3 Things Every Sales Development Rep Needs to Know

sales development repIn the last nine months, I’ve made the journey from a floundering sales development representative (SDR) to a much more polished member of the team.

Like a lot of you, I came straight out of college and into a role at a young and expanding company. It’s been fun, but also a serious learning experience.

Here are some of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned so far:

3 Best Practices for Sales Development Reps

1. Be everywhere…but in one place very specifically.

This is easily the most important trick that I’ve learned over the last year on the job. The availability of sales software like Yesware and PersistIQ make it possible to be everywhere. For example, if a prospect has a pain point you can address, you are in their inbox (along with hundreds of others). And that’s great.

But with most prospects, the generic message that often comes with automation will go in one ear and out the other. You’ve got to find a way to rise above the noise. And that means research. Has your company worked with one of their former employers? Did your university recently play their university in football?

Of course, research means time – time when you’re not on the phone. But that time is worth it when you can use it to create personalized messaging that earns you the meeting.

2. Be on the phone…and on LinkedIn and email and Twitter.

A lot of people, from influencers in the sales community to perhaps your own sales leader, insist that one of these avenues is unequivocally the best way to reach your prospects. In reality, like a snowflake, all of your prospects are unique, each responding differently to different types of communications. The only way to make it work with the wide variety of people we deal with day in and day out is to try it all, touching each prospect in a variety of avenues.

As you do this, don’t get discouraged. Yes, many of your calls will go to voicemail. Yes, many of your emails will be deleted. It’s okay, and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time.

Leveraging different avenues is essential to reach the right people, and most touches through most avenues are going to fail. It’s all part of the process.

3. Be persistent…but give yourself a break.

Being an SDR is all about running through walls. Every time a prospect realizes you are trying to sell them something, they throw up their wall. It’s natural and something I do myself outside of work.

Our job is to find a way to smash through that wall and help them understand how our product can add significant value to their day. (In reality, this process is probably more like navigating around or over walls, but I like the smashing visual better.)

Smashing through walls is tough work, so give yourself a break. Make sure you’re having fun, learning something each day and taking a few days off when necessary. Sometimes these are the best things you can do to get you to your goals.

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