I work at Intercom as a manager of the SDR team. From inbound to outbound, we qualify opportunities to set our account executives up for success! I have been at Intercom for almost 2 years now, and am excited to help our organization grow and develop even more!
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
I manage four inbound SDRs + one Retention Specialist, but about to manage eight outbound SDRs moving forward.
Where are your teammates located?
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
The outbound team prospects new business for our account executives. I coach and work with these talented individuals to organize their books of business, formulate creative outreach strategies, and set the qualified meetings for their AEs.
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
We pride ourselves on the culture we have built within our SDR organization, but specifically in Chicago. Our SDRs make coming to work extremely exciting and rewarding. The hard work they put in each day, eagerness to learn and kindness they have towards one another makes coming to work an absolute joy.
We have a ton of different personalities and unique backgrounds that make our organization a fun and inspiring place to work. On top of that, we have great internal career progression that help the SDRs see their time at Intercom for the long term. They are motivated to help one another and push themselves because it's a place they want to stay.
Strong remote cultures are built on strong connections. Strong connections are built with Hailey.
How do you make sure your team is happy and engaged in their work?
At Intercom, we have our cameras on for all of our meetings to keep a level of connectivity alive. It allows us to see pets, new backgrounds, or family members that pop their heads in!
We also make sure to have team check-ins throughout the week where we do shout-outs and give them the floor to connect with the other SDRs. I think it's important to set time where it's not business talk, but can get to know them as individuals as well.
In terms of staying engaged, it's really important to keep the team motivated. Whether that be in our regular 1:1s going over pacing and performance, or discussing career progression and fine tuning their skillset and cross functional relationships. We want them to know we value the work that they do and will continue to invest in them to be with the organization and strengthen their skill sets.
At Intercom, we have our camera on for all of our meetings so keep a level of connectivity alive. It allows us to see pets, new backgrounds, or family members that pop their heads in!
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
The biggest challenge is onboarding.
The best way to learn is by watching and being able to ask questions at any point. Being remote, it's that much easier to feel isolated or uncomfortable “bothering” someone. I make it a priority to schedule plenty of shadow sessions, and meet and greets amongst the team, to make sure they all feel connected and open to helping each other.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
We have a “happy hour” check out each Friday! This is where we can celebrate the week, acknowledge the successes on each Chicago SDR team, and talk about our weekends ahead. It is a good way to wrap up each week.
We also have done a virtual escape room (through Yaymaker) to mix things up! Luckily, we have also been able to have a handful of in person meetings such as a picnic with the sales team in Chicago off of the lake and a couple small team dinners. It is always a blast when we can all get together.
We took advantage of playing some Jackbox games when we first went remote, which was hilarious to see how competitive everyone was! (I mean, we are in sales right?)
As the team changes, we have done different types of “icebreakers” in our morning meetings just to start off on the right track.
For example, sometimes someone would pull a tarot card to predict how our days would go, other times the people who spoke multiple languages would teach us a “word of the day”! It kept things fun and made us laugh first thing in the morning.
Highly recommend finding little things like this to chat about over your morning coffee or tea!
Products & Tools
Hiring the right people is the main thing to help have a strong culture. But to keep things fun, we also hold “inter-mingle” events within our company. If individuals sign up, they can participate in monthly cooking classes, painting events, building plant terrariums and more!
Resources for remote leaders
I love a good TED talk. It allows me to zone out for a bit and learn from others in the space. Not only learning about management, coaching, SaaS or sales, but the psychology of people and how to build relationships I find equally, if not more, important.
Make your company a great place to work
"Adding Hailey has been by far the lowest effort, highest impact thing we’ve done to bring our globally scattered team together!" - Mary Grace Reich