It seems that SDR/BDRs are bearing more than their fair share of blame and frustration from their targets. Yes, I’ve whined about them many times in my blog and on LinkedIn.

I’ve thinly disguised the lamest emails and recounted misguided conversations I’ve had with these poor sales people.

SDR bashing and shaming has become one of the latest “sports” in social media. People with too much time on their hands and too little empathy are lashing out, naming names. Ironically, most of these people would never have the courage to pick up the phone and do what SDRs do.

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty wrong with much of what these people are doing. I try to pick up on most of these calls, filtering the pure garbage/scammers, 95% of the calls I receive from SDRs are horrible!

They go off base in so many ways:

  • Our company is not an appropriate target.
  • I’m the wrong person.
  • They know nothing about me or my company.
  • They pitch their product, without knowing what I care about.
  • Many are “provocative,” suggesting we are underperforming our potential in an area. When I ask, “What are we doing wrong,” they are unable to respond and engage me in a conversation.
  • and on and on and on …..

In general, they seem to be uncomfortable in doing anything other than sharing information about their product, collecting basic information from me, and getting me to commit to a follow on call with someone else.

The problem is, it’s not their fault! They are just doing what they’ve been told to do, the way they have been trained to do it, and what they are measured on.

The blame really needs to be pushed to those who are developing these terrible programs, as well as management paying more attention to the numbers (call volumes/meetings set) than to coaching their people to success.

Too often, we are setting these people up for failure. In fact, the SDR/BDRs that somehow manage to succeed in spite of this are quite remarkable.

There is no excuse for setting these people up for failure. But the people designing the inbound/outbound programs SDRs execute have to do the work. They have to make sure they are targeting the right audience, both companies and individuals, they have to equip the SDR with the knowledge and information to have relevant conversations. They have to make sure the expectations are reasonable and the SDR can have a credible conversation with the victims—-I mean prospects.

It is an unfair expectation for most SDRs to have a business relevant conversation with a C level executive. They just don’t have the experience base! A close friend, a VP of Sales, who manages one of the best SDR/Sales teams I’ve met says, “What business do they have talking to me, there is nothing most of them are equipped to talk about that I care about!” (And he has been a SDR!)

There is no excuse for managers not listening to calls, coaching the SDR and improving their ability to execute the right call with the right people.

SDR/BDRs offer exceptional potential! But we have to set them up for success. It’s not just giving them the script but it’s making sure they are engaging the right customers in the right conversations, with credibility.

Imagine the change in the results they produce if we start paying attention to what they do and how they engage, rather than just monitoring the numbers.

For those of you frustrated by these calls, don’t bash them—they have more courage than many sales people, they pick up the phone and talk to people they’ve never met before! Realize it’s not their fault, and perhaps take a few minutes to suggest how they might improve!