I got good at being an SDR and I made a course about it
I started my career as a Sales Development Rep (SDR) in 2010. Right after I had moved 10,700km away from the UK and landed in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia after being offered a job while on holiday.
The training I had was simple (read savage) and straightforward: “Here’s some phone numbers, book me some f*****g appointments” (see I told ya).
Literally. No Gong.io, No Drift, No Salesforce, No Hubspot… Here’s what we did have:
10-year-old desktop computers | (More than) 10-year-old phones | A spreadsheet
“Sales process = zero”
“Sales methodology = ‘Sell Stuff’”
If I failed, it was quite straightforward for me: You get on a plane and go home.
I was 24 with an idea and a little bit of confidence, but that really didn't prepare me for what was to come.
Come to think of it, I don’t know of any other career choice where you actively seek out people’s rejection in the hopes of moving closer to a Win. With an average success ratio of 1 in 10, that means 9 people are saying no to you - no matter how much you think it’s ‘just business’ or ‘just how sales is’ that shit still hurts (even now).
For the next few years I went about my job learning the hard way (trying not to get fired): trial and error, almost getting fired twice, and eventually becoming pretty good at cold calling and leveraging LinkedIn to get engagement and book meetings.
A bit of context, I was working in a hyper-competitive financial service industry and my lead territory included China, the Middle East, and Russia. It was a tough slog but I loved it… once I got good. Meanwhile, I saw many, many SDRs come and go and I thought it was just normal and justifying it by telling myself that the industry was really hard.
Looking back on it...now I kinda understand why….
Fast forward to 2021, a change in industry (from B2C Finance to B2B tech), and several promotions later, my team and I were struggling to find SDR candidates that would be able to come on board and do an awesome job. What we found was that people who were coming in for interviews simply didn’t know what it took to be successful in the role. Those that did join us eventually ended up deciding the role wasn’t for them and this was a recurring theme from my days as an SDR in financial too.
Imagine the lost time and effort for everyone involved! The SDRs who have been through countless rounds of interviews and training only to fail. Let's not even mention the managers who have dedicated time and effort to hiring, training, and onboarding only for people to leave or fail.
And that got me thinking... If we can’t find suitable people for this role, why don’t we create them instead?!
And that’s how we started.
Myself, Luen and Juinn (my colleagues here at Supahands) put together an SDR Bootcamp, here in Malaysia. Since we knew this Bootcamp would be catering for the more junior end of the market we partnered with a Mentor/Mentee platform called FutureLab which has a large audience of people looking to improve their skills or looking for a change in career.
Low-and-behold, the Bootcamp was a success. We received great feedback and also hired a couple of people from the course too!!!
...And that’s when things got really interesting.
After the success of the Bootcamp (we’ve done it twice now so far), Leslie Greenwood, the VP of Member Success at Pavilion, reached out for a chat. Leslie suggested that the SDR Bootcamp course could be built to be something bigger, and with a greater reach through the Pavilion platform! And I was sold
We spent months preparing content that is much needed in the world of SDRs, searching for the best speakers to deliver it, reading, writing, interviewing (and creating this website)... I present to you the SDR Acceleration School.
What is the SDR Acceleration School:
Let’s not muck about here, being an SDR is one of the toughest jobs in sales, and even tougher to hire for! Like I said, I can’t think of any other job that has to face rejection 90% of the time, and who wants that?? But it really shouldn’t be this hard.
The aim of this course is essentially to prepare people with what we knew SDRs would need to do well in the role. This course runs for 12 weeks consisting of weekly teaching sessions and weekly cohort sessions with your peers. I’ve recruited some amazing people, incredible industry leaders to host this course and they’ll be sharing their experiences, the tools of their trade, things they should’ve known when they started, and most importantly how to have some fun along the way too.
Who is it for:
Individual Contributors looking to advance their career in Sales and Sales Development.
What it’s about:
Here’s a breakdown of what the course is about, what you’ll be learning, and how it will help prepare you for the world of being an SDR:
How to sign up:
Details for applications here. The course has a fee of US$600 and requires you to be either an Associate or Analyst member of Pavilion*
Applications are due by 15th September 2021
....AND THIS IS IMPORTANT. It takes two hands to clap. It takes two to tango. And it’ll take you to put in the work too. This course isn’t a shortcut to being awesome, it’s a step up. It will certainly put you ahead of the pack but, it will not substitute the reading, learning, upskilling, roleplays, feedback and calls that you’ll need to do to get better.
But it’ll definitely be worth it.
For future updates, I'll be posting on my LinkedIn, feel free to follow me on there!
**Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored I do not get any commissions per application. I am a member of Pavilion and the designer of this course.
If you’re interested to apply, you can sign up for the course here.