The War Room

What does it take to become a great SDR?

I have been working for a company as an SDR for about 8 months. Myself and the rest of the sales team are about at the same level and bring in similar rates of business.

I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to become a better SDR. I would like to be on the fast track to promotion but how do I supersede my colleagues to make sure I am top pick to get the first promotion.

Anything would help, thanks!

🎈 Mentorship
🚀 Career Goals
✌️ Growing Pains
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
Truly understand your products and offerings. Go from saying enough to book the meeting etc, to being able to add a value prop and possible next steps. Deep understanding of the product has never held anyone back. 
Chief Revenue Officer
I'm going to give you the advice that everyone thinks they want to hear, but is usually a harsh reality.  If you want to get ahead of your peers, the first step is understanding that you are going to have to make sacrifices in other parts of your life to push forward your career.  There is no being "the best" and having "work life balance".  You can't expect to stand out from the crowd, if you aren't willing to go extra mile and give up some things that they may not be willing to give.    Once you make that decision, here goes:  

1) Invest in yourself - start consuming a shit ton of content.  Content about sales, content about leadership, content about the industry you sell too, content about mental health. Find a mentor(s) spend time with them, understand the ups and downs they've experienced on the path you are currently on.  

2) If you aren't standing out from the rest of the noise, you are the noise - but you CAN'T sacrifice quantity for quality.  Anyone can blast out 100 shitty templated emails, conversely, anyone can send out 2 highly customized ones - the secret sauce is in personalization/customization at SCALE.   If your leadership won't let you customize and wants you to blast out a ton of garbage with genero templated "sequences" then get out of dodge, life is too short to work for folks who aren't helping you be great. 

3) Don't ride the rollercoaster.  Sales is mentally grueling, there is a reason the compensation structure is the way it is in our profession  One thing I can assure you, is that some days/week/months, you will feel invincible, and some days/weeks/months you'll feel like the world is crashing down around you.  You need to train your brain to not ride the highs and lows of emotion, and simply focus on the processes you've built to get you to your goal.  If your constantly chasing the dopamine hit of "closing a deal" or "hooking a meeting" you are setting yourself up to CRASH during inevitable slumps.  

4) Surround yourself with people who think like you/want what you want.   Early in my career, I hung out with a ton of negative people who were always complaining, and never doing anything about it, and the time I spent with them was time sitting in the middle of the pack on the sales board.  My VP of Sales sat me down and asked me "why I continue to hang around with people who bring me down" - it struck a chord and I started associating myself with a more positive, passionate crew.  This was a turning point in my career, and one of the keys to unlocking growth for me (personally and professionally). 

A lot to take in here, but I hope this is helpful, not only for you - but the others who have this question at the early parts of their careers. 
Sales operations for SaaS Corp
Resilience, persistence, sleuthing skills to sniff out the good leads, and a good personality . Being a good listener also goes a long way.  If you want to respond to this comment with what sector/industry you are working in or a specific thing you’re looking to improve. I would be happy to give more specific actionable take-a-ways. 
Huge Question: Lots of Avenues.

Here is ONE avenue - aside from numbers and revenue (being at the top helps).

Provide feedback to everyone on everything.

In a zoom meeting if they ask a question, respond. Be fully engaged in everything the company/leaders put out to the team. 

You want to show leadership or "Team Lead" qualities. 

Offer 1:1 times with your team. Not an 'I will coach you', but show initiative to collaborate. 
account executive
Constantly iterate and refine your approach especially when it comes to cold calling. Theres always something to tweek and improve on e.g. using less words or making sure with every call your providing relevance.
You'll be doing the same as an AE but in much more broader sense
WR Officer
Needer of Life Alert
Creativity, patience,  and nerves of steel. I'd also add become an expert on your product line before reaching out to prospects.
Celebrated Contributor
Senior Account Executive
Love these questions coming in the boss SDRs out there. This is similar to another one I commented on regarding how to impress an AE/ excuse the cut-n-paste but I think they translate:

-Be creative and personal in outreach; use different platforms and correspond personally, not canned templates from Marketing. 
-Maintain good communication with the AE regarding progress in target accounts and responses. 
-Invest in relationship with channel partners and team with them in targeted efforts in similar accounts. 
-Take detailed notes (when applicable) on calls, either with or without the AE being present. 
-Be proactive in offering to assist in data consolidation efforts that could help an AE be more tactical based on industry, revenue, M&A, org changes, common partners, etc etc. Yes, it’s busy work...but the “divide and conquer” approach is most efficient, and a big help. 

Just a few off the top of my head; things that I tried to do as an SDR and ones I greatly appreciate as an AE. 

+1 for even asking the question, though. Keep grinding!
Fire Starter
If you make sure that everything you do is trackable, repeatable, and scaleable. Don’t do anything in a vacuum. It’s easy to loose connection, especially in these trying times🤣, so take it upon yourself to tie up any and all loose ends. If you do this and remember if it’s not Scalable than it’s not worth doing, you’ll go far. 
AEs.. How long did it take you in your previous position (BDR, AM, etc.) to get to a closing role?
Does being a good SDR mean you will be a good AE?
AEs of the world: What would make you take an SDR position?