How A Sales Development Representative (SDR) Works

What is a sales development representative? What kind of clients do they work with? 

If you’re looking for salespeople or are in the process of developing an effective sales strategy, you’ve probably come across the term “sales development representatives (SDRs)”.

This is not a new position, but the demand for it is growing today as companies expand their sales teams. Some companies even divide responsibilities between different departments.

We’ll take a look at who sales development managers are, what they do, and what qualities they need to succeed and bring profit to their companies.

Sales Development Representative & Their Essence

Sales representatives are the backbone of any company’s sales team.

They spend time building relationships with potential customers and helping them understand the products or services offered. Over time, they turn them into loyal customers and clients and encourage new ones.

A sales development representative (SDR) develops an understanding of a client’s business model and assesses whether the products or solutions offered can help solve a prospect’s problems.

SDRs work with targeted clients.

They develop concepts and ideas for each other and figure out how to solve problems together. The focus is on meeting the needs of the client to win and at the same time increasing the success of their own business.

If you have an SDR specialist, it ensures that you meet your goals and have leads, not have to chase them.

Business Development Vs. Sales Development Representative

It’s easy to confuse sales development representatives (SDRs) with business development representatives (BDRs), and rightly so.

These positions are inherently similar – to the point where some people don’t even pay attention to the difference between them.

Regardless of how one defines each role, neither has quotas or deals. But both are ultimately focused on moving qualified leads through the sales pipeline. In most cases, the difference between them is whether they work with inbound or outbound leads.

SDRs focus on qualifying warm leads, while BDRs are usually responsible for finding cold leads. Thus, SDRs are the inbound side of the business, while BDRs are the outbound side of business development.

Both roles typically involve conducting thorough prospect research, active outreach, in-depth knowledge of niche markets, and other key activities.

All of these help to qualify potential customers thoroughly and efficiently.

sales development representative

Sales Development Representative: Role, Responsibilities & Goals

The role of sales representatives can vary slightly depending on the specifics of the company.

However, it generally focuses on two areas: 

#1: Inbound Prospecting

Nurturing potential customers who have shown interest in your solution and have already interacted with the company through its marketing channels.

#2: Outbound Prospecting

Contacting potential customers who have never encountered the company’s product or solution (cold calling).

SDRs contact potential customers who have already expressed interest in the company and its offers or continue to communicate with them.  

The role of sales development representatives is similar to that of consultants. They understand the prospect’s model, actively listen and propose a suitable solution for the prospect. In this way, they convince customers that your product is a good solution and advise them on how to improve their business with your solution.

For a better understanding, here’s a list of SDR roles and responsibilities:

Prospect & Find New Customers

Sales Development Representatives should have a good knowledge of the industry in which a potential client operates.

They need to understand the sales process and monitor competition and interesting events to have effective and meaningful conversations.

Make More Calls & Send More Emails

SDRs should contact prospects and follow up quickly with those who have already expressed interest in your business.

This can be via phone, email, or social media.

Schedule Important Meetings And Calls

Sales development representatives should make a list of smart questions to ask during the call.

They can also create a script to analyze the prospects. Additionally, they should schedule important meetings for leads to meet with salespeople.

A sales development representative (SDR) combines the responsibilities of marketing and sales and is very good at serving as a liaison between these two departments.  

11 Skills & Qualities Of A Good Sales Development Representative

Sales development representatives need to be fast, able to communicate online, and keep track of content. At the same time, they need to have a positive attitude and not get frustrated by poor interactions. 

Here’s an overview of some of the skills SDRs should have on your team:

#1: Product Knowledge

Sales development representatives need to have a good knowledge of the product’s features, benefits, and weaknesses.

Only then they will  be able to build an effective sales conversation and connect the customer’s needs with your business solution.

This will certainly give the potential customer another reason why it makes sense to buy from them.

#2: Ability To Find Customers

Yes, knowing and understanding your product or service is very important.

But representatives are also responsible for sales. Therefore, they should not only know exactly what their customers want but also how to communicate with them in the best way. 

The key to success is to ensure a high level of awareness, develop a network of contacts, and allow the customer relationship to grow from there.

#3: Communication Skills

Sales reps need to know how to communicate effectively by phone, email, or social media. They need to start conversations with customers and build relationships effectively.

sales development representative

#4: The Art Of Listening

Good salespeople use several behavioral techniques to engage potential customers and convince them to make a purchase. One of them is to interrupt less and ask more open-ended questions. 

This helps to find out:

  • What products/solutions the customer is already using
  • What stage they are at
  • What they need

It is important to offer the product in your way without being intrusive.

#5: Webinars

Specialists should know that timely webinars with relevant topics and top-notch speakers also help build the company’s brand.

To participate in a webinar, participants must provide their email address. That’s why webinars are ideal for lead generation. 

#6: Resilience

In addition to hard skills, staying positive is a soft skill that can’t be learned in a book. 

Unpleasant calls do happen, but professionals need to recover from each one.

Whether the prospect was rude or the representative made a mistake, it’s normal to feel disappointed. However, letting your feelings get in the way of picking up the phone for the rest of the day will hurt your next job.

Resilience takes practice. The potential client should feel a high level of energy.

#7: Learning Ability

The ability to learn is one of the most important qualities an SDR can have.

Self-confidence is important, but ego can overshadow the ability to receive and implement candid feedback.

Top performers actively seek mentorship from peers who have achieved high results and seek honest feedback from their managers.  

A great way to increase your coaching capacity is to seek out training and development opportunities.

#8: Self-Awareness

Self-awareness plays an important role in sustainability.

Every SDR needs to know its strengths and weaknesses to offer the best possible experience to its potential customers.

When a person knows what they do best, they can develop a strategy on how to respond to a bad call or rejection.

#9: Organization

Processes vary from person to person, but they are key to staying organized.

Managing your schedule helps you plan your day and prioritize tasks that are key to success (e.g., emails, calls, and meetings).

When a worker is organized, it’s easier to keep track of leads and develop a workflow that will help build future relationships.

#10: Curiosity

Successful SDRs are curious and eager to learn. A curiosity to learn about a new product, industry, or organizational knowledge can help them in their current role.

#11: Overcoming Objections As An SDR

The final skill that every outstanding sales development rep masters is objection handling. Many sales reps say that overcoming price objections is the biggest challenge they face. 

Overcoming objections is a skill that most sales reps get better at over time as they understand all the solutions and see how they work.  

Consistent practice of these skills will help a professional reach their goals in the shortest possible time. But their learning shouldn’t stop there, as there are many approaches to prospecting and handling objections that can be mastered.  

Why You Need Help From A Sales Development Representative

A sales development representative is the key to finding new customers and monitoring existing ones. 

How do you determine if you need a sales development representative?

  • Your sales representatives are no longer able to follow up on leads or focus on closing deals.
  • You have a large number of leads, but there is no continuous follow-up.
  • You hear excuses like: “I’ve been busy lately,” which may be plausible, but hinders sales development.
  • New customer acquisition is almost non-existent.
  • The cost per new customer has increased significantly because the development of existing leads is no longer continuous.

With a sales development representative in place, you’ll enjoy a healthy inflow and growth in sales, as well as increased productivity in your business. 

And HireUA is always ready to help you find a quality specialist. Our talent acquisition team will help business owners solve their current hiring problems and find motivated employees.

Available Communication Channels for SDRs

SDRs use the following communication forums to carry out their work:

Social Media

SDRs share knowledge and webinars on platforms such as LinkedIn.

They establish themselves as experts, identify potential targets, and initiate introductions on various social media platforms.


These reps can initiate email correspondence with prospects to keep them informed and establish initial contact.

Phone Contacts 

Voice communication allows SDRs to interact with prospects in depth. Telephone communication is the most challenging forum, as it requires the ability to overcome objections, self-confidence, and more.

SDRs work behind the scenes. But they should focus on quality, not quantity.

Outreach should not be blind and overly broad. They should be able to identify and address specific problems and issues.

sales development representative

Key Tools Of Sales Development Specialists 

Sales development professionals must work hard to generate qualified leads.

But that’s not the only thing. They also need to vet a specific lead before contacting them.

The same goes for tracking cold and warm leads and responding to inquiries that generate interest.

Since the process of engagement can be tedious and time-consuming, professionals need additional tools.

Let’s take a quick look at three of the most important tools that help salespeople become more productive:

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Salespeople need a wide range of sales productivity tools so they can achieve the results they want without wasting time and effort.

SDRs can enter their preferences into LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find leads. 

They can create a list of prospects, select the ones they want, and then contact them.

It’s a great tool for finding and contacting prospects.

Technology Tools

For B2B sales, a salesperson needs to know what technologies a prospect uses.

The best way to find out is to use the free tools Datanyze, BuiltWith, and Ghostery.

They track a certain range of technologies and offer the ability to view company information (number of employees, income range, industry, and social activity).

Thanks to technographic tools, your salespeople will have meaningful information about potential customers, allowing them to make better connections and have more effective conversations.


Salespeople need a centralized database where they can store lead data and retrieve it when needed. 

CRM is a great tool for this, and it offers many other benefits. For example, a CRM also serves as a customer acquisition platform, allowing sales staff to create campaigns. They can also use it to track click-through rates, open emails, make calls, and schedule meetings/conferences for salespeople.

Of course, all tools need to be simple and easy to use, as salespeople can’t afford to spend time on training and customization.


SDRs are not in the business of closing deals. They are in the business of researching, communicating, and qualifying.

Many companies are already leveraging this role for explosive growth.

Adding this step to the sales process ensures that good offers get to the top and bad offers are removed from view. It’s also the best way to turn “lukewarm” offers into “hot” offers.

To get the full effect, it’s important to understand the role and the right people for the job. 

If you’re looking to hire an elite SDR, book a call with the HireUA team today.

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About The Author

Anastasia Marinich

Anastasia was born in Odesa and realized at an early age that her work should be creative & enjoyable.

While studying marketing in her hometown, she moved to Germany and continued her education at 2 universities at the same time.As the saying goes "Choose a job to your heart's content and you won't have to work a day of your life!"

Anastasia obtained a degree in Art and has a knack for it. She takes the same approach to writing. Each text is like a picture with a special message and mood. Everyone will find something useful for themselves!

Today Anastasia lives and works in Germany. She travels a lot, practices Ashtanga yoga, learns new things, and continues her creative journey with the HireUA team!
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