Sales Development Reps and Account Executives are two entirely different roles. How you manage those two roles should also be entirely different.
Meg Hewitt, Regional Manager of Retail & Consumer Goods at Salesforce shares how to navigate through both styles of leadership and provides actionable advice on hiring, authenticity, and running one-on-one meetings. In this episode, Meg’s biggest takeaway to Jeremey is to always be transparent with your team and to always remember the human aspect of being a sales manager.
Make sure to jot down Meg’s tips on how to stand out as a Sales Development Rep for that next promotion.
Listen to this episode for answers to questions like:
- What types of direct mail get the attention of the people you’re trying to target?
- How did Meg know she was going to hire someone in the first 15 seconds of a phone call?
- What is the importance of being yourself as a manager and what are tactical ways to do that?
- How do you avoid favoritism with people on your team?
- Should you hire someone you don’t click with interpersonally?
Best Examples of Direct Mail
Jeremey: For you, what is an example of unique direct mail, and things that really get the attention and help you to get meetings with power?
Meg: We don’t send swag unless they’re a customer. No one wants swag of a company that you’re not working with.
What we like to do specifically for customers is send not only something that they’ve made but send possibly the customer story.
So a good example is a Yeti. Yeti has been a customer for a long time and uses a lot of our products. I’ve seen my team on a cold prospect do a personalized mug with their initials on it with Yeti and then they put the Yeti customer story in it and send that along.
That’s probably the best example that I have top of mind.
One-on-One Meeting with SDRs vs. AEs
Jeremey: Let’s talk a little bit about the difference between managing SDRs and AEs. What are some differences in the way you run one-on-ones with AEs compared to how you would run them with SDRs?
Meg: I think running them is probably not all that different in terms of how I approach them holistically. It’s pretty similar, but the content is completely different.
In an SDR one-on-one, it is more metrics-based. In all of them, I always start my one-on-ones saying, “How are you feeling?” It’s not, “how are you doing, how’s it going?” because you’re going to get the same answer every time.
“How are you feeling? How are you feeling this week? How was last week? What was great about last week and what was really hard about last week?
I start by being completely human in all my one on ones now. I didn’t get that prior to this job, but that really helps. My first one-on-one with people when they get the job is getting to know them. How do they work? How do they want to work together? What have been examples of successful one-on-ones in the past? What do they want to get out of this time that we get together every single week? That’s different for everybody.
At the end of the day, I need to get updates on what they’re working on and that’s going to either come in our one-on-one, or we’re going to have to set up another time because I have to manage the business and we have money to bring in.
That’s my job. If I’m not doing that, I’m not doing my job. So they know that we do talk a lot about forecasting, deal progression, and discuss all the different nitty-gritty details that we need to know, which is fun. We do some role-playing and if we try to shove in all of that and then try and talk about their career, it isn’t as genuine.
So I schedule separate career conversations with everyone and specifically put one-on-ones on the calendar just for career conversations. That makes a big difference because you can really come in holistically and have a separate list of to do’s and follow-ups on a career conversation than you would on a typical one on one.
That’s a little bit about how I manage them now, but I found that in sales development leadership, the human aspect was very important because they were so early in their careers and needed to understand professional acumen and how to work well in a workplace. It was probably a lot more tough conversations.
I manage, in my humble opinion, the cream of the crop of salespeople They work their asses off and are held to a really high standard. So we can get a lot done.
Internal vs. Outside Hires
Jeremey: What percentage of the people on your team are people who are internally promoted versus people that came from the outside?
Meg: I have eight people on my team. I have two external. One of the externals has a sibling at Salesforce. With the other one, I knew within the first 15 seconds of the call that I was going to hire her. She was fire, and she’s been phenomenal.
The rest are internal. There’s one boomerang. She was an intern SDR, became a direct seller for a different company, and is now on my team as a seller. She was so wanting to get back to Salesforce because she missed it so much.
I’m really picky about even the internal people. I don’t take any BDR. I take the BDRs who would die to be on this team and are so smart. You can tell that their minds have the capacity to learn in a different way because we cover so many products.
The drinking from a fire hose is so real. It takes a very unique person and I need them to be incredibly persistent.
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