Want to be an SDR?
Maybe you’re on the fence, weighing your career options in each hand?
Fear not. We’re here to guide you through 5 reasons to start a career as an SDR.
Sales can get a bad rep as difficult work, and we’re not going to lie to you, it’s not for everybody.
However, a career that begins as an SDR offers many benefits that go beyond the fat paycheck you’ve probably heard about. It offers life skills that can propel you to other opportunities.
Sales can even teach you life lessons and give you the confidence to overcome challenges unrelated to the field.
That said, let’s explore the main 5 reasons to start a career as an SDR.
1. Develop key interpersonal skills
There’s some kernel of truth to stereotypes, or at least those about salespeople. If you imagine someone in sales, they’re charismatic right? You know, slick with words? They know how to read people?
This is because it’s largely true. In order to work with people, you have to understand how to approach them. As such, success in sales depends on certain interpersonal and communication skills.
It’s possible someone in the B2B space will find some success playing the numbers game and simply rolling the dice, but this is unsustainable and falling fast out of fashion.
The most successful sales professionals are tuned into what their prospect cares about and how they act. Only then can they begin a conversation where the buyer is interested in what they have to say.
Your value proposition won’t land unless you know how to send it. Here’s a quick run through some of the most important interpersonal skills related to sales:
Everyone’s favorite buzzword these days. People like it when you can see things from their perspective. By understanding how they live and feel, you’re better equipped to help them out.
Paying full, careful attention to what your prospect is saying with words (or body language) will not only provide insight into how they act, but it’ll make you stand out. Remember: interested people are interesting people.
This almost goes without saying. Being specific, transparent, and honest is the foundation of an excellent B2B relationship (or any, for that matter). You’ll waste less of everybody’s time.
And by demonstrating some vulnerability in asking straightforward questions about topics you don’t fully understand, they’re more likely to trust you on those you do.
These skills are often required for the job, but they can be taught. Like any line of work, the more you do it the more you’ll learn. Sales is no different.
Your day-to-day interactions with prospects are fertile ground to develop these critical interpersonal skills.
2. Cultivate business acumen
Otherwise known as business sense, business acumen is your holistic understanding of business issues and the ability to use that knowledge to accomplish an enterprise’s business objectives.
Basically, the art of the deal.
Some distinguishing traits of business acumen include foresight into the logistics of a choice and how it affects all parties, seeing the big picture of an organization, a shrewd assessment of risks, and decisiveness.
Financial literacy is another trait that comes with a keen business sense, as understanding the drivers of growth and how to create value are essential components of well-developed business acumen.
Naturally, sales at its core is business development. By selling, you pick up on the ins and outs of what it takes to close a deal, even if you as an SDR aren’t necessarily the one doing the closing.
As an SDR in B2B sales, you’ll learn more than the sales process. By prospecting, qualifying, and eventually attracting leads you’ll discover what a buyer looks like and the fundamentals of how businesses make decisions.
Additionally, getting familiar with various pain points across industries and how to create fruitful relationships between parties also fosters business acumen.
We can keep going, but as you can see, business acumen comes with the job.
3. Learn resilience
Among the many things you can expect to encounter in a career in sales, none are perhaps as likely as rejection. Depending on how look at it (and ultimately take it), rejection doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Sure, at first it doesn’t feel nice, but failure can be a wonderful teacher.
An SDR is the first in line. As the first contact of outreach, SDRs are the face of an organization. They are the vanguard, and according to the math, are the most likely to be turned around with a barrage of “no”s.
Obviously, the work of prospecting and qualifying leads would ideally reduce the amount of rejection, but we live in an imperfect world where it’s a part of life for even the top SDRs.
Resilience is generally defined as the ability to bounce back from difficulty or misfortune. It’s toughness.
Enough experience in any customer-facing line of work is sure to help you build social callouses as your daily work submits you to the vast range of personalities and moods you find in the world. Managing this social friction and developing strategies to reduce it where possible is also resilience.
A day in the life of an SDR will have its challenges, but if they’re taken as opportunities to learn, they’ll not only be easier to bear, they’ll help you grow into a more determined person.
After all, progress is shaped by taking risks outside your comfort zone. Few careers embody the progress of being rejected and moving on with your head held high than that of an SDR.
4. Become a subject matter expert
You have to know what you’re talking about as a sales professional.
You have to understand your prospect’s business, no doubt, but you can’t start selling without complete knowledge of your product, service, or industry.
In their own way, salespeople are specialists. They possess a hyper-focused understanding of what they sell in order to reach a niche market. Additionally, they need to use their subject expertise to persuade.
So not only do they have to be an expert on a topic, they have to be convincing.
This is a highly sought-after blend of skill sets that come with being an SDR.
In fact, being a subject matter expert comes with an assortment of benefits. These include better pay due to qualifications and education and less competition in the job market.
For example, let’s say you’re an SDR for a SaaS company. The knowledge you’ll develop of your product and the SaaS industry at large is invaluable for your career.
Being a specialist is an inevitable result of becoming an SDR. Your experience prospecting and selling in a specific field, much less working, will pay dividends for any career but especially in sales.
5. Build your network
Finally, the first steps you take as an SDR will introduce you to other professionals from all kinds of different backgrounds.
As we mentioned before, sales is people-oriented work. You’ll be speaking to and working with a wide range of titles from entry-level specialists to C-level executives.
Expanding your network is an essential part of being an SDR. Prospecting will have you reaching out to hundreds of contacts. On LinkedIn or any other social media platform, your network is saved and documented.
Ultimately, in your role as an SDR, you’ll be asking for referrals, organizing contacts, and building credibility through carefully researched outreach. Your reputation is what’s important, but you’ll develop the tools to manage it.
You don’t need us to remind you how valuable a strong network is for a career. People and relationships are the keys to remaining agile when building a body of experience and opportunity.
The meaningful interactions you’ll refine will extend beyond your duties as an SDR. They’ll carry your professional goals by word of mouth or online engagement.
The lessons and skills here are just a few of the reasons to start a career as an SDR. If a career in sales sounds like a good fit for you, be sure to check out our careers page. We’re always looking at applications, so apply today if you’re ready to take your next professional step.