B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 9 months ago

110: Ramping Up SDRs: The First 90 Days w/ Sam Nelson


It’s harder than ever to find talented Sales Development Reps (SDRs) - even hiring the finest talent doesn’t mean they will be successful if they don’t go through a well-structured onboarding and ramping process.

Their first 90 days will show you who will break and who will win.

In this episode, we interview Sam Nelson, SDR Leader at Outreach, about his unique and effective onboarding process for SDRs.

Join us as we discuss the advantages of grouping all your new SDRs together (known as the Agoge Tribe at Outreach), indicators of successful SDRs, what effects COVID has had on remote onboarding, and what to watch at one week, one month, and the first 90 days.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Call. Reluctance can really hurt strs. So when you're if you are over stairs for the first ninety days, one of your major goals needs to be making sure that scrs do not get the habit of being reluctant with the phone's you were listening to be to be revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is audion. With you and an ear today with son Nelson as Dr Le Dot outreach. How are you doing some today? Doing Great. Thank you for having me on. Yeah, I thought it was a pleasure. It was a pleasure. I was saying to you in the in the presentation, you're a bit of a celebrity. I think it must be the hair color that I always remember your kind of is kind of coming from the first time I saw your linkedin pictures that the true things. I did, something that he's been photo shipping and I realized the true things that I like. It's really brave. I love it. I think. Well, thank you. Yes, I mean I did a long time ago, like just like as an incentive, and then everyone recognized you from blue hair now and stuck with the blue air for the rest of my life. It's been several years. Are you joking? Whisky sent you. So someone in your team doing something or you doing something, and I was kind of a bad that you watst all. Well would so it was like yeah, so we had this new group of strs come and I said, Hey, if you beat the record for most opportunities set in a month, all I'll die my hair blue. And then they ended getting it and so that may have blood. So today some will be talking about ramping as Das you know. It's interesting topic and I'd like to know if you think it is the same. Everybody's like how we covid still a we PUSS COVID is it? Does that infect right bobbies more difficult, etc. But before we get into the conversation, for the only few people that don't know who you are or don't know who treach is as a company, would you mind just giving a quick introw to yourself and the company you represent? Outreach? Yeah, so my name is Sam Nelson and I've been at that reach for quite a while I was in kind of one of the first groups of STR's, really early on. I was a CR for a year. I did well. As I see our stop strs stur manager and the managers are managers for a while and now I spend most of many time doing things like this and think I've worked with hundreds of different companies on their boundst our strategy. So spend a lot of time in the kind of outbounds the air world. Yeah, you know a little bit about the topic, which is wonderful. So some what we're getting from the market at the moment of what we hearing from from customizer, and we see it ourselves as well. It seemed like it's odd and able to find talented as D are You know, you've got to pay a lot of money. It's probably the the profession for which the scenaria are increasing at the base of light at the moment. And even if you find someone, we've kind of a good truck recalled and you pay them a lot of money, you're not even sure that they would be successful in Ya. And he's alition. So I think obviously the young boarding is really important. Who could you please share his all audience? How the young boarding process of ones a look like at outreach. Okay, so so the our on boarding process is actually canny unique and it's change with covid. So I'll talk about kind of the path that we've taken and how we're dusting it now for covid. But when I was a nest our manager, we actually did something kind of unique where we put all of the new stairs on one specific team and we called it the Egoji and we saw the idea from Sparta. So as Farta has like the egogi, where before people become official warriors, like all the New People are in one group, the trained by people who are specialized in training new Sparta warriors and we're all together and then they graduate onto kind the EGOJI military. So we would do something similar on our team. So I was...

...over what we call the EGOJI. So all the new strs were on my team and so everyone was ramped the same way and we got we got a few. There are few interesting benefits to this. Number one was at this time in the world very few people understood our reach well and and I understood everyche weeks. I was one of the first stars that reach it, and so everyone could be try miss on. You kind of knew that firsthand. Also, we could train, I could specialize in new SCR issues. So my whole world was, okay, how do I get stairs tramp as quickly as possible? Most stair managers have a few new stairs, a few kind of stairs have been there a while and a few they're about to graduate and they all have completely different needs and there's just no way you can give new SDRs enough attention, well kind of giving everyone else kind of attention that they need to. So by having all of the SCR new s airs on might, whom I could focus on new SDR issues and just handle that all at once. The other managers could handle kind of the more tenuedest our issues. So I could have the biggest team in the company. But it's still just like dealing with new stre. It's just helping them get wrapped up. So and then it forced to get really get at ramp because I can focus purely on that. A great processes around it and it's stuck that. We still we have three agog teams now. We have one in London and the couple and one in the US. We have we have three Agogi bandagers and just worked really well. So one thing, though, is that with the egoji is really nice to kind of have everyone in person and then I could fill in the gaps as manager when I'm there. With covid the egoji leaves have a little bit more of a challenge, right, because people are remote and you can't fill in the gaps or kind of proactively see things is easily. So it's changed a little bit, but we still have that same structure where the news chairs report to people who specialize in those first three months. Okay, what's the difference between an e good g Mana Joe and a Molt in your reps manager? Are you looking at two defferends car set, or is it in the same people, but just someone who's more, you know right, always new styleteles. What was the difference between them? Yeah, so for a go g managers, ideally you want someone that's promoted from within, kind of knows how things work already and they are top performer. So performed in the top ten percent. Ideally. Yeah, so you want someone who come in respects for the fact that they've done the job and they've done any propriety and they know eat inside out. But also, of the capacity of teaching those which is tough, because sometimes the top performer can be a lone wolf that doesn't care about in the other people and themselves. But yeah, that can't that can be the case. But the great thing about top performers is that, especially like in this context, is they've gone through knowing nothing to learning everything relatively recently, so they understand kind of the issues of new scrs pretty well. It's very recent for them and so they can know what's going to happen, what they're going to be worried about, and we've we haven't had that big of a problem of like the stereotypical top performers going to be a lone wolf who doesn't care about people. Typically they are top performers that want to be managers, that are that actually really takes a coaching really well. I think there are definitely top performers who can't see that, but I'm not sure that top performers are any less likely than other people to be able to learn the coach and if they can, they can be insanely really a top perform that ends up being a good coach. They can make a huge difference. Yeah, that's massive, but we found a few. I think this is great for, you know, organization like our treacher, even organization like us at Operatics, because we've got a critical mass office dyeah. We've got a lot of them. I think he's maybe a little bit more tricky when you have like three, four, five, you know as the...

...indifferent region. But one of the things you mentioned at I love is promotion from within. We've been like so big on that. They're literally apart from our finance team, one manager in our US operation and that's about it. and recruiting. But the but pretty much recruitment is coming from within as well. The rest of Management Team, in marketing, in cells, in every every aspect of the business has come from within and I think he's he's this creature creates a great cuchure because people can move on and you have a lot of people at can be a very good as Davidea, but the life span is nine months, ten months, because they just they've been good at it and it's like, you know what, that's the same. I'm star will, I just I'm just getting bought. Now I want to do something different and I want to get up the right it's so it's fantastic, but to get to fell that sort of promotion from him. Yeah, yeah, promotions from within or awesome. And Yeah, I mean it's not just the str side, like in nine months, they they did well as SCR like. We have a pretty good idea that they're likely going to be a successfully, like every SCR that's transition to a has been successful, and so the a's are happy for them to come over as well the a manager. So it comes from both sides. Yeah, yeah, and so I'll only take fune I got G to become a spot. And what's kind of the the resorts so fast. So what do you know? What are the resorts that you expect and what's the timeline? Alongst like this, resorts Oul do you quantity fight and do all. I go g becomes puffing at the same time. It's only a few that make the spot and Tim you know, not like to one doo some kind of the motion that you've got behind that. Yeah, it's so. We set expectations at like a year, like we expect you to be an stir for a year. But the needs of the company, you know, whether or not we promote someone has more to do with what we need at the company at the time then, like whether in stre has been there for a year or not. So like there's time during covid when there's a lot of uncertainty. We're talk performing SDRs have been there for a year and just like we weren't sure how the s andb market was going to shake out, right, and so, just like things are on hold for a little bit. And so maybe it was a little longer at that time, or maybe we raise a ton of money and we need to have tons of ease and we're going to lose like a, you know, like a fourth of our st our team before you. So it can vary, but we set expectation. We say typically it's about a year, the subject to change depending on the needs the company. Okay, so it's a bout to your four. So when you say becoming a spot, and does that mean becoming an a or does that mean becoming like a celtified, I'll reach as dl just from Ko. Okay. So, so in the Agogi team, that's where scrs go on the first three months. Okay, suddenly, wonce, they graduate from the EGOGI. They will go into one of the segments. They might go into enterprise or corporate right, or they might go into smb, okay, and will actually take enterprise from the EGOGI. Okay. And so we used to do it where it's like, okay, you're a goog then your smb, then you go corporate, then you go to enterprise. For the problem is by the time they get to enterprise they've already been an str for like nine months. They want to be an AE and we need people in the enterprise to be there for a longer period of time. So we kind of for ordained people to enterprise right out of the EGOGI and that's worked well for us. Okay, next perfect sense. So I would you structure is to see. So if it's three months on that down boarding, do you have a structure set, sixty ninety days plan? What do you expect them to date? Eva, what's up? Just smasure off success and and and what do you do if you've got someone who's really struggling as well, you know it is, because it's that's that's what was important to one the song you've good todays, will just doing what and they can move on as great. But it was a structural maybe the first questions was a structural to so t sixteen ninety days. What would you expect from them? Okay, so the first well, Thir Thousand and sixteen ninety days,...

...we've got what? Okay, one really important part of us. Thre thoty sixteen ninety days, is like the first week of boot camp. Yeah, and actually I would say like on your St our team there, if you want to make changes, maybe the highest return investment place is probably going to be in those first ninety days, first three months. Otherwise, if you don't get that part of the process figured out, scur managers can spend their entire time fixing mess up doll swings and not having time to even make sure if you want to have bad doll swings in the first place. Happens a lot is and it can be very ugly. Within the thirty sixteen ninety days, if we want to say go eight twenty. On that too, I would say that first couple of weeks is particularly important. So they will come in and that's first couple of weeks and we will have a boot camp where we will give them. Will do a day on cold calling, will do a day on how sequences work and emails and things like that. We kind of give them a lot of information and then, yeah, and then we will let them go and we take a very careful note of what the questions are. Right, we'll give them a lot of information. Not all of it will stick because they're brand new. Will take very be careful note of kind of issues that they run into, our questions that they have and see if we can refine are on boarding in the future based on what those questions are. So we'll do a bootcamp wake and then we'll have they'll have trainings throughout this first three months. They get them on board and ready to go. Okay, and in some of the de actual objective. So it's that's interesting because you mentioned the old bound cutting. So do you have a big proportion? I would have expected yet outreach. Also get a lot of marketing qualified needs, like people raising Guians or eating your website or coming through a chat or whatever it is. But what's the proportion in bound out bound? Are you saying that those guys just as the oppure the outbound people? Yeah, well, so we haven't divided into inbounded out them. Sorr. Actually, I'm not going to be a guy on the inbound side. I don't work too much on that side of the House. But we do have like an inbound team specifically focused on invalids. So on the other hand side, Huh, you are outbounds. That's your foot yeah, and I mean since I got to outreach, this whole time I've been out bound focused and so, I mean I have some thoughts on it down but I'm more of a e more my expertise system outbound. So on the outbound side, yeah, we have strs have they've got a few camps and they prospect those. They will occasionally get an inbound lead and they'll work that that way. But but you have an inbound team that the focus is on this. Okay, and fallienst that up. Not Talking about the outreach in particular, but you know, you say you've been elping a lots of lots of people. What should be do? The quantifiable measure of success that you think people who are just ramping up a brand new team should expect reate be number of meeting book, number of meeting set, number of meetings turning into an opportunity. You know, obviously all those things are important. Number of courts is important, number of activities important, people turning on time in ther face and just not letting off to all is important as well. But what are the quantity thats if stuff and the Qualitas, I. Stuff that you would recommend for Adience to look for when that building that plan and trying to put some numbers, because everybody wants to put numbers. Everything is to be measurable. So yeah, okay. So we'll start with so we work backward from how well are they tracking toward quota or like you know, we measure them on sales, accepted leads, kind of qualified opportunities held, they get accepted a pipeline. And so the first month typically there's not a huge correlation between, at least an average, between how well people do and their very first month, like the month that they arrive, and how they're going to be a long term. There is much starter correlation between how they perform and their second month and how they're going to do long term. So the first month we take it too...

...seriously. The second month it becomes more important. Now what causes people to do well or not well when they start out, and that the a couple of things. Number one is call reluctance. Can really hurt strs. So when you're if you are over stairs for the first ninety days. One of your major goals needs to be making sure that scrs do not get the habit of being reluctant with the phones. So we'll get them going on the funds right away and not afraid of the funds right away, and that's one of th things you should have in the bud. Another thing is one trade of top performers tends to be how many questions they ask other people in their manager. Just like their willingness to ask questions, even it makes them look stupid. Is Relate's pretty tightly with how successfully has successful there, which was a little bit surprising to me, but has been pretty consistent. Yeah, but in time of the number of so, let's say audience, probably most of the people who would listen to a conversation all be to be software type of organization. Okay, these the sound really the people that we've got knowledge has how many sellers, excepted Leete? How many meetings would you say? Someone should the they should try to incentivize that team to get in mounts one, two and street in that front. But the remember that we've got your autoparatics. What we expect from all your bus is probably five meeting set in mounts Wan, eight meeting. And when we say months, why is post what you got? The boot camp is puss like. You know, you've been trained. We did the theory and stuff. Is You actually when you go like was the clients? Okay, so there is a little bit of training before they got out with the clients. Of course there is probably a tow too strow expired before before they got out with the clients. But we expect five, five, essay, and in months one, probably around the eight, seven to eighteen months to and and let's say ten to twelve from months fly on one. That's kind of the productive stuff. So that the the deal. I'll bound. Do you have semilar type of expectation from your team? Do you expect more? You expect let's? Do you think it's a stupid way? The Way we do it? Is Not. He's not. He's not riven. Well, what's your opinion on that? Now, yeah, and I was fretty similar. Right, I would say I think that's a good way to do it and that kind of the numbers forever is going to be a little bit different depending on on how you'll measure that. But yet typically it's some kind of proportion like that and once they get to their fully ramped month, they need to be ramped at that point. If they miss quota when we have kind of like some quote relief at the very beginning, that can that can be kind of a red flag, like hey, it's this or is there something that we're missing here? Is this not a good fit for this person? We got to get to the bottom of what's going on if they're missing during most quote relief months. But yeah, typically it's pretty easy to identify early on. It's like there's color reluctance. Another actually a really common one during the first ninety days is just not reaching out to the right type of people. It sounds very basic, but that's maybe like the number one killer of stars, and a lot of managers just don't know that's the reason. And so it's important to look at like who they're sequencing, who they're putting their energy into, and if someone's not doing well, there's a very good chance that they're simply putting their energy into the round people. Yeah, make sense to go on calls if they're making efforts and they're just not being successful, and all that often comes down to that. Yeah, how do you measure core reluctance? That's something that I'd like to know. So because obviously I remember being col reluctant and I think I was cor reluctant when I first started because, yeah, it was pretty covid and many moons ago and I picked up the food for the first time. And it's funny because I was actually prospecting in French. We in an IT's full of English people. So, quite frankly, they could not get a word of what I was saying. But I remember feeling so self conscious of people listening to me and being able to wander somed what I was saying and I felt more comfortable to go in the board room. But you know, when...

...you've got when you're on bout twenties. The other they got up a boat from each to do a call, right, but I imagine I put myself in the shoes and, as I will grew up, I put myself in the shoes of the UK guy, right, the guys was sitting next to me. Is got like fifteen people behind me. They all speak the same language and trust me, the environment was Letho, people were the bent or was big and people would just bounce from each other. You know, do some sort of a that's what makes the life of Anasy are quate exciting and I think it's quite daunting because people listen to you and you need to have a sudden level of confidence. So how do you measure that core reluctance? Not when people are working from whom you stuff like cours going or you've you know, what's the I don't know. So what you are saying, I know that it's a big gap, but how do you actually get to measure it's yeah, so well, we've tried to solve the problem in a few different ways. Probably what we will do is we just out law fully automated sequences, especially the very beginning. Okay, because will happen at a lot of Companese is you can you can actually like get a few opportunities just from complete automation, especially in that first month or in those first couple of months when you have some quota relief. So you can just totally automate and you're going to get lucky. You're going to get a few meetings just from that. What can happen is a sjrs will say, okay, I've fully automated, we've gotten. You know, I've hit my quota doing this. I think I've found the solution to doing stir work without cold calling. And then what they find is, when they get to be fully ramped, that they really have they have a really low ceiling on their potential. And so what we've done is we've just kind of outlawed fully automated sequences for new SDRs and it creates a forcing function for doing calls, because if all they can use as a sequence that has calls included, then they have to make calls. They can't avoid it, and so that ended up being our solution that we saw. We saw problems in the past with people trying to rely purely on automation, but I say when I go and talk to their companies, typically the problem is a serious just trying to relive purely an animation. Yeah, I agree with you. I think we've got any of all sorts of people seeing what the funny is not working anymore, and I'd like to get your opinion on that, because I've got my opinion. But do you think the funny is not working anymore? The phone? Yeah, people are. The medium funny is that? That's why I need to do emails, emails, emails, emails, and it's called reluctance personally. But what's your opinion? I mean, you know it hasn't really went because like because of Covid or just because the Times of change. We added pre or prior to covid. I think you know. I think it's a mix of things with people think that they don't get a lot of response from cold and and now I agree with one of the thingags you say. You said, well, if you back at the wrong three people won't respond to you. Right, you're looking at the wrong door. People know you are they look at your company. You just introduce yourself five times through a voice, not that you send them on Linkedin. They got your ten emails. Yeah, you don't responded to you by now they probably don't want to engage with your company. Don't take it personally. Move on to the next one. But I think we've had a little bit more reluctance. And I hate to use the term millionaire because I think it's just over use and stuff like that. But you know, even right now with my team, people send me text to ask me like very complex question that I would soon necessary to the conversation could me. You want something, called me. You know I'm only I've got to move bile in front of you. Would you know? Everybody can see it. Give you a bus? I don't know, but I get what's up and sometimes peoples some new skype and then this in your what's up, and then send me an email exactly the same content, but they want a response. They could cut me. So I think, well, I guess what I'm saying in my opinion on it is that people are more comfortable in sending message and even sometimes with friends it's easier to send a message. They how are you those we speaking of different size is being away? We've not spoken. Are you doing? Let'stoke. You know, but I'd like to get your opinion.

Do you think the food as a medium is becoming less successful? Is it the same, you think? Is it? We need to use it in a different way. What's your opinion of the food as a medium to get proactive leads out, rich leads from from new prospect yeah, it's interesting. I wondered how covid would affect this right because so much change there. Whether it, like our phone calls, seldom work, you know, work better or not, and I've been surprised and kind of how consistent stay, it's said, consistently successful, and I think part of the reason for that is, like, if we were getting meetings over the phone, it was probably usually when it was with somebody's cell phone, like we have a lot of numbers, and it was if we're going to get meeting or some cell phone anyway, and so we still have that date, and so instended to keep working the way that they were. I do think that a lot of the stairs would like to believe that the cell the phone does not work anymore, as it's not necessarily people's favorite part of the job. Yeah, but it tends to and there's also sometimes a misunderstanding and like what success looks like in getting thirty people, because if you say, Oh, ninety percent of the time and not getting through to anyone at all, that's actually a very successful I mean if you can get a pick up ten percent of the time, yeah, a huge return investment, even the most of the time you're not getting through to anyone at all. So understanding that, just like a few connect a day, can make a massive difference. Yeah, it's really important. Now I agree with you. You know my opinion on that is really first of all, coming back to me when I was a youngest. Yeah, coming in and being a little bit ashamed of myself because it's my first few goals. And back then I don't have a sequence, sequence. Nobody gave me a sequence where in two thousand and four I literally had a linked in the starting so I think I even have uro pages under on the desk and the foot and an exceled spreadsheet. That was about it. We see what as a crm and we actually put you get to put the CD ROM in the Tower of the computer to get it going on the computer. To give you an s the cloud was as even there. But I think covie as alters in a way because we people walking from home and particularly for new starts. We've seen you starts becoming much more productive and I think it's because they don't have that anxiety of being listened to by the couligue when they're doing a call. And also, you know, one of the strongest power of doing the code is that you can be with all you want to be behind that cal you know you can change. You know you don't need to be the person you always your friends. You can change the intonation of your voice is and I was listening to some of the stuff that you've done with the seves impact a getting me, and you speak about that. You can do whoever you want, you can put the mask you want, and I think this is the thing that people mean. Not Be comfortable doing an office full of his Daus, you know, in the bullpen, but they may bee. I've been happy to do it when the at home in the comfort of their own house, because nobody's listening to them, right. So you don't have that Oh, are you looking at me? Looking at what I'm doing? So I think get that helped us and that tells peoples to be a bit more creative with the way they are going and, you know, kind of create that mask, identity, you know, whatever it is that that works for them. Yeah, yeah, it's true, though, and you know, and sometimes this works. Actually want one thing on that is that one cool thing that I reach is when you put somebody into sequence, if they respond and they have their cell phone number in the Fudd it will put in the outreache for you and it is important to call when that happens because often that's day of the databases don't have and the conversion in others a super high. Absolutely ever reminded me that. Yeah, well, you've got to. You've got to also the good old techniques, which is sending emails. was during sense giving or Christmas, sending a few emails like you put my emails. You get towards you out out of a visit to replay with the other other people, and the mobile numb doesn't ever think. But that's that's a chail. Pretty we sell the sales leaders like the secrets during dream...

...force. Yeah, the day when everyone was a dream for us and out of the office. How correctly, when you know you know a friend. You did that. Yeah, it's a fund of mine as well. I told me that never would, never would that sort of stuff. But it looks like we getting to the end of the session. Today was a pleasure. I mean you great conversation. I want to thank you so much for your insight today. was great to have you with us. If anyone wants to get in touch with you, I mean, yeah, if they can't find you, I would find that very, very, very surprising. But what's the best way to reach out? To use it linkedin emails. Well, I'll do you want people to reach out to youtubease or discuss with you or ought to discuss about outreach. And now could they use outreach to better that business? Yeah, I mean I'm on Linkedin same now. So linkedin by Sam Nelson Contentcom website is where I post a lot of my post, a lout of my content. And Yeah, then if anyone's interested in in that reach are curious about can how that it is or heard it, feel free to reach out to me. More than happy to talk about it. So good women. He sanks once again. Some it was an absolute pressure to have youngert for today. Great. Thank you so much. You've been listening. To be to be read the new acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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