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SDR Manager: A Week in the Life

Who are your eyes and ears at the top of the B2B sales funnel?

If you said anything other than your SDR Managers…

You’d be wrong.

The SDR Manager must make sure that there are enough leads in your pipeline to hit target.

But there’s a lot more to the role than that.

We chatted to our top SDR Manager of Q4, Hugh Campbell, to find out more about his role, and got the tips you’ll need to secure those Manager of the Quarter titles too.

Flick 👇 through the menu to find out more.

A typical week | How to manage your time | Tips on solving your team’s problems | Taking sales to the next level

What does an SDR manager do? 

Here's what a typical week in a sales development representative (SDR) manager looks like.

To be a successful SDR Manager, you need a routine, but you also need to be flexible with your time. 

Here’s how you can expect to start your week 👇

"I start the week off with our 1-2-1 sessions. I like to get all of these sessions done on a Monday and by lunchtime on a Tuesday at the latest. This allows everyone to be set with their action plan for the week."

In those sessions, Hugh reviews performance, covering:

  • What’s going well.
  • What needs to be worked on.
  • An activity plan for the week.

Hugh sticks to Tuesday lunchtime as a hard deadline to give his sales development representatives the week to complete their tasks and improve where they need to.

He also likes to ensure that each week includes:

1. Additional training sessions with SDRs

Here you’ll want to go over call reviews and carry out role-play sessions with each individual in your team.

"I usually spread this over a Tuesday afternoon and a Wednesday just to sharpen their tools and to make sure that they’re doing things correctly."

Watch the video 👇 for tips on how Ryan Reisert, Brand Ambassador at Cognism uses roleplay for better cold calls. 


2. Group call reviews and training sessions

Hugh explains how this works:

"The group call reviews take place on a Wednesday and the training on a Thursday. These are both key in supporting everyone on the team."

3. Other things to expect in the week

"In and around what to expect in a typical week, it does vary."

Other typical SDR Manager responsibilities are:

  • Interviewing potential new hires.
  • Solving problems and issues.
  • Reviewing analytics of individual SDRs - assessing why they’re struggling and how you can help them.
  • Ad hoc tasks.

4. Core responsibilities of the role

The fundamental part of the SDR Manager role is to hit the team target you’re given.

Everything you do should be around hitting that target each month.

Hugh suggests keeping track of this target daily, as you must report to your line manager on where you’re at with your target at least once a week.

You’ll also likely have a weekly catch up with your VP of Sales to go through any new changes.

Another big part of the SDR manager's job description?

"Making sure everyone’s happy and enjoying their jobs. You’ve got to be conscious of whether people in your team need support and then provide it. You’ve also got to remove any blockers that are preventing your reps from doing their job."

"Whether that’s a knowledge gap, a tech issue with their emails or Salesforce - whatever it may be, you’ve got to ensure that you remove those blockers so that they can do their jobs to the best of their ability."

But you must remember that you’ll need to be on top of your own work if you’re wanting to help your team.

How do you ensure that?

By learning 👇

How to manage your time 

Hugh dives right into this:

"Prioritisation is a big one. Judge the level of importance of your tasks and prioritise them accordingly. Stay focused on one task at a time so that you can get it done as quickly as possible and then move on to the next thing you need to do."

You’ll want to be strict with blocking time out in your calendar and avoid being reactive.


Hugh explains:

"I used to be pretty reactive. I’d be busy working on something and someone would Slack me, and I’d stop what I’m doing and help them. You mean well, but the reality is that it leaves you getting nothing done."

A great way to navigate this is to let your rep know that you’ve not free at the moment and propose an alternative time on the same day when you’ll be able to help.

Remember, if you want to help your team, your time management needs to be on top form.

And you’ll want to get your eyes on these too 👇

Tips on solving your team’s problems 

1. Keeping motivation high

The major challenge an SDR Manager faces is keeping people motivated all the time.

Hugh elaborates on this:

"It’s the biggest challenge you’ll face, especially in the hybrid working environment. You’ve got to manage different personalities and then trigger in them what’s going to get the most out of them, which can be really hard."

"Whether that’s money, being competitive, target-driven - whatever it may be, you’ve got to adapt your incentives to motivate your team members are individuals which can be really difficult."

"And, the nature of sales is a lot of change, so you really need to keep up with that and be as adaptive as possible to people. You learn this as you go and it does get easier."

The focus here should be on keeping your reps happy, and keeping your company culture, while incentivising your reps to do well.

Tip! Learn how to motivate millennials, who will become increasingly dominant in the world of work in the coming years, from Nazma Qurban, Cognism’s Chief Revenue Officer

2. Dedicating time to your reps

Prioritisation will come into play here again.


Because in an SDR Manager role, you need to know who needs your help more urgently.

Hugh explains:

"As with everything, in your team, you’re going to have people who need more support than others and it’s hard to give everyone the time they require. So, you’ve got to find a balance in helping those who are struggling, and enabling your top performers."

You’ll be juggling your time between eleven to twelve different people - make sure you’re spending it wisely, with your end goal of exceeding target in mind.

3. Best practice to follow for better performance

If your reps aren’t booking enough meetings or are struggling in a specific month, there are three things you’ll want to look at to help them get back on track.

  • The quantity of their outreach - how much activity they’re doing.
  • The quality of their prospects - who they’re targeting (the types of personas).
  • The quality of their outreach - how good or poor their emails and cold calls are.

"When you review these 3 things, you’re always going to find a gap. The goal is to then strengthen and bridge that gap, with the aim of improving reps' performance.'

"You’ll identify this by looking through the analytics - the Gong reports, Salesforce, etc. on an individual basis."

4. Keeping people accountable

Everyone takes their foot off the gas at some point.

That’s why Hugh reminds us to stay on top of people.

"When your reps are in a lull, SDR Manager's job is to motivate them to pick things back up. Not in an overbearing way, but by encouraging them to keep going and to get the job done with a ‘come on, let’s make sure we get there."

"It’s up to you to keep your reps accountable. You’ve got to set lead generation KPIs and make sure that they’re hitting those day-in and day-out."

5. Tools to help along the way

As Hugh mentioned earlier, you’ve got to look at your individual reps’ analytics.

But where do you find these?

Hugh’s go-to's are Outlook, Salesforce, and Gong.

"These are the reports you’ll want to be focusing on. You’ll want to look at analytics, activity metrics, and call recordings and transcripts on Gong.'

"If you’ve got a better understanding of why your reps are struggling from these analytics, you can help them. If they’re still struggling after that, offer them a few days off to recharge, rather than just cracking the whip. You can try again when they’re back and refreshed."

Taking sales to the next level 

We’ve covered how you can be a better SDR Manager.

Now, it’s onto how you can improve your team’s pipeline.

Get the words, videos, webinars, best sales podcasts, and cheat sheets you need to build better pipeline, ramp up faster, and slash speed to lead.

Click 👇 to get our latest guide with management plays, hiring hacks, and tech stack tips.New call-to-action

Trust us, your juniors and seniors alike will thank us 😉

Cognism Careers


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