Article summary: Sales Development Representatives are responsible for getting a foot in the door with prospective FullStory customers–which isn't always an easy task. Thankfully, the team is led by two experienced managers who provide SDRs with support, help them build their sales skills, and guide them to success.
At FullStory, we're obsessed with providing the best possible experience for our customers–even before they actually become customers.
Our Sales Development team is responsible for nailing those crucial first impressions and converting prospective customers into FullStory devotees. Sales Development Representatives (SDRs, for short) are mission-critical to our business, and we’re so lucky to have two outstanding leaders at the team’s helm: Paloma Warden and Odi Bosah.
We sat down with Odi and Paloma to talk about why they love all things Sales Development and leadership.
Q: Before we get started, let’s acknowledge the challenges of 2020. What’s life been like for you...and what have been your favorite Netflix binges?
Paloma Warden: Working from home has led me to discover that I am more of a homebody than I thought before. I have stepped up my cooking skills (which my husband is so thankful for) and I have also started learning piano since quarantine started (don't worry, I am still terrible).
Current Netflix binges are: The Great British Baking Show, The Crown, and more recently a telenovela called Silvana Sin Lana (no shame here!).
Odi Bosah: Current Netflix binges: Bates Motel and The Office
Q: So...what exactly is a Sales Development Representative (SDR)? Why are they important to FullStory?
PW: A Sales Development Representative is in charge of "getting a foot in the door" with prospective businesses. The entire role is based on sharing FullStory’s value with prospective customers, learning how to communicate that value to the right stakeholders, and determining whether or not we can truly help that business.
Being an SDR is not for the faint of heart. It’s one of the hardest jobs because of the cold outbound component, but those that master the SDR role are more likely to succeed as an Account Executive (AE) because of the invaluable skills they learn as an SDR.
OB: Sales Development is usually the first line of communication to potential customer acquisitions. SDRs identify how to meaningfully engage with the right people at the right accounts, then position the value of Fullstory and the potential impact to their specific business needs.
SDRs are critical because they are the evangelists of our product and do the heavy lifting of discovering new pipeline opportunities for the business. In other words, this team is a key source of revenue opportunities and growth for the FullStory business.
Q: Why did you choose to become an SDR manager? What’s your favorite part about your work?
PW: I chose to be an SDR manager because I love helping people. It brings me so much joy! I also empathize with how hard the SDR role is, because I have been in the role myself. When I’m able to help an SDR gain confidence and be successful so they can take the next step in their career, that is so rewarding for me.
OB: My favorite part of being an SDR manager is always the folks on my team! I love to coach individuals who are early in their sales career. My fulfillment comes from the ability to identify talent and motivation early, and help develop those skills. I love celebrating when folks on my team successfully take the next steps in their career journey, whether that means moving to our Account Executive team, our Customer Success team, or any other practice within FullStory.
I love celebrating when folks on my team successfully take the next steps in their career journey, whether that means moving to our Account Executive team, our Customer Success team, or any other practice within FullStory.
- Odi Bosah
Q: What do FullStory’s Watchwords–empathy, clarity and bionics–look like as an SDR?
OB: Clarity - We always strive for clarity when we talk to our prospects, but we also ensure that we are always aligned on our goals as a team and know what we need to do in order to be successful.
Empathy - Despite having a team of individual contributors, the group really cares about the overall success of the SDR team and FullStory as a whole. SDRs are always going above and beyond to understand where they can help team members.
Bionics - Efficiency and process are key to success. We are always challenging the status quo, and figuring out how to optimize for effectiveness and efficiency on the team.
Q: What advice would you give to early career professionals looking to build a career in sales?
PW: If you have aspirations of being in sales, being an SDR is one of the best things you can do to build a solid foundation. You’ll learn:
Foundational skills that come into play at the beginning of a sales cycle
The art of the approach–how to identify a prospective customer and how to best share the value based on their specific needs
How to overcome common objections and how to qualify a prospective customer before potentially handing off to an Account Executive (AE).
Mastering these skills prepares an SDR for a smooth transition into the next phase of their sales career. An SDR who is familiar with building their own “book of business” (and who knows how to hustle!) is on track to becoming a highly effective Account Executive.