• Gerald Zankl

My Challenges in building scalable SDR and BDR Teams

In my role as a global SDR and BDR leader at a leading tech B2B SaaS, I had a lot of challenges in building up a high performing and scalable SDR and BDR team. And it's still an ongoing journey to increase performance every day. In this blog post, I share some of my challenges including some fuck-ups I made at the very beginning of building up the Sales and Business Development Team.


#0 Defining the Team Structure

Nothing is more important than defining the team structure in the right way. There are so many different options to define it. Questions you should ask yourself before hiring and building up the team:

  • Which locations do I want to hire? One centralized location or regional offices?

  • Job responsibilities? Who is doing what? SDR, BDR, BDA, ...

  • Inbound vs. Outbound? Both, only one, central inbound, regional inbound, ...

  • Marketing vs. Sales? Are you reporting to the marketing or sales org? Or a CRO function?

  • Metrics / Quota? What is the right metric? Meetings held, Sales Accepted Opportunities, ...


#1 Hiring

Nothing is more critical for a first-time leader than hiring the right people.

  • Junior vs. and Experienced?

  • Sales vs. and Product Expert?

We have seen great success with people with high resilience, high communication skills and also technical skills to prep sheets, do some quick fixes etc. At the end, it's all about the attitude and where people want to develop to.


#2 Onboarding + Development/Learning, especially for high technical SaaS Products

Focus big efforts on onboarding plans. I had no dedicated sales enablement resource available to help me onboard the team. This was a mistake, make sure you spend time on onboarding, training and development or have someone dedicated to this to help the team with general questions for both, sales and product knowledge.

  • Detailed Onboarding program?

  • Onboarding time?

  • Quota expectations


#3 Career and Development Plan

A clear defined career and development plan are super important. SDRs and BDRs are rockstars, and they have to prove it every single day. There has to be something they are looking towards, something they see in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months to develop towards. I'm a big fan of career development because PROGRESS equals HAPPINESS.

  • Every SDR/BDR wants to get to the next level, asap


#4: Managing Junior People Remotely

Think of how you are going to manage, coach and help your distributed team in the current situation. Set clear expectations and ideally have a single place where you have all the metrics in like # emails, # calls, # campaigns, # meetings and # opportunities created. Share in that place also best practices like email templates, call scripts etc. This is super important for the success of the team.

  • Expectation setting (# Opps, # Meetings, # Mails)

  • Coaching, Training, Best practices


#5 Process and Planning for Inbound + Outbound

Make it clear how your inbound and outbound process looks like and how the processes will be executed.


#6: Tools

Define the tool stack. I'm a big fan of having one centralised place for SDRs, like Kickscale. Everything an SDR or BDR needs is in Kickscale. For sure the team has to use multiple tools and solutions like Outreach, ZoomInfo, Salesforce, ... but overall all the important activities and the expectations are in Kickscale. In addition, as I leader I have a centralised view of everything going on. This helps the team to see the success and failures of other team members to further improve.

  • Salesforce/Hubspot/Outreach/ZoomInfo/...

  • Kickscale


#7: Inbound Alignment

Make sure you align with your marketing team. Set defined Service Level Agreement to align marketing and sales.

  • Marketing vs. and Sales -> ICP and expectations

  • Leads vs. and Meetings vs. and Opportunities


#8: Outbound at Scale

Use a winning outbound standard operating procedure. You find all the details here.

  • Targeting and Grouping and Clustering

  • Customization vs. Automation

  • Process or not?


I hope this post helps you to structure and focus your efforts on building highly scalable and high performing Sales and Business Development Teams.


POWER & JOY, Gerald


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