"Our SDRs are fresh out of college and I'm an old fart—they don't really listen to me"

"Our SDRs are fresh out of college and I'm an old fart—they don't really listen to me"

Literally what a senior SDR leader shared with me last week 😂

This can be a major culture problem if not addressed.

SDRs are typically in their first or second job out of college. Then they move on to another company or into an AE role in about 1-2 years.

The SDRs stay the same age at the company because they turn over so often. And the leaders continue getting older.

And the age gap continues growing.

I experienced something very similar when I was a sales leader.

This could create a parent/child dynamic that must be avoided. Where reps start to rebel just like children do because they feel like you don't understand them.

Here's how I stay relevant with the newest generation of sellers fresh out of college:

✅ Keep up with pop culture

My wife does a good of making sure I don't sound like an old fart. She's in the know on what GenZ cares about.

Keep up with what young adults are into these days. Consume news, social media, etc.

✅ Play songs from their generation

I like to play music for the first 1-2 minutes of training sessions. I purposefully play music that's popular right now vs. what I grew up on.

If it's a big team call, put on modern and upbeat music your team would like.

✅ Use references that resonate

I made a Super Troopers reference in a call recently and it did not land. It was a group of SDRs in their mid-20s who didn't grow up on those movies. I've since adjusted a few of the analogies and movie references I use.

Use references and stories from recent TV shows, movies, personal experiences, etc.

✅ Don't act like their parents

This one's tough. I'm not even a parent yet, but I slip into this mode with younger reps sometimes. I subconsciously speak down to them because I have 15+ years of sales experience to their 6 months.

Bring it back to when you were a first-time rep. Not the "I dialed out of a phone book" stuff. Focus on how you felt when you didn't know what they were doing.


How do you keep it fresh with the new generation of sellers at your org?