Achieve SDR Excellence: Unleash Growth with Proven Sales Tactics


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In Transform Sales Podcast #54: SDR Efficiency Series, John Barrows and Eddie Bello talk with Operatix CEO Ray Mottier about empowering and managing SDRs effectively for success. Ray imparts valuable insights on motivating and managing teams effectively, fostering a positive and supportive culture, and recruiting the right talent.

Additionally, he stresses the importance of examining data to identify problems rather than simply letting go of underperforming staff without understanding their difficulties. The conversation also explores the potential advantages and drawbacks of incorporating AI into sales and marketing strategies.

In case you missed it…. these are the highlights

How big is your SDR team?

Operatix’s SDR team currently comprises 250 people.

Have you implemented any new techniques or methods to onboard and train your sales teams?

“…At Operatix, our approach to onboarding and training sales teams begins with a thorough recruitment process. We focus on finding individuals with the right cire competencies and skills for business development roles, regardless of their prior experience as SDRs or BDRs…”

By making the recruitment process intentionally challenging, we test key qualities like curiosity, coachability, accountability, and resilience, ensuring we bring in the best talent.

During the recruitment process at Operatix, we place great emphasis on conveying the importance of a solid “why” for each role, while setting clear expectations regarding career growth. Our large organizational scale allows us to present numerous internal promotion opportunities, establishing a well-defined career path for our team members. In addition, we manage expectations by giving new recruits insights into the day-to-day realities of higher positions, such as AEs, ensuring they understand that a different role doesn’t always guarantee a better situation. This holistic approach ensures that our sales teams at Operatix are fully equipped for success.

Have you implemented any new techniques or methods to onboard and train your sales teams?

At Operatix, measuring the effectiveness of the sales team while working on a new campaign involves a combination of transparency and a people-centered approach. Firstly, the team leaders maintain open communication about their own metrics, targets, and the company’s objectives with the rest of the team. This ensures that everyone understands both the successes and failures, fostering a learning environment.

Secondly, Operatix embraces a people-based approach to motivation and support. This involves one-to-many motivational speeches, one-to-few group discussions, and one-to-one personalized conversations. By focusing on collaboration and helping each other, the sales team members are better equipped to achieve success in their sales campaigns.

What happens when an SDR is not meeting quota: what do you do to improve and when do you decide it’s time to fire?

At Operatix, when an SDR is not meeting their quota, it can be a challenging situation as it involves both the numbers and the individual’s psychology. Since we work with human beings, performance may fluctuate. It’s crucial to determine whether the SDR displays the right attitude and willingness to work. If they possess the right attitude, it’s possible to support and help them improve.

If an SDR lacks the right attitude or isn’t accountable, it’s often a sign that they may not be the right fit. To understand why an SDR’s performance may be lacking, we break down the lead flow process, examining the number of meaningful conversations and activities conducted. We analyze the data and the timing of the calls, considering factors such as the “golden hours” mentioned in Jeb Blount’s book, Fanatical Prospecting.

If meaningful conversations aren’t turning into meetings, we evaluate whether we’re targeting the right companies or people and if we’re conveying the right message. By using tools like conversational intelligence, we can listen to calls and understand how our pitch is being delivered. We also consider external factors, such as market changes, that may be affecting the SDR’s performance.

We believe in Simon Sinek’s concept from his book, Leaders Eat Last, where we treat our team members like family. It’s the manager’s responsibility to help team members improve rather than just firing them. When it becomes apparent that an SDR is not the right fit despite support and coaching, only then is it time to make the difficult decision to let them go.

What do you see being the biggest change in the SDR role with AI technology in the coming years?

In the coming years, the biggest change in the Sales Development Representative (SDR) role with AI technology can be viewed in terms of inbound and outbound aspects. Inbound sales may see increased automation and AI involvement, particularly for lower-level sales. On the other hand, outbound sales can benefit from AI and machine learning to automate certain tasks, while still relying on the human touch for crucial elements like listening, preparation, and researching prospects.

Though AI-generated content can be helpful in some cases, it may result in a sense of inauthenticity if it replaces the human touch in areas like personal messaging. Sales representatives should aim to strike a balance between leveraging AI technology and maintaining a human connection with their prospects.

In essence, the sales rep of the future should be a blend of human skills and technology, much like Iron Man or Iron Woman.

  • Don’t overcomplicate the sales process; focus on moving leads and opportunities efficiently through the funnel. Employ a well-rounded, multi-tactic approach that engages prospects at every buying stage. This balanced strategy will improve sales results and build trust in your company’s expertise.
  • Create engaging content that resonates with your Ideal Customer Profile and provides genuine value.

“…AI should assist and empower the technology, but the human element remains essential in humanizing the interaction. Until computers are the ones making purchases from other computers, the human touch will continue to be critical component in the sales process…”