Sales development representatives (SDRs) are professionals who find prospects for businesses, establish relationships, and refresh the sales funnel with new leads for account executives to close deals. The number of companies hiring fresh graduates as SDRs has consistently increased since 2010, which makes this role an excellent opportunity to start a career in sales.1
Sales Development Representatives’ Responsibilities
SDRs focus on bringing qualified prospects to the sales funnel. Their core responsibilities are:
- Conduct prospect research
- Contact leads
- Qualify prospects
- Schedule meetings between leads and AEs
- Report activities to sales managers
Conduct prospect research
SDRs perform extensive research to find prospects for businesses. Top-performing SDRs know how to access reliable sources to get credible information for the campaign they are working on.
Prospect research is vital for customizing outreaches, which influences lead conversion.
Sales development representatives connect with leads through emails, phone calls, voicemails, social media, and videos. To contact leads with a business proposition, SDRs must know their company’s unique pain points, using them to build rapport and establish an initial relationship with the prospect.
SDRs classify prospects by the level of interest in their product or service and their willingness to buy. Qualifying leads into hot, warm, and cold makes it easier to focus their time and effort on the most promising prospects.
Sales reps also nurture warm and cold leads with different techniques, guiding them through the funnel to complete the deal at a later time.
Schedule meetings between leads and account executives
SDRs pass leads with higher chances of becoming customers to account executives to close deals. Setting appointments between both parties is a quick way to sustain sales momentum and complete the transaction.
The best SDRs collaborate with account executives to share insights on interactions with leads and provide recommendations on how to complete the sale.
Report activities to sales managers
Sales managers oversee and get periodic reports of SDRs’ activities to ensure they are on track. This front-line data is valuable to tweak the campaign and adjust outreaches for success.
Sales Development Representatives’ Jobs & Salaries
Sales development representatives can focus their tasks on inside or outside roles, depending on the company’s structure and goals. Here’s a quick overview of the most common scenarios.
Inside sales development representative jobs
Inside sales representatives use modern-day technologies to remotely sell products and services to potential customers. Jobs in inside sales are a great career start, as employers rarely request work experience.
Requirements for inside sales jobs are:
- A bachelor’s degree in sales, marketing, or related fields
- Research skills
- Ability to communicate via phone and email
- Relationship and rapport-building skills
- Excellent customer service skills
Inside sales development representatives’ salary
Inside sales development representatives earn an average of $82,725 yearly.
Outside sales development representative jobs
Outside sales reps visit prospects in their offices, establishing face-to-face contact to sell products and services. These professionals spend about 13% of their time on the road; a relevant consideration for people looking to start a career in this path.
Jobs in outside sales have declined in the past few years, with companies embracing hybrid selling structures. When hiring for outside roles, employers often prioritize professionals with experience in the field, as this sales model entails direct interaction with prospective customers.
Requirements for outside sales jobs are:
- A bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related fields
- Experience in sales, marketing, or customer service
- Great communication skills
- Time management
- Ability to work independently
Outside sales development representatives’ salary
Outside sales development representatives’ average compensation ranges from $99,659 to $104,656.
General sales development representatives’ jobs
Businesses that run hybrid or flexible sales processes often look out for SDRs who can combine remote selling and face-to-face interactions.
Requirements for general SDRs’ roles are:
- A bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related fields
- Problem-solving skills
- A willingness to learn
- Industry knowledge and business acumen
- Strong work ethic
Sales development representatives’ salary
SDRs earn an average of $73,915 as total compensation yearly, according to data from the sources below:
What to Look For in a Sales Job
If you’re considering starting a sales career, take note of these important factors before applying for a role:
- Career path
- Job outlook
Before committing to a sales role, it is critical to understand which career path this would lead you to and the average time it would take to advance to another position. This will often depend on your chosen industry, as it determines the type of roles open to you.
Job outlook refers to the expected rate of growth or decline for an occupation over a period of time. You can use the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook to assess the state of the roles you’re applying to.
The handbook classifies employment opportunities into six categories based on statements used to describe their projected changes:
|If the statement reads—||Jobs are projected to—|
|Grow much faster than the average||> 11% increase|
|Grow faster than the average||8 – 10% increase|
|Grow about as fast as the average||4 – 7% increase|
|Grow slower than the average||2 – 3% increase|
|Little or no change||1% decrease to 1% increase|
|Decline||> 2% decrease|
The average job growth rate is 5–8%. If you’re looking for a career where you can develop in the long term, make sure you’re applying for jobs in this range or higher.2
Sales compensation plans vary according to the company’s structure. Some organizations pay their employees a fixed annual salary with no commissions, while other businesses pay commissions and bonuses based on individual performances and profit margins.
Before applying for a position, ensure that its compensation structure works for you and that the income is enough to keep you motivated.
Jobs in sales development provide opportunities for young professionals to hone prospecting skills, learn vital lead generation techniques, and gain confidence for career advancement.
Are you looking for a job as SDR? Review the requirements for specialized and general roles and analyze which position would be the best fit for you. You can then search on job boards for sales opportunities near you and start applying to the next great step in your career.
All the best hunting; we’re rooting for you!