An emerging thought leader for both BDRs looking to improve their game and BDR managers hungry for battle-tested best practices, Ernest Owusu currently leads 6sense’s rapidly growing sales development team. During his tenure at 6sense, he’s doubled the average pipeline sourced per BDR, and has been instrumental in developing 6sense’s unique strategic, insight-led process for prospecting.
BDRs and BDR managers often seek out Ernest’s 2 cents. So for this year’s BDR appreciation week, we’re highlighting “the best of Ernest Owusu” with some key pieces of content containing his valuable takeaways and tips for everyone in the BDR space.
Overcoming challenges as a BDR
Sales is a world of high highs, and difficult lows. Consistent quota attainment is never guaranteed, and for BDRs struggling to hit quota in their first few months, it can be especially easy to question one’s ability to be successful in the role. In this LinkedIn post, Ernest gives valuable insight into his own challenging experiences with quota attainment early in his career, and how he overcame them:
BDR: The entry-level role that’s no longer entry-level
Is the BDR position an entry-level role? Because many BDRs are beginning their career after college or using the position as an entry point into technology sales/marketing from another career, the BDR position is often thought of as an entry-level role that requires little expertise and relies on mass cold-calling and emailing.
Ernest challenges this idea. The BDR role is a critical part of any company’s Go-To-Market strategy and is often the first point of contact between a company and a prospect. Ernest talks about how the BDR role is shifting to a less volume-driven, task-driven role to a more strategic role that requires a high level of skill and expertise.
Finally, we compiled a list of content Ernest has created on tactical and strategic best practices for day-to-day prospecting and BDR management. Whether you’re looking to improve the nitty-gritty of cold-calling, or looking to develop a winning BDR culture as a BDR manager, here are some resources that might help!
Alignment between AE & BDR pairs is critical to success. In his article 3 Ways to Build Stronger AE and SDR Alignment for the Drift blog, Ernest writes:
“When creating a collaborative strategy, it’s really important that the SDR/AE pair sets realistic expectations around who can do what under the constraints of their bandwidth. For example, it doesn’t make sense to ask an AE to apply the same level of rigor to prospecting as an SDR because prospecting is not the only thing an AE is responsible for on a daily basis. Rather, setting realistic goals in terms of accounts and/or personas to pursue can be helpful.”
Outbound prospecting is a skill that can be developed and honed, and in this article, Sales Prospecting Tips, Ernest gives his top advice for prospectors looking to improve their processes. Here’s a quick preview of his thoughts on efficiency and focus:
“As an SDR, I really struggled with efficiency (probably one of the most important traits of a great SDR). There were so many things to do in a day that even tasks like finding an email seemed monumental and were difficult to finish. But putting effort into daily organization and productivity is the first step to overcoming this. Some sales development team members may enjoy background music, or possibly even an informative podcast, but if you catch yourself losing focus, try to shake-up your surroundings.”
Maintaining culture during challenging environments
One of the most important elements of managing a sales development team is creating and maintaining the optimal culture for your team. In this SalesHacker podcast, Ernest speaks on the importance of culture and how he reinforces it during difficult times:
“One thing that is tried and true, always a priority with us at 6sense, especially within my team, is our culture. Every single week during our team meetings, every single week during one on ones, we really enforce that. So the whole purpose of that is, being a BDR is really hard. And not to say that these kinds of things will happen, obviously this is something on a whole different level, but you want to prepare your team culturally, to be able to weather any storm.”
Follow Ernest on LinkedIn for more business development wisdom!