5 tips for becoming a successful SDR

Posted February 11, 2020

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By Audrey Weber

Associate Content Editor at Outreach

Although its 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, its 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 youll need to do to become one of the top SDRs at your organization?

Tips For SDR Success

1. Make the Most of Your Time

In sales, theres always something more you can do. Theres always calls to make, prospects to follow up with, or relationships to develop. It can be overwhelming, especially if youre new to sales, but successful SDRs know what to prioritize and when.

Because an SDRs 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.

2. Create Daily Activity Goals

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.

Lets 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 wont seem nearly as overwhelming.

3. Be a Passionate Product Expert

You should know, live, and breathe your product so you can easily explain to others how its right for them.

Dive into the details of your product, ask your manager questions, and look for customer feedback.

Were 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 youll have a much easier time selling it.

4. Become a Master Communicator

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

Thats 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:

  • Sales Hacker’s blog
  • 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.

5. Make Outreach Your Best Friend

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.


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