Are you managing an SDR team yourself, as CEO / founder?  Even just 1 or 2 SDRs?

It can be … overwhelming.  SDRs need a lot of management support and overhead.  Lots of questions, lots of velocity, lots of motions.  You don’t have time to do this as CEO.  You’ll almost certainly be a poor SDR manager.

Even most VPs of Sales are poor SDR managers.  A great sales manager can handle about 8 AEs, or maybe 10 SDRs.  But not all together reporting to one VPS!

Even a great VP of Sales needs to hire a manager to manage the SDRs, too.  Don’t expect most VPs of Sales to manage more than a couple of SDRs directly without help, without an SDR manager.

But until you have that, how can you help your SDRs … do better?

The simplest hack I’ve seen again and again is — have them write it out.  I just saw Tien Tzuo suggest the same thing, and I’ve seen this work again and again:

  • Have every SDR write up each call, and share it with everyone relevant.  At least, each connected call with a Next Step.
  • 5-10 bullets is the right amount of info.  1 or 2 sentences isn’t enough.
  • Create a basic framework for them so they can fill it out.
  • Have the notes logged in Salesforce or whatever CRM you use (this will help whomever you hire later a lot).

Folks will push back at first.  SDRs will claim it slows them down.  The AEs won’t think it benefits them enough.  Others will claim Gong and Chorus etc. are enough.  No one will want to do this.

But it’s 100% worth it:

  • It will force each prospecting call to be better, and count.  And not just be a numbers game.
  • It will force the company to learn from each prospecting call, and not just have it fall into oblivion, with zero learnings (which it otherwise will).
  • It will force you to train the SDRs a bit more, and show you where and how.  Most CEOs don’t do a great job of training or even onboarding.  Once you read the SDR prospecting memos, you’ll see where you need to invest more time.
  • It will help you see how AEs really follow up.  Rarely is the SDR <-> AE flow optimized.
  • And if you as CEO are still managing the SDRs, it will help you process their inputs and outputs so you can help.  Otherwise, endless 1-on-1 questions and discussions become overwhelming.

Now, this doesn’t scale.  You can’t have all these emails when you have 10, 20, 100 SDRs.  But it works just fine when you have 1 or 2.

Because while you don’t have the time to help them in real-time, you absolutely can help them async this way.

(note: an updated SaaStr Classic post)

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