Live Training

Digital Courses

3 Steps to a High Performance SDR Career

+ behind the scenes #3

Chris Ritson

19 Jan 2024

3 mins

Share to:

My 1st Masterclass of the year will be on Cold Calling. It’s free, you can save your seat here (211/500 seats left).

Most people feel a huge sense of relief when they’ve found a new role but they forget that’s just the start of the journey. 

As my old mentor put it: 

‘‘Finding a great role in sales is hard. Ramping up is harder. Staying consistent is the hardest’’. 

Today, I’m going to share lessons with you from Johnny Stiffell who is an SDR at Cognism. 

Last week, he exclusively shared with me his secrets on how he: 

  1. Landed a new role last year

  2. Ramped in record speed 

  3. Created a simple plan to consistently smash target

I hope you can use the lessons, whatever your current situation. 

​Part 1: The Job Hunt 

We all know finding a new role is hard at the best of times but in a recession. Well, that makes it 10x as tricky. 

In my interview with Johnny he shared with me was that he treated his job hunt like a sales process using a ‘Cold Outreach Method’: 

I thought it was genius. 

Here is it: 

  1. Wrote down his ‘‘Ideal Employer-Profile’’ - size, location, attitude towards remote work, etc. 

  2. Found 50 accounts that were currently hiring using RepVue 

  3. Identify a ‘Top 10’ that fit his criteria as an ‘‘Ideal Employer’’ 

  4. Identify 3-5 people at each Ideal Employer - hiring manager, AEs, other commercial leaders, c-suite 

  5. Build a 10-step sequence including Cold Calls, Cold Emails, and LinkedIn touches 

  6. Begin Outreach steps 

  7. Manage responses and stack up as many interviews as possible 

  8. Qualify potential employers as you move through the stages 

  9. Drive urgency using feedback from other successful interviews 

We all know it’s easy to just mass blast every company who have open job roles but if you follow the process, you’ll not only stand out and get interviews, you’ll have your pick of the offers. 

​Part 2: Ramping Rapidly 

Johnny ramped faster than any other SDR Cognism has ever had (they’ve had 150+). He averaged >150% of quota. 

He shared with me 3 tips so you can ramp fast as well: 

  1. Professional Persistence:

Johnny makes every single step, of every single sequence count. He reduces automation to less than 20% and relies on building trust with each outreach attempt. 

Whilst he doesn’t see any positive feedback in most cases (don’t we all) he knows that by making sure each step he completes is building trust. that trust stacks up over time and eventually the prospect will respond. 

Here’s his 10-step sequence incase you’d like it: 

  • Day 1 - LI Connection, Call, Email (not pushy)

  • Day 2 - Call

  • Day 3 - InMail / 1st connection message

  • Day 4 - Call and revert them to the 1st Email

  • Day 5 - Call

  • Day 6 - Call, LI message

  • Day 7 - Call, Email (Add a nice ‘P.S’).

  • Day 8 - Call

  • Day 9 - Send a video 

  • Day 10 - Call in AM + PM (D-Day, my last shot… for now).

Most sellers have sequences set up. The difference is Johnny never underestimates the power each step can have on his results. 

In his words: ‘‘One call, email, or DM can change your entire month’’. 

  1. Leveraging Information:

‘‘The difference between a good and great SDR is how well they leverage research and intel’’ - Johnny Stiffell, 2024. 

Johnny relies heavily on triggers, technographic data, intent data, and past conversations to construct his messaging. 

Simply put, if he can’t find much information that he can leverage in his outreach he deprioritizes the prospect. 

Why? Because it’s much more effective to only send prospects messages that you can make personal. 

  1. A/B Testing:

When Johnny told me he A/B tests his messaging my eyes lit up. 

Finally, an SDR that ‘‘gets’’ the benefits of making sure they test their messaging and review their results. 

Every week Johnny tests 2/3 new hooks, PS messages, etc to see how they compare to previous weeks. 

He then picks the best-performing message of each of the A/B tests and does MORE of it. 

Simply put, he’s worked out what prospects want to hear and is scaling it across his account list. 


​​Lesson 3: Staying Consistent

This is the hardest part. 

Everyone can hit target once but staying there is incredibly hard. 

Here’s what Johnny plans to do to stay above quota so he can go and chase a promotion this year: 

  1. Daily Effort - he knows that by just turning up and doing his work Mon-Fri he will beat 99% of other people just by being disciplined and repeating what works. 

  2. Have a Strategy - most sellers don’t have a plan they follow they simply ‘‘do their KPIs and hope for the best’’. Johnny knows his conversion metrics and adjusts his tactics accordingly. 

  3. Test, Test, Test - buyers catch on to sales tactics pretty quickly. Johnny plans to keep testing his messaging to stay ahead of the competition (all the other SDRs).


None of this is rocket science. Johnny doesn’t have an IQ of 38392 (sorry Johnny). 

But what he does have is the right combination of daily inputs that help make him successful. 

Whether that’s finding a role, ramping up, or being consistent the challenge lies in turning up every day and repeating inputs you know win. 

The hard bit is finding that combination of inputs but I hope this newsletter helps guide you closer towards it. 

PS. If you want to connect with Johnny on Linkedin, you should.

The Cold Call OS (Behind The Scenes #3): 

As a reminder, this section of the newsletter is a ‘‘behind the scenes’’ view of what has gone into building my new course: 

  1. Why I built ‘‘The Cold Call OS’’ (last week) 

  2. Who is the Cold Call OS for 

  3. How I am pricing the Cold Call OS 

  4. FAQs 

Part 3: How I am Pricing The Cold Call OS 

Everyone in sales will tell you that you want to get the highest possible price for everything you sell. 

I disagree. 

Pricing should be aligned with your mission. 

As a reminder, mine is to; ‘help 100k SDRs have a successful sales career’.

So pricing high doesn’t make sense. It would reduce the number of sellers who can access and benefit from the programme. 

Couple that with it being a global recession and lots of sellers around the world aren’t as lucky as us in the UK or US to be born and live in more economically developed countries. 

This led me to the conclusion the course needs to be a price EVERYONE, no matter what their location or earnings, can afford. 

That’s why it’s £97. 

Hope this was helpful. 

Next week, I’ll cover ‘‘FAQs’’. 

PS. You can also join my FREE Masterclass on Cold Calling here.

Whenever you’re ready, here are 2 ways I can help you in 2024

Go from SDR Manager to SDR Leader. The next leader bootcamp start 5th Feb. Join 75+ others and save your seat here

Get promoted to AE in 2024. The next bootcamp starts April 2nd (closes TODAY). Join 120+ others and save your seat here.

The Pipeline Post

The Pipeline Post

The Pipeline Post

for free

© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.

© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.