually. I was doing the same. I was working in a different time zone, although in Europe it was only an hour.’

‘For me, for example, I’m in Spain and I was working with the UK Market as an SDR; and understanding that potentially people’s lunch break habits and timings are different. You need to understand when those people are going to be active; when are they going to be receptive to call? Like the last half an hour before lunch, people will just not be down for it because they’re going hungry. You know, I’m the same.’

Understanding your target market and how they’re going to work on a day-to-day basis as well is really important. Not just who they’re selling to but also how they work as an organization.

Seb Sanders, AE at Bloobirds

What keeps you motivated between cold calls?

Seb Sanders: ‘Something that I do, for example, at lunch break. I might play a game of FIFA and might throw some darts. I recently got a dartboard and it’s like a whole new thing for me.’

Sarah Hicks: ‘As I mentioned, blocking your day is great for work. I think blocking your day is great for time off work too.’

‘So something that I do is go ahead in my week and block out time in my calendar when I know that I need time to recalibrate. That time might be for lunch, it might be to walk the dog in the morning, it might be to do some exercise later on in the day. Whatever that is for you that helps you decompress.’

Go ahead on your calendar and block your time because you want to make sure that that personal time is there for you in the day as well.

Sarah Hicks, SDR Manager at Predictable Revenue

What tools do you use to plan your day as an SDR?

Sarah Hicks: ‘The first place I start is just the Google Calendar.’

Google Calendar is where I place all my blocks on my calendar links, all my invites, all that kind of stuff. So it’s really easy to create recurring blocks. So you can set it up to remind you 30 minutes before, 5 minutes before, 10 minutes before. That’s a great thing that I’ve always got open and that’s sort of the foundation.’

‘From there, we use Slack, and it’s another thing that you can program to shoot out reminders. The Slack bot can kind of shoot things into channels and say like; “hey, reminder, take 5 minutes” or whatever you want it to say.’

‘It’s a great way to stay in touch, of course, with other people on your team to let them know, you know, like; “hey, I’m taking 15 minutes now I’ve got some time. I’m going to be offline for a sec”; or delegate if it’s something that you don’t need to do specifically and maybe somebody else can help you out with if you need that time.’

‘And then another tool that’s been really great specifically for the content side of things. So when I’m working on podcasts like this, or webinars like this, or blogs, or anything like that, we use Asana as a marketing team; and it’s really helpful for deadlines and project management. And it’s collaborative, so you can see who’s all working on a project and when each piece is due.’

Google Calendar is where I place all my blocks on my calendar links, invites, and recurring blocks for me-time. We also use Slack to stay in touch with people on our team and Asana for deadlines and project management.

Sarah Hicks, SDR Manager at Predictable Revenue

Seb Sanders:Krisp makes my life a lot easier, not necessarily in planning my day, but in making sure that I’m less stressed than I need to be.’

‘I’ll also bring into the mix Notion. I think it’s a similar tool to Asana. We’re using it in our sales and marketing teams to deal more with the kind of where we’re keeping our content. Even what type of content works best for certain ICPs. It’s almost a kind of a marketing Playbook; or a kind of a battle card for to speak to the clients.’

‘So that’s also really useful for SDRs who are coming in as well. They come in and have a look at, you know, what’s not in Bloobirds is in Notion. So that’s a really nice tool.’

Krisp makes my life a lot easier making sure I’m less stressed than I need to be. We also use Notion to store our content and to know what content works best for certain ICPs.

Seb Sanders, AE at Bloobirds

Are there any LinkedIn influencers who inspire you every day?

Sarah Hicks: ‘Somebody, actually, who has been motivating me since the beginning of my SDR career is a sales leader. Specifically sales development leader on LinkedIn, his name’s James Buckley. You might know him from the “SayWhatSales” movement.’

‘So, he was actually a guest on one of our podcasts back before I took over and he ended up on one of my prospecting lists. I didn’t realize that he was somebody I shouldn’t probably be reaching out to colds. But I did anyway, and he responded really kindly.’

‘We ended up having a phone call with him. He really motivated me and he recommended that I kind of stay on the sales development path and one day try to go for sales development management because it’s a male-dominated industry and he was like this industry needs more women in that role, go for it.’

‘But other than that, following LinkedIn influencers or leaders like Cynthia Barnes, Becc Holland, Scott Barker, Josh Braun, Jeremy Donovan of SalesLoft. These are all people that share incredibly insightful stuff and that is really motivating for outbound in particular.’

Seb Sanders: ‘I think filling your LinkedIn with the right kind of people is definitely the way forward. But be picky. I think generally, as humans, we take comfort in people being in the same boat as us now; I mean, I’m not the only one.’

When I started the job as an SDR here, I went out of my way to find people who would have also recently just started a job. Who is being potentially more active on LinkedIn in terms of their content and LinkedIn profiles, etc.’

‘So someone like this is Scott Finden, he’s actually just got a promotion to Account Executive at Reachdesk. He’s been very active through this journey and it’s been nice for me to know that I’m not the only one who’s been struggling with, you know, this lockdown working from home.’

And also something I think it’s worth mentioning from my side as well is having non-work-related or at least something a little bit distracting.

Seb Sanders, AE at Bloobirds

‘And something I follow for example, especially in the wake of this new news era is something like Cross The Aisle; which is a nice little project from an ex-SDR at Bloobirds. And it’s kind of a breach of civil discourse issue. You know, not just living in that kind of professional bubble which I often found myself, especially during the lockdown.’

Having the right network on LinkedIn really helps I think, when it comes to motivating oneself professionally.

Seb Sanders, AE at Bloobirds

Any tips to combat burnout as an SDR or sales rep?

Sarah Hicks: ‘Even if you do all of these things, right, even if you block your day. You take that time for yourself; you may have a series of really hard calls and it’s going to knock you down.’

‘And so, having a good strategy to kind of take a second to acknowledge that you’re feeling burnt out, whether it’s fatigue, whether it’s stress, whether it’s just dealing with a bit of constant rejection and needing a break from that, it’s important to recognize that you feel that way, take a second to let yourself feel that way.

Take a second to acknowledge that you’re feeling burnout. Don’t push through and keep going because you’ll end up absolutely crashing at the other end.

Sarah Hicks, SDR Manager at Predictable Revenue

‘Talk to your colleagues, talk to your peers because absolutely somebody else has been through that. Go on to places like LinkedIn and find these people who share these types of stories. Reach out to one of them and ask them how they dealt with it.’

Seb Sanders: ‘Absolutely. I can completely agree. Communication here is key both internally and also with your peers. I think a lot of times peer support can really help.

How can leaders help SDRs combat burnout?

Sarah Hicks: ‘In an ideal world, you’ll have leadership and colleagues who are supportive and who you can reach out to and be like: “I’m exhausted. I need to take a day”; or, “All of these tasks are piling up on me, and I don’t know how to how to get through them. Can you help me?”

It’s your job as a leader to create an environment where your people feel safe and comfortable and confident to bring that up with you.

Sarah Hicks, SDR Manager at Predictable Revenue

Seb Sanders: ‘I think the point here is that we’re in 2021. If you’re at a company in which you don’t feel comfortable being able to express these concerns; then there are some real questions to be out, I think. I think strong leadership, but also respectful and understanding leadership is really important. So all those SDR managers watching, keep an eye on your SDRs.’

How did you progress from an SDR to an AE or manager role?

Sarah Hicks: ‘Luckily, I had a sales manager who took a very active hand in our SDR development planning, our long-term goal planning.’

‘So we had a quarterly development meeting ever since my first quarter as an SDR with Predictable Revenue. We would identify what are the specific skills that I want to level up; what’s kind of a future role that I’d like to get to. And he would help me plan, basically, what I need to do to get to each of these things.’

‘So something that I wanted to do pretty early on was work more with people. Because obviously as an SDR; a lot of your time is spent making dials and not even having those dials answered. So it’s not a massively social role. And so I wanted to work with people that could have been on the SDR manager side, that could have been more on the marketing side, and doing content like this.’

‘And COVID of course made it unclear which way it was going to go. But this role as an SDR manager came up as we decided to scale our client-facing SDR organization that absolutely fit the bill for me.’

What tips would you share with new SDRs?

Sarah Hicks: ‘So my recommendation for first-time SDRs; or early career SDRs who are looking to kind of grow into the next role, the first thing you’ve got to do is nail it as an outbound SDR.’

You have to consistently hit your quota so that you can show the leaders that it’s worth taking a chance on you and moving you up into that next position.

But your company also needs to show you that they’re taking care of you and that there is a ladder you can climb.

Sarah Hicks, SDR Manager at Predictable Revenue

‘If it doesn’t look like they want to move you anywhere, that’s another time where I agree with what you said earlier. You need to take a look at if that’s the right company for you; because that company needs to facilitate your growth as much as you need to help that company grow.’

‘So do your best, talk all the time to your managers about where you want to go. And then take the opportunities when they arise. Maybe if you don’t even feel quite ready for them; jump in and give it a go because there’s nothing that spurts growth like doing something you don’t feel ready for.

Seb Sanders: ‘I mean, obviously, the main thing is to do your job and do well, I think, and hit those quotas, book those meetings. But whilst doing so, being proactive really helps.’

Whilst remaining active in the company, being proactive really helps. Offer yourself up for stuff you’re interested in. You’re not just there to make cold calls. You’re there to contribute to the company.

Seb Sanders, AE at Bloobirds

‘And also, feedback as well. I mean, even if you’re not getting feedback, then set up a feedback meeting with your manager. And if you’re not getting this till then like you say let’s… the company has to work for you as well.’

‘At the end of the day, it’s a two-way relationship for sure.’

What is the best data tool for SDRs?

Seb Sanders: ‘We’ve used RocketReach, we’ve used Lusha, we’ve used LeadIQ…’ My favorite one of the lot is probably RocketReach just because of the way it works and the ease of it working as well.’

‘But yeah, I mean, there’s so many out there. There’s a lot of things to do. I actually really like Snov.io as well for email addresses. It’s free and you can’t get enough free tools these days.’

‘If you’re an SDR and you don’t have Sales Navigator, get onto your manager right now. You’ll need Sales Navigator to find information, but also to find those leads and the right target market things like that.’

Sarah Hicks: ‘The great thing about Sales Navigator is that you’re saving a dynamic search. So they know to keep looking in the background for more people that fit, and every time you connect with new people, and all of a sudden have new second-degree connections, and therefore new third-degree connections, it pulls those into your list for you.’

Seb Sanders:As an AE, something I do on a regular basis is I’ll create a dynamic list in Sales Navigator of all the people who have been a champion of mine when it comes to selling in a specific company because when that person moves company or when they change role, Sales Navigator is going to update me of that. These are people who liked your product. They come back from a different industry or a different company, so let’s have a chat and see how we can make it work. It’s a nice source of bills out of nowhere.’

What a tip! Target those people that have been your champion, recurrent clients of yours.

Sarah Hicks, SDR Manager at Predictable Revenue

How can you get the most out of LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Sarah Hicks:Something that we found to be quite successful is a hybrid approach between ZoomInfo and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. We find that putting those two things together we get a little more accuracy than you’d get from just one on their own.’

‘We create a Boolean list of companies that you’ve sourced from ZoomInfo, so you’ve confirmed these are the right companies, right industry, right size, all of that. You get that list, you put it in Excel or G Sheets to create a Boolean list separated by the word ‘or’, and you pop that into the company open text fields in LinkedIn Sales Navigator when you’re creating a lead list or lead search there.’

‘So you pop all those companies in and then you just fiddle with the title criteria and the keyword criteria, so you’re not looking just for companies, but you’re just kind of taking those companies and then finding the right contacts.’

Want to learn how to become a superstar sales reps? Check out the full webinar.

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