The profile of a Sales Development Representative

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The profile of a Sales Development Representative

Is it worth it to hire a sales development rep with experience? What skills are required? Find out exactly what to look for in an SDR.

SDRs are probably the most important members of your sales team—they find clients “out of thin air”. They’re the first touchpoint in the sales funnel and the first impression of your SaaS.

The role of an SDR forms part of the automatization of a process. It is very intensive, their day-to-day job consists of qualifying leads and contacting prospects (cold-calling) in order to close a meeting with them for account executives (AE). Looking for people who already have years of experience working as an SDR is often counterproductive as it’s something you can really master in just 2 years. In this time period (2 years or less) a good SDR will want to keep climbing the career ladder and become a Business Development Manager (BDM)or an AE, the startups that recruit them have to have the same objective, not only to see an SDR but see them as talent to develop..

That being said, an SDR needs to have commercial traits, empathy, intelligence, and a business mindset to understand who they’re talking to—they’ll need to spark the prospect’s interest with only a few words. As we’ve said, their experience isn’t everything here, which is why we’re talking about young people who are excited to start their professional career. We want them to grow with us.

As the SDRs generally are young and have little experience, to begin with, the following will happen over 12 to 18 months after their initial hire: one-third of them will be promoted to sales positions, another third of them will do their job well but will realize that sales isn’t for them and will choose another career path, and the final third will quit or be let go due to poor performance.

*Some companies look for SDRs with experience as they think their ramp-up time will be shorter and that they’ll close more deals—but this isn’t really true. The time that they save is only two months to fully “ramp up” and they miss out on truly motivated and excited SDRs at the beginning of their careers, compared to those with the experience who work at an average pace. There are always exceptions to this but you need to figure out what is going on with these exceptions—there is a certain type of SDR who moves from one company to the next and while they’re not bad at their job, they’re not excellent either. In the end, companies who hire experienced people for these roles end up with higher staff turnover, expensive costs, and their results don’t increase at the same rate.

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