Live Training

Digital Courses

Scaling from 1 to 103 SDRs

Learn the secrets in 3 minutes

Chris Ritson

19 Apr 2024

3 mins

Share to:

Stop spending hours on LinkedIn everyday without getting responses and meetings. There’s a new way to run things [and it only takes 30 mins a day].

Get my Masterclass here so you can learn how I book meetings on LinkedIn: LinkedIn Masterclass

SDR Leaders - this one is for you. On 29th April I will be running a Masterclass sharing my secrets on ‘‘How I Coach Cold Calls’’.

You can register here: SDR Leader Masterclass

I’ve built Sales teams to >50 people.

But never have I ever built a team to >100.

Last week I interviewed a legend, good friend and someone I respect immensely to get their secrets on how they scaled from 1 to 103 SDRs.

In this newsletter, I’ll share David Bentham’s secrets with you on how he built and scaled a world class SDR function at Cognism.

Let’s dive in.

#1 - Repeatable Hiring

This sounds obvious but in practice its VERY hard to operationalise and scale.

Since Day 1, Dave has been relentless in making sure all interviewees follow the exact same process.

For him the process is two steps and has to be in the office in a face to face environment.

But where ever it is. He asks the same question set, runs the interview for the same time frame, scores each and every answer etc.

Dave is fully focused on making sure every candidate is judged fairly throughout the process in order to find the diamonds.

The managers that now report to him follow the exact same process, he built years ago.

After all, why fix something that isn’t broken?

And that’s the first secret from Dave…’’If something is working, repeat it. Too many people change things that are already working’’.


  • Same interview stages and questions

  • Same scoring sheet for interviewees

  • Same environment (in the office)

#2 - Fast Onboarding

Now he’s confident he has the right people hired and ready to execute.

Next, Dave makes sure everyone is fully focused on getting off to the races and showing ROI to the business on why they got hired.

Here’s how he operationalises that through Onboarding:

  1. All reps follow the SAME onboarding plan successful reps followed before them [again, why change something that works].

  2. Week 1 is centred on getting reps to a foundational level of knowledge as soon as possible. The 2 areas of focus are;

    • Reps learning how to explain Cognism, who it helps and how it helps their ICP

    • Get on the phones to practice, QUICK [more conversations = better for their learning

  3. All reps must pass a certification by the end of Month 3 to prove they have ramped [this includes performance metrics]

  4. If not, the reps go back to working towards passing the certification.

And that’s the 2nd secret from Dave…’’Make it obvious to the business as quickly as possible they’ve made a good investment in hiring more SDRs’’.

#3 - Optimise for ‘‘The Core Goal’’

The best ‘‘scale’’ leaders are the people who can motivate their people by leveraging a common purpose.

They understand levers like commission and money can play a huge role in getting to that common purpose.

After all, some people are motivated by money and even if you aren’t Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs dictates everyone relies on it for survival.

Whilst most teams motivate their teams on meetings booked and opportunities, Dave knew in order to scale he needed buy-in from power.

That needed to come from his peers in AE Leadership C-Suite and Marketing. and the best way to achieve this was to make his teams Core Goal ‘‘revenue’’.

This meant that over time his strategy and tactics could change to adapt to the market but the common purpose his team chased was always in the best interests of the business.

In Dave’s words….’’Aligning to leaders in other departments not only stops you from siloing yourself and your team but makes it 100x easier to get internal buy-in when you need help and support [which is a lot]’’.

#4 - Create [and reward] a High Performance Culture

I hear every team bang on about this about this but max 1% of them actually achieve it.

For me, this is the holy grail and Dave is one of the few leaders that has got there.

But how?

Simple - he has created a system that allowed ‘‘the cream to come to the top’’ and in turn set a continuously better standard for performance that matched market needs and rigour.

That system comes in the form of internal development of each and everyone of his team.

Everyone of them has:

  1. A Coaching Plan they are accountable for

  2. Ability to apply for roles internally [as a priority]

What has this led to…

  • Retention of TOP talent for 4/5 years plus against industry average of 18 months

  • 80% of AEs at Cognism were SDRs

  • 100% of Leaders started as SDRs

These stats are truly remarkable but the best bit [in Daves words] is…

''If people can see evidence you care about their career they’ll likely put more effort into the goals you set for them’’.

And that’s the 4th secret…Belief through Evidence. If you’re a leader and you hold the power, put your money where your mouth is.

#BONUS - Dave’s Teambook

This is true genius.

When Dave started out in leadership he decided Culture was important [a great start].

Unlike everyone else he decided to let his team create, build and run the culture.

So he launched a concept he called the Teambook. The way it worked was whenever there was a topic to discuss [KPIs, Time Mgmt, Office etiquette etc..] Dave would get the team in a room and ask them to create the rules for that topic.

He would then leave the room and come back to ‘‘sign it off’’.

What this created was a team that self governed. All he did was set the vision and ask the team to create rules with that vision in mind.

Imagine a team of SDRs who run their own show…

Well that’s what Dave built.


PS. My next Masterclass will be ‘‘How I Book Outbound Meetings on LinkedIn’’. You can save your seat here. [376/500 taken].

Customer of the Week:

If you’d like to learn how to Double Your Meetings Booked in just 2 Hours for $97, click here: Cold Call Course 

Hope you find this weeks newsletter helpful. Please feel free to share this with colleagues if you think it can help them.

Or reply with any questions you have to this email 🙂 

Cheers, Chris

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

Make Outbound a 7-Figure Revenue Channel with my bespoke Outbound Training Programmes (2 bookings max per month).

Go from SDR Manager to SDR Leader & Start Building a High Performance SDR Team. 30 seats max.

The Pipeline Post

The Pipeline Post

The Pipeline Post

for free

© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.

© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.