How did Jess V hit 150% of quota in their first month as an SDR at TrainYo, in particular?
After completing TrainYo's bootcamp and feeling strongly associated with the company's vision, Jess V exceeded their quota by 150% in their first month as an SDR.
What role do Jess V's neurodiversity and sincerity play in her sales success?
Jess V, a neurodivergent and autistic woman, succeeds in sales by being true to herself and embracing her eccentricities, which results in a distinctive and energizing communication style that disarms potential customers.
What issue is TrainYo attempting to resolve?
By providing pre-screened, pre-vetted, and pre-trained candidates who have a passion for the job and can hit quota in as little as four weeks, TrainYo is addressing the issue of prolonged ramp times, high turnover, and lack of diversity in the Sales Development Representative (SDR) industry while also lowering the cost of hiring and training for businesses.
What signs can a business look out for in order to successfully hire and retain Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)?
Long ramp times, reluctance to pick up the phone, high turnover, and trouble training new recruits who don't grasp the function of an SDR are symptoms that a corporation should be on the lookout for.
Ricky: So today on a Couple Of Pointers Podcast, we have the fortune of speaking to Jess V. SDR extraordinaire at TrainYo
Jess V: Thank you. Glad to be here.
What do you do?
Ricky: So for the sake of the audience, explain it like I'm five. What do you do?
Jess V: Professionally I'm an SDR or, a BDR, however you wanna call it. I saw your recent LinkedIn post, but officially an SDR at TrainYo. We serve underprivileged populations. That's who we recruit from. We find people who are trying to break into tech sales and they go through a pretty rigorous process to get into our bootcamp.
That's the whole goal. We have an eight week free boot camp that teaches people how to be an SDR. Once they get through and they graduate, we partner with a variety of different SaaS companies and it's a win-win. We place our candidates with companies and so far so good. We have a 95% retention rate.
Ricky: That's pretty remarkable. My next question's normally tell me something you're proud of, but that's something to be proud of.
Jess V: It is. It's definitely something that I'm immensely proud of. When I was searching for a job, I came up with a variety of different companies that I was interested in.
But one of my passion projects is poverty alleviation. So one of my dear friends actually tagged me in a TrainYo post. That's how I found out about the company and they were not hiring at that time.
I just loved everything I saw. I loved their mission so much. I started, sending LinkedIn messages to Omar and Sunil. And I was like, I wanna be a part of what you guys are doing in any way, shape or form. I don't care if I'm volunteering, just hit me up with a project. And our conversations evolved and turned into:
would you like us to offer you a position?
Ricky: That is so remarkable. And I often talk about people not dipping their toes when trying to find a job. They send through an auto apply on LinkedIn. And then don't even bother getting through to the next stage or putting in any extra effort, like contacting the SDR manager or staff at that team at that company to say, what's the culture, like anything of the sort to give themselves a head start.
And that's a fantastic example. And I guess why you got the role. They must have been super impressed. That's TrainYo.
What is something you have done recently that you are quite proud of?
Ricky: You personally, what have you done recently that you're quite proud of?
Jess V: I went on vacation for the first time without my children.
Ricky: Fuck yeah that's a win
Jess V: It's the first adult vacation I've ever had in my life. So I became a mom at a pretty young age and I've never gone anywhere without my children. So finally all of them, I have six, went to summer camp for one week and I had an entire week of my life without children.
And. I didn't know what to expect. I thought I might really miss them. And I was uncertain that I would have like purpose, but in fact it was glorious. Not to say I didn't miss them. I did. They're lovely people. But it was just really glorious to work. It was a "workation" . And when I was done with work, have that evening for myself, go to walk on the beach, go out for dinner, do what I wanna do and not have to consider--
Oh, I have all these kids to feed and get ready for bed and read them books. And everything else that goes into being a parent.
Ricky: Amazing. And that is something to be proud of. First is self care, two being in a position where you mentioned that they're decent human beings. That's pretty good. Right?
Jess V: Yes.
Ricky: A company that you can have those "workations" that's a fantastic one too. But now I know something so far, you've come across extremely humble talking about some really existential things, the company. But
I heard you hit 150% of your quota in your first month?
Ricky: I heard that you hit 150% of quota on your first month as an SDR.
Jess V: Yeah. I still don't know if that's particularly remarkable. I'm being told that it is, but it doesn't feel that remarkable to me. And here's why. When I accepted the position with TrainYo, it was in April and that's when I had my contract signed. And they said to me, at that point, we want everyone to go through our bootcamp.
Whether or not, you have experience in sales, we want everyone to go through the bootcamp so that you have kind of like the insiders knowledge about what we teach and, what the candidate experience is like. So you can really sell the product. You're the living embodiment of it.
So I went through the bootcamp in April and May, and I began work June 1st. By the time I started work June 1st, I was so prepared. I've been in sales before, but not in the tech world. I was so prepared as an SDR.
I was so familiar with the product, that TrainYo sells. It took two days of onboarding and I just hit the road
Ricky: Technically have three months worth of SDR training in that bootcamp at TrainYo before starting. months. Okay. Well, firstly, I think that's still pretty impressive, right? There's a big difference. I know it's a great training program. It's a great bootcamp.
But when you hit the phones, for your first time at the job where you can get fired if you're not performing. It does bring a certain sense of reality to the situation. And 150% of quota, where I know the rest of your team, they're not gonna set some low quota just to keep you happy.
They going to drive towards outcomes for the business, for the companies you're serving, for the SDRs that you are placing and providing a better life for. They're not gonna let you have a cruisey ride. So 150% of their quota is incredibly impressive.
Jess V: Yes. Okay. Thank you. I think part of it is I am just as a person so closely aligned with the mission for TrainYo. One of the first things that I said to Sunil and Omar was my success is your success and your success is my success. And so, you know, there's that old adage: "You never work another day in your life if you love what you do".
And I really feel like that with this company, with this position. It's not when I began in sales, it was high pressure sales I hated it. And this is not high pressure sales at all. It's fabulous. To me, it's very altruistic. It aligns with my heart and just trying to help people on multiple different levels and do generational changes for families and get companies some really phenomenal SDRs.
So to me, it's just like win, win, win, win. And I think some of that excitement or maybe comfort, passion with the mission just comes through when I talk to people.
Ricky: That is, I think that's so lost on a lot of SDRs that are doing tech sales. I'm selling this widgets. I'm selling this gadgets. It does X and it helps you do Y. But they're not passionate about the cause. They're not passionate about the company and what it's trying to achieve, or the problem they're solving.
And that is something that no bootcamp can train you. Maybe you get to this level of acting where you could kind of pull that off. But if you have that alignment, you are always going to be significantly better off.
Jess V: I wholeheartedly agree. Absolutely. Anytime that I have firmly believed in the product that I was selling, I have been on the leaderboard and a top seller every month consistently. And when I tried to sell a product that my heart wasn't in it, it was just, you know, I lost the motivation. And even if I felt like I was still doing the exact same work, it comes through on the phone.
It comes through in an email. People pick up on it. And if you don't have your confidence in that product, then they sense it. And they're not interested at the same level. Whereas if you love your product, and you are confident in your product. And you truly represent your product. Then they pick up on that. They pick up on your enthusiasm and they wanna see you.
Ricky: Yeah it's so authentic huge takeaway for people listening to this. If you want to get into an SDR, start by looking for a company that you believe in that you wanna work for in a cause. Doing something that you care about. The rest will be easier, particularly on those down days when things aren't going well, when you're looking for some motivation and you're not necessarily finding it intrinsically. If you can look externally to your company and to a bigger picture, it really helps pull you back in.
So you've done sales before. You've done the TrainYo bootcamp, which obviously is a great bootcamp. What was different from when the reality hit you of the job from all the training you've had.
What was different from what you expected when starting as an SDR?
Ricky: What was different from what you expected?
Jess V: So I started in sales, but then I transitioned into education. And I'm coming out of education and transitioning into tech sales. So back in the day, when I worked in sales before, it was very high pressure sales. And I still felt a lot like an island. There wasn't a lot of support. It was, this is your quota.
Go get it. And some feedback, but not to the extent that I'm currently experiencing, not just within my own community at TrainYo, but the SaaS community at large, is just incredible for the amount of support and encouragement and feedback they offer to me. I've had so many people just reach out, "How can I help you?".
And I'm like, "Oh, you know, I'm trying out a new voice note. Would you mind giving me some feedback on it?". And sure enough, within 24 hours, I have feedback. And "Hey, you might wanna try this? Try this tonality". And as a teacher, they throw you into a classroom. It's sink or swim. You might say, "Hey, 26 kids is a lot for me to deal with.
This kid has ASD. This kid has this. I don't know how to juggle all this". And they're like, "Oh well, this is up to you to figure out". So that is, to me, one of the most profound differences in the tech world and specifically in tech sales. Is that I'm not an island. There's so much support and encouragement in this community.
And I feel like I have no choice. But to be incredibly successful because with all this support and encouragement and feedback around me, how could I not be anything but extremely successful?
Ricky: So many people are turning to communities purely as a sales channel. But when you actually look at it as a community, when you approach it with humility, there's so much to be gained from these communities in every facet of your life. But as you've just mentioned, you're not an island. But getting that feedback, helping you be better, helping you stay connected, quite remarkable and TrainYo
I imagine is building a community around itself too. Now give us some advice here.
What are some of the things you are currently doing that might go against conventional wisdom?
Ricky: What are some of the things that you currently doing that maybe goes against conventional wisdom that's working for you?
Jess V: So I think it's important for you to know that I'm neuro divergent. I have autism and I have spent my entire life being, you know, depending on what way I choose to look at the moment, I'm either an outsider or what I call a floater. That I'm friends with everyone, but friends with no one . So in school, there's all the social groups and I didn't have a table to sit at for lunch.
It was just one day. I'd sit with this table the next day, that table. And I've had a hard time just being me. I have a lot of, I guess they're weird quirks to me. It's just me. But I guess I have a lot of weird quirks. I've been told that I'm pretty odd many times throughout my life. And to find a place where I can truly just be myself, like a hundred percent authentic, this is what you get when you hire me.
This is what you get when you text me. This is what you get when you email me. This is what you get. If you DM me. And it's just, this is me. Real. There's no fluff. I don't even know how to do fluff. Against my entire personality. If I could, though, how to do fluff, I would have developed that skill.
It would've made my childhood a lot easier if I could have concealed the oddness of myself. But I can't. So it's just a hundred percent. And to find a community that embraces that supports it. I sit here on my end. I write an email or a response to someone and I'm laughing. My family, all tells me that I'm funny. My kids. My husband. But they're literally the only people in my life who have ever laughed at something I say.
Like, when I'm trying to be funny, besides myself. I crack myself up all the time. So if I'm on my end and I'm laughing when I'm writing it, then something great is happening. Because I'm communicating that laughter and that joy or that comedy. That mental break across what I'm writing. And I'm getting feedback from people that say, "I love what you're doing",
"This is a phenomenal cadence", "Okay, Jess, you got me", " This is the best cadence I've ever read, let's book a meeting". And it's just because I'm being my odd, self.
Ricky: I absolutely love that.
Jess V: There's nothing magical about it. It's just being me.
Ricky: I feel the relief for you of being in a space where you're not constantly trying to live up to this persona of this ultra professional. I mean, what is a professional these days, right? Like, but just being able to be yourself, be comfortable in your skin and let your personality shine through.
I think that authenticity will immediately separate you from the mountains of spammers out there that are just using the same format, the same template, the same copy in every email, they send. To see something unique is refreshing. And a sense of humor, you may be describe yours as quirky or odd or even non-existent, but a sense of humor is the greatest superpower in sales.
It is so disarming. And I love that, firstly, you do that. That you've discovered that by yourself and that you work at a company where the leadership gives you the freedom to express that. It's risky.
Jess V: I have to say It is risky. And I was pretty shocked when I came on board. First of all, when I was given my contract, I had no idea that Tom Slocum was going to be my VP and I followed him on Facebook. He had, I'm not on Facebook. Sorry. He, I Facebook him on LinkedIn and he had came in... And he had been an instructor for one of the classes in the bootcamp.
And I was fangirling a little bit like, "Wow, Tom Slocum". And then I started work and found out that I'm actually, he's my VP of sales. Like that's just, my mind was blown.
And for him to say at the end of my first week, he was just like, "Jess, do your thing". And it was like, it was time to write my first cadence and I was nervous, even though I had been taught about it.
I hadn't officially done and he's like, "Go find out what works, go do it, do some A/B testing, you've got this". To have that kind of freedom to really be myself without " This is not a traditional email that we send out". I've never heard that. No one at TrainYo has said that to me, even though it's true.
My emails are not traditional , but maybe that's why they work. They're refreshing. They're different. Like my whole goal is it's hard to sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day. It's hard to read email after email. To be in meetings all day. It's just, it's a challenge. If I can break up your day and give you a mental break, if I can bring a smile to your face, if I can trigger a memory and be like, "Oh man, that was a great movie", or put an earworm in your head, that's a great.
Like, I have an email that references "Jessie's Girl", right? It's a little, you know, punny thing there. So, If I can just break up someone's day for a moment where they're like, they remember it's not just work. "Oh, wow, yeah it's funny", "That's a great song",
"That's a great movie", "That's a funny quote". There's something that connects you and I together, then my job is done. That's where my job is done. That's my goal right there. And the meetings come with that. I'm not trying to get a meeting.
Ricky: At least you're having fun. Because there's not getting meetings and hating it and there's not getting meetings and enjoying it. The meetings will come when you enjoy it. the same way selling comes when you stop trying to sell. And as you did mention, it does go without saying how lucky the team is to have someone like Tom, who is not a SDR or a BDR manager anymore.
His well beyond that, but he's probably renowned as being the best SDR or BDR manager at the moment worldwide. Like he's certainly at the forefront of that. So to have him as your VP of sales, but when he's still building the outbound function and being intimately involved in the team. Sure that's luck. But you brought something to it.
And his goal as that leader is to get the most out of individuals and let them be the best version of themselves within appointed direction of developing business. But it seems like that has just worked so well in this case. And again, that's highlighted by the fact that what you achieved at 150% of quota in your first month on the job and every month since.
What is something that people are talking about SDRs doing that just isn't working anymore?
Ricky: So, you also mentioned being in these communities, you get a lot of feedback. We get a lot of advice on LinkedIn, some unsolicited. What is something that people are talking about SDRs doing, or in about outbound in general, that everyone says, "This is how to do it, but just isn't working anymore"?
Jess V: People keep saying email is dead. I don't think that that's true. I think what's dead is the same boring ass email. You have to disrupt the day, and you have to do it in a wonderful way. You have to do it in a day where someone in a way that someone laughs, where they end up thinking about you in a great way.
" Oh, yeah,I know Jess. She made me laugh and actually looking forward, what is her next message going to be like". You know, I received an email on Friday and it was, you know, "Oh Jess, you got me, like, this is the best sequence I've ever read, and send me over a link let's book, a meeting". And this was, I think at like the 12th touch point.
I couldn't believe it. You know, as a fairly new SDR, I'm just getting to those final touch points right now. And I haven't had that experience, like all my meetings up until at this point, have been like the first, second or third touch point. I haven't had anything down the road. So this one came in and it was, oh my gosh, like
Are your emails, when you get a little bit deeper in, get looser?
Jess V: Are your emails a bit like a night out of the town. That like, as you get a little bit deeper in, they get a bit looser?
I don't know if they get maybe, maybe, Like I said on my end, I'm just laughing. And so if I'm writing the email at the end of the day, I am slap happy and they are a looser and they're funnier. Well, according to my definition, versus the beginning of the day, I'll be much more like focused and trying to stay within the realm of what's proper. And
Are all your emails personalized, customized jokes, like a comedian set?
Ricky: Yeah you mentioned having this, this earworm of a play on "Jessie's Girl", the song. Are all of your emails, personalized, customized jokes, which you have a little bit of a set, like a comedian,that you then maybe tweak?
Jess V: That's exactly it. I have a set that I tweak. And I know certain people, like, I can't even believe at our last company meeting the sink on Thursday, the icebreaker was choose a song that's like your get moving song, right? And I said, "Bad to the Bone". And like , most people didn't know what song I was talking about.
So, which just blew my mind. How do you not know "Bad to the Bone"? But they're, you know, Hey, I'm working with younger people, so it is a different generation. And so I take that into consideration. What is the age of the person I'm trying to write to? Is it a male? Is it a female? Where do they live? I don't wanna make a reference that they don't understand at all.
It's just gonna go right over their head. So I try to make, it's either a contemporary reference or one that I feel very confident. Like if I reference "The Princess Bride", they better know "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife", right? Like they better know that line from the "Princess Bride". I'm not sure. A 20-yr 25-yr old knows that right now,
Ricky: not a show I'd
I'd probably still appreciate the fact that you are trying something. And I'll probably even just go look it up and I'd be like deep diving into the "Princess Bride", completely ruining my Google search algorithm. But, you know that's still better than another templated boring email that has the exact same format and ends with "Would it be a bad idea for us to grab a coffee" or something like that? I'm so just done with those. Now tell me something.
Jess V: I have some concerns. It's been all over my LinkedIn feed the last few weeks about this pitch slapping. And I'm like, oh my God, am I pitch slapping? When I meet people? And my intent is to go about this job, the exact same way I went about trying to find this job. Which not just this job, but every other job I applied to. When I did, I connected with people who worked at the company.
I had a notebook next to my desk. I would write down their name and every day on LinkedIn, I would pull up their profile. See if they had posted something. If they did post something, I'd start interacting with the post. If they hadn't posted anything, I'd see what they commented on. And I'd start interacting with the comment that they made.
So that within four or five, six days, when I slid into their DMs and said, "Hey, I'm thinking about applying for this position with your company, any advice?", 99% of the time they recognize my name. They recognize my picture. They know who I am at that point. And they're happy to then say, "Yes, I can give you some advice.
I can even hand your resume over to the hiring manager". And that's how I ended up with four job offers. In one week after four weeks of looking for a job. It was a full time job. I had so many interviews. So I try to do that same process when I'm connecting with people right now. But I can't say I'm perfecting it
The level that I want to I'm suffering.
Ricky: Sorry to interrupt. People on LinkedIn are often just allergic to basic human interaction. You're not going to please everyone.
Jess V: Absolutely. Although I have to say that hasn't been my experience. I haven't found anyone who is like, " I don't wanna hear from you, like "Get away from me". I haven't even been hung up on yet. So , I know it will happen. I absolutely know it will happen, but so far it hasn't happened. And it's that again goes back to the community.
It is what you give to this community. And I, always say in life, give, give, give, take, give, give, give, take, and. When my husband was hit by a car six years ago and was in the hospital, suffered a severe brain injury. It was horrible. My entire life I had given, given, given volunteered, volunteered, foster mom, adoptive mom, working for food pantries, doing toys for tots, like just trying to make the world a better place.
And this moment came where my husband was hit by a car. Overnight our income was gone. We were facing eviction within two weeks. I had no savings. We had nothing and six kids. And I had to ask our, community for help. And it was embarrassing.
And it was humiliating. And it hurt my pride. And I cried and I tried as long as I could to not ask for help. And finally it came Well, we're about to be homeless and my refrigerator's empty, I have to ask the community for help. I can't, I can't do this otherwise. And I asked the community for help and I was astounded by the level of support and not only support that immediately came in, but the comments that were "Thank you for giving us a way to help you", " Thank you for reaching out to us and letting us help you", "It's a privilege to help you". And that lesson has stayed with me in the last six years that I give and I give and I give and it's okay to take sometimes. So when people reach out to me and they're,"Hey, Jess, you're doing great. How do I get involved with what, you're doing?".
How can I do a lot of transitioning teachers contact me too. I'm more than willing to sit down and have a coffee chat. Let's go through this step by step. This is how you'd get to where I am right now. On the other side of the coin, it's amazing to me when CEOs or other VPs reach out to me or acknowledge me.
And they're like, "I'll have a cup of coffee with you too". And they're so much further down the road than I am, but there they are giving me actionable steps to keep moving up the ladder. And so I haven't found LinkedIn to be a place where people are allergic to yet. There's always going to be the bad egg out there, of course.
Ricky: What I love about your lesson, is that it's kind of what you make it. And if you are getting these offensive and affronted responses from people, then you are probably engaging with the community in a similar manner. You got what you gave. And you keep giving and you keep getting what you give and it becomes this virtuous cycle.
And that is clearly, as you mentioned right at the beginning, led into your motivation for working at TrainYo and being part of a community and supporting it. But that's also then what people give back to you. And maybe people that are complaining about being pitch slapped or people complaining about them pitch slapping should have a look at broadly how they are engaging their community, the value they are bringing. And look at what are you giving as the lens through which you should engage LinkedIn or any community in fact.
Jess V: I would, yeah, I was about to say, not just LinkedIn, but in life.
Ricky: Perfect. Right. SDR is life like sales is life. This is life. Like we are talking about a very small part of our life. Like you've got six kids. You've just had a "workation".
Jess V: Yes, we are.
Ricky: You've told us about this tragic event that's changed the course of your life six years ago. But this is through the lens of how to write a funny cadence, a funny email. Like how do we earn revenue to help more people. This is all this messy blur we call life. And there's obvious overlap between how we engage our job, how we engage online community. And how we engage our family and how we engage our life in general.
Jess V: Absolutely. And when I'm asking people, because of this conversation, that's been revolving on around pitch slapping on LinkedIn, I've gotten a little nervous. Am I pitch slapping people? And fortunately I've became buddies with several people that I've had meetings with because it doesn't stop once we have a meeting. We just continue to DM each other. And we continue, like I ring their bell and I'm commenting.
And so the relationship is just growing. And at that point I'm like, "Hey, could you give me some feedback? Does this sound like a pitch slap or what exactly is a pitch slap?" Because apparently I'm not pitch slapping cuz nobody's came back in a nasty way to me so far. And having that feedback. And then for the very first time, honest to God getting pitch slapped on Thursday last week.
Ricky: That's what it looks like
Jess V: Oh, and the bulb went off. This is what everybody's talking about. It was like 10 paragraphs long, right after "Hey mind, if we connect?" I was like,"Sure". And then 10 paragraphs, like I was like, I'm not gonna read all this. And supposedly from a VP of sales, who I have a hard time believing they would be a VP of sales
Ricky: Well, Firstly, you can be a VP of sales. You know, you could be a CEO at a company of one. The title doesn't necessarily mean anything. Or their VA's doing it, or they've gotten some really bad advice
Jess V: Oh,
Ricky: But I get those every day. I'll post a job advert looking for an SDR to join our team. And I will get, I kid you not, 30 to 50 messages coming back 10 paragraphs long as you've mentioned, all pretty similar in structure.
" Would I consider outsourcing this role?" And I, I have to come back saying " Do you know who you're talking to?" Like why I'm definitely not going to. People come to us to help outsource part of their problem. I'm not gonna kick this down the road. I'm I'm taking this problem on. No, we absolutely not outsourcing anything, but they haven't even looked right.
They've just got a formula. Somebody post a job for SDR, add to cadence saying, would you consider outsourcing? That's the pitch slap. And that's clearly not what you're doing.
Jess V: mm-hmm yes. Or people say, "Where do you live?". That one drives me crazy. If you look at my profile, it's it's right there. I live in greater Orlando, like, hello? Did you even, it's not even like you have to scroll. It's literally right under my picture. So when people ask that question or where are you from?
Where do you, and I'm spend a little time getting to know me before you start asking me questions. And so I try to be very respectful of other people's time as well. That's a wasted question that just makes me on my end. That makes me roll my eyes. You didn't do your homework at all. You're wasting my time.
So I'm very aware of that. And I try to make sure that.
I'm not saying it hasn't happened. I have done a couple, you know, mistakes. of course.
I've posted about some of my mistakes on LinkedIn. Cuz I try very hard to keep it real and authentic. But for the most part, I'm learning from every mistake and I'm learning from my own experience and making, trying to make myself better and better every single da
That humility to go in, constantly looking for feedback. And accepting that feedback from both the market, because they will define what's working from your peers or your, mentor or your boss or your manager, whatever it might be from inside the company, but also from the community.
And if you are constantly getting feedback and accepting feedback, you're getting 1% better each time. And if you do that enough times, you will be great. And I think that's what you've done here. Like that those ar you've brought across here without getting into any technicals, the attributes that make an SDR, highly successful. Everything that you've mentioned here, people should be studying. From your humility through to your openness, through to your understanding of your self. Everything that you've m entioned.
I can't go over all of it, but it has been a real masterclass how you hunted for a job like an SDR. Yeah, you proved before you even applied for the job to these individuals that you were capable of achieving it. It's a masterclass in the most subtle and humble way that I've ever seen. It's genuinely impressive.
What is something that you're currently spending way too much time to?
Ricky: Now I've got a few other questions to ask. One of them is:
What's something that you're currently spending way too much time to?
Jess V: It's Summer vacation, cooking, cleaning. A Hundred percent, but Outside of that. So I work for a startup. So 90% of my job is an SDR, but that's not all it is. I'm also wearing some other hats. I love it. And so it might be, Hey, let's do a little, a marketing piece for TrainYo for LinkedIn. Let's write this type of, a contract that we need to send out to our candidates. Hey can you put on the calendar, let's follow up with this person on this date, even though it's not necessarily my job. That might be the job of the AE, but hey, we're all in this together, right?
My success is your success. Your success is my success. I'm spending. I work fast. I'm a speed reader and I have been kicked off LinkedIn twice, and straight up kicked off. And my account has been frozen. And the accusation from LinkedIn has been that I move too fast. Like I literally move too fast.
I'm flashing through the pages too quickly and they think I'm a bot. And also, I've had profile like the ability to look at profiles blocked. I've had the ability to add people or connect with them blocked. But the two most damaging ones was to literally be blocked off of logging into LinkedIn. And so I have to visualize moving slowly.
Like if you've ever seen Zootopia, I visualize Flash. He's the sloth at the DMV going very slow. Or I visualize like back in the day, the, you know, logging or dialing in with AOL. And I just have to slow down. And it, is so hard for me to do. I'm just a very rapid, fast moving person. And that to me feels like I'm spending not just twice as long, but 10 times as long doing something that shouldn't take me that long to do. But I have to slow down to work within the limits and the restrictions and the algorithm that LinkedIn is giving me
Ricky: That is I've. I've never heard of that problem before every other time when people get banned from LinkedIn, they're like, I swear I wasn't using automation. Like yes, yes, yes. I'm sure you weren't. Your case, I believe you, and remarkable, right? That you would talk about attributes of an SDR. Being able to bang through a lot of activity very quickly is super helpful.
How many hours are you spending in LinkedIn?
Ricky: Absolutely. How many hours a day are you spending on LinkedIn?
Jess V: Well LinkedIn is my preferred selling platform. So I'm a social seller. I consider myself a social seller first. And then email and calling. And I really, really love the aspect of this job, where I get to connect with people. So LinkedIn really gives me that, platform, that, capability.
So I'm gonna say anywhere from four to 24 hours a day,
Ricky: When you say 24 hours a day, I also find it semi believable.
Jess V: Well, I do. In fact, Omar just, messaged me tonight on slack. He's like, why are you online? and I'm like, well, I don't even bother to turn my notifications off. The facts are when I'm having family time, I just turn my phone on "Do not disturb". Otherwise I leave my notifications on.
Ricky: Amazing. Do not disturb" is your best friend. realy is your best.
Jess V: I'm a big fan of it.
What's the big problem that TrainYo is solving?
Ricky: What's the core problem, if we just shift to talk to about TrainYo for a second, what's the big problem that TrainYo solving?
Jess V: Yes. a lot of companies are experiencing really extended ramp times. They have non-qualified candidates. They don't really know what the SDR role is about. They have high turnover, high churn. They don't wanna get on the phone like that over and over again. That's SDRs. Don't wanna get on the phone. They're nervous about cold calling. Anxious. And I get it.
Like every single time I pick up the phone I'm anxious, but I make it go away and I attack the phone. I look at it as a game. So. That's the core problem that we're seeing in this industry. Is there's actually, a 33% turnover rate. That's remarkably low for like you, you invest in a candidate, you hire them.
And there's only a 33% chance that they're going to work out. That's a lot of dollars lost. And so all these core problems are what we're really attacking. We're also attacking, maybe the biggest one, is the lack of diversity and equality in companies. Most SDRs are white male. Try bringing in a brown or a black, woman, man, and everything in between.
And that's what TrainYo is really trying to recruit from. The underserved populations. The people who don't have a chance to really change their lives. To break the generational poverty cycle. So there's two problems. There's the company problem and the people problem that we are trying to solve. And with our candidates, by the time they complete the bootcamp, our average ramp time is four weeks.
Now I did it in two. We have lots and lots of case studies where people have hit quota that first month, too, even with a four week ramp time. It's just, our candidates are So, well trained. They know what they're doing, and it's a selective process. You can't just sign up and be like, "Hey, this is what I wanna do".
You have to apply. We're not taking everyone. I think it's one in six.
Ricky: So these people are pre-screened,
Jess V: now, But what ends up coming out of
that program. They're pre-screened pre-vetted pre-trained. And they self-select themselves out of the program prior to graduation if this is something they don't want to do. So we know by the time these candidates graduate, they're just as passionate about this position and about this job,
Ricky: It, is such great solution. You know, I train a lot of SDRs and the one thing that I've now determined, I'm not interested in training anymore is training people out of cold call reluctance. I would, we can. And I've, we've trained that a lot of times.
Jess V: Yeah.
Ricky: And, but I would rather teach a new recruit, anything and everything there is to know about sales and sales development. Then work with them on the deep psychology.
That goes with that call reluctance. So if I can just find someone that I know is comfortable to make calls and by comfortable, I don't mean super comfortable, like a psychopath. I mean, just, you know, has the ability to get over it themselves and deal with it and make calls if they need to, I will take them and I can mold them.
And knowing that they come out of a TrainYo program.
With that attribute, but also with all the skills and that they've chosen this as a career path, they know what they're getting into. They're not going to leave three months later, go, "You know what I thought, I'd like this kind of work. It turns out I want to go into graphic design".
You know, I think any amount that you're charging is a net win. There's no ways the company could lose hiring from TrainYo.
Jess V: I wholeheartedly agree to me. It's a win-win it's $7,500 to place a candidate, US dollars, 5,500 pounds in the UK. And you make that the you're bringing money to the company by using us. You don't have three months of ramp time where you're paying your SDR and they're not bringing money in. Our SDRs are bringing money back to that company.
You're not gonna lose. We have a 95% retention rate versus that 33%. You're not gonna lose them in three months. And if you do, we're gonna guarantee them. If they leave within 90 days or they don't work out, we're gonna give you a replacement. It's such a fair and just, and It's really, and truly one of the reasons why I love TrainYo. It's founded by people who have the highest levels of integrity and care for each other.
And for everyone else on this planet, that's just something
Ricky: It's so brilliant to hear. And I would add to your pitch that it is not just that reduced ramp time. It's that recruitment period too. It can easily take one to three months till you find the right candidates. And then, you know, your three months to ramp. I think the average ramp time for people are really on target is six months at the moment, to be honest. But you are saving anywhere from four to nine months in terms of costs, as well as the opportunity costs of not having them, which is pales in significant to your feat.
Jess V: I wholeheartedly agree. It is a win-win to me. We also, TrainYo, again, it has it's, operated by men of integrity. It also has a fabulous referral program. So if you refer a business to us and we place a candidate with that business, we're gonna give you a thousand dollars.
Ricky: It sounds like a whole lot virtuous
Jess V: does that exist
If you Ricky, know someone and you're like, hey, I know this company they're hiring. You send them my way. I place a candidate with them. You just gotta check for a thousand dollars.
What are the symptom that this company should identify to get you on the line?
Ricky: That's a lot more than an Amazon voucher So what is the symptom that this company should identify? If they see the symptom within their business, they should see it as a flag to say, "Hey, I need to get Jess on the line".
Jess V: It's what I talked about before extended ramp times that reluctance to get on the phone, we know that phone is where a lot of meetings are booked. Probably the majority of meetings are booked on the phone. You want your SDRs on that phone? You want them making those connections. If you're seeing a lot of turnover. If your employees, if you're spending too much time, like training them, if they don't understand the role of the SDR, when you're bringing them on, these are all big red flags to me.
If you're hiring someone, they should know the job, they should be prepared for it. They should know what the job is about. Why take a risk hiring someone who doesn't really know what this job is about so that they can quit in two months and go, can't keep up with the pressure of it".
Ricky: One of the ways companies currently try and solve that is by looking for SDRs with two years of experience, which is a, unicorn. You're either gonna get a unicorn or a lemon, you know. It's, very rare and not a practical solution.
Jess V: It is not. The average SDR is 12 to 18 months in that role before they move up or
Ricky: Exactly. Or they love it.
Jess V: To a different position within the company. So trying to find an SDR with two years.
Jess V: It is a unicorn, a hundred percent.
Ricky: But then your alignment with that and your motivation to keep them in that role, you'd have to have such a great SDR program, which is unlikely if your starting by looking for SDRs with two years experience.
How do people get a hold of you?
Ricky: So it'll never be a match. So now, how do people get hold of you? You have shared absolute golden pointers and people have a lot to learn from you. I've learned a lot on this podcast, but reading between the lines, you have attributes that others should try and emulate. How do people get hold of you if they want to learn from you or they'd like to join a TrainYo program, or they would like to hire one of your SDRs that have come through your bootcamps.
Jess V: Yeah. So send me a connect request on LinkedIn. Ring my bell. Give me feedback. Help me learn and grow. You can email me Jess firstname.lastname@example.org That's how to reach me. I am readily available for anyone to connect with.
Ricky: Jess, it's been absolutely fantastic chatting to you. I've loved it. I'm sure people watching this are going to take a lot away. So thank you so much for spending the time, sharing your wisdom, your knowledge and your experience. I look forward to chatting to you soon.
Jess V: Thank you, Ricky. It was awesome being here.