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The Simple Habits That Drive Your Sales Development Productivity

5 min read
Updated Aug. 25, 2021
Published Nov. 15, 2017

About 658,000,000 results. That’s how many pages Google turned up when I searched “Productivity Tips” before sitting down to write this article. That’s over half a billion pieces of content! With volume that high, it’s impossible to deny that today’s culture is obsessed with increasing productivity.

We’re surrounded by constant pressure to be smarter, better, and faster each and every day. It’s that push for better performance that drives most of our customers to start using Salesloft! But at the end of the day, you are the owner of your own productivity and the internet is still surprisingly sparse when it comes to advice for Sales Development Reps looking to develop their productivity habits and skills.

Sales Development is undoubtedly one of the hardest jobs in an organization, and your day requires the requisite amount of planning and care in order to deliver on these high expectations. Sales development tasks are both varied and high volume, which makes soft skills like focus, prioritization, and execution some of the most important skills you can possibly develop.

That’s why we invited Chris Olive, Enterprise SDR Manager at Salesloft, to share some of his personal experience and the advice that he gives his own sales development team to help them reach peak productivity each and every day.


Chris Olive, Enterprise SDR Manager at Salesloft here. Today I’m going to talk to you about maximizing daily productivity as an SDR. If you walk the sales floor in many companies, you’re going to see the SDRs performing an array of activities. These range from prospecting to planning, but many include non-revenue generating activities that hurt productivity. If you’re not paying attention to how and where you spend your time, repeating an effective process can be difficult.

Let’s talk about ways to templatize your day to maximize productivity. An easy way to improve your productivity is to plan and prioritize tasks that are absolutely critical for your success. You’d probably be surprised on how many activities that you complete that don’t actually fit in this category. I like to think of everyday as an empty plate. Just like a dinner plate, your day has a limited size. You can choose to fill it with things that give nutrients and help you to be successful, or you can choose to fill it with empty calories. It’s easy to fill up on distracting activities, like YouTube and ESPN, but it’ll mean that you’re missing out on important nutrients. These are the activities tied to revenue that are directly correlated to performance. Conducting an honest assessment of how you’re spending your time is crucial in identifying which high-value activities should be on your plate. These activities include working new prospects and prospects already in flight, research into target accounts and identifying and creating new prospects to engage with.

Now that you’ve identified what’s most important, timeboxing your day can help you stick to it. If your to-do list and checklists are growing instead of shrinking, your calendar can be an easy way to help you gain control of your day. Carving out time for specific tasks throughout the day will hold you more accountable than a simple to do list will. It helps you avoid unnecessary multitasking and helps you to develop and stick to a habit. To test for productivity, you can test times that work for different tasks. For example, you may test outbound calls and realize that between 10 and 11 a.m. your connect rate has increased 10%. Now you can build your schedule around these time-sensitive tasks. It’s important that you schedule every task that you’ve identified, no matter how small. This can range from admin work or building and reviewing your calendar for the next day. You can even schedule downtime with the confidence that you’re still going to be hitting your number. Now you know what’s on your plate. You’ve identified meaningful tasks and know the best times for each. As you execute on important tasks, having one system of record where you complete these will speed up your day. It avoids context shifting, moving from one tool to the next, one task to the next, and minimizing distractions.

Our sales reps use Salesloft for everything, from scheduling to execution. It’s also crucial that you schedule time to invest in yourself and sharpen the saw. At the end of the day, your brain is the most important productivity tool you’ll ever have. It’s critical to cultivate knowledge to improve your skillset. Whether it’s cracking open a new book, listening to a podcast, or focusing on another area for personal development, it’s important that you set that time aside as well. As you develop, so do your skills. Thanks for watching. I hope you’ve learned a few tips to increase your productivity as an SDR. Feel free to drop any questions or comments below. Thanks and have a great day.

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