Sales Onboarding Advice for SDRs/BDRs

Learn how to onboard in a sales role efficiently and effectively, manage your daily workflow, and hit quota quickly.

Onboarding as an SDR or BDR can seem like an overwhelming amount of work to get up to speed. Luckily Bravado has all the tips you need to breeze through onboarding ahead of schedule and start crushing quota like a true sales savage.

How Bad Do You Want It?

Let’s be honest: The work-life balance proposition is different in sales from any other job for one reason: quota. As a barista, your compensation isn’t directly tied to one key metric that you must surpass in order to make your full salary.

For this reason, it’s crucial to decide before you start onboarding in an SDR role how much time you’re willing to dedicate to work. Want to leave work at 5? Then you’d better be prepared to work efficiently and quickly.

But if you want to onboard quickly and hit quota relentlessly? You might want to budget extra hours a few days a week to train. The key is to consciously decide what effort you’re willing to put in so work doesn’t feel like an endless slog, and so you’re mentally prepared to put in the effort required to succeed.

Block Out Your Time

Let’s say you’re planning your first week as a sales rep. You’ve got 25 hours of sales training, 10 hours of meetings, and five hours of forms and paperwork to fill out. Block it out day by day.

A disorganized SDR is an unsuccessful SDR, so break it down by day and by hour. If you’ve got your trainings organized and your meetings on your calendar, then you don’t have to worry about not developing the key knowledge and skills as long as you’re on schedule. Every bit of work you get done early also means a chunk of free time later on to speed through onboarding or take a little break.

This advice doesn’t have an expiration date. As an SDR, being able to block out your time and execute, whether it’s cold calls, meetings or the discovery process, will be key in order to achieve consistent quota in the long term.

Build Your Network Early

A crucial aspect of starting a new sales job is sales networking. Not only does it give you a window into the stakeholders you’ll be working with in your office, but your coworkers today might be sales leaders of the future. Adding your coworkers on Linkedin, setting meetings with direct stakeholders, and meeting with experienced peers will give you a fuller perspective of the company and your role within it.

Find The Helpers

More important than shaking hands is finding the people in your office who are willing to help you. It’s no secret that not every salesperson is kind, but if you reach out, you’ll find no shortage of coworkers who are willing to help you skip the mistakes they made.

Many offices will also assign you an “onboarding buddy.” This person will be a more experienced figure in your role who can show you the ropes and let you listen in on their calls. Don’t waste this resource. Paying close attention and engaging with an experienced peer might be the difference between hitting quota and blowing call after call.

Practice Makes Perfect

Some forms of learning can’t be lastingly conveyed in an hour long onboarding video, so practice on your own. Make helpful flashcards on terms you need to learn and how to handle common objections. Practice your elevator pitch. Quiz yourself on the value proposition and granular applications. Being prepared early means missing big mistakes later.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

There’s a reason sales managers hire salespeople that ask intelligent questions in sales interviews: In sales, curiosity is a strength. Don’t be afraid to ask your peers for help or admit you don’t know something, especially while you’re onboarding and not expected to be fully up to speed. Absorb information like a sponge, shadow all the calls you can, and ask every stakeholder you meet what you can do to make their life easier.

Store Your Onboarding Acorns

As an SDR, part of your onboarding plan will include extensive trainings to understand your product, your role in the sales cycle, and effective sales techniques to help get you ramped up to a fully self-sufficient unit of the sales team. These will often include hours of videos or other forms of training. Some of it you will only need to hear once, but if there’s a key piece of information or advice, store it. Make a folder of critical information and put everything you can tell you will need into it as soon as you see it. You don’t want to be seven months into your role combing through hours of onboarding videos to find one piece of crucial information before a meeting.

Bring The Fun Close, Keep The Anxiety At A Distance

It’s no secret that being an SDR is a stressful job, but part of thriving in a new SDR role is learning to approach the role in a way that drives you instead of burning you out. Are you in sales because you love to win? Treat daily stresses and setbacks as a test of your mettle, and remember that this is what separates you from those that quit. Are you in it for the long term career track? Use that waypoint in the distance as a motivator. What’s key is maintaining perspective to stay motivated on days that get long, without beating yourself up.

At the end of the day, it’s crucial to remember that no matter what career stage you’re at, every sales job is ultimately a job. Your value as a person is not determined by your success, and even when you blow a call, when you leave work you still deserve to be happy. Nobody has ever died from an SDR setting a bad meeting.

Some Notes Are Just For You

Salesforce is public. But as a new SDR, you’re not going to want to keep every piece of information in a public place. Sales is competitive, and it’s just as important to keep track of things that aren’t going well as it is to track things that are. So keep a document for yourself to track your failures as well as things that need fixing.

Take A Walk

Onboarding and the daily workflow of being an SDR or BDR is stressful. It’s also highly intangible. Staring into your computer or leaning into a phone for hours can burn you out, so it’s important to give your mind a rest. Taking a walk to bring yourself back to reality can remind you that a rude call is just a call, and a bad email is just an email.

Find Community

You didn’t get into sales to survive, you want to thrive. In a competitive field like sales, it’s more critical than ever to find community with your peers. Not only will they help you hone your skills, they’ll also understand the unique stresses that come with cold calling or emailing prospects. So make friends, be it talking your hobby around the water cooler or logging your wins in the Bravado War Room.

Ultimately, effective onboarding and the day to day SDR workflow comes down to hard work, organization, and perspective. But it’s crucial to remember that your company has invested in you and wants you to succeed. If you follow the path laid out for you, and put in the work and curiosity to match or exceed your peers, you’ll be on the path to closing your first deal in no time.

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