Transitioning from an SDR to a Quota-Carrying Sales Rep

April 17, 2019 Olivia Sekerak

In Part 1 of our Sales Development Series, I wrote The Diary of an SDR for IoT and Communications Billing Software. Today, I’m excited to tell you the truth about Transitioning from an SDR to a Quota-Carrying Sales Rep in Part 2 of our series.  

One Late Friday evening, I remember receiving a call from my boss congratulating me on my promotion from a Sales Development Representative (SDR) to a quota-carrying rep. “You will do fine in this role as you have proven that you can qualify.” That one quote stuck out from the call. I had just finished my second full quarter and hit my numbers as an SDR. How much harder could it be closing deals? Well, I was about to find out.

Two days after my early promotion, I ran my very first demo of Rev.io’s billing software.  The sheer awkwardness of it would make Michael Cera wince. For the first 10 minutes, while sputtering and stuttering, I tried to figure out how to share my screen. (Yes, I understand the irony of a software sales rep struggling with technology.) The next part that sticks out is the loud ruffling of papers in between pauses as I turned to the next page of the script. The prospect wasn’t receptive, so it felt like an hour-long monologue.

This was a learning experience that I will never forget and there are easily another 10 lessons that I learned during the first year of my new role. There is a drastic transition from a pure prospecting role to navigating the labyrinth that we call a sales cycle. You go from a myopic world of straight appointment-setting to managing a sales pipeline, driving partnerships, assisting with onboarding calls for your deals, running demos, scheduling other meetings, attending tradeshows, and creating and maintaining referral relationships.

Here are a few of the many growing pains that you have to muscle through:

  • The painful demos where it is obvious to the prospect that you are reading from a script
  • Getting your first verbal commit on a contract to later have them renege on their commitment
  • The very long silence(s) during price negotiations

So, I wanted to share a few tips for new quota-carrying Sales Reps:

1. NEVER STOP PROSPECTING

Even though you aren’t an SDR, you are still going to have to prospect. Use what you learned in your previous position and pick up the phone! Refilling the sales funnel is key to being a successful Sales Account Executive. Always block off at least an hour a day to make calls.

2. TIME BLOCKING

Block off your time. Time management is very important for a quota-carrying rep. You aren’t just prospecting now. You are holding discovery calls, running demos, and managing referral partners. Set a certain amount of calls that you are going to make each day before lunch and stick to your commitment.

3. STAY ON TOP OF DEALS

Obsess about your next steps with the prospect. The sales adage, “Time kills deals,” is very real. Executives juggle many plates; do you think they will remember how awesome your hour-long demo was from 3 weeks ago? I don’t.

4. FIND VALUE

Dig deeper with your questions. As an SDR, the ultimate goal is to garner enough pain for a prospect to commit to a 30-minute call. Now, your questions will have to dig deeper in order to quantify the impact of this pain. You’ll use the information you uncover to justify price and to garner commitment to future meetings with you.

5. MAKE FRIENDS IN THE OFFICE

Use the resources around you to help you with your deal. While there is a collaboration between an SDR and a Sales Account Executive, there is a lot more collaboration needed to win new customers. Especially if you are selling complex, highly configurable software such as Rev.io’s billing software. There are lots of deals I wouldn’t have won if without the help of some awesome team members from our Enablement and Development Teams.

 

After five quarters as a Sales Account Executive, I feel confident in my demos – I’ve mastered the basics of setting an agenda, building rapport, overcoming objections, and so forth. Continuing to expand my product knowledge of our billing software will always be a priority and I recommend that keeping your own education top-of-mind. The journey from SDR to a quota-carry Sales Rep is full of uncomfortable moments but it’s rewarding at the end. If you’re in sales and you’ve enjoyed this series on our blog, check out our culture page for open positions or leave us a comment below. Or, if you’re interested in learning more about our billing system and how we help clients grow revenue efficiently, contact Rev.io for a tour of our solution.

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