Crono Talks with SDRs of London

Hey Croners! Welcome to our brand new column Crono Talks, a series of interviews with projects and people that have blown our minds. We aim to bring inspiration and give deserved credit to those working hard and with great ideas.

In this episode, we’ll have a chat with Lewis Gadson, founder of SDRs of London.

In the first half of this interview, we’ll get to know Lewis and then the project itself, let’s get started!

Crono Talks ep.3: SDRs of London

Hi Lewis, we like to start with a warm-up: describe yourself in 10 words!

A stickler for organisation. I’m honest – sometimes too much so.

Now, can you give us a little overview of your career and projects?

By day, I’m Associate Director of Wiser Elite – a specialist tech sales recruitment agency. By night, (not to make myself sound like Batman or anything) I’m the Founder of SDRs of London – a peer-to-peer mentorship platform and community for reps based in and around the capital.

I started my career in recruitment/sales headhunting SDRs and built the desk to a team of 5 direct reports/mentors up to 20 others (at our largest) across our AE, CSM and Sales Leadership desks. We’ve also since created 4 other sales communities named AEs of London, GTM Leaders, Making Moves (Women in tech sales) and Retention Seekers (CSM/AM).

Our communities were created to support those in the industry to become top performers, educate businesses on how to create a more inclusive industry and work towards our mission of changing the way people think about sales.

Our wonderful Head of Brand, Izzy Bishop, and Community Marketing Manager, Zara Arshad-Roberts, look after all our communities – they’re the backbone of driving community growth and success.

How did you discover your passion for sales?

My Dad used to be a market trader selling fruit and veg. I spent a lot of my childhood perched up his stall, watching him engage with customers and passers-by – I guess you can say “Monkey see. Monkey do“.

I tried to take it a few steps further and become an Actor but after a good innings and only a smidge of success, I knew I could take more control of my future by putting my energy into the business world.

Since making that decision, I haven’t looked back and not only that, I’ve been doing my best to make the sales industry a better place to work.

Any advice for aspiring salespeople?

Be proactive – yes, any good company will train you but come up with your own plan of how you will become the best in your own time. E.g. content, books, events, communities, classes.

Inside SDRs of London

How does it feel to have created a community with +6k members?

If you’d told me SDRs of London would be going on 7,000 followers 4 years ago, I’d have laughed at you. I’m just pleased SDRs utilise it in so many different ways.

Some use it for inspiration, some use it for motivation and the members that sell to sales functions have used it to hit their targets in the past (I should have been on commission share haha).

The bottom line is that it’s added value to so many reps’ careers and boosted Wiser Elite’s brand as the go-to tech sales recruitment company.

How would you describe the SDRs of London project?

SDRs of London is a free community for SDRs based in and around the capital. Members can access sales content, webinars, events, mentorship and be part of a group of like-minded individuals helping each other become top performers.

What's the story behind it?

I started the community in late 2019 when a sales events company were charging SDRs a considerable amount to be mentored by some renowned SaaS sales leaders.

Now, the list of leaders was strong and I respect the hustle but when you’re an SDR, it’s when you know the least, it’s when you earn the least and it’s when you need the most help so I thought I could do a better job whilst boosting Wiser Elite’s brand in the market.

With a nudge from MD, Jack, I went for it by taking 15 SDRs that I’d placed and 15 SDRs at companies that I’d like to work with, put them in a WhatsApp thread and said “There you go – mentor each other for free”.

Fast forward two months, the pandemic starts and salespeople are looking for any way they can to get advice on what to do – we went from 35 to 180 members in a week and within a month, we did our first sponsored webinar with Vidyard.

Today, we run an in-person event and webinar every quarter with industry-leading speakers. On top of that, we have Community Hosts who act as advisories to the wider community and help us plan events/speakers/subjects.

What are your favourite memories about it and your future goals?

It sounds strange but my favourite memory so far is when we needed to set up AEs of London. The first bunch of founding members had been promoted out of the SDR role and were all facing new issues that a community of SDRs weren’t qualified to help with.

SDRs of London had served its purpose and helped reps reach the next level in their careers. Plans are to double down on a mentorship scheme – pairing reps with suitable mentors further on in their careers. We also plan to expand our sponsorship offering for companies looking to boost their brand in the sales industry.

Why should professionals join SDRs of London?

If you’re looking to meet like-minded tech sales professionals trying to master their craft then come join us. Not only will you learn from others at the top of their game, you’ll see that the highs and lows of a sales career don’t need to be lonely.

Discover more stories about inspiring projects on our blog!

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