How to get promoted as an SDR

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Hitting your quota only gets you so far

I have been thinking a lot about the concept that Matt Amundson shared on the big stage at #Rainmaker19 a few weeks back. It is the notion that systems are a better way to get results than goals, and quite frankly, an idea that I can see a ton of people wincing at. I happen to agree with Matt’s idea and it has to do with the headline of this thought — hitting your quota only gets you so far when it comes to getting that promotion we all look forward to earning. I’ll explain.

System > Goal

We have a goal every month of pipeline dollars created for the sales team to go ahead and bring home, let’s pretend that number is $31 (my college baseball number). No matter what happens in week 1 and week 2 of each month, we are always able to meet our numbers given the process we follow, not because our goal is $31 and we all of a sudden “turn it on” halfway through the month. Rather, we have a system that’s specific and timely we believe in that has helped us see and achieve success month over a month beforehand. I’ll leave the rest to Matt and Ralph on this topic, you can find their full thoughts here.

Related: The Clear & Complete Guide to Account-Based Sales Development

Initiative > Leadership

Initiative is described as the ability to assess and initiate things independently. In relation to climbing the professional ladder, having an authentic, focused initiative slightly edges out leadership. I have yet to meet a manager who complains about an SDR with the ability to troubleshoot before escalating a problem to management. Initiative leads to preparedness and I have never heard a client complain about a sales rep being over prepared.

Another great, but perhaps not as quick way to rise the ranks of your organization is to lead. It is important to make sure to remember that sales is both an individual and a team sport, so having the awareness to know how much time to lend in relation to where your personal goals are is vital. Crush your quota and bring more to the table. That’s why it’s easiest to lead as an SDR from your desk. Here are a few ways to do so:

  1. Public Praise. Most of us SDRs sit together right? When someone makes a good call tell them “great job” out loud and publicly. It creates camaraderie within the group and encourages others to join in. Winning is contagious.
  2. Help your neighbors. Share insights on accounts you have pursued in the past if you hear relevant chatter from your neighbors.
  3. Speak Up. When a manager is not around and someone needs help, go ahead and step in and take the initiative to lend a solution that has worked for you in a similar situation.
  4. Call Call Call. It’s infectious. Start hammering out voicemails next to your peers. They will quickly fall in line and start dialling with you. Can anyone say call blitz?!?!
  5. Participate. Ask questions in all-hands meetings, team meetings, or 1:1 meeting. Go to team events and network with leadership. Take advantage of any office hours executives have. Be everywhere and be relevant. Folks will recognize the effort and respect the value you add to any conversation or situation.

Related: THE Most Data-Driven Sales Development Process in the World

The best leaders are the ones others are willing to follow, not because they have to, but because they want to. They empower their colleagues with positive reinforcement and constructive criticism. The best part about what I have shared here, is that every single item can be done through practice, and does not require natural born talent (just a little elbow grease). You do these things, you follow this system, you will be promoted, management won’t have a choice. Happy Hunting!

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