Last week, we talked all about how to build a yearly performance review for your SDRs. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, you can do that here:
This week, we’re going to talk about building your yearly peer review. The peer review is an important one because it gives your employees the chance to let their opinions be heard. It’s another opportunity to build employee engagement. Typically, during our yearly performance review like we talked about last week, the SDRs aren’t sharing any feedback; they’re on the receiving end. In this review, they’re able to contribute to a peer’s review knowing that what they say will be both helpful and anonymous. Anonymity is the key to this review, because you want your employees to share freely. If you can’t do this review, or refuse to do this review, anonymously, please just don’t do it.
The Yearly Peer Review
As the name suggests, this is going to require the help of your SDRs peers to complete. This review is important because it’s going to focus on how your rep contributes to your team and organization. Here’s what we’re going to focus on:
First, let’s talk about how we’re going to ask our SDRs to be graded, then we’ll talk about how we go about compiling the data.
You’ll need to come up with some questions to assess whether or not your SDR is adding to your corporate culture. Study.com says that corporate (or organizational), “culture is a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave in organizations. These shared values have a strong influence on the people in the organization and dictate how they dress, act, and perform their jobs. Every organization develops and maintains a unique culture, which provides guidelines and boundaries for the behavior of the members of the organization.” While you can tell whether or not an SDR adds or detracts from your culture, their peers are the ones who can really divulge that to you.
Some sample culture questions could be:
• How does your peer add to the overall culture of our company?
• What could your peer work on in relation to our corporate culture?
• Share an example of when your peer added to our culture?
These aren’t the best, but you get the picture. Ask questions that your SDRs can answer about their peers and that matter to your organization.
The second section of your peer review should be about their attitude. What is the attitude of your SDR like? Ask their peers, because as John Maxwell wrote, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” In his book, How High Will You Climb? (not an affiliate link), Maxwell says, “our attitude tells us what we expect from life. If our ‘noses’ [this is in relation to an earlier discussion on how pilots use the term attitude for the position of their planes] are pointed up, we are taking off; if they are pointed down, we may be headed for a crash.” We want reps who are climbing up and up, not dropping down. A positive attitude is catchy, and unfortunately, so is a negative one. The best thing about these reviews is that if you run them completely anonymous, you’re going to find out which SDRs are affecting your team in a negative manner. Even if you find that your best SDR is dragging the team down because of their attitude, at least you’ll know and can do something about it!
Some sample attitude questions could be:
• Would you say your peer comes to work each day with a positive attitude?
• When difficulty arises in their work, does your peer choose to deal with adversity positively?
• Share an example of when your peer’s positive attitude made our company a better place to work at?
The third section you want to build your peer review on is helpfulness. Like the old saying goes, “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” Are your SDRs willing to drop what they’re doing to help a peer in need? That’s what you’re going to find out here. The reason why “helpfulness” is so important to your review is because you want to find out if your SDRs are team players or not. People say a lot of things during the interview process (believe me, I’ve heard it all), and telling you that they’re a “team player,” is certainly one common candidate statement. Let their peers tell you whether they were being truthful during the interview or not.
According to Tess Julian, CEO of Catalyst Exchange, in his book Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success (not an affiliate link), author and Wharton School of Business professor Adam Grant, “Through extensive research, Grant has gathered evidence to suggest that being helpful at work is not only good for the productivity of others, but is also a source of motivation and productivity for the helper. Not only that, his research shows that helpfulness is a highly desirable attribute and those who can demonstrate it in the recruitment process win out above those who focus on their other attributes.” So not only will you benefit from having a helpful SDR, but the SDR him/herself will be more productive!
Some sample helpfulness questions could be:
• When asked for help, is your peer a willing participant?
• If you were to ask your peer for help, what is their typical response?
• Share an example of when you witnessed your peer being helpful, or when they were helpful to you.
The final section of your annual peer review should revolve around your SDRs skills, and how their peers view them. Again, since you’re not out on the floor, in the cubes, on a daily basis, it will be good to get a gauge on how your SDRs see each other, in terms of how skilled they are at developing leads. It will be very interesting for you to see how your more senior SDRs evaluate your newer crop of reps. They will have good insight into how those reps are progressing, or where they may need your help the most. Conversely, the rookie SDRs on your team will give you a good look into what they think their tenured peers are excelling at, and since it’s likely that they don’t know what they don’t know, you’ll be able to tell where your vets need you most. You could also opt to have a stack ranking question as a part of this section to, and then tally those up for one overall SDR placing.
Some sample skills questions could be:
• Where does your peer excel at the SDR role?
• Where could your peer need the most help, in relation to their role as an SDR?
• Share an example of when your peer exemplified great skill at their job?
The Data Collection
After you decide on all of the questions that you’ll use to gather some great feedback on how your SDRs see each other, you’ve got to think about how you’re going to get those answers. Here’s the easiest way - you send out an email asking each SDR to list their peers/co-workers, and then send those peers/co-workers an email requesting that they answer your questions about the SDR that chose them, and ensure them that their answers will remain anonymous.
Let’s say for our review, we’ve got three questions per section, giving us a total of 12 peer review questions. If we have SDR #1 choose 4 peers, you’re going to get 48 unique responses to your 12 questions. This will really paint a great picture to you and to SDR #1 as to how his/her peers see them as a member of your sales development team. In my experience, the best way to do this would be for each SDR to list 4 – 5 peers, or company members that they regularly interact with, and set up a Word Doc to collect the answers. If there are some folks that come back with really critical feedback, you may want to temper it. Sometimes, people take having the opportunity to be anonymous and really lace into someone. Be careful, though, as you want to really provide this feedback in its most raw form. When you deliver the feedback, remind your SDR that this feedback is from their peers, not from you.
I would love to hear any feedback you may have on these two reviews, and whether or not you run them for your SDRs. Let me know in the comments below!
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