Sales Development Reps need to have a hunter mentality to be successful.
Some people graduate from college not knowing what they want to do with their lives. I, on the other hand, knew my career path. I wanted to sell.
My name is Dan Dougherty, and I’m a Sales Development Rep (SDR) with Gryphon Networks. As a sales development rep, it is my job to research the B2B and B2C landscape for potential prospects to call for our sales intelligence and marketing compliance solutions.
I am quickly learning that if you want to be successful as an SDR, you need to love prospecting and have a hunter mentality.
This is what I learned from my first week working as a Sales Development Representative at Gryphon Networks.
June 7, 2017. It’s day three at my first job out of college.
My team recently learned of a potential sales opportunity to gain market share from one of our competitors. Our director of sales organized a strategic call block from 4-7 p.m. Each member of my team was assigned a set of prospects to call from specific verticals we target.
Two of the more senior members of our sales team were both given 100 leads to call; I was given 40. I originally wasn’t supposed to pick up the phone for the first four weeks on the job because I needed to learn and understand Gryphon’s sales process and strategy.
Although I had no formal sales training (outside of a few college electives and a previous internship), I was entrusted to dial 40 decision makers and talk about our sales enablement platform. Needless to say, I was nervous, but this was probably one of the greatest boosts to my confidence I could ever receive.
Preparing To Prospect
SDRs need to be prepared to qualify leads, handle objections, answer questions, etc. If you have ever worked in this role what I am about to share with you might sound familiar.
I had everything I needed to be successful to attack our call block:
- Working headset
- Gryphon App For CRM with DialView
- 40 assigned leads
- Defined goals for each call
- Positive attitude
The call block began promptly at 4 p.m.
I looked at my watch and 18 minutes had passed. I hadn’t made a single call. Every negative emotion came over me: nervousness, fear, and self-consciousness. If you have ever been in my shoes, I am sure you can relate.
At 4:18 p.m., “John” called out from his desk behind me. “Dan, you good?” What he meant to say was, “Pick up the phone.” And that was that. I started dialing numbers until I called every lead on my list. “John” didn’t want to see me freeze, he wanted to see me on the phone. Not typing out emails or thinking about the message I wanted to relay.
As an SDR, it’s my job to build a bridge between Gryphon and potential prospects. Confident or not, nothing prepares you to pick up the phone the first time. Some people want to coast through their careers; other people want to thrive. When I picked up the phone for the first time, I knew it was the means to the success I desire.
It’s easy to say, “I’m a people person” and relay our soft sales skills all we want in our interviews but talk is cheap, and that doesn’t always translate into reality. Especially when the job is making calls to prospects that were not expecting us to interrupt their day with a sales call.
After dialing 40 prospects the night of our call block, I learned to stay positive and to have thick skin.
To be successful, you need to be uncomfortable.
Each member of the sales team has a one-on-one with our director every Monday after our sales huddle. We talk about the upcoming week and review what’s going well and what could we can do to improve. Our director reviews our individual sales performance including talk time, contacts made and appointments set.
During my third or fourth one-on-one, he showed me a slide from his first job as an SDR; on this slide deck, he wrote business and personal goals for the quarter.
The one goal that stuck out? “BE UNCOMFORTABLE!”
I now have a printout at my desk which reads, “If you want something you never had you have to do something you’ve never done.” As I learn how to be successful in sales, I need to work hard, stay positive and attack my role head on.
Even though I have only been in the role for a few months I look forward to feeling uncomfortable and treating every day like it’s 4:18 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
Are you interested in improving your cold calling skills? Check out our post 5 Ways To Improve Your Cold Calling Skills Now!