Posted by Mike Scher

Apr 27, 2015 9:05:00 AM

(from a Business Development Rep)

Dear Sales Enablement Professional,

I am writing to you in the desperate hope that you can protect me from myself.  You see, I am a millennial and this is my second job since I graduated from college.

shutterstock_164865716The first job I had sounded really good.  It was a couple of guys who were a little older than I am.They got some funding and had an idea that would change the business world with a new social media platform. It turned out the only systems they sold were to friends of the board members and there were lots of problems. The company struggled. I struggled and had to look for something else.

I found my current job through a friend.  I am confident we have a really cool solution – it solves real business problems and our customers love us.  The work environment is great.  We have a kitchen stocked with snacks, fruit, energy drinks and even beer on Friday. My co-workers are all about my age and a lot of us hang out together.  We formed a softball league and even shoot hoops in the winter.  It’s a great environment . . . except for one thing.

We don’t quite get the direction we need.  Make no mistake; they don’t throw us to the wolves. In reality, it is quite the opposite.   My manager is great. We received extensive product training when I started.  We met all the key executives and learned about marketing, product development — even finance and billing (that part was boring). 

The issue is the day to day job.  I am a sales development rep.  My job is to find qualified sales opportunities and pass them to the three sales reps I support.  The reps are great to work with, but I get the feeling they expect more.  They are quick to help and give me advice, but the problem is much of the advice is conflicting.  One tells me cold calling is a waste of time.  Another thinks cold calling (like he did back in the day) is the only way. The third thinks I need to blog and troll Twitter and LinkedIn.

I am doing well.  I spend 50% of my time following up on leads and the other 50% cold calling. I am passing about 9 qualified sales appointments each month which is at or near the top of my team.

With all that said, here is where you can help me — teach me stuff that is proven to work and make it simple.  I will work really hard, but if I have to figure it all out I get frustrated, my manager gets frustrated and the sales reps do not get enough opportunities.

Here are four things you can do:

  1. Teach me stuff that is proven to work – I am only 23 years old:Surely you know what works and what doesn’t. If you don’t know, just tell me. I understand selling is hard, but I respect you.If you give me a call script, make sure it is effective.
  2. Help me make sense of the tools: This is where you can really protect me from myself.I will always ask for the latest technology.When I attend a webinar, I immediately want to try new stuff.   If you can reduce the number of tools I use, and show me the most effective way to use them, that would be awesome.
  3. Get your hands dirty: Don’t tell me to do stuff you won’t or can’t do yourself.It would be great if you can jump in and make calls with us and show us how a 20 year veteran does it.Believe me, it will go a long way.
  4. Track metrics that I can control and understand: If you tell me one more time my “connects” are too low, could you for once consider it might be a bad list?Help me do my job better.Help me master my situations, but don’t do corny role plays that don’t resemble reality.

I think I am pretty smart.I am good at using technology and multi-tasking.I do work hard and want to work hard.I believe in what we are doing.Don’t spoil my enthusiasm by asking me to do things that don’t work.

Thanks for understanding.
Your Number One Sales Development Rep

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