What Is an SDR? Main Functions and Skills

Reading time5 minutes
Jaqueline Corradi
Jaqueline Corradi
Content Manager

SDR is short for sales development representative, a profession that has evolved over the years and with technology growth. But, do you know what an SDR does and what it takes to become one?

In this article, you will learn about the SDR role in a company, its importance, and how you can be successful in this profession.

What Is an SDR?

An SDR, sales development representative, whose main role is sales prospecting, searches, identifies, analyzes, and qualifies leads. Unlike sales executives responsible for closing sales, the SDR deals with leads by conducting customer research, educating prospects, and helping them move through the sales funnel.

They work with prospects in the early stages of the customer journey and study them to know how to approach each lead. SDRs use analytics tools to develop data-driven strategies so sales executives can close the deals.

One of the main key performance indicators (KPIs) implemented to analyze sales development representatives' work is the number of qualified leads they deliver.

What an SDR Does

Research and Identify Prospects

A good sales development representative must have a deep knowledge of how the industry they are in works, research the competition and understand the customer journey in the company they work for.

Besides, it's important to get to know the brand's target audience, analyze their behavior, identify ways to find prospects, identify them, and develop tactics to catch their attention. It's necessary to gather their names, create actions to collect their contact information/

Connect with Prospects

After the SDR has identified the prospects, studied about them, and has their contact information on hand, it's time to connect with them. There are several ways to start a conversation with them, it's up to the SDR to define the best one.

For example, they can connect via:

  • Personalized emails
  • Phone calls
  • Social media messages
  • In-person conversations at events
  • Voicemails
  • Personalized videos

Educate Prospects

The prospects in the beginning stages of the buyer's journey need to be educated on why and how your products or services can help solve their demands. Therefore, the SDR is also responsible for planning, developing, and sending content that helps answer their doubts.

To be a successful SDR, you need to be prepared to identify the customers' needs and know how to communicate with them so that they see the benefits your product provides.

Qualify Leads

When it comes to "what is an SDR?", another fundamental role of this job is being able to qualify the leads, by identifying how likely they are to make a purchase. That's a very important task because it helps the sales team focus on the most qualified leads, avoiding wasting time on people who aren't ready to make any deals.

When you qualify a lead, you will indicate their stage in the buyer's journey, and what actions must be done to help them move on in the sales pipeline. To do that, an SDR can use several tools such as CRM, and analytics software.

The CRM (customer relationship management) platform enables you to access and analyze the leads' previous interactions, for instance. On the other hand with analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, you can know the sources of traffic in your pages, the most visited pages, and the average time spent on each one.

Communicate with Other Sales Team Members about Identified Opportunities

Another fundamental SDR role is developing a good communication system with the rest of the sales team. Once the SDR qualifies the leads and finds sale opportunities, they must notify the sales reps to continue the conversation and finalize the deals.

SDR Skills

Communication Skills

One of the main SDR functions is connecting with prospects, therefore you must communicate well. Listen actively to understand the prospect's demands, and find the best way to answer them. It's indispensable to communicate clearly and convey confidence,

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is related to the ability of being able to empathize with prospects, which makes it easier to connect with them. Also, emotional intelligence helps to deal with the challenges that come up at work with a clear view, considering the situation from different perspectives, and not allowing stress to take control.

Organizations Skills

If you want to work as an SDR, you must be an organized person. After all, you will deal with a lot of information daily, which you may need to categorize, create charts, and write reports.

Besides, you must be able to organize your tasks by priority, complete them on time, keep track of your performance, and create an effective workflow to get in contact with the prospects and follow up on them.

Problem-Solving Skills

Sales development representatives deal every day with prospects' problems. It's fundamental to know how to assess each situation, consider its context, and provide the best solutions.

Marketing Channels Knowledge

You will also use multiple marketing channels, such as social media platforms, email, and live chat. Therefore, it's important to know and comprehend how to use them effectively.

Know How to Use CRM Tools

Another required skill of SDRs is proficiency with CRM platforms. You are likely to use them every day, so you need to know how to make the best use of their tools.

How to Be a Successful Sales Development Representative

Now that you know what is an SDR if you want to pursue this career, it's fundamental to be curious, eager to learn, and seek proper training. It's also necessary to gain experience in the sales sector before applying to be a sales development representative and build a professional network.

When you become an SDR, remember to keep improving and being always up to date with the latest trends in the sector.

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