“It may be time to give sales development reps (SDRs) the credit they’re due and the resources they need to succeed. Because, at the end of the day, your product is only as good as the people who sell it,” Ilya Semin, CEO of Datanyze, said.
Tech sales may not be everyone’s first career choice, but it’s an integral role that can make or break a business operation. Many other business leaders agree. A 2017 study found that SDR teams make up nearly 25 percent of all internal sales roles. Over the years, the number has continued to expand.
SDRs play a huge role in driving a B2B (business-to-business) company’s revenue. They are the first entry point in the sales process and the first point of contact for most prospects. SDRs are also responsible for:
- Qualifying inbound leads
- Prospecting outbound leads
- Assessing the chance of closing each lead; and
- Setting up meetings with qualified leads
SDRs are more than conventional salespeople. Think of them as a product consultant, someone who is well-informed about a product or software. This expertise allows them to offer valuable insights and solutions tailored to specific business needs.
As Ilya puts it, “Sales development reps personify your company…They can quickly validate your brand’s new messaging while simultaneously shrinking the sales funnel and getting the right people talking about your product.”
SDRs are compensated well for the responsibilities they shoulder, with a base median salary of $45,000. The outlook is positive, too. At the time of writing, there are close to 40,000 job openings in the US on LinkedIn. For many people joining the sales workforce, this would be the first time they’d be receiving extra benefits like a commission, in addition to a base salary.
Flockjay’s 10-week training equips learners with a deep understanding of a tech sales role, preparing them to be business-savvy and customer-oriented.Apply to Flockjay today.
Learn How to Be an SDR with Flockjay
Despite this, companies struggle to secure competent sales talent. According to Shaan Hathiramani, a seasoned portfolio manager who worked in Silicon Valley, there is no credential or certification that signifies what makes a good tech salesperson.
- 80 percent of Flockjay graduates get a job within six months of graduating
- Graduates find employment in 78 days on average
- Graduates reported on-target earnings (OTE) of $74,000
What Do Companies Think of Flockjay Students?
Flockjay also partners with growing companies that hire directly from the school such as Zoom, Salesforce, Slack, Gusto, and many more. This relationship helps students get further in the interview process. The school also provides active feedback to students based on how the process went.
“We work hard to partner with mission-aligned companies who are making diversity a priority and recognize that they need outside help to make that a reality,” Flockjay said. “Many partners, like Zoom, have hired multiple grads, which is cool because the alumni get to have a community right away!”
The enthusiasm for the partnership is mutual. Many hiring partners compliment Flockjay’s graduates for their job-preparedness and business acumen. The results are a testament to this. According to the school:
- Flockjay grads ramp faster (1.5 months vs industry average of 3.1 months)
- 63 percent of Flockjay grads are promoted within the first year
“Sales reps that come from Flockjay move through onboarding so much faster than others. Before working with them, I didn’t realize how much time it was taking to get other SDRs up to speed. I scale so quickly with top sales talent through Flockjay!” Jen Sells, Head of Sales at Latchel, said.
“Gerard, who we hired after he finished the program, is already an Account Executive (AE) and I can tell he’ll be number one on the team. Our top revenue-generating AEs even chose Flockjay grads as their SDRs.”
The same sentiment is shared by Senior Director of Sales & Business Development at Gong, Willie Pierson.
“What we’ve noticed about Flockjay hires is they have both the training and the business acumen needed to have conversations with our buyers already when coming into the door and that’s helped us cut down on their time to ramp, which means they’re producing much faster than we would expect.”
“When we were evaluating vendors to partner with, there were several different things that we looked at but there were two main things that stuck out. The first was being able to partner with an organization that had a healthy pipeline of top talent that could scale with our organization. And then the second was being able to partner with a company that could help us diversify our own organization internally. Flockjay has been able to check the boxes on both.”
How Flockjay Prepares Aspiring Sales Reps for Success
Let’s take a closer look at how Flockjay is making a career in tech sales possible in just 10 weeks.
Training that Matches Industry’s Demands
Flockjay’s curriculum was created through a collaboration between the best minds in tech sales and leading online education experts. Founding members and staff with over 10 years of experience pinpointed key skills and knowledge that make a top performer in tech sales. At the same time, its L&D team brought about years of experience from Stanford, USC, and UCLA to the table.
The founding team also comes from diverse backgrounds, which include members of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. As such, the training was engineered with inclusivity and support in mind.
“This is how we’re able to deliver the cutting edge of online, vocational skill training. We’ve developed a truly unique online learning experience, mapped out into 10 weeks, that replicates the day-to-day responsibilities such as strategic prospecting, cold calls, discovery calls, company research, objection handling, and more,” Flockjay said.
Here is a breakdown of the curriculum:
- Weeks 1-2: The Art and Science of Sales
- Weeks 3-4: Inbound Sales
- Weeks 5-6: Outbound Sales
- Weeks 7-8: Tech Week
- Weeks 9-10: Job Readiness and Interviews
“Flockjay curriculum prepares you for a successful tech sales career by providing an immersive learning experience. Students not only learn about fundamental sales skills but also have the experience in applying and mastering them through real-life application. We’re here to build the future leaders of tech sales,” the school said.
To ensure that its program is relevant and ultramodern, all feedback from hiring partners, sales trainers, and students are taken into consideration and incorporated into the curriculum. Flockjay also consistently checks in with its students and alumni to ensure the curriculum is helpful, inclusive and up to date with industry standards.
“We think we have a good idea of what makes a successful SDR based on experiences working with professionals, leaders, partner companies. We find out from what they think make a good SDR and we develop a curriculum to teach exactly that.”
Going Beyond Technical Skills
“A ton of work is involved to find out what makes a good SDR. There are certain traits and attributes that we screen and track from admissions through to class. There’s a rigorous process put in place, close to qualitative science.”
In just 10 weeks, Flockjay leads students to explore and expand their soft skills such as active listening, empathy, perseverance, self-awareness, creativity, accountability, and strategic thinking. These, according to the school, are crucial qualities that set excellent salespeople apart from the rest.
While Flockjay teaches you the soft skills you need to thrive in sales, there are a few elements and skills students should have prior to joining the program. Among these is digital fluency. Some understanding of how to use a laptop, video conferencing tools, and email are highly encouraged for those joining the program.
Flockjay graduates, like Anna Trumbo, agree: “From the actual nuts and bolts of sales training to the high-level ideas like having a growth mindset, it was a home run. My life has been forever changed—not just professionally, but personally, as I’ve adjusted my attitude and learned to approach my goals head-on with determination and grit.”
Cultivating a Diverse Tech Community
“Flockjay is committed to championing an inclusive environment and helping people unlock their inner confidence, build community, and launch new careers. We believe in seeing the whole person and empowering access to the tools and training it takes to break into tech sales,” Flockjay said.
True to this, Flockjay strives to make tech sales a level playing field for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and age. Through its running Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) initiative, the school aims to enable over one million individuals without college degrees to find professional success. By 2030, Flockjay aims to translate this training into $20 billion in higher earnings.
Diversity, equality, and inclusion are present in every facet of Flockjay’s operation. It works closely with a diverse group of investors and partners, too. Previously, it raised close to $3 million from women and BIPOC investors in the likes of Coatue, Serena Williams, Will Smith, Y Combinator, F7, and others.
The numbers say it all:
- 68 percent of students identify as BIPOC
- 34 percent of students are parents
- Most students have a background in hospitality and retail
- 75 percent of staff identity as BIPOC
- 51 percent of staff identify as female and two percent are non-binary
- 48 percent of staff are First Gen or Immigrant
- 20 percent of staff identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community
Its efforts don’t stop there. Flockjay also hosts talks and online sessions to spark healthy discussions about diversity and equality in tech sales.
Providing Additional Support
“You’re never alone, even after you’re hired. Gain access to learning opportunities. Participate in group learning, practice sales techniques, and get honest feedback,” Flockjay said.
After graduation, Flockjay alumni become a member of a robust alumni network which comes with increased access to career resources. They include new hire coaching, mentorship from sales leaders, monthly sales best practices seminars, on-the-job support, newsletters, community slack channels, and other opportunities to uplevel sales skills.
“Alumni also get to gain insight into the latest SaaS trends. Many of them connect and form meaningful relationships since they’re launching new careers at the same time,” the school said.
If students are looking for a different outlet for connection, they are welcome to join any of Flockjay Identity Groups (FIGs). They are student-led, voluntary groups that gather and support one another based on common experiences. At the moment, there are FIGs for Womxn, LGBTQ+, Allies, Parents, Blacks, Faith-based, First-generation, Indian American, and Asian American flockmates.
According to Flockjay, alumni have reported that the community aspect is an integral part of their successes on the job. “Sales is a tough business with a lot of rejection. Having a community that is going through it with you has helped many of our students thrive in sales long term.”
Is Tech Sales Right For You?
Here are a few characteristics of people who have found success with Flockjay’s tech sales program:
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Motivated by competition
If you find yourself checking all the boxes above, you may just be the student Flockjay is looking for.
The school has made sales training so accessible that students are switching lanes from industries like retail, food and beverages, non-tech sales, and more. Others like veterans and athletes have also found their place in this vibrant community of salespeople.
“Sales roles have the power to catapult coachable folks into a life-changing, lasting career in tech. We know this at Flockjay because our diverse graduates have proven it to us,” Flockjay said.
If you’re ready to explore new opportunities in tech sales, you can visit Flockjay’s website to start your application and answer a few questions. Once you have submitted your online application, the school will review and send you the next steps based on your application.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.