Onboarding is a critical component to the success of any business. Do a poor job and it can have lasting repercussions for years to come. Knock it out of the park and you’ll lay a solid foundation for your employees to build upon. This is especially true when you onboard your SDRs since they play a pivotal role in driving the growth of your company. Without great SDRs, your pipeline of leads and opportunities will dry up, which means fewer sales, less revenue and ultimately stagnation.
So, how can you get your sales team started on the right foot? What can you do to ensure that they have all the knowledge, tools and support they need to do their job most effectively? Let’s take a look at five strategies you can implement to set your SDRs up for success right from the start.
Create an SDR-specific onboarding policy.
A one-size-fits-all approach to onboarding won’t produce the results you’re after. Instead, you need a customized plan that is tailored to address the unique requirements of your SDRs.
Start by defining and assigning sales-specific KPIs to set expectations. If you haven’t already, implement appropriate sales management tools to help streamline and ramp up the onboarding process. Incorporate critical SDR keys to success, such as buyer-centric messaging, live call execution and outreach best practices.
Throwing your new sales reps to the fire is a recipe for disaster for a number of reasons. First, you’ll risk overwhelming them, which can easily result in an increase in turnover. Secondly, you’ll end up with a team that has no cohesiveness or consistency. Effective onboarding involves a certain investment of time by the sales manager to provide training and coaching from day one. This will set all new hires up for success and also establish uniformity amongst your sales team, which is better for everyone.
Teach about your audience and strategy.
Even the most seasoned SDR might struggle when they are changing industries or switching between companies of different sizes or cultures. Your business is unique. If you want your sales team to really knock it out of the park, they have to become intimately familiar with what it is they are selling – from the product or service to the company vision and everything in between.
Make sure your onboarding process incorporates training about who your specific audience is, who your company is from a cultural perspective and what specific strategies define your sales process. This knowledge will help your new hires adapt better and more quickly become part of the team.
Invest in ongoing training.
Your onboarding process doesn’t necessarily end the day your new SDR is ready to start reaching out to prospects on their own. To the contrary, the most successful sales teams are those that invest in continuous education. There’s always something new to learn, ways to improve and different perspectives to consider that can really bring sales performance to a whole new level.
Whether it’s attending conferences, taking online courses, reading relevant books or role-playing, there are plenty of ways you can challenge and cultivate a winning sales team.
Reinforce positive progress with coaching.
Last, but certainly not least, ongoing coaching can keep your SDRs on the right path and help them hone their critical skills, such as communication, outreach, messaging and conversion. When managers take the time to monitor and provide ongoing feedback to sales reps, they will not only develop a much more effective team, but they will also have the opportunity to identify additional skills and strengths that can be nurtured for the benefit of both your customers as well as your company as a whole. In other words, everybody wins.
The SDR role statistically has one of the highest turnover rates, which makes it even more critical that business leaders take the necessary steps to prevent churn. A great onboarding process, such as one that includes the five strategies above, will enable you to get the most out of your SDRs and also improve the chances of keeping them onboard for the long haul.
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