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7 traits of high-performance SDRs

+ 2023 Prospecting Playbook (for free)

Chris Ritson

16 Jun 2023

3 mins

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Fun fact about me: I’ve hired >250 SDRs. 

Free gift: You folks give me your attention for 3 minutes each week. I will NEVER take that for granted. In return here’s an extra bonus: 

My 2023 Prospecting Playbook - 26 pages of SDR tips, templates, and tricks for ALL subscribers. Enjoy.

A short story about hiring SDRs: 

2 weeks ago, my mum asked me; ‘‘What’s the most important lesson you learned in management?’’ 

(she still can’t over I gave up a well-paid, stable job to run my biz). 

For context - before she asked that I was telling her how much I loved leading people but all good things must come to an end and entrepreneurship is my destiny, blah blah blah. 

My response was; ‘‘If you get everything wrong but hiring, you still have a shot at winning. Get that wrong and nothing else matters.’’ 

My obsession with hiring started when my first boss told me. ‘‘Chris, my job is simple, get the best players on the pitch and find a way to win games. That’s it.’’ 

Minutes after he said it, I set out on trying to find what the best players actually looked like. 

I started by asking ‘senior’ people but they all told me different things; 

‘‘Sales people need to be competitive’’ 

‘‘Great hires are highly intelligent’’ 

I was close to listening to them but I’d seen friends who were highly competitive and intelligent fail in sales. 

So, I turned to books on hiring. Listened to podcasts. Followed entrepreneurs who had built really successful teams. Still nothing concrete. I was frustrated. 

In a final attempt at finding the secret sauce to hiring, I came across Angela Duckworth. If you don’t know her, she’s the author of GRIT. 

In summary, her life work found that people who are high in passion and perseverance for very long-term goals are more successful than those who are not.

This was a lightbulb moment for me and I was determined to prove the theory for myself. 

By this point, I was a leader myself and I built out an interview question sheet to test for perseverance and passion for very long-term goals (and scored their answers). 

I wanted to find out what the long-term goals of interviewees were, why this sales job was their vehicle to success, and whether could they go through hardship without giving up. 

250+ hires, 1500+ interviews, and a fair few mistakes later here are the 7 traits of high-performance SDRs I settled on:

  • Empathy

  • Curiosity 

  • Resilience 

  • Work-ethic

  • Will to win

  • Extreme Ownership 

  • Emotional Intelligence 

You might notice most of them are sub-traits of Angela Duckworth’s famous ‘passion’ and ‘perseverance’ that I’ve adapted to be even more specific for SDRs. 

And you’d be right, they are. For me, the job was never to recreate the wheel with hiring or anything else that’s been done 100000x times. 

It was simply to find the right research and theory and then apply it to my own hiring program. 

Hope this helps. 

PS. I’ll release an ‘SDR Hiring Playbook’ soon.

SDR Leader Spotlight:

Simply delighted to introduce you all to Celina Schulz to everyone this week. Director of Sales Development @Juro.

Her journey:

In 2013, Celina finished her A-levels in Heidelberg, Germany, and moved to the UK as an ‘au pair’ to improve her English. She canceled her place at uni and got a job in finance (accounts receivable and invoicing). After not enjoying it she found herself apprehensive about sales as a lot of people said it wasn’t right for her. But she bit the bullet and I’m glad to say hasn’t looked back. Celina was at her 1st company for 2 years and quickly became a mentor/buddy which is where she first found her passion for helping other SDRs be successful. A couple of companies later and she is now one of London’s most experienced SDR Leaders and is now leading a team of 11 SDRs at a fast-growth Series B. 

3 top prospecting tips:
  • Use your data. Optimize your messaging for 1. Open rates 2. Response rates 3. Bounce rates. 

  • Block your time every day to stop overthinking. Have a minimum of 3 team power hours per week. 

  • You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Just call them. 

Her advice for new leaders: 
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You’ll need to be able to master change and bring the team along with you. 

  • Trial and error is half the game. Don’t be scared to make mistakes just own them, communicate them and keep moving forwards. 

  • As a leader, it’s your job to have a huge impact on reps’ careers. You need to take that seriously and set people up for success long term. 

Love all of the above! 

Danke, Celina 🙂  

That’s all for this week, folks. See you next Friday! 

PS. If you want to be featured in my Newsletter, just ask!

1 way I help SDR Leaders:

The last one SOLD OUT ALL 24 SEATS in a week. The next one will launch in August. Respond to this email to reserve a spot. Only 9 left already.

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© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.

© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.