Although it’s an entry-level role, the sales development representative (SDR) is a surprisingly complex position. It requires high-level sales and marketing skills backed by a personal drive and a strong passion for sales.
Because of this, it’s a great way to start your career in sales. If you can learn the skills and traits that improve SDR success, you’ll quickly begin climbing the ranks.
So what are those skills that you’ll need to do to become one of the top SDRs at your organization?
In sales, there’s always something more you can do. There’s always calls to make, prospects to follow up with, or relationships to develop. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to sales, but successful SDRs know what to prioritize and when.
Because an SDR’s primary goal is finding new customers, most of your time should be spent either prospecting or preparing to prospect.
To maximize your selling time, look for ways to streamline or automate tasks.
For instance, gathering names, emails, and phone numbers for prospects is something that you have to do, but it doesn’t have to be something that takes all of your time. Your sales engagement platform (SEP), like Outreach, can make that process easier and faster.
If you have a quota, you may think you already have a clear goal, but you need to go further.
Do you know the numbers you have to hit each week to meet your quota? What about each day?
Most importantly, do you know what tasks you need to do each day to stay on track?
For example, say you have a quarterly quota to generate 60 demos. That may seem like a lot, but 60 demos a quarter means you need 20 demos per month. With an average of 20 workdays in the month, that means you need to schedule one demo each day to stay on track.
Let’s break it down even further. If you initiate a conversation with 1 out of every 5 people you call, and if you convert, on average, 1 in 4 of those conversations to demos, then you need to make 20 calls per day to meet your quarterly quota.
To keep track, create daily activity goals for yourself so you know exactly where you are in relation to your quota.
Doing this will focus your attention on activities that will actually move you closer to your goal, and your quotas won’t seem nearly as overwhelming.
You should know, live, and breathe your product so you can easily explain to others how it’s right for them.
Dive into the details of your product, ask your manager questions, and look for customer feedback.
We’re not talking about knowing all the technical specs, although you should know those too. You need to know how your product impacts your customers’ lives and what problem(s) it solves.
Develop a passion for your product (and how it can help your customers), and you’ll have a much easier time selling it.
Sales is all about communication — with the prospect, with your team, and with your manager.
For some, communication skills come easier than for others, but however your communication skills are right now, you should always be working to improve them.
Start by mastering these 5 key sales communication skills:
Listen more, talk less
Send clear and concise emails
Use different channels comfortably (phone, email, social media, etc)
Avoid sounding like a salesperson
Ask for feedback
That’s all easier said than done, but luckily there are tons of articles, books, and resources out there to help you communicate clearly and persuasively. Our favorites include:
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Words that Work by Frank Luntz
In the end, the best way to become better at communicating is to practice. Talk with your boss, your coworkers, your prospects, even your friends and family, and view every conversation as a learning opportunity to up your communication game.
One of the best things you can do to be more successful as an SDR is to use Outreach.
The SEP features automate repetitive tasks, while the Outreach Galaxy integrations streamline your processes.
Outreach syncs with your calendar to make it easier to set clear goals for yourself and stay accountable to them.
The platform even makes communicating with your prospects and team easier by allowing you to automate personalized email campaigns, and allowing you to jump in and take personal control whenever you need (remember #1?)
If you want to be on top of your SDR game, make sure Outreach is your best friend.