7 Habits You Need in Order to Know how to Be a Good SDR

First, let’s talk about the importance of developing these habits.

SDRs are often faced with the dilemma of being highly educated, yet still have to keep their jobs in perspective.

Though it’s an entry-level job, the position is often complex because of both sales and marketing skills that are needed. It can be a great way to start your career in tech.

I created a list of 7 habits that our Sales Development Team can focus on. They’re all daily and weekly tasks, so if you have anything to add, comment below!


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

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:Ā 

  • 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. šŸ˜€

How to be a Good SDR: Own Your Time

When you ask a salesperson how their day has been, they will likely say “busy”.

That’s because there is always something to do in sales, but just because you are able to attend meetings or work on tasks does not mean that it is necessary.

Successful SDRs know the right order and what to do first.

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.” ~ Steve Jobs

One way to make sure you are doing your work is by understanding what you need to do, setting aside the time for it in advance and not letting anyone else take that time away from you.

Now, in a junior sales role, you should focus on prospecting. When your not doing that or when you’re procrastinating it ask yourself: “Do I really need to do this right now? Can I get out of it?”

How to make the most of your 8-hour workday:

  • Prospecting takes up a lot of the day and it’s important to be strategic about how you do so.
  • I can’t believe how much time is wasted in meetings, training and other activities each day.

Even if you think your schedule is set, don’t rule out the possibility of changes.

One unexpected event could change your schedule and force you to decide if it’s worth cutting into time for prospecting.

Two of the most common time sinks and how to get rid of them:

Get out of meetings:

It may be uncomfortable, but you can talk to your manager about the issue.

If you want to show your commitment, you can ask for more time during the day. As long as it doesn’t affect their workday, they should be okay with this.

When you miss a meeting, spin it to make yourself seem like the hero. Say that your absence will help the team and in turn they’ll be able to share their ideas with everyone.

Streamline lead operations:

I have to prepare prospect data at least once a month, so it’s worth streamlining.

Can you outsource the work of preparing a list? Can your Sales Ops team help you enter data into salesforce before starting prospecting for that month?

If you keep streamlining your Lead Operations, it will not be a time thief for you. Streamline as many Lead Operations tasks as possible to save yourself from wasting time.

Sales is like a high-intensity workout. It’s not an endurance test, so you should aim for eight hours of hard work rather than 12. Prospects don’t generally buy from exhausted salespeople who are just grinding it out at their desk.

How to be a Good SDR: Let Reporting be Your Favorite Habit

You might be a salesperson because you love the thrill of starting conversations and negotiating deals.

I’m not sure why the point of The Wolf of Wall Street was missed. Sure, reports aren’t glamorous work, but it’s often what makes a lot more difference in any workplace.

A clear, crisp report is often the only good thing a team has to remember about you. It’s also one of the few constants through both up and down times as it shows responsibility.

“Reporting on your pipeline is key for tracking your own progress and rolls up to forecast if the business is on-track to hit the targets your CEO has committed to the board.” ~ Jes Huang, SDR Manager at Culture Amp

That’s why it’s important to spend time on reports, even if you only have 30 seconds for a brief update with your boss.

Keep them short, and if they’re interested in the position, most people will follow up with questions.

What to include in a well-rounded report:

  • I have a pipeline that is created, or I am in the process of creating it. This means my new sales are coming from this pipeline.
  • In the past, my team’s pipeline has been higher than what we were actually able to close.
  • Calls per month (Goal/Actual)
  • Value of accounts in each stage of your prospecting funnel: Researching Prospecting Sales Qualified Account (SQA) Opportunity (aka demo booked)
  • Researching
  • Prospecting
  • Sales Qualified Account (SQA)
  • Opportunity (aka demo booked)

To really make the most out of your meeting, create a report beforehand that you can fill in with numbers. Make sure to flag any issues and possible solutions before the meeting begins.

It’s important to talk with your manager before a big team meeting so they can give you feedback and help you make any necessary adjustments.

How to be a Good SDR: Always Spend Time in the Office

While most of us work in modern offices, we do see senior AEs come and go. They can be found working remotely or traveling for sales meetings.

In a transient environment, it is easy to go offline and not think anyone will care.

But resist the temptation. You will learn so much more by actually being in the office than if you were to work from home all of the time.

You’ll also be able to tell people who you are and what your job is.

If you feel that working from home helps your productivity, it’s important to be clear with your team about when and where you’ll work.

Also, make yourself visible on Slack or other team chat service. So your teammates don’t have to ask where you are and can collaborate with you more easily.

How to be a Good SDR: Define Activity Goals

The goal is to reach the endpoint by completing a certain number of tasks.

Counting calls is a great example of an activity goal, and while it may seem like something you would see in Boiler Room (or Count von Count depending on your entertainment tastes) this type of tracking can be powerful to help keep track.

“Quality conversations with prospects drive qualified demos. If you are tracking what times you are making calls and how they are converting it will give you a good indicator of how many demos you will book. Analyze your data and execute on top of that.” ~ Morgan J. Ingram, Host of #TheSDRChronicles

If you make 20 calls per day, and the average call is 4 minutes long with 1 in 5 conversations turning into a demo, then out of those demos there will be one $50k sale. That means for every month there are 20 days (20 workdays), an employer can expect to get at least 6 sales.

A lack of clear activity goals can leave you with time to spend doing other things that don’t result in demos. Activity goals help make sure you focus on the right activities, and adjust accordingly.

How to be a Good SDR: Understand How People is Helped by Your Company

When you are an SDR, it is important to have good time management habits. You also need to work on your activity goals and report them at the end of each day.

When you’re talking to a prospect, keep these questions in mind: -What are your biggest challenges? -How could we help with those challenges? -Do you have any other needs that might be related or unrelated to what we can offer now?

What persona are you reaching out to?

When it comes to sales, consider the type of buyer you are working with.

This is a generalized picture of your ideal customer. It includes information like their job title and responsibilities, what they hope to achieve in the future, where they are struggling now.

A persona is a type of person you are trying to reach in the market. A VP Sales cares about different things than someone who has operations responsibilities.

What is the prospect’s pain point? What are the causes?

Someone who is interviewing for a job should be armed with as much knowledge about the company and position before going into an interview.

When you call a prospect, be sure to think about what their problem is before the call. If they have more than one issue, try and figure out which is most pressing.

Here’s how I would go about finding prospects to grow my sales team.

What solutions are currently available to the prospect?

The prospect may be frustrated with the solution they came across, or they might think it’s impossible to solve their issue.

You should be able to tell the prospect what their options are before they have even asked for them. It is valuable when you can map out all of your solutions and help them place each one in a separate solution bucket.

When you have a lot of knowledge about your market, share it with the prospect.

It might sound simple, but the best way to quickly gain knowledge is by sitting in on demos and product training with your Account Executives as well as your Customer Success team.

Here’s a list of questions to ask your team:

  • How can we make our product work for the customer?
  • Why didn’t they purchase our product before?
  • After we asked them why they switched to our company from their old provider, here is what they told us.
  • Why should you switch to us?

Try to have a meeting with your CSAE team members once per week. Meetings should include one call, demo or kick-off.

How to be a Good SDR: Be a Master Communicator

Communication is essential for sales.

Communicating with the prospect, your team and your manager.

And good communication is about what you say as well as how you present it. Communication in sales, especially with prospects and customers can be difficult to maintain.

Becoming a master communicator is about mastering certain habits.

Send clear and concise emails:

Email writing is a skill that all professionals should have.

It may seem simple, but it’s actually very difficult to find the right tone and write concise messages that get your point across without being too wordy or boring.

The email writing job will also expose you to the world of copywriting, which is a skill that could lead you into marketing. It’s yet another reason why SDRs are such an important place for new hires.

Here’s a link to resources on how you can improve your email game. There are also 7 great subject lines and why they work for attracting new customers.

Talk to prospects comfortably:

The phone is still a viable option for reaching out to prospects.

We found that when we call our prospects during an outreach campaign, it can be just what is needed to get the prospecting cycle going.

It’s important to know what your company does and how it can help the prospect.

To really understand what your customers are looking for, sit in on demos with AEs and listen to customer success calls.

Amass product knowledge:

Demonstrate to your prospective clients how they will be able to use the product in their everyday life.

Culture Amp is an employee feedback platform, but when we train our salespeople to demo the product rather than solve a real-world problem.

When we hear a prospect ask, “Why are our remote employees struggling to stay with us?”, it’s easy for us to help them out right away.

You should avoid any sales tactics, like pushing products that are not necessary or needed.

When you speak with a prospect on the phone, don’t worry about talking quickly. Be calm and use pauses rather than going through your list of talking points.

When you’re talking to someone on the phone, just be yourself and don’t try too hard.

YouTube has a video on diversity and inclusion, where they talk about how it’s important for companies to do their part in making sure the workplace is diverse.

Always ask for feedback:

Your sales team is your built-in helpline for success, so take advantage of it.

Consider playing a role-playing game, where you and your team have to act out what it’s like on the phone with someone who has never heard of our company before.

Ask a manager or teammate to listen in on your calls. Record the call and then play it back for them.

Receiving feedback might feel awkward at first, but it is important to do so for your own development.

Make in-person convos with confidence:

In order to become a successful SDR, you have to be able to present yourself in person and know how to handle public speaking with both small and large groups.

If you’re not sure how good your in-person skills are, think back to a recent group meeting or sit down with an employer. Did you stumble on any questions? Were there moments where it seemed like words got stuck and the right thing to say didn’t come out? Perhaps when someone asked for input from everyone, but no one said anything.

If this happens to you, the same thing may happen during an in-person sales meeting or presentation when you’re a sales executive. What if things go well until somebody asks me something I don’t know?

The ability to ask tough questions will determine how trustworthy you are, which in turn affects the confidence of your prospects and colleagues.

Join a Toastmasters group to brush up on your public speaking skills. Practice going every 2 weeks and then practicing speeches while not being prepared until the last minute.

How to be a Good SDR: Develop a Patient yet Curious Mindset

Starting an SDR role can be like diving into the ocean for the first time. Suddenly, there’s a ton of pressure and you’re surrounded by new things that are floating around you. It can be overwhelming or even anxiety-inducing.

Anxiety can really harm your performance, which will cause more anxiety. This could lead to a vicious cycle of anxiety that just gets worse and worse.

Turning anxiety into curiosity is a way to master your mindset. If you’re anxious, think of it as worrying about the future; if curious, thinking of wondering what’s going to happen in the future.

Examples of mind-mastery in action:

  • I have anxiety because I don’t know why my reply rates are so low.
  • I’m curious to figure out why I don’t get the reply rates that I want. Can I AB test my subject lines?
  • I get anxious when I’m not sure what the prospect cares about and how to engage them in a productive conversation.
  • Curiosity: I want to know what prospects care about and how they might react if we reached out. Can my AE team tell me what has been successful?

Curiosity always leads to action, but anxiety and worry are usually paralyzing.

“Stop rushing. You can still maintain a sense of urgency without rushing. Where do you need to be but right here, right now? It’s not quantity of life, but quality.” ~ Ralph Barsi

These habits are surprisingly powerful when applied on a daily basis.

Set Aside Time to Practice These 7 Habits on How to be a Good SDR

The best way to show appreciation for a Sales Development Representative is not with money, but by making sure they have the tools and resources needed to succeed.

Working as an SDR is a great opportunity to hone your sales skills and contribute to the company. It can be overwhelming sometimes, but it’s also rewarding.

Sales Development Representatives can help themselves and their teammates, they just need to work on these seven habits. These habits will accelerate the development of a SDR while helping them navigate through metrics and cold calls as well as performance reviews.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

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:Ā 

  • 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. šŸ˜€
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? Iā€™d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.