Igniting Sales Development w/ Sam Schooley

#48: Listen as Sam Schooley, SDR Manager at Post-Click and builder of award-winning SDR teams, discusses what to look for when building a successful sales team. He and Tyler go over the benefits of promoting from within, building a bench, and how to balance inbound and outbound sales strategies.

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

Important Links:

Sam’s LinkedIn Profile

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

Hiring From The Ground Up (:49)

Sam talks about the benefit of delegating work. If you’re finding your calendar is too full to close deals, hiring someone to evaluate leads and qualify your pipeline can help free up your time. This should be the first person you hire. 

Have someone come in and keep your calendar full. Once they’ve had success in that, evaluate and see if they could close some of the smaller deals themselves. 

If they can, put them on an SDR stream. That SDR is now an account executive, and you made someone’s career at that moment. 

It’s so much more of a natural process when you find the right ones to aid transition than just trying to find the AE from the start.

Promoting Your SDRs from Within (4:29)

When you hire an outside account executive, they come with their own methodologists and biases, and you have to teach them yours, as well as your market and your product.

Whereas, if you promote within your SDRs, they already know your sales process, buyer, product, and market. You only need to teach them the end of closing, which is difficult, and it takes getting beat up a few times.

That’s why you have to take the time to literally build a bench. If you’re not, you either have to hire another sales manager to come in and train these AEs, or you’ll have to hire a sales enablement person.

And just because someone’s an SDR, that doesn’t necessarily mean they deserve to be an account executive at your company. It’s about knowing how to spot talent. 

Link to Atrium as mentioned in the show. 

Inbound vs. Outbound (10:11)

Sam does not recommend doing hybrid roles because the motions of each role are drastically different. 

Inbound is all about having a high volume of folks coming down your pipeline and quickly qualifying them in or speed to lead.

When you have someone splitting focus, they will prioritize the lead every time because it’s the low-hanging fruit. So they drop everything to pursue a lead. 

When you have all these switching costs you’re trying to navigate, it’s a struggle not to get distracted by the leads coming in because humans aren’t efficient in the way robots are. 

It’s helpful to send your demo requests directly to your AEs and bypass the STR. So essentially, you’d skip the really high intent triggers.

When to go Outbound (15:50)

When you don’t have enough leads to hit your revenue targets, that’s when you go outbound. 

Don’t look at historical data; look at the most recent. What was the explicit reason the buyer started speaking to us in the first place – not why they signed the contract. That’s the inflection point. 

Then going to coach your SDRs on how to find that inflection point across your market. Find the prospects who are struggling with the exact same issue your last 10 customers were.

You’re getting your inbound leads, and your deals closed when prospects are raising their hand ready to buy. With your outbound business, you’re reaching out to them when they’re maybe not even aware of their buyer cycle.

Sam also recommends hiring in pairs despite the expense. That way, they can compete with one another, especially if you build a healthy competition where it’s more of a tennis team where they’re on the same team.

Sam’s Bio:

Having led SDR teams as small as 4, and as large as 30, Sam now leads the Sales Development team at Postclick. With a passion for developing top SDRs, Sam has coached 1000s of SDRs and Inside Sales reps in his tenure as a Sales Development Leader.

Now, Sam lives at home in Novato with his partner Taelor, and dog Roland. When he’s not cold calling, find him (COVID permitting) in Hawaii on the beach, or Tahoe on a jetski!