Episode TwoHundredEleven

Staffing Challenges of Building a Killer Sales Team

Guest: Danny Leonard and Manoj Jonna, Ramped Careers

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About This Episode

I’m sure you’ve heard it said that salespeople are born, not made. 

While there are common traits that top salespeople undeniably share like a competitive nature, confidence, and enthusiasm, today’s sales landscape is more complicated and involved than ever before.

In the past, bringing in young and hungry potential sharks, sitting them down in front of a phone, a lead list, and a quota was standard practice. 

In today’s world, confidence and enthusiasm alone are just not going to cut it.

Outside of a few specialty programs, colleges just don’t offer sales training or sales programs. Students can’t major in sales, and even if sales as a career path is on their radar, nothing is in place to give them a taste of what sales life is truly about.

The disconnect between college and the sales world and the gaping hole in a broken sales recruiting supply chain is what led Danny Leonard and Manoj Jonna to form Ramped Careers. A sales-centric Fellowship program that equips the next generation of entry-level talent with workplace-ready skills. The Ramped Fellowship program offers practical sales & business development training, preparing Sales Development Reps (SDRs) for robust sales careers. 

What exactly does an SDR do?

Thanks to pop culture, after watching “House” or “Grey’s Anatomy” it may seem like a great idea to bop around a hospital being caustic and saving the day. But when undergrads get wind of cadavers and the dreaded ob/gyn rotation and all of a sudden, it doesn’t always seem quite as enticing.

A career in sales can be an exciting, challenging, and profitable one, but it has a bit of a bad reputation. Given the limited amount of concrete insights and sales training opportunities for undergrads, it’s not surprising that the path from college student to sales professional isn’t always straight or even followed as often as it maybe should be.

The salesperson’s role is evolving. 

The types of sales jobs and the number of roles to be filled are both increasing.

The tech is making some of the more tedious aspects of sales life much less so. 

There are so many different things that sales touches and so many skills that come into play. Business acumen, copywriting, analytics, industry knowledge, emotional intelligence, negotiating, and more are all a part of a career in sales.

It’s a complex and demanding role. Understanding what the reality of a career in sales is the first stop on the sales supply chain that needs to be repaired.

The current sales recruiting supply chain is broken

On average, a company will invest about five months of training a new SDR before they begin selling. Product knowledge, tech, technique, and cultural adaptation take time, and investing in your people is valuable and necessary. When the average tenure for an SDR is 15-18 months, though, the ROI becomes questionable. 

You wouldn’t accept those churn numbers anywhere else in your business plan.

So, where is the problem? 

For one, there is an extensive list of tasks and skills that an SDR needs to thrive. 

Building a personal brand, keeping up with the top sales gurus, learning your industry inside out, keeping up with trends, networking, heck, posting on LinkedIn can take up half a day! 

There is a constant friction for new SDR’s between personalization and scale. 

Leadership needs to support those efforts and respect the time and effort that goes into them. 

Many new hires are tasked with developing a personalized approach, but then get reprimanded for not spending enough time on sales activities. 

Mixed messages and a general lack of empathy or understanding would seem to add to the incredibly high attrition rate for new hires of 1 in 4.

Biz Dev and Beyond

The practical sales & business development training the students accepted into the Ramped Fellowship program receive gives them the tools to navigate this rookie stage with finesse. 

At its core, sales is communal. The camaraderie of a sales team is something very special. As things are in recruitment currently, if you know you know, and if you don’t? Well, you must exist outside of the sales savvy bubble. 

And that needs to change. 

Sales shouldn’t be a mystery or a Plan B. It’s a pretty exciting and challenging way to spend 80,000 hours of your life. The closed club mentality needs to evolve, and the entire genre needs to be rebranded as the influential, multi-talented, bottom line rock stars that they are. 

Can’t wait to see the generation of Ramped Fellows entering the sales space to help move things in that direction.

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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