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Every SDR needs a Coaching Plan

5 steps to build great coaching plans

Chris Ritson

3 Nov 2023

3 mins

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If you missed my last newsletter, copy and paste this subject line in your email; ‘4 Steps to Master Nurturing'. 

Fun Fact: I’m running another Masterclass. It’s called ‘How to get promoted to AE’. You can register here.

Want to know the first thing I put in place at any business I work with?

Coaching Plans for each SDR.

Why? Because my job as an SDR Leader is to help each rep reach their full potential. It’s as simple as that.

In this newsletter, I’ll give you my secret formula for coaching plans and tell you why they’ve always served me so well.

Let’s get stuck in.

Step 1 - Assess the Reps: 

Before you build a coaching plan you need to work out what the coaching plan should focus on.

Most leaders skip this part but it’s critical to make sure you get the most out of each session with your rep.

For example, if you spend 13 hours (1 per week) a quarter with your reps you only have 13 hours to influence their performance.

Its therefore critical the time you spend is on ‘‘high-impact’’ areas.

To assess the reps you need a standardised way of knowing what great looks like.

I recommend starting with a 0-5 scale for each core skill.

For example:

Cold Calls: 

  • L0 - beginner - has never done cold calling before. 

  • L1 - urgent attention - has a script but is unable to remember it. 

  • L2 - below average - able to use the script but unable to deliver in an appropriate tone. 

  • L3 - average - able to follow the structure but can’t handle objections 

  • L4 - above average - can handle objections and book meetings via calls 

  • L5 - excellent - can book meetings via calls and also multithread 

Start basic with each skill so everyone knows what good looks like. 

If you want to go an extra level here include call recordings for each level the reps can watch. Demonstrating great makes it easier for reps to know the standard they are aiming at next. 

Repeat this for all the core skills your reps need to be successful. 

It may feel like a little work upfront but you will save DAYS in training reps on the wrong things. 

Step 2 - Build the Plan: 

Now you have the numbers it’s pretty easy to know where to focus your plan.

I recommend including 3-5 key skills you want your reps to improve.

Remember the benefit of individual plans means you can truly tailor your coaching to their specific needs.

Here are 2 examples: 

  1. Rep 1 - 3 months in, struggling with calls, objection handling, and written messaging on email.

My plan for the next 3 months with them (13 hours of 1:1s) would focus on those 3 subject areas.

  1. Rep 2 - 12 months in, hitting quota, and wants a promotion but dipped recently with cold call performance.

My plan would be to work on cold calls plus 2/3 AE skills. This could include discovery calls or running demos. The aim would be to get them both performing in the SDR role they’re currently in but also prep them for future success

Note; using a coaching plan is HIGHLY motivating for reps because as you are designing their development

Here’s a very basic template you can use.

Step 3 - Mutual Agreement: 

Once you’ve worked out the 3-5 core skills each rep will focus on it's time to get their buy-in.

I used to have both myself and the rep sign the plan to make it official. Sounds small but the accountability became real.

You’ll need both parties in to make this work to its maximum potential.

Step 4 - Execute: 

Now it’s time to execute. This will start at the beginning of each quarter (it’s why I recommend 3-month plans).

Every session should focus on 1 core area the coaching plan has identified.

The leader can now focus on running a high value session rather than rushing into 1:1s and making it up as they go along.

The more focused each 1:1, the more the rep gets out of it, the faster they develop, and the better results they get.

Step 5 - Review and Repeat: 

As the plan develops across its 3-month lifespan progress should be reviewed.

If reps do not progress the skills stay the same for the next 3 month plan. If they do progress to the levels you want to see them then you move on to working together on new skills.

By doing this every 3 months for all reps you’ll see huge improvements in performance.

And most importantly, all reps will have a great shot at reaching their maximum potential.

Hope this is helpful. 

Quick Summary: 

Every rep deserves an individual coaching plan Areas of focus should be determined by scoring skills Only when reps show progress can they move on to other skills Use coaching plans to show reps you’re invested in them Each plan should be a rolling 3-month plan Max 3-5 skills on each plan 

This Week’s Action Step: 

If you’re a leader, start building out the skills and scoring system you need reps to know in order to measure themselves. 

If you’re a rep, ask your manager for a rolling 3-month coaching plan. One-off plans are not enough. 

Good luck!!

My Next Product:

I’m taking 6 weeks in November and December to improve my existing products but also look at building something new for 2024. 

Of course, I want to build what people want so if you would be able to answer my mini poll below I’d really appreciate it. 

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Weekly Send-Off:

I hope you all have a great weekend. For once, I am doing sweet FA. 

Until next Friday at 1.05pm, au revoir from me, Bridge, and Isaac 🙂  

PS. My number is +447814904622. If you need me, Whatsapp me.

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

The next leader bootcamp will be in January. Join 50+ others and save your seat here

The next bootcamp will be in January. Join 50+ others and save your seat here.

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© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.

© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.