Although it’s often considered an entry level job, the position of a Sales Development Representative is actually a complex task. Yet, if you’re eager, ambitious and analytical, it can offer a very rewarding career. Even though there’s no specific academic path to follow to become an SDR, there are some skills – such as time management and being an excellent communicator – that will make things a lot easier. To follow this completely though, let’s first look at what an SDR does.
SDRs are crucial to the sales process. They are responsible for qualifying leads at the initial stages in the sales funnel and must thoroughly research potential clients, connect with and talk to prospects as well as qualify leads before handing them off to more senior members of the sales team. There are two key concepts you should understand before we go any further: inbound sales and outbound sales. Just as a quick introduction: Outbound sales requires sales people to reach out to prospects across a number of channels. This process allows sales people to personalize their outreach from the first touch point. Inbound sales are directed towards prospects who have shown interest in your product or service. They are reaching out to the company by responding to content or filling out a landing page form. So, now that we know what the job entails, what skills do you need to have to be successful in this role?
In any sales job, there is always something to be doing. The trick is to prioritize your time and draw up your schedule based on that.
Be a Master of Communication
Whether it is written or spoken, the way you communicate will be of critical importance. It will define how you are perceived and how first impressions are made.
Learn to Love Reports
These are the best way for your manager and your team to be updated on your progress. Keep them direct and to the point. If people have questions, they’ll ask.
Set Activity Goals
You should always be testing and measuring activity versus results. So, if you know on average how many calls you need to make to convert one prospect, you know how many calls you need to make per day to meet your targets.
Research, Research, Research
This cannot be stressed enough. Your company most likely already has a list of buyer personas. Study this thoroughly it will help you enormously in identifying prospects. Besides, it is crucial to have a decent understanding of the goals and strategic direction of the prospect. This will allow you to tailor your story in such a way that it addresses the specific circumstances and needs of your target client. Also, to find more information on the segment the prospect company is active in, try to obtain insights in the latest trends and developments in the industry and investigate socio-political or legislative factors that may be relevant.
This is obviously not a comprehensive list of what it takes to become an SDR but it is a good introduction to some things you need to know before approaching the position. On the other hand, if you think you have the necessary qualities and would like to know more or even apply for open positions, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.