How to Crush your First 30 days as an SDR w/ Eddie Cortez

#59: Listen as Eddie Cortez, Sales Development Coach at Vendition, discusses helping new SDRs and sales reps in tech and SaaS sales crush their role in their first month. Eddie touches on expectations and mindset, connecting with your managers, tips for coachability, and why understanding your prospect is critical to success.

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

Important Links:

Eddie Cortez’s LinkedIn Profile

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

Starting Expectations and Mindsets (0:47)

Many new SDRs who are just starting out don’t realize that connecting with your prospects is one of the most difficult parts of the job. 

It will be more of a long game, and it’s essential to understand the kind of atmosphere you’re selling into nowadays. You’re going to see more losses than wins. And so you’ve got to understand that it takes time. It takes grit. You figure it out quickly.

You need to be able to dust yourself off and get back into it because if you’re playing reserved, you’re not putting a hundred percent effort into your activities.

Many new reps struggle with feedback and get instantly defensive because they’re afraid of doing badly. 

Remember, whatever feedback you receive is not an attack on you, but you help you. If you understand that, then it’s better not to take it personally in a negative way.

Fostering Relationships with Managers (5:33)

It’s hard for early-stage SDRs to communicate with senior reps in leadership because they don’t feel like they’re on the same level. Understand that you were chosen for a reason for the role and that you’re on the same team.

Make sure that you communicate as much as possible and lean on over-communicating early so you can build that relationship and show everybody that you have that buy-in.

Managers want and appreciate coachable people. This means asking for feedback, the ability to receive feedback positively, and, more importantly, applying that feedback in the future.

Understanding Buyers and Industry (8:49)

Understand the market you’re selling into and the problems you’re solving for your prospects because people will resonate with problems you can solve for them versus the product in the features you have.

“Persona paralysis” happens when newer reps are not quite comfortable reaching out to CFOs and CEOs and end up reluctant to pick up the phone. 

You don’t need the experience to remedy it, but rather an understanding of the personas they’re reaching out to. What problems do these people deal with? What challenges do they care about? 

If you can solve it for them, they’ll want to talk to you regardless of your experience, and going in with those answers will give you the confidence to talk to them.  

The most important piece to that is being curious, asking questions, and knowing when you shut up. Telling is not selling; we want them to be focused, and the more focused we can be, the more, it doesn’t matter how much we know about them or their world. 

Remote Selling (12:39)

With in-office selling, you have the bullpen atmosphere of energy there with the music up and everyone failing with each other. So the question becomes how you can create that energy through remote work. 

Eddie’s promoted “call blitzes” via zoom to simulate that bullpen atmosphere and, if you can, gamify the art of being an SDR, it’s a great piece as well. 

Slack groups are a great way to create online water cooler talk within your team. There you can chat about failures, share stories, catch up, and promote a fun community. 

Give yourself breaks and rewards for getting beat up on the phones, doing all that research, or sending 30 cold emails.

Many reps don’t know what the structure looks like and are waiting to be told, so understand what works early and take ownership of your schedule. 

Don’t be afraid to emulate the top reps and their process, but don’t get caught up in comparing your numbers to their right from the start.

Coaching Tips (17:47) 

You need to build trust with the SDR because you need to let them get vulnerable a little bit and take a step back for any SDR managers out there.

The best place to start is unpacking why they get on. Why did they get into sales? What goals are they trying to achieve? And, more importantly, why is it important for them to achieve those goals?

Most employees are financially motivated, but it’s never just about money. They have plans for every cent they earn, and figuring out what it is will tell you what’s motivating them to sell. 

To build a foundation for vulnerability, Eddie starts with early things before even starting on professional development. Talk to them. 

Align yourself a little bit more with new reps’ intrinsic motivations, manager-to-rep. Understand their goals in life and their backgrounds from a person-to-person level.

Remember that you’re not alone. Leverage a network. Find a mentor. You can’t go at this alone if you want to do it right, and it’s critical you invest in yourself. 

Eddie’s Bio:

Mentoring the next generation of diverse tech sellers as Sr. Sales Dev Coach at Vendition with 5+ years of sales experience opening and closing deals in SaaS