How to Become an SDR All-Star

February 13, 2020

For those that don’t follow the NBA, the 2020 All-Star Game will take place this weekend. Fans have taken notice of who’s having the best season, and they’ve exercised their democratic right to vote for their favorite NBA players. There are a myriad of ways for a player to have an “All-Star” season, and no two players are the same.

SDRs are no different. Between leads, call activities, quality conversations, and other metrics, there is no single way to define what makes someone an “All-Star” at lead generation.

Imagine, if you will, that the following NBA stars were SDRs. If they get leads the same way they play basketball here’s how it would shake up:

Russell Westbrook — The Grinder

Russell Westbrook is entering a new phase of his career during his first season on the Rockets. He’s no longer the best player on his own team, and while his stats have taken a hit, he’s still averaging an elite 27 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds per game. Still, he’s not without his flaws. Westbrook is currently 2nd in the league in technical fouls and 5th in turnovers. He’s also a terrible 3-point shooter.

SDR Westbrook would be a grinder, doing anything and everything to get leads. Sure he might anger a few stubborn prospects along the way, but in the end it’d be worth it because he would be putting in the dials necessary to surpass his lead goal every single month.

The one flaw to Westbrook’s style is that he can rub some people the wrong way. Good news, Russell — this is a fixable problem in the SDR world! By mirroring the tone of the person he’s talking to, Westbrook would be able to keep his strategy consistent without angering the prospect or seeming over the top. A lot of being an SDR involves bringing your own style to the table. If Westbrook could add ‘mirroring’ to his repertoire his lead volume would be sure to increase, and there would be less annoyed prospects in his wake.

Giannis Antetokounmpo — The Natural

Giannis, better known as “The Greek Freak”, is one of the most naturally gifted players the NBA has ever seen. A 6’ 11” point guard with hands that could palm a watermelon, Giannis is simply built for the game of Basketball. He proved as much last year by becoming the NBA MVP. This year, he’s having one of the most efficient seasons ever, putting up career highs in points and rebounds while playing 2 less minutes per game than last year.

SDR Giannis would simply get leads. With an unrivaled ability to build rapport with prospects and craft emails that make Account Execs jealous, Giannis was built for this job. Even if his dials seem down he has the efficiency to keep bringing in qualified leads.

Giannis already has all the talent and skills necessary to succeed, so how could he improve? Add volume. If making 25 calls a day usually gets Giannis to his lead goals, then 40 or 50 calls a day would give his lead volume a serious bump. He’d also be able to learn more from his increased time on the phone — the more situations you put yourself in the more you’re going to learn. Even the naturals have room for improvement!

Damian Lillard — The Hapless Hero

Poor Damian Lillard. Even as he averages 29.5 points and 7.9 assists per game while leading the league in deep 3s by a wide margin, his team still struggles to win on a nightly basis. The Trailblazers are 6 games under .500 and are not on pace to make the playoffs.

Poor SDR Damian Lillard. Even as he would average 60 dials, 100 activities, and 20 QCs per day, he still struggles to pass leads because of his programs shortcomings. His AEs would be missing handover calls and bombarding his targeted prospects with poorly written emails, leaving him to try and make up for their mistakes.

SDR Dame has to find ways to work through his team’s shortcomings. He could develop strategies that include: confirming handover calls with his reps, over-qualifying potential leads to excite his AEs, or requesting some training with a colleague who has been in a similar situation. Keeping the communication channel open between himself and his AEs will make sure that everyone is on the same page, and that will help turn those top-level metrics into results.

Alex Caruso — The Poser

Alex Caruso is not an All-Star. He only plays 18 minutes per game and averages a mediocre 5.5 points and 1.7 assists per game. Yet somehow he was the 4th leading vote getter among Western Conference guards when the fan vote concluded. Russell Westbrook received less fan votes than Alex Caruso. It’s a good thing the coaches, players, and media members votes are worth more than the fans.

SDR Caruso should not be an All-Star. He goes about the motions every day, making enough calls and sending enough emails to meet his minimal expectations, but never exceed them. If you were to overhear him on the phone you would hear a timid and passive conversation. While Alex would still get some layups from inbound prospects here and there, he is more than happy to leave the hard work up to the other SDRs on his team.

SDR Caruso could still turn things around. He could ask a senior SDR to sit in while he makes some calls and give feedback. He could rework his email templates to ensure they stay accurate and timely. He could request some time with one of his reps to sit down and make sure that he has the proper product knowledge to be confident on the phones. All of these suggestions would make him a better SDR, capable of exceeding expectations.

Remember, it’s never too late to make yourself an invaluable member of your team.

alex ellison

Alex Ellison is the Marketing Communications Manager at demandDrive. He started his career as an SDR before discovering a passion for creating content and resources that drew him towards marketing. In his current role he primarily works behind the scenes drafting, editing, and developing a wide variety of marketing materials and educational resources. He is also currently enrolled at the University of Washington pursuing a Masters in Communication Leadership with a focus on Digital Media.
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