David Dulany - The Amazing SDR Trifecta | Accelerate 2021

Niharika Ayyagari

By 

Niharika Ayyagari

Published 

March 29, 2022

David Dulany - The Amazing SDR Trifecta | Accelerate 2021

Accelerate 2021 was a 2-day virtual summit that featured 12 sales leaders and coaches, hailing from the hottest B2B companies. An event that brought together the top minds in sales whom everyone loves.

This is a blog series where we cover the speaker's speeches from Accelerate. Today, we’ll run through David Dulany, CEO, Tenbound's talk on 'The Amazing SDR Trifecta.'


Transcript

David Youngblood

That was almost perfect, right? I mean, the timing was perfect. No. Okay, that's my bad everybody. Apologies, we're back. We're here, we're jumping into it again. And we'll make up some break time for you on the back end. So, that's my assurance to you. But uh, here we are moving right along in Accelerate 2021. With our next presenter, we have an amazing speaker, the amazing STR Trifecta presented by David Dulany, CEO of Tenbound. If you haven't heard about him, a great organization should definitely check him out. David is, you know, actually the founder and CEO of Tenbound, they are a research and advisory firm. They're focused on sales development, right? They're focused on what matters most to most of us that are here today. So, in addition to that, he's got extensive personal experience in sales development as a producer and a manager. And he also recently coauthored the sales development framework, right, which is how to build and scale, a highly productive sales development program. So more on that coming to you from David himself. Let's get him on stage and get going. Let's see. All right, David

David Dulany

All right. Thanks, David.

David Youngblood

Yeah, so just to keep things simple for everyone, much like we do here at Outplay, you're all welcome to, at least during the session and longer if you want to refer to me as YB or Youngblood is what the team calls me because we have two David's here at Outplay as well. So, we'll keep that part easy for the chat. Again, use the chat, use the Q&A session, and feel free to tag, share, comment on LinkedIn and other social as well. And with that, David we'll turn it over to you.

David Dulany

Yeah, I'm so thrilled, thank you so much for having me on and being able to spend some time with the group. Really excited to be here for accelerate. And it's just been a great show so far. And it's an honor to be here. So, I hope that I really want to add value and give you some tactical strategies and tips today and make it as interactive as possible. So YB you'll be in the comments. And if there are questions just jump in anytime. And let me know, you know, how we can, you know, help people more with this material. As YB mentioned, I run Tenbound, which is a research advisory firm that's focused on the SDR space. So essentially anything that has to do with building a predictable pipeline for B2B companies, and we primarily work with software as a service company in helping them with their strategy and their tactics and their people and, you know, anything that helps to drive that pipeline process. And, you know, we work with a number of teams here in Silicon Valley, and beyond. And we started to see patterns of what really makes a great SDR. And so, whether you're running an SDR team, or doing enablement for the SDR team, or you're an SDR you know, you're trying to think of what really makes somebody successful in this role. And you know, how can we sort of bottle that and give at least sort of a map to be able to develop yourself or your team into somebody who's just absolutely crushing the job and making a big impact. And we kind of boiled it down into what I'll be talking about today, which is the amazing SDR trifecta, and I've got some, some notes here that we can go through. And you'll see if you head over to the Tenbound website, I'll give you the website.

We were really into Venn diagrams, so we kind of boiled it down. You know, answering the question, what makes an amazing SDR what makes somebody you know, get promoted faster, make a bigger impact drive more pipeline, and just, you know, be able to support the sales team in the best way possible as an SDR and I use the term SDR interchangeably, whether it's BDR, LDR, et cetera. It's the team that's driving the pipeline for the company, setting up appointments and doing all those activities. So, what are how do we boil down the big three and also, you know, in the overlapping sections, if you have two of these big three, but you're missing one of them, what ends up being the end result. And we often see that one, two, or three of these aspects are really lacking in the development and the skill set of the SDR team. And those are some of the weak spots that we need to work on. So, let's dive in. So, what are the big three? So, we essentially boil them down to industry and persona knowledge, prospecting and general sales skills, and then that gritty entrepreneurial mindset. So, the mindset that drives the behavior behind being a great SDR. So, you know, if you look at the way that training and coaching run in most SDR programs, especially in a remote environment, you know, there could be one, two or three of these missing, right from the beginning, you might get a little bit of product training, learn the tools, you know, learn how to use outplay and, and your CRM, etc, maybe get a little bit of product training from your product manager, and you're on your own basically. Okay, so go get it right. But there are some major things missing here. And this is what we've seen, not only in companies that we've worked with but also just in my past, I've run SDR programs for seven years before starting Tenbound. And I noticed that there were certain SDRs that were on the team that absolutely crushed it, and were able to, like I said, get promoted faster, gain more respect, get more appointments, and generally make a bigger impact. So, they had these three ingredients. Okay, so let's dive in. So, ingredient number one, one, A, and then I'll go into one B. So, ingredient, one be industry knowledge. And you could call this also sort of business acumen. So how much do you really know about the overall industry that you're calling out to? And how much do you really how comfortable are talking about their business issues. And so, this really has nothing to do necessarily with the product that you're selling. And the product that you're representing when you're doing your outreach, or you're following up with leads, but it's actually the business issues that the folks that are either reaching out to you or you're reaching out to are grappling with every day, from a business perspective, the industry that you're calling on has its own certain vocabulary, it's got its own way of talking about problems. It's got its own way of talking about the present and the future of the industry. And, and if you're coming in from the outside, and you really have no idea of any of these aspects, then, you know, immediately there are issues with your messaging and your credibility and the ability to actually speak with the prospects. So, thing number one is, how great are you at becoming fluent in the industry that you're talking to? And so, if you're talking to multiple industries, you know, we're talking and this is a long process, it's a long game, but maybe just a few minutes a day in understanding the major business problems, the major vocabulary, and the struggles that the industry is going through as a whole. And then tie that back to how your specific products help to solve those. So how well can you rate yourself on your industry knowledge? The next is your personal knowledge. So, within that industry, there are the accounts. And then the accounts are essentially a group of people, whether they're the high-level decision-makers, the middle managers, or the end-users of your product. And within that group of people, there's generally a set of three to five major issues and pain points and problems that those people are trying to solve.

So again, it goes back to how comfortable are you talking? First and foremost, about the overall personas, you know that you're going after? So, do you know their general titles? Do you know their general position within the company Do you know the major, you know, milestones that they're trying to achieve, you know, within their company? And, you know, obviously, you're not going to have to know everything about everybody, but you know, three to five major pain points that they're trying to solve at all three of those levels. So, at the decision-maker level, the middle manager level, and at the end-user level, how well do you know the personas that you're calling after? And what's their usual day? Like, you know, what's their usual level of experience? How do they get into the job? What's their vocabulary? And where do they go to learn about new trends within the marketplace? How comfortable? Are you talking about that with them? And so, you know, if you're, if you're coming in new to this industry, you're coming in new to understanding these personas, you know, this is your challenge over the next 369 months, to really start to go into, you know, some in-depth knowledge of what these people are actually going through, because they're people, right, the best SDRs realize they're not just names and phone numbers and emails, you know, in your, in your outplay sequence, right, they're actual people dealing with real problems, how well can you, you know, regurgitate those problems back and understand how they tie into the solution that you're providing. So, then I'll give you some tactical tips on how to do that if you're running a team or you're an SDR yourself. So, the next part of you know, the puzzle here is, the second big one is your prospecting and sales skills. So this is going to be, you know, the books, the training courses, the online, you know, courses that you go through that teach you the tactical skills, of how to make a cold call, to write an email to, you know, respond back when somebody is getting ready to hang up on you. All those tactical tools and tips are available out there. And especially as an SDR it's your own whole set of sales skills that you have to learn that's specific to being an SDR. And that's the Oh, you're the opener, right, you're the person that has to make the initial call and get five seconds on the phone with somebody, you're the person that has to write the amazing email sequence to be able to send it out. So those communication skills, the soft skills, of prospecting, of doing an opener, objection handling, you know, rebuttals coming back with a general overview of the pain points that people have, you know, having that so refined to the point where, you know, combined with the knowledge that you have, also having the prospecting skills, what makes you unstoppable. And, and all of those, those training courses are out there. And like I said, I'll give you some tactical tips. If your company is not providing you with any training, you're gonna have to go out and get it yourself. And so, let's talk about the real key here, that underpins the whole trifecta. And that is your mindset. And, and nobody really talks about this. But it this has become even more important, as we go into the second year now, of COVID. And a lot of SDRs are working from home. So, you're, if you think about it, you're completely isolated, at least in the old days, you know, you had your group of five or 10 compatriots there, who you could lean on and make friends with and you had your manager offering spot coaching and stuff like that. Now, you're completely on your own. So how do you get up every day and stay motivated and stay engaged and keep being curious and, and, and focused on the end result that you're trying to it all comes down to your mindset and how you can actually, you know, stay motivated and stay engaged in the fact that you might be an SDR for 1, 2, 3, 4 years sometimes, you know, if you're building your skills, but there's no necessarily promotion path for your company. How do you stay into this?

And you know, hey, beyond that, a great SDR is absolutely invaluable to accompany and, and, you know, you can get into crazy. I mean, if you go, there's a website called rep view, and especially in Silicon Valley, I mean s great SDRs are making up to six figures right now on target. And that's real dollars that they're making. So, but you know, it takes a while to get to that range. And, and that your mindset is absolutely critical. So how do you stay within that positive, constructive, curious mindset that makes you want to learn about the industry, that makes you want to learn more about the personas that make you want to pursue prospecting and sales training classes to become better, you know, at those soft skills? So, you know, it's very important to think about the mindset, and bringing those all together, so, okay, so hopefully, I've convinced you that you got to have all three. And now let's talk, let's think about, if you don't, and, and you're missing one of the pieces. So, this, I see this a lot, you know, it's like you've got two of the three, but you're not quite there on one of them. So, let's say you're really good at the industry knowledge and the persona. So, I'll give you an example. I used to run a cybersecurity SDR team at a company that got bought out by Cisco. And they, you know, they were calling on cybersecurity professionals, who were extremely hardcore, they would give you literally five seconds on the phone. And, I mean, if you couldn't talk the talk and say something, you know, that was interesting about a pain point that they specifically had, that you were toast. And I found that the number one, SDR always on the team was somebody who had the industry and persona knowledge and knew enough about the industry and the persona, to be able to say something interesting within those first five seconds. And they were also incredibly gritty and entrepreneurial, they could bounce back after, theoretically, you know, getting punched in the face, over the phone, over and over and over again, because they had that right mindset. But they were unable to handle if somebody was mean to them on the phone, or their emails were not getting any response, or they were being treated poorly, or something like that, because they didn't know how to handle objections. And they didn't know how to articulate a good opener. So, they didn't have the prospecting and sales skills. So, they were working, I mean, you know, especially with the entrepreneurial mindset,  and not getting any results because they didn't know how to handle an objection, they didn't know how to open a call, etc. So great first steps, but you're still going to be working really, really hard with no results.

The other one is, that you're really good at handling objections, and you're really good at pitching at the beginning of your sales call. And everything's going great in that respect. But you get knocked out too easily. You have the industry vocabulary, you know what the pain points are, but you get knocked out too easily. So, you get on you give the perfect pitch, you handle objections, and let's face it, the prospects are still mean to you, or they insult you personally, etc. So then you don't have the right mindset you get knocked out, you know, so for the rest of the afternoon and now we're working from home right so the rest of the afternoon you're eating you know Ben and Jerry's ice cream and watching Netflix right we've all been there but you know if that happens too much and you're not holding yourself accountable because you don't have the right mindset then you're going to you know have a couple of good months but there could be months that pass where you don't get anything right because you couldn't motivate yourself and keep going. Okay, so now great we've got the prospecting skills we really get it that we're totally down for the job and keep going and even if we get knocked down we get back upright to remember that old song I get knocked down I get back up and we keep going forward no matter what because we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Right?

But you get on and you get somebody on the phone, you get somebody over email you get somebody on LinkedIn, and you don't know what you're talking about. You don't know what their pain points are, all you are is another person talking about how great your company is, and, and nobody cares about your company. Like nobody cares about your product, they care about the problem that they're trying to solve. And if you can't articulate that problem back to them through your persona and industry knowledge, then they're just gonna think you're just another annoying, pass, delete your email, delete your phone, so you've got no credibility, right? Also, it shows, you know, the people at your company that you know, you're just here to basically collect a paycheck, like you don't really care about cyber security professionals, you don't really care about whatever the industry or the people that you're calling on, you're here to pick up a paycheck, work for eight hours, or whatever, three hours, and, and knock off right, so you're not building credibility within your organization, either. You know you don't know anything about the industry and the people and the latest trends and all that stuff. So, it's just like, why? Why would I want to promote you to be a sales rep here at my company? Or if you don't want to get into sales? Like why would I put you in marketing you don't know anything about the industry? Why would I put you in customer success, you don't care about the people that were calling? Right? So, you know, that you got to have all three of these things or else you don't have any credibility? So that's what brings together the Venn diagram to bring you in the middle and, and, you know, gives you the ability to really step up and really show not only to drive, better performance, but to show your company, you know, what you can actually do and so I there's a couple of comments. YB, I don't know if you're still on but let me see here. Anybody has there are some chatters. Wow, there are a lot of chats.

David Youngblood

Yeah, you're quite popular. Actually. I'm definitely still here. Not like the chiropractors, so no worries there. You've definitely got a lot of interesting thoughts coming from the group. So, we'll start with question one and work up from there. So, the first question is like when you're presenting, you know, overall content and the kind of the three-prong approach, right? How do you balance all three? Right? So how can someone reasonably keep themselves accountable for balancing all three and keeping them on top of mind without losing focus on what matters most?


David Dulany

Yeah, yeah. So, and this is, it's a long game, I mean, and that's what's, what's really hard about this is you've got a tremendous amount of pressure from your manager and your boss to create results immediately, right? They want that they want the results from yesterday, but in order to become successful in this, this takes time, especially the industry and Persona knowledge. So, so you how do you eat an elephant, you know, one bite at a time, just chunk out 30 minutes a day, there's got to be 30 minutes a day, somewhere within your, you know, program, where you can, you can do some self-education. And I actually, the next part of the, the show here, is I've got some very specific tactics that you can use, there you go, to do this, and thing number one, is, if you don't have this, go get a good pen. And it doesn't have to be this specific brand. But just get a notebook, like a regular old school paper notebook. And I know I'm old and stuff, but there's something about the pen to the paper that connects I think there's a scientific you know, connection there the pen to the paper on a notebook, make this your own personal playbook and throw 30 minutes a day no more, no less at starting to develop these.

David Youngblood

Awesome. Yeah, I was just sharing my I was sharing my notebook. Elliot has one as well. It's called the remarkable two. So, it kind of gives you the best of both worlds and allows you to capture notes, and then you can send them electronically, it connects to Wi-Fi. You can send them to yourself as well. But whatever it is, definitely have a good note-taking approach and that is definitely you know, some for some reason for me like just writing it down by hand is that much more memorable, right, and or impactful than just typing something up? So yep, definitely, definitely. So next question we have some people feel that opening is more difficult than closing right in the sales process, what are you? What are your thoughts, David?

David Dulany

Um, I mean, you know, it's all difficult, right? And that's why they put the expensive alcohol on the top shelf, right? Because you got to earn your way up there. Right? So, all of this stuff is difficult. And that's why especially if you become a Top Producing enterprise sales rep at like a publicly-traded company, you can make a million dollars a year. I'm not, I'm not kidding. And, you know, people that its sales have become very, you know, touchy-feely over the last few years, which is, which is great because it used to be very, you know, testosterone.

David Youngblood

Not HR friendly, for sure.


David Dulany

Yeah, exactly. So, you know, which is great. So, I'm glad that we have empathy now, and we're trying to be more engaging and stuff like that. But the bottom line is if you get good at this, you can, you can really make a big impact. A lot of top-performing salespeople make more than the owners of the company. I know that that's true at Tenbound. A spot, but the point I'm trying to make is to look at this long-term, as a long-term career thing. And going back to that trifecta, dive in because this is where you want to spend time to get good at opening and get good at closing. If you know and I won't rehash it, but if you're really good at all three of those. Y3ou're going to be super successful at both ends.

David Youngblood

Absolutely. All right, we got to get another one. If you're ready. if you want a sip of water or something. You're welcome to this next question. So, the question is from Brian as an SDR when you're feeling unmotivated, right, which happens for all of us, we get it's a roller coaster. It's an emotional roller coaster. It's at times the spiritual world of coaster, the life of sales. So, what are some tactics or best practices, you have to get back on track and get your mindset back into the right place back in the game?

David Dulany

Yeah, I mean, that could be the whole webinar, right? I mean.

David Youngblood

I think we got some content for Q1. I just heard a verbal commitment from you to join me in Q1 to talk about the back on track. And that actually probably fits with the new year's new goals and seasonal transition. Sorry about that didn't mean to interrupt.

David Dulany

That's okay. I mean, you know, the mindset is huge man. And nobody talks about that, really, I mean, and so, you know, specifically for the person that that wrote that some of the best advice that I've ever gotten, it was actually for, for like a founder entrepreneur group is, how do I become successful as an entrepreneur and this one guy wrote back and said, Just get ripped. And basically, what that means is, we get so bogged down in our computers and our digital life and looking at our phones, that we kind of forget about the physical side that we're actually, you know, a human being that's not like a machine. And, and your moods are going to go up and down. And, and the clients are going to be mean to you, the prospects are going to be mean, you're going to get into a rut, but the only thing that you have control over is, you know, how are you sleeping? How's your physical activity level? Are you exercising enough? Are you eating right? Are you taking care of yourself, especially with the young SDRs you know, they're burning both ends, I mean, they're going out and just get raging all weekend? And then you come back in and you're just like, I gotta call some people you know, you got it you got to remember to take really good care of yourself. The other quick thing is, you basically you got to remember you've got three parts of your mind.

David Youngblood

The ID, the ego.

David Dulany

Well, it's a different way to think about it is you've got sort of the sage mind, the robot mind, and the monkey mind you know, and so we all have those throughout the day. And the robot mind is just the everyday habitual patterns that you're in and the robots going to do the same thing every day. The monkey mind wants entertainment and new and fun things and clicks right on social media, and just wants a distraction all the time. And your Sage mind is the one that probably made you tune into this with Is your that that executive part, and it's the planning. And it's the goal-setting. And it's the clear focus part of your mind. And you only are in that mind frame for like five to ten percent of the day. And so, when you feel that you're in that sage, open mind, force yourself to do some, you know, that creative, tough activity, the strategy writing the new email, making the really tough phone call, you know, utilizing that time because it closes. And the next thing you know, you get tired, and you're in robot and monkey mind, you know, being distracted. And things just go completely off the rails.

David Youngblood

Absolutely. So that's interesting, I like yours better, it relates better to me, in terms of understanding, especially for this application. Formerly, I've been taught the superego and the ID, right, kind of our, our base core functionality as a being right, and then our wants and needs as a being and then they the executive level of thinking, so yeah, absolutely. Good deal. Another good question. So, what about having a strong work ethic, not lying to prospects, in addition to being authentic and human?

David Dulany

Yeah, I mean, so your work ethic, your work ethic? Right? That's, that's kind of in the that's in the mindset, category, right? Because if you're, if you're, you know, there are all different types of people there, the really, really hardcore, hardcore work ethic type of people are going to be performing more activities, learning more about the industry and persona, taking more sales training classes on their own, you know, staying up all night, sending more emails, making more calls, I mean, they're just gonna, there's just more activity happening, right? And, and especially if you're, if you're, and this is some of the stuff I'm going to give you, but if you're making a ton of mistakes, and you're learning from those and writing them down in your notebook and trying to improve, you're going to run laps around somebody who's, you know, let's their robot and monkey mind takeover. And they're out, you know, on Netflix for half the day. So that work ethic is critical. It's part of the mindset.

David Youngblood

Yeah, I gotta give my team I like we Netflix should write us a check. We've been unofficially sponsoring Netflix for two days now. In our references to them. So, you're welcome, Netflix? And we'll take the check later. But um, absolutely. So got another good question. Yeah.

David Dulany

It's tempting for sure. I mean, especially now that you work from home and just, it made me think the, you know, if you're in a rut, and you're like, I haven't set a meeting for three days, and I can't make another cold call, and I just can't do this anymore. You may need to take a mental health day. And just go leave your computer at home. Don't take any, you know, electronics, just bring your notebook. And just write out, you know, meditate, write out some things like, see how you're feeling, try to get back into that sage mind, you know, when you come back because then you'll see the bigger picture of what you're doing.

David Youngblood

Perfect. Perfect. So, self-care again, is definitely a theme year. We got about three minutes left time check wisely. So just following up? Well, now we got two more questions right here for now. But again, if you have questions, everyone, feel free to submit them. Whatever we aren't able to get to today, we will be getting to in a follow-up via LinkedIn, we'll make sure to tag you as well if you'd like. So that'll be coming up shortly, as well as of course, a poll here at the end of the section. But another question for you here, David in a remote world, right, which is kind of the new normal. You know, we're onboarding people without meeting them face to face. How do you capture the ability and or as a leader, drive this mindset to ensure that these new resources are aligned to your company culture, your company values, and ethics?

David Dulany

Yeah, definitely. So that, you know, I tend to look at it, if you're an SDR, you're pretty much on your own. I mean, you know, at the end of the day, the company can give you some training, which is awesome. And so again, take advantage of all the training that they're giving you read all the stuff that comes in from the marketing department on personas and the industry. You know, watch them and this is where work ethic comes in. Right watch all the webinars and the read all the case studies and really, really dive in, you know, lean into the job itself because if you're lucky enough to have a company that has a manager an SDR manager, and some enablement for you really take advantage of that and put it all in. I'm assuming a lot of the time that you don't have that and so you're going to have to make your own destiny here and take advantage of any resources you can get from the company and then make your own playbook basically.

David Youngblood

Yeah, so you gotta be resourceful. I've also heard that as a theme throughout the event, be resourceful user resourcefulness and initiative to quote another favorite author of mine, Stephen R Covey, right from seven habits, right Go You have a problem, identify it. And you know, he talked about it earlier being part of the solution, not the problem, right? It's not it's one thing to bring a problem to somebody's attention but bring it to the attention with a proposed solution that can be approved or amended, right, making it easier to enable your leadership to make your job and life easier. One more question. From Selena again, hey, Selena, what are your thoughts on helping SDRs learn to prioritize?

David Dulany

Yeah, okay, so, you know, essentially, you can kind of reverse engineer the result that you're looking for. So, you're trying to set up a meeting or set up an appointment, what are all the steps that go into actually doing that, and, and just make a list, there's probably like, four or five things that you have to do in order to do that. And then I'll just challenge you that spend more time on that list that you made. Specifically doing those activities. And, and, you know, bringing in the knowledge and skills that you're learning and the other two quadrants, writing down what's working and what's not. And then doing more and more and more, until, you know, you start to see better results.

David Youngblood

Got it. Awesome.

David Dulany

Shiny objects are everywhere, your monkey mind wants to pursue them. And the best people can ignore them for longer than most of us and get a lot more done.

David Youngblood

Mitigate the monkey mind for alliteration as a takeaway. Got it? I'll be right in that town.

David Dulany

YB, I had some specific tactics that people can take away and I will post them on SlideShare. And you know, we'll have the recording. So, if anybody wants to dive in further, and dive in, I didn't realize the time would go by so fast. So, I'm happy to jump on further and dive into this.

David Youngblood

Now. That's, that's quite alright. You know, it's, this is probably the best I've done it, cutting it off at the time. And I'm still late so. But thank you very much for putting that to SlideShare and making sure that we can get that to everyone. And thank you again, so much for joining us in our inaugural first-ever edition of Accelerate 2021 Day two, here with David Dulany of Tenbound.

What we'll do now is again, as we've been doing transition to a poll. Go ahead and jump into the lobby booth, you know, get engaged network, talk to each other, or go catch up on LinkedIn for a little bit, but we'll see you all back here in about three minutes with our next and final session for Accelerate 2021. Thanks so much.


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