What Is a Sales Development Representative?

What sales development representatives do and why they are important.
What Is a Sales Development Representative?
One of the most important roles in B2B companies is the role of the sales development representative, also known as an SDR. SDRs make revenue for businesses which is what makes them so principal. Here you will learn the ins and outs of being an SDR and how to be a great one.

What Is a Sales Development Representative?

A sales development representative is a salesperson who qualifies leads and generates opportunities. This person will have a quota to reach usually every month or quarter. It's met by contacting potential customers through phone calls, emails and LinkedIn outreach.

An SDR should have knowledge of the company's products and services they are selling. They should also be able to communicate the value propositions of the company they're selling for.

The best SDRs are those who know what makes the product special and who the product is special for.

Why does a specific customer need the product you are selling them? How will the product you are selling them help them?

These are questions that top-notch SDRs ask themselves when reaching out to prospects.

Once you understand the answers to those questions, SDRs need to target the right people for outreach. These are called prospects and leads, both terms are slightly different from each other. A prospect is a potential customer who you think has interest in your product or service. A lead is a prospect that has shown interest and needs more training before they are ready to buy the product or service. It's like when someone visits a website for the first time but hasn't purchased yet.

The best ways to target prospects and leads are by using sales tools such as LinkedIn SalesNav.

The most effective way for SDRs to make their meeting quota is through a process called lead nurturing. Between touchpoints with leads, SDRs do various things like sending them an email or a LinkedIn message to keep in touch with them.

While gathering prospects - aka "prospecting" - is an important part of the role, the best SDRs are those who also nurture their prospects. Many SDRs attribute most of their meetings to prospects who responded to their fifth touch, not their first.

What Do SDRs Do?

The main role of the SDR is to book meetings with prospects and leads so they can meet with someone else in your organization. Generally, this is someone who sells products and services directly to the lead. The SDR books the meeting, someone else usually takes the meeting.

Depending on what organization you're working with, the person taking that meeting can be anyone from another SDR themself to the VP of Sales. In B2B sales, it typically takes more than one salesperson to make a sale.

The goal of the meeting is to see if the prospect should become a lead or not. If not, your next step would be to pass on them and keep looking for more prospects who are ready to buy.

The methods of outreach performed by SDRs are largely dependent on the business they are working for. Some organizations prefer SDRs to spend most of their time cold-calling. Others prefer SDRs to spend most of their time emailing and doing LinkedIn outreach.

Companies have SDRs that send email campaigns, also known as email sequences. Email campaigns are a series of sales emails sent to prospects. The emails and subject lines should be catchy and communicate the product's value proposition.

Sales development representatives that cold-call have scripts that they read from to make a sales pitch. The most effective scripts include openers, questions to gauge interest in the product or service but also a way of asking for commitment.

Why Should I Be an SDR?

There are many reasons why being a sales development representative is appealing, especially in 2021 and beyond.

For starters, there are a plethora of SDR opportunities that are done remotely. Remote work SDR roles are perfect for sales representatives who want to take care of their family or work from home.

Sales development is high-impact and low-pressure. Sales development doesn't make you meet with people face-to-face as much as other sales roles do. So if sales meetings make you nervous or anxious, then being an SDR as opposed to having another role in sales is a better fit.

Sales development is a stepping stone. Sales reps who want to move into other sales roles can use an SDR role as a launching pad for their next career in sales. Careers in sales can pay very well, SDRs themselves can earn an average salary of almost $50,000 per year. Positions above SDRs - such as sales managers, sales executives, account managers, and vice presidents of sales - earn even more.

Working as an SDR means you're constantly learning and sharpening your skills. Sales development representatives engage in the art of persuasion through writing and speaking. These are life skills that are helpful outside the workplace.

How Can I Become an SDR?

Apply to become verified with SalesPipe and we'll help you get your next job as an SDR.
Post by Noah Levy.
Get started

If you are a company looking for sales growth or a sales rep looking for opportunity, let's chat.