This piece is part of our series on sales development, by sales development reps.
I thought of that line and was disgusted with myself at how corny I’ve become. But that doesn’t mean I’m not right.
A job in selling truly exposes you to a little bit of everything. The most obvious of which are presentation skills. But a day in the life goes much deeper than that.
3 Important Skills You Learn in Sales Development
- Life as an SDR requires serious writing chops. Writing concise value propositions to stakeholders with varying priorities is one of the key skills that makes an SDR successful. In many modern inbound-driven organizations, SDRs are also expected to chip in content to help with the marketing team.
- Sales development reps are also expected to develop strong technical skills. Almost all sales these days incorporate highly technical information of some kind. That can range from expertise in anything from software to machinery. But digesting and communicating technical information is a key to success.
- There is also an entire set of professional skills that are much more abstract but equally important. You will hear the word “no” plenty. And you will learn to deal with that failure and keep grinding away. You can’t tell me that learning that kind of tenacity won’t benefit you in the long run. General business communication skills will also be developed. I personally came out of college not knowing a single thing about how to communicate to a C-Level executive in the workplace. Most SDR’s learn quickly how to effectively communicate in that setting.
And best of all, you truly never know what skills you’ll be asked to build. In any given vertical, prospects have such wide-ranging needs and questions, you never know what you’ll be asked to address. But you can count on being asked to think on your feet and address a new challenge every day. That is what makes sales so rewarding and exciting.
Apart from developing a variety of skills, the other reason sales development is such a great first job is that every other job you will get in your future will involve sales. Whether you are selling your skills to a prospective employer, selling an idea for an internal project or just plain selling, your skills developed as an SDR will be essential.
I honestly don’t know how anyone can find success on the job market without having significant experience in a prospecting role. SDR’s have been given a roadmap on how to get your foot in the door at a business that other applicants just don’t have.
So while the idea that sales development is only an entry level job is a myth, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great first job!