3 Tips to Help You Succeed as a New SDR
By: Ashley Artrip
First of all, if you’re reading this, then congrats! You’ve started a promising new job as a SDR, and are now looking for ways to maximize your on-the-job success. The good news is, the fact that you’re here, taking initiative, means that in all likelihood you will succeed. The best SDRs are bold, driven, and motivated; they’re the types of people who are always looking for innovative advice for success — just the type of advice that you will receive in this article.
The SDR role requires determination, enthusiasm, grit, and creativity — but beyond these characteristics, there are concrete things you can do to set yourself up for success. And success in the SDR role should not be underestimated: top SDRs go on to have fruitful careers in marketing, customer success, operations, entrepreneurship, and of course, sales. In fact, a study found that over 25% of global CEOs have a sales or marketing background. The connections you make in this job could last a lifetime, and it’s important to make a good impression from the get-go.
1. Be Coachable
This may seem counterintuitive, but the best thing you can do as an entry-level SDR is to recognize that you don’t know everything and that you can’t learn everything on your own. On-the-job learning is the most effective way to improve, and you will find that this never stops being true, no matter what stage of your career you’re in.
In fact, one of the most important characteristics that we look for when reviewing applicants for the SV Academy SDR training program is whether or not they are coachable. In practice, this means looking at whether someone seeks out feedback and can effectively incorporate it into their behavior. Do you ask your manager for advice after a call? Have you sought out more experienced SDRs on the team for mentorship? The best SDRs relish opportunities for improvement because they are driven to succeed.
While there’s always room for you to experiment and try out new creative strategies, you also need to be incorporating your manager’s teachings into your everyday behavior. Keep in mind that doing this will not only improve your performance from a metrics perspective but is also likely to improve your relationship with your manager.
2. Be A Scientist
Like we said above, there’s always room for SDRs to get creative and experiment with different strategies. That’s why we tell our SDRs-in-training to think of themselves as scientists experimenting to find out what works. Notably, we use the term ‘scientist’ (rather than artist) because SDRs should always be measuring their performance and making metrics-based decisions for how to improve.
Different strategies and workflows will function better or worse for different people. As you learn what works best for you, make sure to focus on three key metrics:
- Pure performance (this will be the number of SQAs set for most SDRs)
- Feedback from prospects and AEs
- Sustainability (how feasible it is for you to continue the strategy long-term)
Sometimes new SDRs focus too much on the first two and then end up getting burned out because they didn’t consider the last one. Keep in mind that your career is a long game and you will end up better off if you focus on strategies that enable sustained top performance.
3. It’s All About The Mindset
Being a SDR can function as a diving board for the rest of your career: if you execute the dive well, you’ll end up in exactly the pool you want. That pool may be sales, or it may be another area of business, such as marketing or customer success. If the job gets tough or you start to feel demoralized remember that your SDR job is giving you more than a paycheck: it’s also giving you connections, transferable job skills, and a crash course in professionalism. After all, many of the top CEOs in the country started out where you are today!
As such, it’s important to keep an open mind, stay positive, and have a growth mindset. These are all characteristics that hiring managers look for in entry-level employees, so it’s helpful to try and maintain them under the pressures of the job. Remember that there’s always room for you to grow and improve and that your managers are rooting for your success (after all, your performance reflects on them!).
The SDR Basics: Listen, Experiment, and Keep Trying
At the end of the day, you were hired for a reason. The most important thing to remember as you’re navigating your new role is that your manager saw promise in you, and you just need to figure out to translate that promise into on-the-job success. Through continued coaching, experimentation, and perseverance, you are likely to end up being successful as a SDR — which in turn will help you find success in your lifelong career.
Elaina Ransford Contributed to this article