The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 7 months ago

Remote Leadership Strategies for BDR Managers

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

What if your first day as a BDR manager were also your company’s first day working from home during the pandemic? How would you lead?

Well, that scenario actually happened to two BDR managers at Salsify, Emily Glasser and Tori Smith. We recently chatted with them about their best insights for remote leadership.

What we talked about:

  • The road to BDR manager
  • Motivating a remote team
  • How to onboard remotely
  • Creating an environment of support

Check out this resource we mentioned during the podcast:

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast.This podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, andthey just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach well doesoutreach? Learn how the team follows up with every lead in record time aftervirtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreach onesaccount based, plays, manages reps and so much more using their own salesengagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulled from outreach processes and customer base. When you're done, you'll be able to do it as good as theydo. Head to outreach dooh on outreach to see what they have going on. Now let's get into today's episode. Hello everybody, and welcome to thesales engagement podcast. My name is Brook Pachesta. I'm an STR enablement leader. Here it outreach, and I am so fortunate to be joined by twowonderful ladies today, Emily Glass or and Tori Smith from salsify. Today we'regoing to be talking all about motivating your team's doing so in a positive andproductive way and ultimately increasing performance. So let's kick it off with some intros. Tory and emily each of you will have a chance here. Let's startwith Tori. Tell me, like in your own words, or your originstory, or in other words, just like your quick highlight real of whoare you and how did you get to where you are now? Yeah,of course. Well, thanks for having US, Brook, we're very excitedto be here. So. So, my name's Tory Smith and I startedat sals by two years ago. Actually have a unique background where I camefrom recruiting before joining salsify and tech sales, and emily and I both actually joinedas bedrs and have since moved into the BEDR manager role. Awesome.Yeah, also, thanks Brooke again for having us in the podcast. Superexcited to be here. Like Tori, I have a unique background. Ikind of came from a lot of different places. I started off in thegraphic design program and college and then, following that, I went into hotelsales with Marryott and then slid into tech sales at salsify and today I coverour customer bed our team as well as our Europe bed our team. SoI have two guys over in London. Oh, well, awesome, globalI love it. Yeah, we're away and it sounds like you both actuallygot your start in tech as SDRs. Is that right? Yep, YEP, awesome. You know, a little shot out of Tory, I actuallyfind, you know, a lot of the best bedrs we've seen do comefrom recruiting. So but yeah, both of our first time. I loveit. Yeah, if you might in mind just like really quickly touching onwhat was like the timeline of career growth, because I think it's important to mentionhow oftentimes quickly folks can move from SDR to whatever their next role is. How long were you both in see its SDRs? Yeah, so Iwas in the seat for about a year. Yeah, about a year. Iactually was on the customer side of the bed art work and was upselling. So I had that initial conversation about, yeah, exactly a year from mystart date. For me, I was in this seat for about ayear and a half. You know, we really do something that I loveabout salsifies, you know, within the Bedr roll there's actually room for promotionjust within that like year to year and a half. So it's really great, you know, to keep our teams engage. So, you know,you go through different stages like a ramping Bedr, normal Bedr, senior Bedrand then there's opportunities as well to hold like a lead br position. SoI sat in it for the full year and a half and then actually wentinto our lead Bedr role as well, for I love it. Yeah,I think there's so much to be said about folks who start as SDRs orbtrs and then are able to lead that team because they just have so muchinternal knowledge and they understand their product really well, and I'm sure that havinga really strong positive mindset was crucial in...

...your really quick career paths. Yeah, but BEDR is not easy. No, it's not. Shout out to everybodywho is an Xtr of any kind. It is a super tough job,for sure. Yeah, do you guys call them Xtr's also? That'sgood question. We refer to the so we have like a couple different arms, which is why I just say x as like the catch all. Butthere's the SDR org and that's the outbound team, and then our MDR team, market developer, if they do our inbound stuff, and science and forall of them I just say X. I know we actually started condemn xtrsjust a couple months ago because we felt the same way we were like,we have a Europe team, a customer team and, I'm nice, partnersteam. So I'm happy to hear that we're not the only ones referring tothem as xtrs. That's I think we're starting a trend. Yeah, ittakes a little get a news to for sure, though cool for those whowho made up be familiar. I hate to put your on the spot,but could you tell us a little bit more about what Salsafa does, justso we can get some context before we jump into things? Yeah, backto my pitching days and BEDR. So you know, it's interesting because back, you know, two and a half years ago, when I heard itat salts if I, we've grown so much. We originally called ourselves ifPXM platform and a couple months ago rebranded into a commerce experience management platform because, you know, overall we want to be the go to platform for yourcompany's commerce experience. So, to simplify, a commerce experience management platform, essentiallywe give brands like, you know, Cocacola or Mars a place to consolidateall of their product content published to various digital endpoints such as Instagram,facebook, Amazon, target, Walmart, things like that, and then alsoactual insights as well to help them increase their overall performance, things like yourseo search or below the fold content, things like that. I'll book ameeting with you. That was so good. Oh Wow, yeah, eating takea meeting with us. I can imagine, like, as we've allbeen traveling through this crazy challenge, it has been working during the pandemic overthe last year. Like having that kind of intent is more important than ever. But I really want to dig into like how have you been motivating yourteam's of like you can't see them, so there is some some of thesame principle applies, like I have to know what's going on with my people, not just, you know, as reps, but as humans, likehow are they doing? And I'm really excited to dig in with you alland like how you've been positively supporting them and encouraging them to do their bestand a really tough time. So maybe we can just start with, Imean when we first transition to remote. I can't believe we're already passed theyear mark. That has bananas to me. Like what the process look like?Free all, but I feel like it was pretty abrupt for most ofus. Yeah, you know you know, it's interesting. I mean we definitelylook to our leaders of our organization is really have the answers to alot of things. And when we first went into this whole covid working remotesituation, I remember our director of growth, it was our first day working fromhome and, you know, we got on a zoom meeting and weall kind of I was a bet our manager at the time. It wasactually like my first day on the job, as it beat our manager away beingpromoted from a BEDR. Yeah, so we were like, well,what do we do? What do we say? How do we call people? What's our messaging like? And he just looked at us and was like, honestly, I I'm not I'm not sure right now. We're all goingto figure this out together. We're all knew at this together, and it, you know, was definitely kind of a wild moment because not only,you know, myself and Tori had to figure things out, but you know, you kind of had to get the buy in and the energy of theteam to have everyone on board to really experimenting, you know, from testingout new messaging, testing out like okay, people, I'm picking up the phone. What do we do now? How do we communicate internally and externally? So it was like we all had to become newbies all at once andfigure it out together. Yeah, I...

...think I'm you. You were spoton. So actually, a year ago from yesterday, Emily and I bothstarted as the begger managers and it was a very unique situation. I'm veryexciting anniversary, thank you, but very unique setting because we were all ofthese individuals, peers until that time and then all of a sudden we wereall working remotely together and managing them too. So that transition was very different.But I mean I applaud the team and how they transitioned with us,because it was definitely a learning experience for everyone, like emily mentioned. ButI think what we did was we incorporated, you know, the typical happy hours, a little bit more structure into the day, and I think thebiggest thing was just honesty. Having that honesty between the team really really helpedbecause it helped understand like where we all were day to day and growing together. Yeah, that's that's such a good point of like, I think weall learned from last year the importance of being honest and vulnerable and even yourmanager being, like I don't know, I've never done this before. We'llfigure it out, because there was a lot of like here we're all startingfrom scratch and we're all relearning things. And then, if you also thinkof like the life cycle of an str you know, y'all were in seatfor a year, year and a half. That's not that much time, butit can feel like a really long time when you're in seat because thejob is so it's honestly so draining and can be really difficult, and withyour senior Sdrs, like I can only imagine for folks. But we hadthe same issue folks who are just about ready for promotion. They were likeset to hit Promo to an account executive in May and March. The pandemichits and everything is shut down, like there's no hiring, growth or notpromoting anybody. We're in this like stalemate situation. What were some ways thaty'all kept your senior people motivated during that time and like, how are yougoing to use that moving forward? Hopefully we never have another pandemic again,but in any case, when there's like feelings of stagnancy, I just madeup a word, I think, but I liked I think you don't Yewho word? Yeah, I mean it was definitely super difficult. I know, like you said, we've all been trying to figure that out and Ithink salce by overall is done a super, super good job and I think everycompany's probably, you know, still learning how to keep people motivated.But we did a lot of different creative things like making gingerbread houses over zoomand got very familiar with all of those different like digital games, you know, stuff like that, like the cards against humanity and whatever. But,Tory, I don't know if you have anything to add, I feel likewe did a lot of like career focus stuff too. Yeah, we kindof really reconfigured our career path at Salt sufy and implemented new trainings, andthese new trainings definitely helped with the team kind of stay engaged and focus onhow they can really take this time and utilize it for their next step intheir career. But on top of that, you know, I think besides likelooking at it as a career growth standpoint, the team looked at itas okay, we're all in this together. salsify, every single SALTU by employeesand this together, and we have to remember the end results. Onething I remember doing is all of us shared the reason we joined saltsufy originally, and you know, that was extremely inspiring because sometimes you forget during thesetimes and these difficulty and everyone has a very unique story of why they joinedsalsify. But it's all about the honesty, the collaboration and the transparency that Ithink everyone kind of stayed together on. Yeah, and that's great to seethat you had you were open to change in career path and just havingthose candid conversations. Without said, I do think that was super crucial becausethe challenge, as we all know,...

...of working from home, since we'veall been in it for year, is not just the retaining people and makingsure that okay, why did you join? What's your why? I think that'sso important, but also on boarding people, and I know for usit was candid, a little choppy back in last March, in April,and I feel like we've havored things out, but I'm always curious to know,like how has your on boarding structure changed now that to confirmed? Y'Allare not back in the office yet right now. Yeah, ME, neitherit. So you're still on boarding people remotely. How is your process changedand like what have you learned over the last year? Yeah, so kindof Tutturinize Horn here. Honestly, we since we went into lockdown, we'veactually back in like December, had a chance to fortunately promote about like nineto ten people out of this senior seats into various roles across the company,you know, marketing, a eam customer success, renewals, rolls, soon. And then also in that time frame we've actually hired fourteen new peoplejust in the past four months. So it was difficult to keep the seniorpeople engaged. But you know, the good news is as they are nowin, most of them are in new roles, learning lots of new thingsand the onboarding is definitely been really interesting. It was something that, as alead VDR, I grew to really love. I had the opportunity toon board a lot of different bedrs inside of the office and, you know, a big portion of on boarding was like sure or you go through enablement. You know, you go through your first month of almost drinking from afire hose. You're in training figuring things out, but a lot of whatyou learn is like peer driven. You can hear, you can listen,you're sitting next to people, you're watching them on you know, working allday long. Obviously, since working from home, we had to really revampthat, especially in the past couple of months, and something that we've leverageda lat is three thousand and six and ninety plans. So within those,you know, of course they still have their their training with enablement, theystill have their classes, things like that, but you know, as managers wehave to be so much more handson now and within the three thousand sixhund ninety you know really outline like what is the Bedr role like day today? You know, we're pretty much for that first month. I meanit's like a nine to five job, like just on boarding them, becauseyou know, you don't want them sitting at home twiddling their thumbs, ofcourse. So you have to really like hand hold a lot more and honestly, I mean it's been a lot of fun and I think it's really helpedus get to know them. But yeah, creating like three thousand and sixty ninetyplans is definitely been a big thing that we've been leaning on over thepast couple months. Yeah, that's awesome and I love what you said aboutlike you don't really have the luxury of watching people like you might in anoffice. You have to find other like indicators to pick up on. Whenit brings me to this question of like checking, you know, people's mentalhealth. It can be really difficult to build a like a prussing relationship overa computer screen and not getting to see people like you regular times. Inthe office you would talk in the break room or in the hallway or beforea meeting starts, but now it's like it's very structured right. You don'thave that same water cool or opportunity. So, like, what are someindicators that you've liked filed away? I was like, Hey, I shouldkeep an eye on this. That people might be struggling. Sometimes it couldbe like they're just showing up late or maybe they're dropping the ball off stuff. But have you given much thought as to like how can you improve you'relike people management, relationship building while we're all remote? Yeah, I thinkyou know, one big indicator that I've seen is we're very lucky to have, you know, all those fourteen new hire is very engaging, especially overzoom and it's it can be apparent if maybe one individual is not sharing asmuch one day or one week and checking in with them. But I thinksalsafy offers a really an incredible opportunity where they realize this very early on andtook things into action, where they realize...

...that people weren't actually taking vacation.So they decided to have certain days called unplug days, that they gave theentire company the day off, and I think that helped extremely or was veryhelpful for, you know, the entire company, because, you know,there's a lot of pressure on yourself as an employee and feeling that as thoughyou need to hit all the you got to be online all the time becausethere's nothing else to do. But I think emily and I, like youknow, throughout this time, have really communicated different things that we've noticed and, you know, always checking in with each other and talking about different situationsthat were realizing on a both of our teams and getting ahead of that ratherthan getting to it when it's too late. Yeah, I mean I definitely Ihave to point out I mean the past year has not been easy onanyone. I know everyone's been going through it and tons of different ways andthere's been so many ups and downs and I think the biggest thing is,you know, when you notice someone's off, like asking them like Hey, areyou okay? You know, making sure that your team knows that you'reokay and definitely support if they need to take a random day off or it'sreally nice and sunny out and if you want to walk off at noon today, like of course, you know, please do so. Go get somefresh air or take a longer lunch. You know, obviously we have tohave like trust and I mean that's something that our team really does have,but it's definitely important as leaders, you know, of a team, thatwe provide them with that flexibilities so that they feel like comfortable taking the timethat they need to really watch their mental health. One thing like that I'verecently started doing, because the weather is getting nicer, is that I feellike a lot of people have had, you know, the covid blues duringthe winter months, at least up here in New England, and one thingthat we've been doing is having oneonone walking one once so get outside and we'llhave this conversation over the phone and on a help. So so much withyou know, taking that like breath of fresh air and my creativity level isjust like skyrocketed, and my team says the same thing, where they getback to their desk and they're like wow, like okay, I can start overnow. Yeah, I also think one other thing too, is Imean we always do like weekly spiffs, but when we were in the office, a lot of those spiffs for around like gift cards or, you know, certain prizes. And something that we've really leaned into is days off spiffsto so like, you know, if you book like x amount, wecall them Salsas, but their meetings booked. So if you book, you know, for Sal Salta's. Yeah, and it's funny because obviously are thesefelt salsify, but we'll call prospects sometimes they'll be like salsa, like ona bag of chips, and we're like, Oh my God, I have totell you, emily. So, my partner is also intact, andI told him we were recording this podcast. Yeah, somebody's felt salsify. Yeah, and legitimately was like, Oh, do they like sell salsa? Iwas like no, they do not. I really feel like we should buildsomething off of that to like be our logo, because right now it'sa salsify flower but I don't know, bag of chips and Saltsa people mightget a good kick out of that. Yeah, broke very often. Butyeah, I know I was just saying like the idea of spiffs to protectpeople's mental health. We definitely change that and I think they really appreciate it. So that way, you know, we're not just saying, like takeoff all of the days that you're feeling a little old blue, but itfeels like, you know, they're working towards, you know, spiffs thatare really important to them right now, which is that extra time off,to be able to shut their laptop for a day and or log off acouple hours early. So that's been something that they've really enjoyed. Yeah,and I think, like you mentioned flexibility, and it's just it's important to acknowledgethat, like the lines between working hours have been blurred for everybody rightlike you may have an appointment in the middle of the day or if youhave children, like you may have to take them to soccer practice or aclass or to help them a log on...

...to their zoom class, which meansthat you're now working at nine pm at night, but you were offline atone in the afternoon. So I've definitely seen that to just like flexibility aroundonline hours, as long as the output is there. When I love yourdays off too, I think, especially when people are working from home,like we have unlimited vacation and out wish, but it's still so hard to takeit off when you're like God, there's so much to do. Thenwe've implement of the similar program and it's just nice to have the permission almostto say, yeah, okay, I can take this purely for mental health. I don't need to have like a thing plan. It's just for meto not be on my computer right. I mean, Tory and I've hada check in with each other a lot. I think there was definitely a pointwhere we were probably overworking because, like you know, you're still sittingin your couch watching TV and next thing we know we both were on lineat nine o'clock still, because there wasn't really especially in winter, there wasa lot of other things to do. But I think like leveraging each otheras check ins and a good like gut check around. Okay, it's youknow, it's time to log off or that can wait till tomorrow. Imean we've really helped each other in that aspect as well. Yeah, andI think that loops back to kind of your original question, Brook, wherewith the new hires we actually pair them off with a mentor right when theystart, and it's that has been extremely helpful because that's like their goto person. You know, I remember when I first started, like I had mygoto person for every single question under the sun, like the questions that youdidn't really want to ask your manager, and I think like we make thosementors like check in on a personal level as well, and it really hashelped a lot. That's great, and then actually kind of lays into thisnext thing I wanted to ask you about. I know and a past conversation youhad mentioned that at the time you and a couple other members of theteam were reading Simon Seneck's book leaders eat last. And before we dig intothat, good brief over I've been putting on the spot twice now. Canyou give me a quick overview for those who may not have read it whowere listening? Yeah, so leaders eat last, this was something that ourvp of revenue marketing, Courtney, had had our team read and honestly,couldn't have come at a better time. You know, salcify, we havebig goals that we want to hit this year and a lot of times,when there's big goals in front of you, it's natural for leaders to create alot of like anxiety and pressure around the people that you know need tohit these numbers. And in the book, leaders eat last. It talks alot about creating a circle of safety, is what they call it, andUm, it's really about creating a very supportive environment for your team andwhen you do that you'll actually find that their performance increases all on its ownand that trusting environment really helps them want to perform for you over you know, creating that anxiety. So overall, I mean that's the general theme ofthe Book and You know, like I said during covid it really couldn't havecome at a better time. That's awesome and I mean, yeah, itsounds like a huge portion of the premise is just leading with empathy, theimportance of positive reinforcement, like there's a time and a place for sticks,but carrots send to be more effective in the long term. I mean we'removing here, or already in two thousand and twenty one. We've all madeit out of two thousand and twenty, thank God. But I imagine yourgoals and get any smaller, right, like your gross potential, the revenuetargets he has as a company. They don't take a break. So whatare some ways that you are looking to super charge your team's motivation as you'reworking towards those goals this year and then, of course, paring that with thatpositive approach? Yeah, I think, regarding this topic, something that hasbeen very helpful for emily and myself to kind of realize how to findthis motivation was emily, and I have to remember, like we came fromthis position and we know how hard this position is, and realizing those difficultiesand how we can kind of work around those and help the team work throughthose has been extremely helpful. Like the other day, Emily and I werethis is actually funny. You know where you're going with this. Yeah,you know, it was the end of the month and of the quarter anda few of our team members were a...

...little behind and we jumped right backinto that scene help them cold call on some of those accounts, and Ithink like just by doing that just shows that it's not like we're the managerand there the BEDR. It's we're a team and we're collectively working for thesame thing of the success of this company, and I think that drive and thatenergy, energy has been extremely helpful in motivating the team. Yeah,I love that. I have to say I did book a salsa the otherday. Yo, I always like still it go. Yeah, you know, something that I've learned recently as a manager and that my team has givengiven me great feedback on, is, I think, as be our managersand probably just leaders in general, like sometimes we get afraid to get ourhands dirty and, you know, jump back into the seat with them,and a lot of times the reasons for that is is, Hey, we'releading this team, we don't want to mess up. You know, ifthey see us mess up, they might they might not believe in us asmuch and our leadership and so on. But an outside mentor actually gave methis advice and, like I said, it's been working really well, isgetting in the seat with them showing them that, you know, it's okayto mess up. If I get in with them and role play and I'llbe the BEDR myself and let them be the prospects and I mess up,that's creating an environment that we actually want. learn together, like no one actuallyhas the answer to everything, and empathy has been a big word for melately, both professionally and personally, and I think, you know, it'sreally about creating that environment that says hey, like it's okay to mess up,like I've messed up before too, and show them how to mess upand land somewhat gracefully. I guess, absolutely so important to talk about failureas not only okay but like important on your journey of growing at a repand of the person, because you can't get better if you only stay inyour comfort zone, channeling inner Brunet Brown right now. There you go,I love it. Well, I think I want to be conscious of yourtime and I definitely appreciate y'all taken the time to chat, but I havea for funzy question for you. As vaccines are starting to come out andthis is weather is getting nicer, we're coming out of our hovels of likepandemic winter. What do you have plan that you're looking forward to? Thesprinting could be anything. I know I'm really looking forward to going to SanDiego here in a couple weeks. Yes, before, but I kind of feellike the universe is keeps putting me in that direction. I keep meetingpeople that are from San Diego or all of a sudden sing about trips orads or popping up. Maybe it'cause I'm talking about it a lot, butdefinitely really looking forward to that. I honestly am so excited to meet myteam. I have not met my tea. Yes, got would be my numberone thing and you know we're so, so close and we're almost there.So super excited. What about yourself, Brook, I totally I'm looking forwardto travel, to meeting people in person. Honestly, I'm really lookingforward to having like an an indoor, large happy hour, some may evensay House party gathering. I miss that so much, people over so Ireally I know it's like we have to remember how to socialize. It's Idon't think I remember. I'm incredibly awkward in person now and I'm okay withthat. Everybody's at the same baseline. Well, how can folks other frontlinemanagers who want to talk about three thousand six hundred ninety plans on boarding remotelymotivating people. How can folks get in touch with you both? I thinkthey can hit us up on Linkedin. Yes, I'm like Glasser. ToriSmith con find us. We Love Leasing Great. Well, you're hurt ithere first. Folks, if you want to get in touch with emily andTory, send them a message on Linkedin. Thanks everybody for a listening and havea wonderful rest of your day. Thank you. I this was anotherepisode of the sales engagement podcast. To...

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