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No. 801 / On becoming a high-performing SDR

In every sales organization, there is a basic bell curve of performers. About 20% of the reps will enjoy the fruits of their full commission checks, 60% will be close and still do moderately well, and 20% will struggle. It’s strange that it works out this way but you see this same distribution of performance everywhere.

So, is it just chance? Or is there something the top 20% do that the rest don’t? Turns out (at least for SDRs), there is (I’m sure the following principles apply to other roles as well).

  1. High performers focus on quality over quantity. The best don’t always make the most phone calls or send the most emails. But they do get the best response rates and have the most meetings. It’s because they do things to stand out from the crowd. They add some personal touches and flashes of personality. They learn about their prospects and treat them like humans.

  2. High performers measure their performance. They listen to their calls. They track opens and clicks. They find insights in all data-types.

  3. High performers are learn-it-alls. You get a lot of arrogant people in sales. But the best are confident, yes, but also humble and willing to learn something from every interaction. They seek mentors. They don’t bad-mouth prospects. They show respect to everyone they work with.

  4. High performers give back. They share what they learn. They know that there is enough room at the top for everyone. And they also understand that the best way to learn something is to teach it.

These are all things you already know. The difference with high performers, however, is that they know that just knowing something isn’t enough.