When I first started my job as an SDR, I had no idea what I was doing. I was lucky enough to have a great mentor who taught me everything I needed to know about being successful in this role. If you want to know how to be a good SDR, this is the guide for you. Learn everything from organization to time management tips that will help make sure you’re successful in your role.

How to Be a Good SDR

The job of SDRs isn’t easy – it requires a specific personality.

As any SDR will attest, the first few months of the job can feel like being thrown in at the deep end of a pool. This initial period can be particularly daunting, leaving many new SDRs to question whether they will ever be able to succeed at their job.

Continue reading to get some tips on how to be a good SDR!

What does an SDR do?

Sales development reps are measured on their ability to move leads through the sales pipeline. They focus on nurturing quality leads over closing deals. On the other hand, sales reps are measured on their ability to close deals that meet or exceed their quota for a given period. Although the two are different, these roles rely on each other to meet their individual and business goals.

From start to finish, the inside sales team structure functions like this: The marketing team sends lead information to the SDRs. The SDRs are responsible for qualifying and nurturing leads until they’re ready to make a purchase. Sales reps take over at this stage to position the right products at the right time to close the deal.

This simple workflow serves as the foundation for most sales operations, but that doesn’t mean an SDR role will be a walk in the park. You’ll need a specific set of soft and hard skills to become a successful SDR. 

SDR Skills

1. Video Prospecting

Video prospecting is a term that has been around for a while, but it’s still very popular. Video prospecting is targeted outreach that takes two minutes and is done in a video format. The prospect can connect with you individually, unlike a phone call or email.

An SDR does not need to be a technical expert or a movie star to create effective videos. They need to feel comfortable on the screen and be interested in meeting the prospect in a follow-up conversation. You can practice creating short, engaging clips where you introduce yourself and offer value with a quick tip. Then ask for a call.

2. Listening and adapting

How can SDRs add value to a sales process becoming increasingly automated yearly, especially in the prospecting stages?

To me, active listening is the answer. An SDR and prospect should have a genuine, helpful interaction. It shouldn’t be robotic and forced.

No matter what product your company sells, you need to be aware of phrases that could indicate a prospect might be a good fit. Active listening is key. Active listening is a flexible and empathic SDR that focuses on gathering valuable information to help prospects further down the pipeline rather than checking lead qualification boxes.

3. Follow-up

SDRs prefer to speak with prospects over the phone. However, sometimes a voicemail can be a better option.

An SDR must be able to leave a quality voicemail. This is a crucial skill that requires practice. Do not just log activity in your CRM. Be committed to quality touchpoints across all activities that you do to move prospects through the pipeline

4. Resilience

SDRs have a difficult job, it’s clear. SDRs are unlike sales reps, whose main goal is to close sales deals. They spend most of their time sending emails and calling. It can be exhausting.

Staying positive, besides the hard skills we have reviewed, is a soft skill that cannot be taught in a book. Resilience takes practice. If you feel discouraged or flat, it will show over the phone. Your prospect will pick up on your low energy.

Bad calls can happen to anyone, but we must learn from them. It’s okay to feel frustrated, regardless of whether a prospect is rude or you made an error. It would be best if you didn’t let those feelings stop you from calling the next prospects. 

5. Coachable

Coachability is one of the most important skills we assess at HubSpot when interviewing SDR candidate candidates. Although confidence is important, an SDR’s ability to receive and implement honest feedback can be hindered by ego.

The best SDRs seek guidance from high-performing peers and seek honest feedback from their managers. While it is best to get real-time feedback, you can also compile a list of all the questions and challenges you faced during the week and share them with your manager during a scheduled meeting.

6. Self-Aware

Self-awareness is key to resilience and coachability. You will need to be aware of your strengths to provide the best experience for your prospect as an SDR. You can develop strategies to deal with rejections or bad calls when you know what you are good at and what you can grow.

This self-awareness will allow you and your sales manager to analyze your performance, both the wins and the setbacks, and reflect on what went well.

SDRs who are self-aware will seek feedback from their managers and colleagues. Instead of taking constructive or negative feedback personally, they will gain a deeper understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth.

7. Organized

Although processes can vary from one person to another, they are essential for staying organized. Schedule management allows SDRs to manage their time and prioritize the tasks that are important to their success (e.g., email outreach, calls, or meetings).

They can write to-do lists or use calendar management software to create their schedules. This will help them to manage their outreach and interactions with prospects.

8. Curiosity

SDRs who succeed are curious and eager for new knowledge. Not only will it help them in their current job, but it will also help them as they progress in their careers.

SDRs need to be knowledgeable about the products and services they sell. They also need to have a good understanding of the buyer personas and common challenges that prospects face. It is easy to find new information, often free of charge, through your company’s resources, blogs, sales professionals’ training sessions, industry events, and meetings among colleagues. Great SDRs should prioritize learning as a continuous process.

9. Relationship-building

Your job as an SDR is to prepare a prospect for sale and then turn them over to your account manager to close the deal. SDRs who are effective can build trust and relationships with prospects.

To be a successful relationship-builder, you must be able to communicate with a wide variety of people across multiple channels. You must communicate clearly with your contacts, whether presenting to them in a virtual meeting or emailing them.

10. Be able to overcome objections

This is the last skill that every great sales rep I know has learned. It’s handling objections. 35% of sales reps believe overcoming price objections is their biggest challenge. But that doesn’t mean you have to.

Most reps become better at overcoming objections over time as they learn more about their business and see their work in innovative ways. You can position these solutions to remove a prospect’s pain point and build trust with them, which is a key factor in determining whether they will buy.

How To Become A Successful SDR: Tips and Best Practices 

Sales Development Representative (SDR) – What You Need to Know to Become a Top SDR

The sales development representative (SDR) role is a great way to start your career in sales. You’ll quickly begin climbing the ranks if you can learn the skills and traits that improve SDR success.

Here are some tips for becoming a good SDR?

1. Utilize your time well

In the world of selling, there are always more things you can do. There are always more phone calls you can make, more follow-ups you can schedule, and more business relationships you can develop.

It can be tough, but SDRs who prioritize and know when to spend their time most effectively are the most successful.

As an SDR, your primary goal is finding new customers. You should spend most of your time either prospecting or preparing to prospect. To maximize your selling time, look for ways to streamline or automate tasks.

Find ways to shorten or simplify your sales process to make the most of your sales opportunities.

Gathering contact information from your prospects doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

Your (sales) Engagement Platform (like [company name]) can streamline this process.

2. Set daily activity goals

If you have a sales target, you might think you have a goal, but you must take it further.

Do you know what your weekly and daily quotas are?

Do you know what actions you need to take daily to stay focused?

Sixty demos are 20 monthly, meaning you’ll need 20 new sales each month.

With 20 work days in a month, you’ll need to schedule at least one sales appointment per day to stay on track.

If you make 20 phone calls daily, and 1 in 4 turns into demo requests, then you’ll need to make 20 daily calls for your quarter.

Keep track of your daily progress by setting goals for how many phone calls you need to make each day.

To stay on track, set daily activity goals for yourself to monitor your progress against your quota. This will help you focus on activities that will bring you closer to your goal, making your quotas seem more manageable.

3. Schedule your days, weeks, and months

Every SDR has short-term goals and long-term goals that they need to meet. Your long-term goal should be your top priority, as this is what determines your salary.

You will need to reach a certain number of accounts this month to achieve your target. You will also need to set up or attend several meetings during the month. You will want to achieve your target during a specific week of this month.

Once you’ve planned your week, you can move on to your daily tasks. Some of the tasks you can complete include:

When you have a plan for the month, it is much easier to focus on your weekly goals. You can use this time to follow up with prospects, build your contact list, and reach out to potential customers.

Additionally, you can use this time to plan for holidays that may be coming up. Having a plan helps you stay organized and on track to achieve your goals.

Finally, it would be best if you organized days so you can meet your monthly and weekly goals and reach your daily quotas. You need to make a plan in the morning, prioritize your activities and check for any meetings and callbacks.


If you follow the tips on how to be a good SDR, you’ll be well on your way to success. Remember to stay organized, focus on your time management, and always learn. And if you ever need any help, don’t hesitate to reach out to your mentor.

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was generated for LeadFuze and attributed to Justin McGill, the Founder of LeadFuze.