Lending an Ear to Your Own Voice: An Effective Approach to BDR Training
VSA takes a lot of pride in the talent of our people. Our Business Development Representatives (BDRs) have a level of experience and skill that is simply unmatched in our industry. Because of our team-based model, our tight-knit office culture, and our flexible scheduling, we’re able to attract and retain some of the best talent out there.
Still, we’re always challenging ourselves to be better. One of our Core Values is to strive to be exceptional — with our clients, our prospects, and each other — and that means dedicating significant time to continually training and developing our BDRs, both individually and as members of a team.
Both types of development sessions challenge our BDRs to do something that many people find uncomfortable: they have to actually listen back to their own calls.
VSA’s proprietary CRM system allows our program managers to record, pull, and listen back to outbound calls, per state regulations, that BDRs are making on any of their programs. After listening to a handful of calls, the program manager typically selects 2 or 3 each week for everyone to listen to together during the team’s weekly meeting.
During that meeting, the team reviews and lightly critiques these calls, determining how to best handle any unusual circumstances or scenarios faced by the caller. They also use these listening sessions as a springboard to discuss how to best handle any specific roadblocks or objections that they frequently encounter on the program.
Meanwhile, VSA’s Director of BDR Development constantly listens to each BDR’s taped calls. She schedules 1-on-1 meetings with each individual caller at least once a month (more frequently for new or struggling team members).
During these meetings, they listen to the BDR’s calls together, identifying both what that individual is doing well and where they can improve. They analyze everything from the BDR’s general approach and navigation skills to the nitty-gritty of what words, phrases, or verbal tendencies they frequently use. They also take time to holistically examine the programs that person has been assigned to and discuss whether they’re a good match. Once per quarter, the Director also holds group trainings for BDRs, which are usually focused on the “dos-and-don’ts” of cold calling and quick fixes for these common bad habits.
When BDRs are just starting out, many are hesitant to listen to their own calls. There seems to be a natural human tendency to be uncomfortable with the sound of one’s own voice.
But after listening to just a few, most get more comfortable with the practice—and their effectiveness almost always improves. They realize that lending an ear to their own voice can lead to immediately identifying improvement areas and being able to make quick adjustments to fix them. After they’ve seen how much this can improve their success, almost all BDRs look forward to personal development meetings—and even request extra time with their own call recordings.
The talent and expertise of our staff is a huge asset for VSA, and one that we don’t take for granted. By using the right technology and challenging each other to actually go back and listen to our own calls, we’re able to create a culture of continuous improvement that helps BDRs thrive, both individually and as a group.
No matter how good we get, we’re always striving to be better. That’s the VSA way!