5 Ways to Motivate Your SDR Team in 2017

By Lindsey Morris, Director of Social Sales Innovation at Creation Agency, (@Linds__Morris) SDR Managers this blog is for you. Welcome to 2017; a new year for planning out the …

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By Lindsey Morris, Director of Social Sales Innovation at Creation Agency, (@Linds__Morris)

SDR Managers this blog is for you.

Welcome to 2017; a new year for planning out the best course of action for keeping your SDR team engaged, hungry, and ready to crush some Q1 goals.

I have been there as both an SDR and as a Manager. You know that Drake song with the lyrics, “started at the bottom… now we here.” That basically sums up my journey in the SDR world.

I started out as an SDR at a startup Software Company; went to Presidents Club; became Team lead; and then promoted to an SDR Manager with a team of 12 under me. I have basically seen every scenario imaginable for motivating SDR’s (having been one) and so here is my take on the top 5 best for hitting your 2017 goals. 

To start, in my experience it is super important to have defined KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and Metrics. Nothing is less motivating to any individual in sales than not knowing what you are being measured on. Setting the expectation from the start sets a clear path to communication and goal attainment. It is really difficult to hit your team goals, if your team does not know how they are performing. During our weekly 1:1’s we would go over where the SDR’s performance stood for the week, month and quarter, this ensured that everyone was on the same page and that actionable coaching could take place to get back on track if needed.

This next suggestion is often times overlooked, but can be incredibly motivating and impactful in the performance of your team; involvement in the sales cycle. Too many times an appointment or lead would be passed over into what seemed like a black abyss never to be heard of again. Keeping your SDR team involved in the entire sales process is crucial. It encourages a closer working relationship with the sales team, and they feel supported and inspired to do their best. Nobody wants to feel like they are out on an island all by themselves. Creating and nurturing the alignment and environment between SDR’s and Sales is essential to your company’s success. Whether it’s sitting in on demo’s, attending an appointment etc, watching a lead turn into a customer can be highly motivating to continue setting quality appointments.  

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This leads me to my third suggestion; which is Recognition. This was the most beneficial to myself when I was an SDR. Just like we all have a “love language” we also all have different preferences on acknowledgement.  Having daily or weekly huddles recognizing top performers is a great way to keep the team hungry and excited. I often did giveaways for top performers (different from contests) completely random at times, but highlighting the efforts they have contributed to the team. I know I personally like to be acknowledged for working hard, hitting goals and contributing to the company’s overall results. Most people want to feel like they have made an impact to the success of their company and recognition perpetuates that. Theoretically, motivation comes from within, however, under performing team members even show improvement when recognized.

One of my favorite ways to motivate SDR’s is through Contests. Contests are a great way to get quick wins and bring up team and individual morale. One of my favorite ways to run these, would be to do “pop up contests”. If the day’s performance is slow and you aren’t meeting your numbers, a great way to get re-energized is to offer up some quick cash, a half day off work, or gift cards. Appointments always seemed to improve, resulting in increased performance and meeting your goal.  

My final thought on motivating your team is to involve them and check in with them often on career growth potential. An executive once told me, “you should never be complacent in your current role and always be working towards your next goal.” Checking in with the SDR’s during your 1:1’s is the perfect time to reconnect and evaluate how they are doing working towards their ideal work goals. Most people want the opportunity for advancement within their organizations, the opportunity for more responsibility, additional pay, and a higher title is a great motivator for excelled output by the SDR. 

So to sum up, below are 5 ways to motivate your SDR team in 2017.

1 – Make sure to have defined KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and Metrics.

2 – Keep your SDR team involved in the entire sales cycle.

3 – Have daily or weekly huddles recognizing top performers to keep the team hungry and excited.

4 – Motivate your SDR team through contests.

5 – Involve your team and check in with them often on career growth potential.

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