3 Pillars of Thoughtful Team-Building

Dave Sherry from Gong shared with the Sales Confidence audience how he keeps his SDR team performances thoughtful & strong. Let’s find out more.

In March 2022, we staged another Sales Confidence online event specifically for SDR managers. Again, we had a brilliant line-up of top-performing SDR managers sharing unique insights. We’ve put together some articles, so you can still get inspired even if you couldn’t be in the (virtual) room.


Dave Sherry

Dave is Senior Manager for Business Development and Sales at Gong – bringing your revenue organization to the next level by replicating winning behaviours in your sales team.

Dave is in charge of setting Gong’s SDR team up for success and contributing with impact to the business. In his 7-minute talk, he shared his three pillars for thoughtful team building. 

‘This approach is the outcome of my own first-hand experience of wins and failures that I’ve picked up along the way. It’s the output of extensive feedback from managers and colleagues. I’ve also taken a lot of influence from sales leaders in the form of books and blogs.’


 1. Thoughtful candidate profiles

When bringing new SDRs into the team, have a strategy for who you want to hire. 

Dave splits his candidates into two persona types:

  • P1 - Candidates at the early stages of their career. Straight out of school or university. Showing traits to be cognitively strong or having entrepreneurial interests. You can pinpoint this on the CV or LinkedIn profile
  • P2 – Candidates a bit further along in their careers. Some experience, but looking for a new challenge. They have a bit more polish and business acumen than P1s, and can ramp up quicker

Dave always tries to hire a ratio of three P1s for every P2.


2. Non-negotiable characteristics

Dave looks for three attributes when hiring SDRs:

  • Urgent curiosity – SDRs should have a thirst for knowledge. This includes during the interview process. Look at how much research a candidate has done before the interview
  • Coachability - It’s essential that SDRs are able to seek regular feedback, take coaching on board and apply themselves to get better
  • Intrinsic motivation – The best candidates have a deep desire to work where they will be held accountable to a larger team goal. They want to be in control of their fate


3. Unified team

After you’ve laid a strong foundation, you need to create a great culture in your SDR team so that new people can blossom alongside the older hands. Here are three tips to keep your team working together:

  • Give them an environment where they feel safe – Make sure your SDRs are psychologically comfortable working in their role and with others around them
  • Be comfortable being vulnerable – SDRs need to be okay with showing vulnerability in front of their team. As a leader, you can set the tone by showing vulnerability yourself
  • Establish purpose through a common goal – Make sure your team know the direction you’re travelling in and that the path to get there is clear


Over to you

I hope Dave’s three pillars help you create an SDR team that achieves peak performance while keeping everybody’s wellbeing high. But now, we want to know what you think?

What are your tips for hiring SDRs? Then, how do you manage your team to enhance performance? Share your stories with the Sales Confidence community by leaving a comment below.