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10 Skills Of Highly Successful Sales- & Business Development Managers

If you are a manager of SDRs or BDRs then you made already significant career steps. BUT you need to understand that this role is different of being an individual contributor... you need to look after your team otherwise you are going to fail... you are only as good as the performance of your team.

Therefore you need to know what your SDRs & BDRs really need to know in order to succeed.

Many of us don't have personal experiences, emotions, or feelings about what it really means to be starting as a Sales- or Business Development Representative.

We have worked together with 100+ SDRs and BDRs across the globe and have put together our common findings about what SDRs and BDRs starting their career really need to thrive and perform.

We analyzed what the leaders of performing teams do differently than the ones who aren't performing.

Because most sellers aren't born, they are built. And most first-time sales managers underestimate how important they and especially sales enablement is to their new reps.

Responsibilities and Tasks of SDRs and BDRs

Sales and business development representatives are responsible for identifying and reaching out to potential customers and generating leads for their company's sales team.

They often work in a fast-paced, quota-driven environment and use a variety of communication channels, such as phone, email, and social media, to connect with prospects.

The role of a SDR can be challenging because they must navigate the early stages of the sales process, often dealing with rejections and unanswered messages.

And so it can be challenging for their managers too.

Characteristics of successful SDRs and BDRs

To be successful as an SDR, individuals typically need strong communication skills, persistence, and a willingness to learn and adapt to changing sales tactics and technologies. Additionally, being organized and able to manage time effectively can help an SDR stay on top of a large volume of leads and activities.

These are the 8 characteristics successful (junior) sellers all have in common:

  1. Resilience

  2. Coachability

  3. Self-Awareness

  4. Curiosity

  5. Follow-Up

  6. Relationship building

  7. Organizational skills

  8. Objection Handling

And great sales leaders develop and build these skills within their reps.

But ... do all junior sellers have these skills from the very beginning?

No, not at all. Some have them, some others don't.

Some junior sellers you can train & coach to become great sellers.

Others you can't coach and have to fire rather sooner than later.

Managers need these Skills that their Team performs

Sales and Business Development Managers are typically first-line managers.

Their main responsibility is to enable their team to hit quota. The most important person for SDRs and BDRs are their direct managers.

So what skills do SDR and BDR managers ideally have to make their team successful?

Skill #1: Motivation

If you are a SDR or BDR, nothing is as hard as when it comes to a rejection. Junior sales reps hear the word "no" as often as no one else.

This can be frustrating. Sales leaders need to motivate them and keep the motivation also in hard times high up.

No matter if it's embracing and celebrating failures, going out together or just putting some contests in place.

Successful sales leaders know how they can motivate their team as a whole but also every individual rep.

Skill #2: Self-awareness

You are managing and leading people, never forget this.

When focussing on # of meetings, # of calls, # of emails, and other important metrics some sales leaders forget that we are still managing people.

Every great sales leader is aware of what actions and words do with your reps.

Especially when leading junior sellers, it's important to consider carefully what actions and words you do and say.

Skill #3: Coaching & Training for Success

Great coaches and great trainers help you to new heights by sharing their expectations and values with you.

Success always comes from within

Every sales rep has to understand that (sales) success comes within, from your own striving, not from outside.

Everyone has to take responsibility for their own actions. And everyone must submit to the common goal.

Great leaders welcome those who are focused on their job and motivated with open arms. But, it will be uncomfortable for the one who doesn't bring the right attitude.

Great leaders don't work with demotivated players, that is wasted time.

How do you show up on bad days?

Everyone has a good day sometimes. But on a bad day, you have to be able to deliver as well.

That's what you live for as a professional seller, you have to put up a fight.

Standing up to an objectively better opponent, with more commitment, and more passion is an important experience for the heart and the head.

Because in these moments you understand: You can do a little bit more."

Training the right tactics

Successful sales leaders show their teams how to effectively manage their time, how to collaborate with other departments, and how to talk effectively with prospects and customers.

Further training should include topics like resilience, self-awareness, curiosity, follow-up skills, relationship building, organizational skills, and objection handling.

Skill #4: Great sales leaders perceive each individual as an individual

Win the trust of the team as fast as possible.

How? Learn everything about your sales reps, their hopes, and fears.

Learn all the time. This knowledge will enable you to successfully play the keyboard of sales psychology, the beat and tone is tailored individually.

Celebrate the good days with your team, but work also with them to turn a bad one into a good one.

Skill #5: Live up to what you demand of others

Even if you aren't involved in any activity, meeting, or deal, give everything at any time.

Hammer out everything - from yourself and also from your team.

Lead also from the forefront. If you aren't generating any results, you can't expect your team to do so.

Skill #6: Set achievable, close goals

First, check where your team stands. If your team is down, set moderate goals first like having fun again, and when your team starts to enjoy sales development again, set the next goal.

Set close goals and set these goals often to improve over time while still having fun.

Setting unachievable goals is a waste of time and in most cases a killer for every motivation.

People who say that if you don't clearly state big goals, you're not really ambitious. These people have no idea how to achieve goals and motivate a team of junior sellers.

Skill #7: Promote strengths instead of criticizing weaknesses

Never say bad things about your reps in public or in front of others.

Never tell your sales reps what they can't do. Instead, you have to trust your reps to improve and develop.

Sales reps believe you first, and then they believe themselves.

Sales training means repetition, repetition, repetition.

When putting together a sales team, it's not necessarily about finding the best ones, but the ones with whom the probability of winning is the highest.

Skill #8: Sales expertise

Sales leaders who know what it means to sell and how actively sell are better leaders and get more trust from their team.

Even if you aren't selling 10 hours a day, show your team you also contribute to the overall revenue goal of your company in some way.

Sell yourself as well!

Furthermore, the advantage of selling by yourself is you will recognize issues within your sales process earlier and can fix them easier.

Skill #9: Communication

Sales leaders need a range of communication skills to effectively lead and motivate their sales teams and communicate with customers and stakeholders.

Here are some key communication skills that sales leaders should possess:

  1. Active listening: Sales leaders must be able to actively listen to their team members, customers, and other stakeholders to understand their needs, concerns, and feedback.

  2. Clarity: Sales leaders must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing, to ensure that their messages are understood.

  3. Empathy: Sales leaders should have empathy for their team members and customers, and be able to put themselves in their shoes to better understand their perspectives and needs.

  4. Persuasion: Sales leaders must be persuasive and able to influence others to achieve their objectives, whether it be motivating their team members or closing a sale.

  5. Negotiation: Sales leaders must be skilled negotiators, able to find mutually beneficial solutions that satisfy both their organization's objectives and their customers' needs.

  6. Presentation: Sales leaders must be able to create and deliver compelling presentations to internal and external audiences, whether it be to motivate their team or pitch their products or services to customers.

  7. Diplomacy: Sales leaders must have the ability to manage conflicts and difficult situations with tact and diplomacy, while still achieving their objectives.

  8. Adaptability: Sales leaders must be adaptable and able to tailor their communication style to different audiences, whether it be their team members, customers, or stakeholders from other departments or organizations.

Skill #10: Strategic thinking and Data analysis

Sales development managers must be able to think strategically to develop and implement effective sales development strategies that align with the overall sales and business objectives of the organization.

Furthermore, Sales development managers must be able to analyze data to identify trends, track performance, and make data-driven decisions. Being an expert in your CRM is a must-have to understand all data.

This is it... practice these skills and you will be successful in your career as sales manager. If you need the right Playbooks for your team... you can use the one's from our Marketplace. It's proven Know How that you can use to boost your teams performance.

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