Keys to Effective Onboarding and Training for SDRs

As leaders, it is our responsibility to equip new SDRs with the tools and abilities to perform. But what is the key to effective onboarding and training? Aaron Ross asked sales professionals for insight.

A key has multiple ridges to unlock a cylinder, and so does a strategy to get new hires implemented into the system successfully, says Brian Delman president at AA-ISP Baltimore.

First step to onboarding is expectations and a good milestone plan like a 30-60-90, but also having a daily schedule. New hires should know what is happening each step of the way, it helps them mentally prepare, and know what to study (for those who want it!).

Second step, make sure you have a program built around learning (in each learning style) and reinforcement. No company should have reps on the phones within the first few days. You will absolutely get a better and faster ROI training them first. This step includes: Company Vision, Product, Systems, Scripts, and Practice (not just role-playing).

Lastly, accountability. Sales Managers are the key here. They should be coaching recorded calls and live coaching regularly. Daily recaps, aha’s!, and improvements.

There is a science to a training program.  It is an entire system.

Jesse Burboa at Next Gear Solutions, believes the trainer is the key. Depending upon the size of your organization, you may need your Sales Team to take a panel approach to onboarding and training.  Let’s face it, we don’t all have dedicated trainers and onboarding teams!

It is important that you have these people involved in the interview process, their feedback is critical. Sometimes a prospective employee will show your team sides of themselves that they would never show upper management.  If they sign off on this new hire they will have a vested interest in their success.

This brings up the question of which teammates will make the best trainers, and not get carried away into the thought that great performers are not great coaches.  However, you do need to make sure that you choose people that possess the key traits:

1. Emotional intelligence. Someone that can adapt to other people’s learning style.

2. Work ethic. Someone that works hard and sets the example for the rest of the team.

3. Ability to perform with someone listening and watching. New hires often learn better by listening to the challenges people face while making these calls.

4. Utmost Integrity. You want to ensure that this person will not learn “bad habits” or how to cut corners.

Jesse agrees that role-playing is a huge factor. Having a new prospect ride-along with your chosen few, will give them the tools to be more effective while role-playing.

Looking to build and hire an SDR team? We can help you build it right the first time.


Kyle James at Zentap shares with us what a regular 1st-day morning looks like for their new SDRs. Everything that needs to happen before hitting the phones! 

10 things Zentap does BEFORE LUNCH on day one:

1. Background on the company, why we exist, and who we serve.

2. Define what success “looks like” at the end of week 1 with KPI’s and quota.

3. Industry-specific terminology. A surface level overview of highly relevant keywords and phrases the SDR will encounter through training materials and prospect interaction.

4. Product overview.

5. Client Personas- a thorough segmentation of attributes, and more importantly, the “jobs” they need completed, and goals they need to achieve.

6. Key messaging points- interactive group role play on how we speak to prospect needs.

7. SDR script-roleplay. Frequent objections encountered.

8. CRM, Dialer training, appointment etiquette.  Live demo and distributing written instructions.

9. Recorded call analysis. We play two successful SDR recorded calls that led to closed deals.

10. Demonstrate how to book a quality demo live on the outbound Dialer. It helps new hires see that management isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves! 

… After lunch… PHONES!



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