Developing Soft Skills for New SDRs w/ Adam Piasecki

#47: Listen as Adam Piasecki, Senior Enablement Lead at MURAL, talks SDR training and what to look for in new hires. He and Tyler discuss missed opportunities and how developing soft skills such as active listening, emotional intelligence, and effectively handling feedback can take a sales team to the next level.

Listen to the episode by clicking play below OR search “the sales lift” wherever you get podcasts.

Important Links:

Adam’s LinkedIn Profile

Don’t feel like listening? Read the Episode Cliff Notes instead below:

Soft-Skill Missed Opportunities (:49)

When putting together a good training program for SDRs, it’s important to remember that the people you’re hiring are usually straight out of school or with very little sales experience. They are just starting their careers and looking to break into the sales or technology world. 

Sales-specific skills are very important to embed in training, but Adam thinks an often missed opportunity is developing soft skills.

Many of the new SDRs coming into the workforce are either tail-end millennials or part of the GenZ crew. So they have the tech background and might benefit more from series on emotional intelligence, handling objection, and active listening.  

Ability to Handle Feedback (5:08)

Hard skills are pretty universal and are things you can teach anyone no matter where the new hires are coming from. Adam tells Tyler the opportunity for soft skill development starts during the interview process.

In one of your final interviews, give potential new hires an assignment or a task. As a hiring manager, you should give them feedback to see how they analyze themselves and test their self-awareness. 

Even if they don’t agree with the feedback, having the emotional intelligence to accept the feedback is critical. 

Not being able to self-assess their performance is a huge red flag because that tells you they’re unwilling to accept feedback. They’re not willing to essentially adapt their style to grow.

The same idea goes for the question of weakness. As a hiring manager, you want an element of transparency and honesty- not just with you, the manager, but with themselves. 

Varying Levels of Motivation (11:27)

We know the role is an absolute grind, and success in it means being able to continue to do the tasks even when you may not see the value in them for a while. 

The soft skill of showing up consistently and completing a long-haul task will make someone incredible at closing deals. 

Those with a more “average” level of motivation connect them to the bottom line and show them how they impact the company. It’s very easy to really get caught up in the task completion aspect. You have to break that and show them what you are doing is affecting the company.

Importance of the Roadmap (17:54)

SDRs come in at the very bottom as a starting point. You don’t want to hire someone who wants to be an SDR for the rest of their life. You want someone who can grasp the bigger picture of opportunity and is motivated to move up. 

We are in a sales environment that is evolving. Businesses don’t have an interest in talking to people trying to sell them something. They want to talk to people. 

Encouraging your sales team and giving them the tools to just be themselves will be what drives them to success with closing deals. 

There is no golden ticket, and you need to be able to adapt as you go. You need to facilitate authenticity in this job because people are buying from people; they’re not buying from salespeople anymore.

Adam’s Bio:

My professional experience lies within Tech Sales Enablement focused on Top of the Funnel execution, program development, and training delivery. I currently lead these efforts at MURAL, and recently transitioned to MURAL from Oracle-NetSuite.

I have workplace interests and passions in empowering leadership, emotional intelligence, sales, training & development, public speaking, and organizational culture. I also care deeply about the social issues of equity/equality, healthy masculinity, and inclusivity for all and am typically involved with NPOs focused in these areas. Outside of work, I enjoy skiing, creating music, and being a social butterfly.