What Makes a Good SDR? The Key Characteristics of a Great Sales Development Rep

July 1, 2023
Business Development

For many sales organizations, the sales development representative or SDR, has become a more pivotal role in how companies generate leads and build revenue.

Here at Key Outreach, we work closely with our SDRs daily to make sure that they are getting all of the support they need. We recently discussed what traits you need to have to be a successful SDR. Here are some traits we came up with.

1. Great Time Management Skills

Working as an SDR, there will be times when you are working in a fast-paced environment. It’s important that you manage your time correctly.

As an SDR, you will constantly be asked to juggle tasks.  You're tasked with emailing your prospects and searching for new ones to connect with. You’ll also have to keep track of upcoming meetings and might have to reschedule some of them. If you want to stay on top of things, it all starts with setting up your calendar. Add reminders to your calendar for tasks like following up with prospects and reporting numbers.

To ensure you dedicate time to nurturing your prospect and looking for new leads, create time blocks within your schedule to dedicate to those tasks. These small changes to your time will set you up for success and pay off in the long run.

2. Coachable SDRs Are Highly Favored

The best SDRs come from individuals willing to learn and improve. Show your account executives and managers your eagerness to learn. Ask questions about the business and what you can do to contribute to the company's goals. Your managers want you to succeed and grow, so make sure you take in the knowledge they give you. Be open to constructive criticism and use it as a positive force to help you get better.

The SDR's role is foundational to becoming an account executive, so look at the work you do for this job as your training for the next step in your sales career. Being coachable goes a long way to a successful career in sales

3. Become Experts in Your Industry

As an SDR, you represent the first dialogue between your company and a prospect. The last thing you want to do is reach out to those who don’t know how to speak their language.

To be a great SDR, a great SDR candidate, or be part of a great SDR team, you need to become an expert in the industry you are prospecting in.

Not all industries are similar. If you are going to reach out to lead, you want to understand what problems occur and how you can provide a solution. Look to learn more about the common KPIs companies in those industries are trying to hit. be within those.

If you become an expert within your industry, you can create complex ideas that will entice your leads to take a meeting with you. Experts can turn industry learnings into easy-to-understand concepts. That’s what will separate you from the pack.

4. Fail with Grace

To be frank, the sales world isn’t always the easiest environment to work in. Sometimes you’ll have weeks where you haven’t set any meetings for your account executive. After sending dozens of emails, you might receive a rejection from people daily. Unfortunately, you might come across someone who isn’t having the best day and might respond with something that can bring down your morale for the job.

If you want to succeed within the role, you need to embrace your failures and keep finding ways to achieve your goals. Be open to sharing your failures with your team. One of your teammates could be dealing with a similar issue and could open up a discussion on what the team can do better.

It’s not easy to pick yourself up when things aren’t going your way, but if you can, you can do anything in an SDR position. As they say, tough times don’t last. Tough people do. Top SDRs Use their failures to motivate themselves to be the best in their role. Your company will be impressed when you start driving quality leads.

As the SDR role continues to grow, more sales organizations will continue to look to them to generate more leads for their company.  They represent the first line of communication between your company and potential opportunities. If nurtured correctly, their dialogue can lead to fruitful relationships with prospects.

Want to turn great SDRs into extraordinary ones? Our sales reps have tons of cold call, active listening, and sales process experience. Our sales professionals will help you reach all your sales quotas. Learn more about how Key Outreach’s process can empower your sales team to prospect better, smarter, and faster.

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