We bring out the brilliance in the SDRs and foster their creativity: Sankesh Prabhakar

Sankesh Prabhakar works as Manager, Global Sales Development at Digital River. We are excited to feature his interview.

Tell us about your experience being a Manager of Global Sales Development at Digital River.

The Sales Development world is an interesting mix of performance management and professional development. Often times, people coming into the Sales Development field are starting their first job out of college or their first opportunity in a new industry.

The people that we manage are going to be in the role for approximately two years – so the goal is to get them performing as quickly as possible and get them prepared for their next role in the company.

Digital River is a high growth company that is responding the changing market in innovative ways. The Sales Development team that I manage focuses on filling the pipeline with qualified opportunities for the Sales team to work, manage and close. As a team, we’re hitting new company records and continue to reach new markets with our services.

What does Digital River do? Tell us about the company.

Digital River allows companies who sell online expand globally without taking on any of the risks of the expansion. From click to ship, Digital River takes care of the payments, taxes, fraud and compliance, so that the company can focus more on what it does best.

Companies choose Digital River because of our expansive local payments network which reduces unnecessary fees, our ability to collect and remit taxes on their behalf globally and due to our expert fraud and compliance capabilities that make sure the company is protected.

You have mentioned that you help create Career pathways for SDRs. Please explain in detail.

A big part of the SDR Manager role is to develop the SDR’s skill set to prepare them for the next role. The SDR’s also need to see the clear career path to know where they are headed in the company. We’ve created stepping stones based on the path the SDR wants to head towards to make the transition as successful as possible. Those career pathways include Junior Sales Roles, Associate Partnership Roles, Team Lead Roles and more.

The goal is to develop high performing SDR’s that take on new roles in the company and stay with the company for years to come.

What’s your favorite marketing or Sales tool and why?

My favorite marketing or sales tool right now would probably be 6sense. The ability to see what people at a company are researching, target those who are showing high intent with ABM and prioritize outreach is crucial to making sure the outreach efforts are efficient as possible.

What kind of culture do you try to establish in your sales team.

The culture that I am building on my sales team is one of trust, integrity and work-life balance. I don’t micromanage as part of my leadership style. I prefer to paint the vision and get buy-in on the direction that we are heading towards.

I’ve built in KPI’s and everyone has the same quota, but it’s the bigger vision of what we are trying to accomplish that motivates the team to do more. I care deeply about my team’s well-being and make sure they know to take time for themselves too even in a remote working environment. I also dive into the work with them and we often do joint prospecting sessions together so they can see how I approach accounts as well.

Share a Sales tips or Sales quotes which comes to your mind right now.

One quote that has come to me recently is from Will Smith’s autobiography “Will” when he was describing Quincy Jones. (I’m paraphrasing) “Quincy Jones is a lightning rod. He had the ability to capture and conduct the magical flashes of brilliance surrounding everyone.”

As a SDR manager, I feel like that is our role as well. We have all of these talented people on our team and our job is to bring out the brilliance in each of them and foster their creativity till their true potential shows in their work.

How can someone reach you.

LinkedIn is the best way to reach me. Feel free to connect with me on there.

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