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My 3-step framework for time management

Learn to win more, in less time

Chris Ritson

14 Jul 2023

3 mins

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Effectively managing the time of your SDR team is the single highest-impact thing you can do as an SDR Leader. 

It is also one of the most overlooked tasks on your to-do list. Most SDR Leaders default to 'just ‘time-blocking’ calendars with odd call-out blocks here or there. 

Others book 121s or team meetings over their reps ‘focused work’ blocks. 

I put a lot of my own success down to making sure my SDRs were spending time doing things that yielded the best results as often as possible. 

Simply put, I lived by the phrase; ‘time is yours and your rep’s most important currency’. 

Today, I’ll share my formula (in 3 parts) so time management can feel easier for you. 

Let’s dive in. 

Step 1 - Optimise for Speed

Most SDR Leaders never look at their data past the point of ‘daily KPIs’ and ‘quotas’. This means you and your reps don’t know where to spend your time to get the quickest results. 

If you want to smash quota, take a look at where your team and each individual get the fastest results. 

For example; how many emails does SDR 1 send to book a meeting and how many calls does SDR 1 make before booking a meeting? Which is the fastest? 

Working this out will allow you to direct both your team and each individual effectively to their areas of strength. 

The quicker you reach your goal, the greater your momentum and the better everyone feels. 

Step 2 - Spend time acquiring skills 

Now you know where your team and each individual can win the fastest. 

But the problem is keeping them winning. Anyone can get lucky one month but consistency is the single hardest thing to achieve. 

And the only way they can consistently win is if they have the skills to do so. This is why I encourage managers and reps to manage their time around the acquisition of skills. 

To acquire them they need to work on them every single day. 

Here are the 4 skills I think SDRs need to smash their job: 

  1. Find the right prospects who could benefit from your services. 

  2. Send them a great message that educates the prospect on new ways to solve their existing problems 

  3. Scale the above process using sequences so you can reach out to more great fit prospects at the same time 

  4. Master 2-way conversations and work through objections 

Conquering these skills will take time and daily repetition which is where step 3 comes in. 

Step 3 - Deliberate Time Blocking 

Now it’s time to build out your and your reps’ calendar considering how to optimise for the 4 skills + speed. 

This is where most leaders go wrong. They don’t work their calendar around their reps. They often don’t even look at reps diaries before putting meetings in. The reps then miss their own calendar blocks, don’t learn those skills and they fall behind. 

Here’s an example of how I do it:

Firstly, there is a clear start and end to the day with set lunch. 

Then you can see I have optimised 2 daily sessions for calls (this rep wins fastest via calling so we do more of that). If they were better at emailing I’d optimise their calendar for that instead. 

Next, you should note there are sessions for finding prospects, research, other messaging (email, LinkedIn), and importantly sequence optimisation (core skills 1-3). 

Thirdly you have team training and self-enablement. The better your reps are at the ‘core 4 skills’ the better your buyer experience and your results. 

Finally, note your 121 sessions with the rep are NOT during messaging time. 

Of course, each rep’s calendar can look different and there will always be times for ‘group callouts’ etc but being intentional around the design of your reps calendars has never been more critical. 

Bonus Step - Empower 

Most companies have way too many internal meetings. 

Think about every hour of internal meetings in this way: 

  • 1 hour = 50 calls 

  • 50 calls = 2/3 connects 

  • 3 connects @33% conversion = 1 meeting. 

For every single hour your reps are spending in internal meetings you’re missing out on quota. 

All your reps need to know their number 1 priority is to sell and to maximise selling time. 

That doesn’t mean not attending all-hands etc but it’s a behavioral shift you need to drive across your teams to drive efficiency. 

Empower your reps to prioritise their own diary blocks. Show them the numbers above and what missing time in one of the ‘core 4’ areas means to their results. 

Trust me, your CRO won’t mind when you tell them you’re optimising for driving performance and pipeline. 

Quick Summary: 

Balancing a set diary, feelings of micromanagement and the fact each of your reps has different strengths is hard. 

But not impossible. 

A step-by-step process that optimises your rep’s strengths and skill acquisition will help maximise the single most important resource we all have; time. 

This week’s action step: 

Look at how empty your reps’ diaries are right now. Are you guiding them toward the right actions or leaving it to them to work it all out? Guidance isn’t micromanagement. Its leadership. 

Good luck!! 

P.S. If this is useful, feel free to share it with your team.

SDR Leader Spotlight:

Delighted to introduce all 1200+ of you to Rachael Boyle, SDR Manager @Attest.

Her journey:

Whilst Rachael was studying History at Uni she had a recruiter reach out to her about Tech Sales. Her perception of sales was either car salesman or wolf of wall street and it wasn’t for her. Luckily the recruiter managed to convince her it was and 4 years ago she started out as an SDR. After ramping in record speed she was promoted to Senior SDR. As a Senior SDR, she started thinking about what was next. Was it the AE route, or the SDR Manager route? 

As someone who had already started mentoring junior SDRs in the team, she decided to pitch her manager to the job of ‘SDR Team Lead’ which wasn’t something the business had an open role for. A few weeks later, she started her leadership journey and after her first 2 hires achieved 279% of their ramp target Rach was promoted to SDR Manager. She’s about to start her next opportunity in SDR Leadership at a Series B company called Hackajob. Watch this space. 

Her top prospecting tips:
  • Most companies have just gone into H2, and many will be financial planning in September time. Start verbalizing the hypotheses that they are planning for a new budget so you can get on their radar and start the conversation early. 

  • Utilise your CRM. There is so much gold in there left untouched. Start with closed-lost opportunities that were ‘timing-off’ and re-contact them. 

  • Automate notifications in LinkedIn Sales Nav for ‘new-to-role’ and ‘old-customer’ prospects. It sounds simple but these triggers are great indicators that a business is entering a new buying cycle. 

  • Use LinkedIn voicenotes and video together to help drive an omnichannel approach. 

Her advice for new leaders:
  • Spend time thinking about the culture you want to create and how that fits into the wider company goals. Consider the common goal but also how we will have fun getting there. 

  • Accept you will fail but you will learn something from each failure. 

  • What worked for you as an IC won’t always work for your reps. Treat each rep as an individual that has different strengths and weaknesses. You’ll likely learn something from each rep so take their advice in return for yours. 

  • If you don’t get involved in the trenches you can never prove what’s right and what’s wrong. You’ll always just be guessing. 

Amazing growth journey and advice 🙂  

Thanks, Rachael.

Our Sponsors:

Please meet my friends at Knit who are SDR hiring experts. If you’re struggling to find high-quality SDR talent, have high attrition rates, or waste time looking through CVs, then speak to Lewis at Knit.

Weekly Send-Off:

Thanks as always for your time. 

Next week there will be NO Newsletter (I’m in Slovakia) so I’ll see you in 2 weeks’ time. 

In the meantime, remember; you're a legend! 🙂  

And if you have any feedback on this newsletter just email me back. 

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© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.

© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.