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Cold Calling: How to Make Sure Your SDRs Don’t Come for You

By 08.25.17
Reading time: 3 minutes

Thank you to everyone who has read and shared Cold Calling: A Millennial Perspective. If you haven’t read my previous article, I suggest you do so first as this one is elaborating on some of the popular topics. After posting that article, I received quite a few comments and messages from both SDRs and SDR managers asking for advice. The managers wanted to know what they can do to keep their SDRs happy and motivated, and the SDRs wanted to know how to tell their managers they need more support without coming off as lazy. Below I’ve outlined a couple of suggestions that I believe will make both parties happy.

Note: I recently finished reading Aaron Ross’s Predictable Revenue; whether you are an SDR or Manager, I suggest reading that book. It gives you a little more insight into what you can do to help yourself, as an SDR, or your team, as a manager. Use his book as a guide to assist with making your cold calls a little bit warmer.

Jack of All Trades

If you work for a company like mine, then you do not sell to just one industry. At Silverline, we work with industries across the board, but we are credited for our expertise in Financial Services and Healthcare. Because of this, we run different campaigns to target those industries specifically. At many different companies, SDRs are expected to know it all. If you’re good at cold calling then you should be good all across the board right? Wrong. If you’re targeting hospitals and banks, would you send the same email blast to both? Would you ask your HR manager to run a marketing campaign? Would you call an electrician to come fix your plumbing? I really hope the answers to all of these questions is no.

Treat your SDRs the same way. If you have a team of SDRs then train them in different verticals. I know from experience how hard it is to try to educate yourself and your team about two (or more) very different industries and their pain points so that they can have intelligent conversations with prospects. Your goal is quality over quantity; train your SDRs to be experts in the industries they are calling into so that you do not have to hold their hand every time the phone rings. Also, keep in mind that the more complex your solution/product, typically the more complex the industry. In order for your SDRs to truly understand what they’re selling, they need to know what problems the solution/product solves, how, and why that is important to the prospect. Remember: Jack of all trades, master of none.

Promote Internally

If you can, promote BDMs internally. I touched on this frustration a little bit in my previous article, but I think it’s important to go a little more in depth. There is nothing more frustrating than working for a Business Development Manager who hasn’t made a cold call in the past 10 years. If you think that your SDRs can’t tell that you haven’t made a cold call recently, you’re WRONG; They can hear it in your voice, sense it in your soul – a cold caller can sense a fellow cold caller from a mile away. Currently, I am helping my company grow the business development aspect of our business. The only reason I am able to do this is because I was cold calling for them. I was their first SDR to make cold calls successfully and because of this, I have insight.

Not only do I understand what cold calling looks like in 2017, but I know what types of objections I was getting from which industries, things different titles wanted to hear, and jokes that made them laughI am not saying that experienced BDMs don’t have this insight, but when you have a BDM that has recently done the work, your SDR team respects that. They trust you when you talk because they know you’ve made the calls. If you can’t promote a BDM internally, promote an SDR to a Team Lead; someone who is making the calls and working with your BDM to make sure that management has perspective from someone actually making the calls.

The other advantage to having a BDM who has worked for you as an SDR/BDR is training. When my company decided to grow the team, I already knew what to focus on when training them because I knew where my peers and I hit walls and where we struggled. I could create an onboarding framework that benefited both the company and the SDR, making everyone happy.


The number one thing that Business Development Managers and SDR/BDR teams can do to be successful is collaborate. A BDM is there to support the team and come up with new ideas, while the SDRs are there to test them and give feedback. This way, not only do you have a team running efficiently and generating revenue, but you can sleep well knowing that your SDRs aren’t planning your demise.

Are you or someone you know looking to develop their skills as an SDR or in the B2B landscape? You’re in luck, Silverline currently has opportunities available on our business development and marketing team!

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Apply today to become part of an amazing team!

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