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Sales Development Representative (SDR)

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1. Who is a Sales Development Representative (SDR)?

A Sales Development Representative (SDR) is responsible for outreach, prospecting, and qualifying leads for the sales team. They play a crucial role in bridging the gap between sales and marketing teams by identifying potential customers, initiating contact, and nurturing relationships with prospects to move them through the sales funnel.
According to an estimate by Tenbound, there is a healthy talent pool of 677,479 SDRs in the US. However, Gartner’s research suggests that an SDR delivering a lead-to-opportunity conversion rate of 30% can be considered very good, meaning recruiters need to get innovative while sourcing, screening, and hiring SDRs for the team

2. Roles and responsibilities of an SDR

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The key responsibilities of an SDR include:
 

A. Prospecting

SDRs rely on the ideal customer profile (ICP) definition to find potential customers that would benefit from their product or service. They gather data using sales intelligence tools, trade shows, social media, conferences, online communities, forums, referrals from current customers, and social events to create a great impression of the brand by sharing valuable content, personalized emails, events, and so on.

B. Outreach

SDRs engage these prospects through outreach cadences that utilize emails, phone calls, and social media, such as LinkedIn. They aim to introduce the company's products or services, qualify leads, and schedule appointments or demonstrations for the sales team.

C. BANT qualification

SDRs assess the leads generated through their outreach efforts for ICP fitment and whether they carry the necessary budget, authority, need, and timeline approvals. It helps ensure that only qualified leads are passed on to the sales team, saving time and resources.
 

D. Lead nurturing

SDRs build and nurture relationships with potential customers and play an important role in establishing trust and rapport to move prospects toward closure.

E. Tracking

SDRs track and manage their interactions with prospects using a CRM so the sales team knows exactly how to take the conversation ahead. This data management is important for meeting the objectives of the sales team.

F. Feedback

SDRs provide valuable feedback to the sales and marketing teams based on their interactions with prospects. This information helps the marketing team refine the messaging and product positioning and helps the sales team improve their sales strategies.

 

3. Why you should hire an SDR

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SDRs are essential to generate and maintain a healthy revenue pipeline. SDRs contribute to the growth engine by:

A. Generating qualified leads

It generally takes about 12 touchpoints to reach the prospect. SDRs can do this heavy lifting to generate qualified leads. It frees up the bandwidth of the sales team so that they can focus on closures.
 

 B. Improving conversion rates

SDRs qualify prospects, establish trust and rapport with qualified leads, overcome objections, and make sure that they are a fit before connecting them to the sales team, so they can increase the opportunity-to-conversion rate by at least 40%

C. Aligning sales and marketing teams

Since SDRs send only qualified leads to the sales team, they can work with the marketing team to generate leads that meet the ICP criteria. They can also ensure follow-up cadences by the sales team are in place to move qualified leads through the funnel.

 

4. Skills and qualities to look out for

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Given the importance of SDRs, they need a strong set of technical and workplace skills with superior personality traits.

A. Technical skills

  • .Knowledge of CRM tools such as HubSpot, Salesforce, Freshworks, etc
  •  Proficiency with lead sourcing and sales intelligence tools such as ZoomInfo, Apollo, Bombora, etc
  • Expertise in using emailing tools such as Reply.io and social media channels such as LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter)

B. Workplace skills

  • In-depth knowledge of products, services, and ideal customer  profile
  • Communication skills to confidently represent products and  services
  • Organization skills to keep track of potential customers and    set workflows
  • Problem-solving skills to understand the challenges of the potential customer and present them with a solution
  • Emotional intelligence skills to empathize with the potential  customer and influence them to make empowered decisions
  • Track record of achieving sales quotas

C. Personality traits

  • Active listener
  • Empathetic
  • Confident
  • Problem solver
  • Hustler
  • Creative
  • Curious
  • Resilient

5. Sample job description

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This job description for the position of an SDR has been optimized for job boards as well as career pages and is ready to be deployed. Simply customize it for your organization and hire your next rockstar.


Sales Development Representative Job Description

Position: Sales Development Representative (SDR)

Location: [Insert Location]

Company: [Insert Company Name]

About Us:

[Insert a brief description of your company and its mission]

Job Description:

We are seeking a motivated and results-driven Sales Development Representative (SDR) to join our dynamic sales team. The SDR will be responsible for generating new business opportunities by qualifying leads, prospecting potential clients, and initiating outbound sales activities. This role offers an excellent opportunity for individuals looking to launch a successful career in sales and grow within a fast-paced environment.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conduct outbound prospecting to identify and qualify potential leads through various channels, including cold calling, email outreach, and social selling.
  • Engage with prospects to understand their business needs, pain points, and buying motivations, and effectively communicate the value proposition of our products or services.
  • Collaborate closely with sales executives to develop and execute targeted outreach strategies aimed at driving pipeline growth and achieving sales targets.
  • Utilize sales enablement tools and technologies to track lead interactions, manage prospecting activities, and maintain accurate records in CRM systems.
  • Build and nurture relationships with key decision-makers and influencers within target accounts to facilitate the sales process and overcome objections.
  • Stay updated on industry trends, market developments, and competitor offerings to effectively position our solutions and differentiate our value proposition.
  • Participate in ongoing training and professional development opportunities to enhance sales skills, product knowledge, and industry expertise.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Marketing, Communications, or a related field.
  • Proven track record of success in a sales or business development role, preferably in a B2B environment.
  • Strong communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, with the ability to build rapport and credibility with prospects.
  • Goal-oriented mindset with a focus on exceeding targets and driving results in a high-volume sales environment.
  • Self-motivated, proactive, and resourceful with the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial setting.
  • Proficiency in CRM software, Microsoft Office Suite, and sales automation tools (mention preferred software if applicable).

You can take a look at more job descriptions here: Sales development representative job descriptive template 

6. How to hire the perfect SDR

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Given the importance of SDRs, they need a strong set of technical and workplace skills with superior personality traits.

A. Craft a compelling job description

Whether you are hiring an entry-level SDR or an experienced one, the job description should truly represent the roles and responsibilities of the position. It should mention the organization's values, benefits, and career path for the position. This is bound to attract highly qualified candidates that resonate with the organization.
In addition to the job description in section 5, you can explore more job descriptions here.

B. Discover relevant candidates

While the talent pool for SDRs is quite large at over 670,000 candidates in the US, the number of active candidates is significantly small. That’s why recruiters should tap into passive and hidden talent pools to uncover relevant candidates who are likely to join the organization.

Recruiters can use job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Glassdoor to find active job seekers. They would need recruitment tools to find passive job seekers. 
EasySource’s Candidate Discovery Module can instantly surface relevant SDRs from active, passive, and hidden talent pools based on your job description or simple prompts.

C. Screen candidates

Most of the ATS and candidate screening tools rely on keywords in candidates’ profiles or resumes to filter them. It may lead to relevant candidates being eliminated from the process simply because their profiles or resumes did not have the right keywords. Worse, it may lead to irrelevant candidates being filtered in one go because they focused on the right keywords.

To avoid this, EasySource’s Candidate Screening Module uses persona-based screening to map the ideal candidate profile based on your job description or prompts and finds SDRs with relevant skills, profiles, and work experience. This persona-based screening also ranks candidates based on their relevancy so that recruiters can prioritize their outreach.

D. Assess candidates

Skill assessments can be used to ensure only qualified candidates get in and that the health of the talent pipeline is robust. They can also help in making faster hiring decisions without bias.

EasyAssess offers pre-built and customized adaptive skill assessments that validate SDRs’ technical and workplace skills as well as personality traits. These pre-employment tests create a level playing field so that recruiters can build winning teams with qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds.

E. Interview candidates

Here are some interview questions that can draw out complete responses from candidates.

I. Pretend I’m a prospect. Describe our product or service to me.
Ii. Tell me about your experience with working with targets. What were they? Did you meet them? How did you perform compared to your team members?

Iii. Tell me about a time you had to get good at a skill. What did you do to achieve that goal?

Iv. Tell me about a time you faced a challenge. How did you deal with it, and what motivated you to keep going?

V. What's the last thing you learned that you thought was really interesting?

For more SDR interview questions and answers, click here: 50 interview questions and answers for entry-level and experienced SDRs

Automated video interviews can be a great way to go beyond the resume and learn more about candidates. Whether you are hiring one SDR or at scale, EasyInterview gives recruiters the edge to hire diverse and exceptional talent from across the globe. Also, hiring managers can be involved in the recruitment process to make hiring decisions faster.

F. Engage candidates

Reaching out to qualified SDRs and engaging them throughout the hiring process requires recruiters to engage with them 1-on-1. It can be quite tedious and time-consuming which may result in losing qualified candidates. Recruiters should use communication tools that allow them to build personalized messaging to keep their candidates engaged.
EasySource’s Candidate Engagement Module ensures that candidates are engaged with highly personalized strategies and messaging across multiple platforms to compel them to join your organization.

G. Conduct reference checks

Once you have shortlisted the candidates, verify their work history and performance in previous roles. This step is essential in ensuring the authenticity of their claims and understanding their strengths and areas for development. 

Also, enquire about the candidate's ability to work effectively within a team and adapt to the company culture as this role required collaboration across multiple teams.

H. Selection and onboarding

An offer letter is important because it helps to protect both the employer and the employee. Share a comprehensive offer letter with the candidates that includes information about the position, such as the title, duties, salary, and benefits. It must include the start date, the probationary period (if any), and the signature of the employer.
In the onboarding program, introduce the SDR to the organization’s culture, values, and mission, as well as, specific product or service knowledge and buyer personas
 

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