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Introduction

Being a sales development representative is one of the most difficult jobs in sales. When running an SDR team it’s important to make sure we’re creating an enjoyable and valuable environment. While it’s important to remember that every SDR learns and is motivated differently there are two things that usually work across the board – Collaboration and Competition.

It is human nature to be motivated by competition. This is especially true for SDRs. In an effort to accelerate our growth this year, our management team has been focused on bringing valuable competition and collaborative coaching to our teams.

Why is collaborative coaching and competition so important?

Collaborative coaching brings coaching to a group setting. Multiple coaches and coachees learn together rather than having one-on-one sessions. We have found that adding this method to our coaching best practices has allowed our SDRs to grow their skills and confidence faster than they would with one on one coaching alone.

The group setting of collaborative coaching has allowed our managers to include more competitions that directly work on the skills we are training.

Our management team is always working hard to create new and engaging ways to bring valuable competition to our SDRs. These competitions highlight key SDR skills such as:

How do we do that?

  • Call Listening
  • Cold Email Writing Skills
  • LinkedIn Messaging
  • Objection Handling
  • Rescheduling Previous No-Shows
  • And more!

Our goal is to create competition for the group which ultimately elevates each individual SDR’s skills. These competitions encourage learning among SDRs. They allow the reps that are seeing success in specific skill areas to share their knowledge with their colleagues. Oftentimes, our management and leadership teams get involved in the competitions as well. Doing so keeps our managers sharp and more able to help our SDRs.

Why are we leveraging this approach?

As our name might suggest, we are big sports fans! I personally grew up playing every sport I could. Through the years, I learned that every coach had a different style and some of those styles worked better for me than others. Today, the coaches that I remember most are those that taught with demonstrations and shared actionable ways to improve the areas I was struggling with.

This is why I and the rest of our management teams often get involved in our competitions. By encouraging our SDRs to compete with and learn from us as well as one another regularly, I hope I am becoming that memorable coach for our team.

These competitions do more than help keep the difficult role of SDR fun. They help our reps identify parts of their skill sets that could be improved. Let’s be honest, it’s always easier to learn something that is working for a colleague here and now, rather than from an out-of-touch manager who hasn’t made cold calls in years.

The feedback from our teams has been exceptional! Collaborative coaching and encouraging competition have absolutely made a difference in our results. Not to mention, our competitions have been a hit! All of our SDRs are actively engaged and are excited to learn and compete.

Conclusion

Putting a competitive lens on your coaching allows your SDRs to flourish. Often, for the successful and tenured reps on your teams get the chance to develop their leadership skills and lead other reps through the trenches of sales development. As your reps compete to be the best cold caller or best email writer, they will be learning by doing. This will allow them to gain a much deeper understanding of these skills than would be possible otherwise.

As I have made my way from a car salesman to SDR, to Head of Client Delivery I have tried to keep my training as relevant and as meaningful as possible. Through the years, one thing has always stayed the same; Learning from people that are doing the same thing and finding success is the best motivation to push your limits and hit your goals.

Bret Longwell

Head of Client Delivery | Alleyoop

Bret is currently our Head of Client Delivery but he has a rich history of different sales positions that have made him the well-rounded professional he is today. He leads our SDRs in collaborative coaching and encourages friendly competition every day.

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