What is a Sales Development Representative?
Within a sales organization structure, a sales development representative (SDR) is a sales team member focusing on inbound sales prospecting. Sometimes used interchangeably with a business development representative (BDR), the SDR strategic role revolves around finding new sales prospects to connect with that have come inbound vs. outbound. They will still conduct outreach and qualify leads before passing them on to another sales team member (typically an account executive) who can help manage the prospect throughout the rest of the sales cycle.
SDRs keep the prospect pool full and focus specifically on identifying qualified leads and moving them through the sales funnel.
Why Are Sales Development Representatives Important?
Having dedicated SDRs on any sales team is essential. Staff dedicated to building the sales pipeline with qualified leads are invaluable–they keep sales prospects flowing, which inevitably leads to more deals being closed and more revenue being generated for the company.
Because SDRs focus specifically on prospecting, they have the time and resources to do so thoroughly. Anyone can type out a general cold email and hit send, but SDRs know precisely who to contact, what to say, and how to do so.
Sales Development Representative Skills
More of an entry-level sales position, those looking to get into tech sales as an SDR would have the following skills to offer their sales team.
SDRs must be able to build and maintain relationships with sales prospects. They conduct initial outreach and develop trust and respect to bolster sales. Being personable, respectful, and outgoing are key; adapting your communication to suit different sales prospects is also essential.
To be a successful SDR, you can’t rely only on old-fashioned cold calling and shooting off emails, hoping for a response. Personalizing your outreach to stand out and make an impression is vital. Video prospecting makes this easier. Cater each video to individual sales prospects, and take the time to speak to them, not at them. SDRs who include videos in their sales cadence receive higher open rates and more replies.
SDRS needs to be resilient. Their job isn’t always easier; they’re often met with sales objections and either need to find creative solutions or recognize that the lead isn’t a good fit and needs to move on. Constantly conducting research to fuel sales channels can be exhausting, so being able to work through rough patches is essential.
SDRs can power through challenging conversations professionally and continuously work towards their goals.
SDRs are expert communicators. They’re comfortable speaking over the phone, via email, recording messages on video, and meeting sales prospects in person. They’re outgoing and friendly but can also cater information appropriately to their intended audiences and ensure everything they explain is easy to understand. A good SDR will be able to recognize what communication methods best work for each of their sales prospects and utilize them to the best of their ability.
Not only are they good at talking, but SDRs are also excellent active listeners. They pay attention to their sales prospects’ needs and wants. By accurately understanding what a sales prospect is looking for and expecting from a product, they can cater their pitches. They can highlight essential features and work towards scoring a new customer.