The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 11 months ago

Encouraging the Growth Mindset in SDRs

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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There’s no one size fits all when it comes to setting your team up for success—however, there’s much you can do to build and support a development-focused environment.

Today we are joined by James Buckley, Director of Business Development at Attest, to discuss how he motivates, trains, and connects with his SDRs.

Join us as we discuss:

- Encouraging SDR development

- How having a growth mindset improves your team

- Why setting customized KPIs is critical

- The importance of comprehensive onboarding material

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

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast. This podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, and they just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach well does outreach? Learn how the team follows up with every lead in record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreach runs account based plays, manages reps and so much more using their own sales engagement 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 they do. Head to outreach Doo on outreach to see what they have going on. Now let's get into today's episode. Welcome all to the sales engagement podcast. This is your host, Caitlin Kelly, senior manager of sales development at outreach and also co founder of str anonymous. For today's episode, I'm super excited to be talking about the key ways to successfully develop strs, and there's no one better for us to have on the as our guests today, which is James Buckley, sales development leader. Over at a test. Jeames, I'm going to tossed over to you tell us a little bit about your career path and a little bit about a test, because I know there's some exciting things going on over there for you all as well show them, say, maybe a if I start with a test and then I can go into career part first. Also, thank you for the in Troyer. Fills all the pressure on me now to Nail House, to develop all St Ours. Yeah, so at a test, I mean, as you may have seen, of just raise our series be which is very exciting if you think about our vision, as we we inform every true intuition and dissolve any doubt. So we do this Blay, enabling companies to ask the right questions the right people at the right time. So in reality that means we have a panel of a hundred ten million consumers globally and companies can ask them any question they want and receive answers in minutes. In terms of myself, like my career path hasn't been the most standard. I guess. I was a musician for about five years, then I went into sales. So my soul two sales in the best way possible, and so I was working for a for X Company for about six months, just old school calling, not a lot of software etc. It's good starting point. Then I moved into divide a, which is a bit more fintech software company. Join them as employee number three, as had a really good experience with doing going from sort of seed up to series A. started as an str and ended up heading up the or leading the sales team and the SCLS. There that I moved over to the lending side of Fintech, so more of like a bank called geology, like a challenger Banking in the retail finance space, and I built out the sales team. They're so led the the a's, str CSM's and then finally moved to a test a couple of years ago and I've come there to leave the St our team. So currently I'm looking off to the market in the mayor and also sort of acting as a caretaker manager for...

...the US str team until they find a manager there. Amazing. So you definitely have a loads of experience in how to develop in scale these business development works, which is amazing to hear. What kind of really got you into sales from the the beginning? I'm always curious because I did the more our career change. I came from fashion and then got into sales. So, you know, coming from music, but really triggered that. Yeah, I'm not sure this is the answer you want, but it was pretty much security and bunny I have that does that sound? But really, sically, I think that, you know, I've always been a very goldriven individual and I was, I don't tally, living a lie, but I was enjoying my time as a musician but it wasn't really given me the lifestyle I wanted. So had to make some decisions pretty quickly and say it was was there for me. Yeah, and I think there's no doubt that you can definitely carve out a lucrative career within sales and the progression that you can make within especially if you but kind of the grind in. There's opportunities that end up and folding along the way, hundred percent fantastic. So when I kind of previously talked about really developing a team, there's two things that you had mentioned. The first thing in developing a team is really having ownership on the development at the ICEE R SDR level, along with leader leaders being able to provide clarity on that development path. Can you kind of explain to us a little bit more about what that means. Sure, so, if you break it down and start with the ownerships of development. So I think it's it's really important for leaders to understand that, or at least from my perspective, that ninety five percent of the desire to learn develop needs to come from the str there's only so much you can do to influence behaviors as a leader. So it's about finding the right people, obviously, but I think it's also around finding a way to influenced inspire what you want to see within them, and that's probably more on the leader side being able to provide a the clarity. But I think I've managed strs who have just this innate desire to become better, in this real gross mindset, obviously the perfect person for a to have on your team. But not everyone's like that and I think that there are also SDRs who, with the best intentions, probably don't have that same grows mindset. But I think as a leader that's not always because you haven't set up success, that that's comes from themselves as well. So not trying to give you a way out as a leader, but also there's only so much you can do to to inspire change. But I think I'm with regards to actually what you can do as a leader. The first thing of one and sturs ramp or doing their ramp. I'll like to sit them down, just understand their goals and like, what do they actually want to achieve? What are their motivates, how can we help them achieve them, and then just set out some really specific, measurable, you know, to put a time frame too. It goals that we can help them get to and if they complete the actions then theoretically they should be able to get to their goal state. So, so long as that goal is motivational enough for them, that should...

...influence some sort of desire passion to start developing. What a leader can do is tie those goals to what they believe the str needs to do to get there, and that might be a gay want to earn enough managed by House Gay. How we ended? Let's look at how the commission schemes set up currently. How many calls your currently making to get a meeting? How many meetings put gets an squl or an Esquo? Then how much money that could actually earn you. So I think a leader is like can facilitate the goal setting but obviously the desire has to come from the str and things like one two ones. I've truly believe that once the str has been ramped and they should be leading those ones, two ones as a time for them to speak about themselves and how to get to where they need to get to, rather than and a leader just to say, you know, this is what we need from you. You need to make more calls, you know, some more emails at sector is upset. That's a whole different sin completely and I think finally giving them a way to understand what they need to do to get the next level internally as well, so not just about their wider macro goals, but also okay, I when I'm becoming a so how do you do that? So we have a career great framework at a test, but we also run sessions to use real life experience, because I think it's all very well having like theoretical words on a pay used to say your communication skills need to do this, and actually it's very call sative information, but to actually I think stal's crave that real life experience from their leaders to say this is how I did it and this is the steps I think you should take. To get there, but also they should speak to their their peers as well. Obviously. Yeah, there's a lot of gold in there that you just mentioned. I think one of the things that I picked up on there is a kind of around growth mindset. I think a lot of leaders you probably been in the situation where you are. You're trying to motivate and inspire and get somebody over the line almost more than they actually want it, and that kind of comes down to like that growth mindset. Would have been some ways that you've been able to identify this in candidates that you're bringing onto your team? Do you have like, you know, a go to interview question that kind of yeah, I used to always ask people what they did on their commute, for that sort of ended when when we went remote. Obviously it's like you can start to get an insight into what people are doing and actually understanding and learning from a purely selfdevelopment aspect. But generally speaking it's people who have or showing attributes that I've just talked about. So they set goals and they hold themselves accountable to them. Yeah, and it's very much that whole accountability piece is it's just incredibly important. I really recommend mindset by Carol dwect for anyone looking who wants to look into this more. But a great book P for that will guide them this to some questions they can ask. Fantastic. So I know on the back end of this we talked about, you know, providing that clarity so the team actually knows really what what steps do they need to putting, because a lot of people do have the ambitions. They're the hard it's just hard for them to kind ident if I had do I actually get these skills. What does that plan look like? So kind an partnership? How have you been able to provide development and progression for your...

...team? What does that program really look like for you over at a test sure so it starts with their on boarding. We've recently, well, as a recently, it's been over year now, we've implemented high spot to have a what I'd like to consider as a sort of fully fledged on boarding cause quite intensive, over two week period. That sets them up. I like to think of that as a way to set someone up to be an str who has never done the job before and to cover everything from house making a co call, how to send a personal as email, how to use the sort of the software we've got. What does a competition do? How do we beat them here? Just matter cards to really get through all of them. And then, on top of that we obviously have ongoing coaching from managers and we have an outsource sd our coach as well, and we have a whole host of resources as well. So anything from okay, what books do I need to read? Or what books could I read to go from SDR AE or be useful for me? What could I reach go from a to leadership or mesty offer leadership? What network should I be joining? What podcast should I be listening to? To be try and but not flood them, but give them as much as they want, but have it there for them to take rather than force it down their throat. Yeah, okay, fantastic. And how on does this kind of on boarding program really last for you all? Like, would you say, over at a test? So it's two weeks intensive with the actual high spot course itself, and that's the sort of like how I see it is. The first week they're just ingesting loads of information, probably thinking, Oh my God, this is so much to understand. The second week is letting that sit and actually it starts to make sense, then the sub to put things into a practical sense and then they have a three month ramp period, with them being fully ramped on month or so after we two they're expected to start the role for for Real, you know, making calls and the emails, etc. Reaching out to prospects. But actually, obviously they've got managers to coach them and help them get what they need to get to okay. And you know, as the sales development function continues to grow on so many companies and they're going through the scale up stage as well, if a leader was looking to implement like that same program and they were starting from complete scratch, what would be kind of your direction or how would you help them structure that to kind of build it out? Where would you want? Would they start with the email, with the call, calling kind of how would you go about that? Yeah, I think a couple of things. I think firstly, they should ask themselves some questions. So what are they trying to solve? For? Is it going wrong currently, you know, is the onboarding terrible? Is it really manual? They finding that they have to do the same thing over and over and over again, because obviously that's not scalable at all? Where their reps trying? Where they're ups falling down? The ones who have been on boarded, is there anything they need to work on more or anything they need to develop a little bit more than they thought they originally did? What questions being asked as well my post on boarding? What challenges of people having are they going on? My God, I have no idea how to do this. Competitor. Okay, great, in that case, let's go and build on the end of down building. The second part of that is, you know, I'm very fortunate at a test that we have a budget for great tools like high spot, so I appreciate it. That's not going to be the same for every other company. So a DIVIDO. What I did was I started a google site, like a Wiki, completely free, but you could click through...

...find out everything you needed. A test. We started with Google, just docs, drive up. mean, that's okay, but it's not scalable. Yeah, and then we move to notion and finally, I think this we're getting into a place where it is scalable. We got things like walks through videos, lots of questions being asked throughout practical exercises. A real breakdown into all the tools for using yeah, so it's not perfect, but it's it's better than it has been in the past. Yeah, I think that. I think the biggest thing is, like you would mentioned, ask the questions where it's like what are you looking to solve? Where are those gaps, and then start there this kind of start building it out from there. One of the other things here. So you know you've built this clarity around the development program for your teams that you guys can scale now you've seen it of all over time. How are you kind of instilling this behavior around growth mindset for your team? A lot of you know, a lot of the time we'll hear, as drs are it is a tough job, it's a gritty job. So how are you kind of helping them under seeing the opportunity is that are beyond sales development in the skills of the development now are going to carry them throughout their career? Sure, so, I think, firstly, the word in still makes me think of like a parent talking to a child. It's like making them exactly how you want them and I think that I prefer to think that we can try and influence their behaviors rather than instilling because you can't physically make someone change if they don't want to be. You can help show them what the world looks like and maybe they want that same world as as you're showing them, and then great, you can put tunity together and help them get there. So again, I think it comes down to and I'm sort of beating the drum here, but but goal setting is so important because I can establish their own Kpis as well. So I think like Kpis are obviously important in an str team, but actually creating Kpis did our specific to that individual is really important to its not everyone's going to be the best in the frame. We can try and get them there. Not everyone's going to be the best at something. person's emails at scale, and everyone seen we did best at doing videos or Linkedin or whatever. So personalized Kpis around them that will help show them that actually, there's not just one way of doing this and you can use their own ratio to do it, as long as you have the software and place to be able to to monitor those things. So goal setting number one, along with Kpis to help them achieve those goals, and then having a solid commission plan as well of course, like to motivate people to I mean that's you try and drive behavior through, commission right in sale, I think on the softer side of things, though, that's not really nothing to say. But on the softep things from say again, I like the gold is really important. So having an open, unjudgmental culture where people feel comfortable to USK questions and they feel comfortable to come to you and comes to their peers and not be well judged on on what they're asking and the super important and then finally provide them with the resources that they need to succeed. So we have like a budget through sunlight where they can spend x amount of money on selfdevelopment per year. But also we can help guide them as to what they should be looking at. So what course should they consider? What book should they considered buying, you know, as...

...something towardable and big fan of that, so they can listen on their way to work, for example. Yeah, Ye, others some of the things I would do. But I think, again coming to my very first point I made, as a leader, there's any so much you can do to influence this stuff. Like the person has to want to succeed themselves. Yeah, definitely, and you'd mentioning up. There's loads of information out there. So kind of how are you helping your team prioritize what is the right information they should be looking for now? Are you kind of help guiding them? That's so they're not, you know, spinning their wheels on things that maybe aren't going to grow the right skills or outcomes. You're looking. Yeah, this is really interesting one. I think that I soon become very cynical when I go on Linkedin, because there's so many people talking all the time about things and I have to try and differentiate between actually what's interesting and what have they actually set out to teach people about, and actually what is just self serving. I need to get some likes and raise my profile. Are So I think, and it's really hard. If I'm thinking that, then sts definitely will be. And I think there was an example this I saw the other day when it was just what to do after a goal call and someone had said something and someone said comes something completely different and they were literally post next to each other and I was thinking, I know it's not a huge issue, but actually there's a lot of information out they're basically and it is hard to differentiate between what's going to be valuable and what's not. I think from an sts point of view, you could easily get stuck in a trap of our don't want to do anything. I have candim activity because it's not perfect, because this person said that I need to change this to ensure that I've got this ratio, and then I can only start calling or send the emails. Then that's obviously very slippery slope because if you don't need the activity, you're going to heat your targets and it's not going to end well at all. So I try and recommend that scrs have a set out time or a set time during their week where they can work on their selfdevelopment stuff and have, let if that's like an hour a week or two hours a week, and they just go, you know, what's the afternoon your least productive? Or start an hour early and do it then and just set out, like what do you want to achieve from this? Who are the best people to speak to? I can help you look at those people. Or what courses should I be be looking at to but I also try and teach them, and I said during that that expression because it sort of feels like it's bit patronizing, but I try and guide them. I should say as to not everyone, I or just because it works for someone doesn't mean it's going to work with someone else. And everyone is giving advice based on their own experiences that they've been through doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work for you. I think a lot of people we see on Linkedin, for example, cell to sales people might not be the same tactics as to sell to marketers that we do. It a test, so lots of information. It is hard to differentiate between what's goodting bad or not bad, but what's good and what's valuable not so valuable. And then I think it's really important to be rigorous and disciplined as an str to have that set time for learning, work with your manager to understand is essentially going to help me or is it just, you know, self serving bullshit, and that's what I would advise. Yeah, I think also speaking to piers as well. Yeah, let speak to...

...people have actually done it recently. A lot of the people on Linkedin, for example, I now I'm pretty sham using linked in a lot. I don't mean to go too much, but they haven't. They haven't done this stuff in a long time and even when I speak to them. You know when was the last time I was cold calling as an str it was a while ago, right. So speech shappeers speak to a's as well. Yeah, I like one thing to echo there is, you know, there is lots of information out there, but you can't let the fear of being perfect to kind of hold you back from actually trying so totally. You've got to try. You got to move forward, leverage of peers that are doing the same, you know, the same grittiness, stay in and day out with you, because they're going to help you kind of craft that that perfect email of a perfect in trail for the pole call from there. I'd be curious understand, you know, based off of are you guys invert or yeah, are you hybrid or are you remote? Power is your off is greatly set up. We're remote. Yes, sorry, we're hybrid. I said that was such confidence behind it. We have an office in the shortage and we were remote up until, God, maybe July, June, July, and now we're doing sort of two three days in the office week and same in the US as well. The ever we work in New York. Amazing. I was I'd be curious to know. You know, with kind of coming back into a hybrid, do you feel like that has encouraged the growth mindset and people kind of having that motivation to invest back into their development, whereas I know a lot of people in they're completely remote. It was a little I felt like we're always working. I was hard to switch that off. Yeah, it's like groundhog day, wasn't it? I think certainly, I think it's been. It's had a positive impact. Like I personally love being in the office. I think that not every salesperson is extroverted, but a lot of them are and they get their energy from other people and being around other people. So things like calling blitzes are so much easier when you're surrounded by other people doing it. Things like you know the team will suddenly say, let's do an email competition first emails, as Ping Out, you know, as many as we can in nineteen minutes and see how that goes. And I think obviously people can learn so much easier from other people as well from being around them. So there's a's there right next and they can learn from then, as can hear them on calls and give them advice. Managers can have him on calls in real time give them advice, they can hear each other on Coles, they can read you know. It's just it's a way better atmosphere in my opinion, for selfdevelopment. I'm saying, I my assumption on Myhpothsis that people going to level up a lot quicker being in the office and remote. Yeah, the the knowledge share is just a little bit more easier if it's someone sitting at the desk next to you rather than, you know, hating up five minutes to jump by a zoom and then there's pattern interrupts and all the way through. So definitely agree with you on that one. So lastly, James, if there are has tor leaders out there, they are looking to level up their teams, as are kind of going through the similar motion that you've done with previous companies in over at a test. Where would you kind of what resources would you suggest they look out your which ones have had a major impact on your own development as a leader? Good one. So I think it like resources. I can see as speaking of flight software that will help them like sells engagement towards for example, but...

...also that looks through your network. I think actually some of the most interesting conversations, and probably transform transformational ones, have been when I've just reached out cold to someone who I know, they don't know me and I've said, Hey, can I buy your coffee and talk about this subject? So and no doubt every Stli to will have loads and loads and loads of connections and people that they may know through someone else and there are plenty of networks they can join to do that. But I think actually sounds basic. But see what the people do. If they're working for great companies and they're in great positions, they're putting something right. So goes do their ideas. Yeah, that's a good call, just to reach out to the people within your network. Is there any other books are read Ursus that you you had mentioned one previously on the on the chats. There any other resources or books that you'd recommend? looves in mindset by Carrow do it. It's great. I'm a big fan of it's not seal specific, but principles by raid Dallio is great that. That's been a good one for me over the time. I mean there are just so many books on there in sales. I'm even happy to share the spreadsheet I have of recommended reads she'd like. But yeah, too, I need to mention. All right, no worries at all. Well, James, of any of our listeners wanted to connect with you and talk shop about scaling and developing scars or just connect overall, we're would be the best place for them to reach out. Linkedin for sure. I've actually got pastick. Well, you heard it here first, and thanks so much, James, for all your insight today. It was a fighter having you on the podcast. Lets hoping this was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. To help this get in front of more eyes and ears, please leave us a shining five star review. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement. To get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreach, that I oh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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