SDR in Sales: Skills, Tasks, And More

SDR in Sales: Skills, Tasks, And More
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SDR in Sales: Skills, Tasks, And More

Understanding the Role of SDR

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) play a crucial role in the sales process. As the frontline of the sales team, they are responsible for prospecting and qualifying leads, ensuring a smooth handoff to Account Executives (AEs). The SDR role is critical in driving revenue growth for businesses.

Sales Development Representative's primary objective is to generate high-quality leads by proactively reaching out to potential customers.

SDR skills are essential when doing outbound prospecting through various channels such as cold calling, cold email campaigns, and social selling on LinkedIn. By identifying prospects that fit the ideal customer profile, SDRs help the sales team focus their efforts on the most promising leads.

Additionally, SDRs in sales are adept at conducting thorough research on prospects to gain insights into their needs, pain points, and industry trends. This enables them to tailor their messaging and establish meaningful connections with potential customers.

The SDR role requires strong communication skills, resilience, and the ability to adapt to different situations.

Essential Skills for SDR Success

To excel as an SDR in sales, certain skills are essential. The top 3 SDR skills that stand out are:

"Hunter" Mindset

First and foremost, to succeed as an SDR in sales, you need to be proactive, outgoing, and results-driven. Yes, all these boring sales development representative job descriptions say the same - but this truly is an essential skill. The SDR role requires a lot of effort, and it involves repetitive tasks such as writing cold emails over and over or dialing the phone 100+ times each day.

Communication Skills

For an SDR in sales, it's all about communication. SDRs must be articulate, persuasive, and able to clearly convey the value proposition of the product or service they are selling. Effective communication enables them to build rapport and establish credibility with prospects.

Research Skills

Another vital skill for SDRs in sales is research skill. Almost all of the time, to be successful in generating leads and booking meetings with prospects SDR role involves research about target companies, ideal customer profile, and creative ways to engage and build trust.

Day-to-day tasks of an SDR

As mentioned before, the SDR role involves a huge number of repetitive tasks. Often time, SDRs in sales have aggressive quotas to hit and secure a certain number of meetings for their Account Executives, and to achieve that outcome, they need to invest a lot of time and effort into daily output tasks. Some of the most important tasks include:

Build Lists of Target Accounts

SDRs in sales usually spend a lot of time researching, identifying, and building lists of accounts and prospects they want to target. Depending on the organizational structure of a company SDRs will have a mixture of inbound vs outbound leads to work with. It's safe to say that sales development representative in a company spends 1/4 of their time building lists and doing research on target accounts and leads.

Multi-channel Prospecting

The essence and the purpose of an SDR role is prospecting. SDRs in sales spend the vast majority of their time on prospecting through channels such as cold email, cold calling, and LinkedIn prospecting.

Pipeline Management & Appointment Setting

In addition to prospecting, when a sales development representative has a huge number of leads, it is important to manage the pipeline efficiently and follow up with leads to set appointments for account executives. SDR's success in sales is measured by the number of qualified meetings set, so we can say that this KPI is a north star; hence this specific task is equally important as the previous two.

 top 3 daily tasks of an SDR
top 3 daily tasks of an SDR

SDR Training and Development

To ensure SDR in sales is equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge, comprehensive training and development programs are crucial.

These programs typically cover a range of topics, including product knowledge, sales techniques, objection handling, and effective communication. Through training, sales development representatives can enhance their skills and stay updated on industry trends and developments.

Role-playing exercises are commonly used in SDR training to simulate real-life scenarios and help SDRs practice their communication and objection-handling skills. Feedback and coaching sessions provide valuable insights and guidance for improvement.

Continuous learning and development opportunities, such as workshops and webinars, also contribute to the growth and success of SDRs in sales.

Mentorship programs can further support the development of SDRs. Pairing inexperienced SDRs with seasoned professionals allows for knowledge transfer and the nurturing of talent. Mentors can provide guidance, share best practices, and offer support throughout the SDR's journey.

This ongoing support and development help SDRs refine their skills and become more effective in their role.

Tools and Technologies for SDRs

SDRs rely on various tools and technologies to streamline their workflow and maximize their productivity. These include CRMs, sales engagement platforms, dialers, and more.

Most common CRMs Sales Development Representatives Use

SDRs in sales use CRMs to manage and organize their pipeline and ensure a smooth communication flow with the rest of their sales team. While there are a number of great customer relationship management (CRM) tools available, a few stand out as leaders in the market.

  1. HubSpot CRM - due to its free version, many companies in the SMB market use it. Over the years, HubSpot became one of the leaders in the market, offering advanced CRM functionalities.
  2. Salesforce CRM - definitely one of the leading CRMs out there. Widely used by enterprise companies, it is quite a complex but comprehensive solution.
  3. Pipedrive CRM - easy to use and pretty popular with sales development representatives.
  4. Close CRM - similar to Pipedrive, used by many startups and SDR teams, and pretty popular.
top 4 CRMs SDRs use: HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive and Close
top 4 CRMs SDRs use: HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive and Close

Sales Engagement Tools & Dialers

  1. Apollo - one of the most popular and the most complete sales engagement platforms used by SDRs in sales. It offers a large database of 250M+ leads, sequencing tools, a built-in dialer, LinkedIn integration, and more.
  2. Outreach - known for its sales engagement and deal management features, it leverages AI to help SDRs in sales achieve their quotas.
  3. Lemlist - Definitely one of the top picks. Offers advanced sequencing functionalities and a multi-channel approach with email, LinkedIn, and a built-in dialer. Lemlist recently added a database of 400M+ leads which makes them a complete solution for sales development representatives.
  4. Salesloft - typically used by SDRs and companies using Salesforce CRM. Offers a lot of functionalities but lacks UI and UX and can be a bit harder to use.
  5. Reply - Another popular sales engagement solution focused on end-to-end prospecting: database, sequences, and dialer.
  6. Orum - an AI dialer. Allows you to dial 5x quicker and reach more prospects. If cold calling is your cup of tea in your day-to-day as an SDR - go for it.
  7. Aircall - One of the most popular dialers. Easy to use, and SDRs love it.


The role of SDRs in sales is pivotal for driving revenue growth. With their prospecting and lead qualification skills, SDRs play a crucial role in identifying promising opportunities for the sales team.

By possessing essential skills such as effective communication, active listening, and resilience, SDRs can excel in their role and contribute to the success of the sales organization. Continuous training and development opportunities, along with the use of tools and technologies, further enhance the effectiveness and productivity of SDRs.

In conclusion, SDRs are the backbone of the sales team, bridging the gap between marketing and sales. Their contribution in generating high-quality leads and establishing meaningful connections with potential customers is invaluable.

By investing in the development of SDRs and providing them with the necessary tools, organizations can ensure their sales pipeline remains robust, and their revenue continues to grow.

If, however, your company doesn't have the resources to hire an entire team of SDRs, perhaps you should consider outsourced SDR programs that many Outbound agencies offer.


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SDR in Sales: Skills, Tasks, And More
Jovana Stojanović
January 1, 2024
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