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Team Handshake

Inspiring SDRs to be Their Best

Emily Haines, Handshake's Employer SDR Manager, focuses on building confidence in her team.

The motto of the Sales Development Representative (SDR) team at Handshake is “you can’t close an opportunity unless you open one.” It’s true — the SDRs are an invaluable part of our sales team, and they have sourced some of our largest deals. Not only do SDRs add value to the sales cycle, but they bring a fantastic energy to the sales floor. I really enjoy managing such a dynamic and engaged team.

I’ve had the opportunity to learn from incredible leaders, and it’s important to me to be a good example and positive mentor to each SDR on the team. I spend a lot of time getting to know SDRs to learn what motivates, inspires, and challenges them — so I can personalize my management style for each. I make sure to provide feedback and coaching that’s relevant to their current role as well as their career goals.

Managing with empathy

My personal management mission statement is “Be empathetic and kind, but push people to be their best.” I have high expectations and I want SDRs to feel challenged — by me, their teammates, and themselves. I believe strongly that if I invest my time in coaching and developing the careers of SDRs, the results will follow.

One of the most important parts of management, in my opinion, is building confidence—either by recommending a professional development book, asking team members to list things they’re doing really well, or playing a scene from Beyonce’s Homecoming documentary (confidence in its truest form!) I also make sure to recognize accomplishments, and let SDRs know I believe in them by giving them opportunities for more responsibility. Sometimes, people just need a reminder that they are great at their job and deserve to be confident.

The team is incredibly hard working, but we also take time to get away from our desks and enjoy each other’s company with regular team lunches and Taco Tuesdays — as well as trips to San Francisco Giants baseball games or the Ghirardelli chocolate shop for sundaes.

We’re hiring SDRs at Handshake! Check out our careers page for current openings.

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