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SDR Onboarding Done Right

A step-by-step guide to onboard your newborn SDRs. From organizational goals to training sessions and ramp-up period plan.

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    Free SDR Onboarding template included!

Why SDR Onboarding is Important?

To get results faster. No really, this is the core of any employee onboarding process. However, SDR Onboarding is quite complicated:
Newcomers are mostly newbies in Sales/IT. SDRs turnover rate is enormous 34% and this shift is growing. In comparison, marketing managers turnover is twice less - 16,4%. Newcomer's lack of domain expertise and low retention rates cause twice more painful and repetitive routine for the managers.
If you are about to scale your SDR team, this guide is essential to structure onboarding materials and save your time. In the end, cut ramp time and drive more business.

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The winning formula for SDR Onboarding

  • 1

    First, you need to come up with onboarding goals. Each organizational level has its own wants & needs:

Organization Goal 🎯

We need newcomers to fall in love with our company.Means: we need employee engagement.

Manager Goal 🎯

I need to cut ramp time. I want to streamline training.Means: I lack time but I need results.

Newcomer Goal 🎯

I want to enroll in the process easily. I want to achieve results faster. I want them to believe in me.Means: I need extra support & mentorship to start.

  • 2

    Follow DOs and DON'Ts for training and ramp period

DOs:

βœ… Use tools to structure materials and streamline training (for example Notion, Slite, Gradual);βœ… Do daily 1-1s, wrap sessions and involve teammates to help;βœ… Explain "WHYs?" - product, company, sales development, SDR role;βœ… Simulate working scenarios: quizzes, tasks, role-plays, essays, research;βœ… Self-coaching. Let newcomers do their own mistakes;βœ… Use videos in training. 7-8 minutes videos are perfect;βœ… Spend a lot of time on product and industry knowledge;βœ… Help new SDRs understand how to prioritize tasks and daily routine;βœ… Slightly modify onboarding based on SDRs’ experience and strengths.

DON'Ts

🚫 Shadowing. "Heavy reliance on ride-alongs during the training process jeopardizes a new hire's ability to shine using her unique strengths" © Mark Roberge;🚫 Leave them on their own;🚫 Explain best practices chaotically;🚫 Explain a topic only once with no recaps;🚫 Have the same onboarding process for inbound and outbound SDRs;🚫 Maintain the status quo. SDR onboarding process should evolve with every new hired SDR.

  • 3

    Structure it!

Training:

Make sure you have pre-recorded training sessions and knowledge-check/practice in the following topics:

    Company intro and team structure
    What is Sales Development?
    Product training
    Market & Competitors
    CRM & Tools overview
    Calling, Emailing
    Objections and lead handling

Ramp period:

Open up these points during ramp period. Companies usually do it in 4-6 weeks:

    Role and company intro
    Touch points
    Inbound Sales Process
    Outbound Sales Process
    Advanced outreach
    Advanced Sales Development
  • 4

    In the end, make sure you get right end states on each organizational level:

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    Newcomer state

    I trust my company, our product, I know how to get results.

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    Manager state

    I was not lost in the routine process but gave feedback and mentored when it was needed.

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    Organization state

    We explained our vision, values, and long-term goals. Our newcomer is engaged.

Streamline training with the SDR Onboarding template by Reply.io. And, it's Free.

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Crafted by SDR professionals that are building world-class sales engagement tool. Powered by Gradual training platform.

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Cut ramp time at least by 30%. Tested by Reply's SDR team.

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