Sales Empowerment Group Blog

Building a BDR Team: Creating a Winning Environment

This is an ongoing series about building a BDR team and overcoming some of the common challenges that arise—especially if it’s your first time building one out.

Our first post looked at the scenario of a new hire who has “cold calling fear/reluctance.” Is this coachable? How do you identify whether the BDR role is the right fit vs. an employee experiencing temporary new hire nerves?

In today’s post, we’ll focus on the sales floor environment itself and how to create a winning atmosphere; one where your top reps continue to grow and your new reps—whether they’re experiencing cold call reluctance or not—can quickly improve and become future leaders of the team.

Are you rewarding the right things?

In the famous Dale Carnegie Public Speaking courses, the teachers always encourage effort, even if the person goes up and stumbles through their note cards, voice trembles, etc. The attempt is what matters and the teachers applaud the courage of getting up in front of the class.

Just like public speaking, there’s a lot of pressure and perceived “failures” in cold calling. The small failures (nobody picking up, going to voicemail), the medium failures (not right now, call me in six months), and the brutal ones (hang up, “Get lost,”). New reps will often see the meeting as their only victory, everything else is a failure. This takes its emotional toll leading to call reluctance or burnout/fatigue.

To fight this mindset, it’s important to reward and honor the daily effort. If a rep sounded great on the phone, handled objections well, and still received a, “Not right now,” make sure to give them praise in front of the team. If a rep gets hung up on, add some humor – Well, he’s probably just upset the Vikings lost. Good work hitting the phones!

With this change in mindset, the reps start to love the process itself. Over time, the no’s, the not right nows, the voicemails, these are no longer seen as failures. The only “failure” is not trying.

Show that no one is “above” the cold call

Another thing you can do, have your sales leaders, AEs, maybe even your CEO do a dial block with the BDRs. It’s inspiring for BDRs to see that even the top performers at the company also run into, “Not right now,” “No thanks.” You also show your BDRs that what they’re doing is hard and you appreciate the daily grind. 

What happens without the right environment?

Without building this type of environment, a common scenario is for BDRs to start reserving conference rooms or call booths. This is tough to manage because reps aren’t learning from each other on the floor, it’s harder to coach, and there’s less team camaraderie.

However, this blog post has been assuming two things:

  1. You have a team of BDRs. We know in many cases it’s just one BDR or your organization hasn’t built out a BDR team yet. How do you build an environment from scratch?
  2. Everyone is working together, in-person. But what about “the New Normal”? If everyone is working from home, how do you build a “sales floor environment” virtually?

In Part 3, we’ll take a look at both of these aspects and share advice for building a virtual sales team in 2021.

Tags: Sales Success, Great Leadership, BDR