Podcast 110: The Changing Role of SDRs in Sales With Amir Reiter

In this week’s episode we have Amir Reiter on the podcast, the CEO of outsourced sales company CloudTask.

In this week’s episode we have Amir Reiter on the podcast, the CEO of outsourced sales company CloudTask. Amir has traveled far and wide having started businesses young and learn the hard way. He had a dream of running his business while living on a boat by the age of 35, he’s here to tell us how he’s progressing toward that goal and how he has seen the role of SDRs evolve as it continues to change. John and Amir talk training, customer success, AEs and why they should prospect, a challenge in outsourcing and more. Stay tuned…

In this podcast you’ll learn:

Why AEs should be prospecting

A misconception with SDR and AE training and promotion

Why disqualifying more leads is powerful

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Why AEs should be prospecting

John Barrows: If you’re lucky, you join a company that invests in you. One that gives you some type of foundation. But for the most part it’s more like here’s your territory. Here’s a script. Start making some phone calls and see what happens. Really, there’s no guidance. So that’s why there’s a high failure rate. That’s why that has, I think a high frustration rate of trying to get out of the position as fast as possible. It’s not fun or pleasant. And people are seeing it as that thinking they’ve just got to do this for six months and get into real selling.

That’s what I’m seeing. And I personally think that, I don’t care how old you are in sales or how experienced you are in sales. The most important skillset that you need to be successful in sales is how to prospect for yourself.

Amir Reiter: So the skills that they develop right out of school will carry them. Because I don’t know one single sales rep out there that’s really successful relying on somebody else to hit their number. So all those AEs out there who are sitting there asking where their leads are. Where’s the marketing leads? SDR stuff? Where is it, I want to go and close these deals. You’re a dinosaur. I think you should be prospecting yourself and thank the Lord that you have something like an SDR or a marketing team. Because I didn’t have any of that sh*t, when I was in sales

SDRs training and promotion to AE level

Amir Reiter: I think a lot of people want to work for the bigger companies like Salesforce, Oracle and so on. When you’re working there, you get a lot of inbound leads and MQLs, that sort of stuff. So I think it’s worse where in an AE at CloudTask is not getting inbound leads. They’re calling every day, messaging and so on. But the AE at Oracle that’s making 300k, they’re really just closing the deals off from the hard work of an SDR.

And it’s getting worse because SDRs, if they don’t get promoted to an AE, they are perfect for another company. So all these organizations are investing in their best sales guys and not retaining them. Don’t get me wrong, to be an AE for a big company like Oracle, you have to be a very smart professional guy. But I wasn’t seeing that fire that drive, that picking up their phone and being on social as much with these guys. I wasn’t seeing the AEs really promote themselves or put themselves out there. I still think you don’t see this a lot, maybe VPs and senior leadership are doing it now but not really AEs.

John Barrows: Do you think that’s because the mentality of “I put in my time in that dog fight of making cold calls and sending emails, so now I’ve elevated to the point where I really should just be focusing on working with customers and closing” is to blame? Do you think there’s a conditioning factor here that we’ve created?

Amir Reiter: I think we’ve created that conditioning factor. I think the reality is being hidden under revenue. Because if you are hitting your number, leaders are not poking into the granular stuff and saying, what are you doing every day? They’ll say, you did 1.5 million in sales. I hit my number. So I think it’s a condition. But I think if people really re-examined where that budget’s going, they would consider that this AE is still gonna be here for a hundred grand cause this is jobs easy. That SDR deserves to make more money. And by the way, that digital marketing money I spend, I should spend more there.

So I think that once the fountain dries up a little bit, people will start restructuring it. But I think people are lost in this bubble, in my opinion. What do you think?

John Barrows: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s interesting because I’m seeing a shift, I’m seeing more companies invest in SDRs a significant amount more. I’m busier than ever. I’d say 75% of what I do is training outbound stuff. It’s the other 25% is the closing, which is kind of the AE side of the house. I think companies are realizing now if they don’t really empower their teams with skills to be effective that they’re obviously not going to hit their number. And the reps aren’t going to stay very long at all.

Disqualifying more leads

Amir Reiter: There’s a problem. How are measuring, it’s clearly not like we’re measuring SDRs on qualify meetings and there they don’t care about the customer experience. Right, exactly. How many times do you have somebody saying your quota is five qualified meetings and 10 unqualified ones that we’re not taking, but I want to see why and qualified, right. Yeah. You know what I mean? It’d be a lot more, a lot more efficiency there.

How nice would be someone calling and be like, you know what? This might not be the right time for you. I think you, I think when you start hiring more people, this is technology might be accent. I’m going to keep an cadence with you, give you some information. That’s real salespeople. Right? But they’re just trying to make the appointment and people know that the appointment is what they’re compensated on. So they’re like, they feel like they’re just an appointment.

John Barrows: I think, I think we should all, uh, flip the mindset and try to disqualify more than we try to qualify.

Amir Reiter: I do that now, actually, I’m, I put that on our KPIs. I, I tell people that we’re going to actually tell you what we’re gonna tell you what we’re disqualifying and why, and you’re gonna look at it and then you’re going to say, you’re going to pull it out and say this was, let’s call this, but you don’t, you don’t do that. People are just looking at what are you giving me? And then if you make them 15 qualified meetings and one turns to the customer, you’re fired. Right? Yeah, exactly. I mean, [inaudible] happening, John. Lot’s changing fast.

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