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There’s no one size fits all when it comes to setting your team up for success—however, there’s much you can do to build and support a development-focused environment.

We were joined by James Buckley, Director of Business Development at Attest, to discuss how he motivates, trains, and connects with his SDRs.

Join us as we discuss:

  • Encouraging SDR development
  • How having a growth mindset improves your team 
  • Why setting customized KPIs is critical
  • The importance of comprehensive onboarding material


Encouraging SDR Development

The eye for development is at the center of solid team management and worthwhile goals. Anyone starting in their career is looking for quality experiences to expand their horizons and improve their performance–however, it’s rarely too late to start investing in development.

That kind of environment comes from hands-on encouragement across the board. 

“You should start to get an insight into what people are doing, and what they’re actually understanding, learning, from a purely self-development aspect,” said James. 

What are they holding themselves accountable to?

Get to know your team, find out their goals, ask questions—James recommended Mindset by Carol Dweck for inspiration around what to ask.

The simplest-–though not always easy—way to develop a dynamite team is through genuine investment.


How having a growth mindset improves your team

The growth mindset starts with leadership. A team that’s growing is a team that’s thriving; I’m not just talking about size and numbers. As encouragement supports improvement, guidance and leading by example bodes well for curating a growth mindset.

“I like to sit them down to understand their goals,” said James, “and ask what they actually want to achieve. What are their motivators?”

That’s how you can get everyone pointing towards the stars.


Look for opportunities to support initiatives

Development should feed into growth, aligned with actionable, measurable goals that bring increased confidence and performance.

If they have a financial goal, such as buying a house, look at their numbers and help them make a plan.

Maybe they want to improve their cold calls or email strategies. What would help them get there?


Why setting customized KPIs is critical

Drawing from your own experiences is all well and good, but remember that there’s no one size fits all for growth and development. That’s why customized initiatives and performance indicators are keys to consistent progress.

“KPIs are obviously important in an SDR team, but creating KPIs that are specific to that individual is really important too,” said James, weighing the value of customization. 

There are going to be those who aren’t as driven about their careers—that’s okay! Show them they have options to grow if/when they’re interested.

  • Remember no single path works for everyone.
  • Find the motivators, the gas on the fire, the spark that gets people excited to work on their KPIs and crush their bottom lines. 
  • Leave room for those still catching up to the growth mindset.


The importance of comprehensive onboarding material

When it comes to onboarding, James doesn’t kid around. “I like to think of that as a way to set someone up to be an SDR, who has never done the job before. And cover everything from how to make a cold call, how to send a personalized email, to how to use the software we’ve got.” he explained.

He’s built an extensive onboarding course that is made to bring a new hire up to speed in a structured and proven way. 

“On top of that,” James continued, “we have ongoing coaching for managers and we have an outsourced SDR coach.” 

Setting managers and team members up for success through comprehensive coaching should be the norm. How can you implement comprehensive training into your company?

When it comes down to it, as James said, all we can really do is try and influence people’s behaviors—rather than instill—because you can’t physically make someone change. 

Show the possibilities. If they resonate with a similar vision, or discover a better way of moving forward, then you can put two and two together and make an improved reality.


James’ 3 takeaways

  • Get to know the people you’re working with and apply what you learn to their initiatives.
  • Read Mindset by Carol Dweck for inspiration around getting to know your team.
  • Remember that there’s no one size fits all when it comes to advice, solutions, and development.

You can connect with James about SDR development on LinkedIn.

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

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