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6 Tips To Be A Successful SDR (From The Head SDR At A Company Focused On SDRs)

4 min read
Updated Oct. 18, 2023
Published Jul. 23, 2014

I’ve on-boarded plenty of new sales development reps. They’re all motivated, willing to learn, and usually full of questions about how to send the best sales emails and make more calls in order to be successful. succeed.

I always share the same sales development tips.

If you can master the list below, you will undoubtedly become the best rep in the world no, in all of humanity.

Here are the six most important things you can do to improve:

1. Be An Expert Of Your Product

You should know, live, and breathe the best practices.

If it means messaging your CEO with product questions at 10 PM, do it. It will help you learn more about your product and your space so you can help other people.

I think about it this way:

You can’t sell something until you are sold on it.

You need to have a confident explanation of purpose and benefit of your product. To believe in its value 100%.

You’ll never be able to get someone else to buy something if you aren’t convinced yourself.

2. Implement A Strong Process

Sales development is repetitive. Reps spend their time importing lists, calling and emailing, and scheduling demos with closers.

As with any task that demands repetition, it is centered around having a killer process. I introduced a 7×7 strategy to Salesloft, using 7 defined touches (via email or phone) over seven days.


Using a specific strategy allows reps to increase their efficiency and remove monotony from their day-to-day tasks.

3. Ask The Hard “Off-The-Wall” Questions

If you haven’t reached a point where you feel as though you’ve pushed the limits, you’re not asking the right questions. Rick Roberge does a great job of explaining it.

The essence of the idea is to make sure you understand a company’s goals, with questions like:

  • Are you not trying to grow your team?
  • I noticed you didn’t hit all of your key goals last quarter, what will you do to change this one?

While they’re personal, questions like this give you the opportunity to say:


Even more so, it helps you understand what you can do to help. Whether or not they agree, you now get to say:

“I didn’t mean to cross the line (or upset you or make you angry).

If we continue to talk, you’ll figure out that I’m not a slick salesman and I really love what I do. I’m passionate about it, good at it, and my clients learn to trust my advice. If I see it, I typically say it and we don’t waste time. I apologize. We don’t know each other well enough and I went too fast.

Should we not talk anymore?”

4. Listen!

Listening is your greatest ally. You can uncover the “keys to the castle” by asking smart directed questions.

The best advice I give new reps is to ask planned, direct questions and then stop. Let your prospect’s talk the rest of the time, only injecting questions to help them realize your product has value.

Most people think “selling” is the same as “talking”. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job. -Roy Bartell

5. Use Professional-ish Creativity

Inject humor as you provide value.

Using humor right can have great results. The email below gets the most responses of any of my outreach.


Whatever you do, stay conversational. Don’t start out pitching your pushing your product.

6. Realize The Importance Of Timing

Stay on top of new leads and be dedicated to following up in a timely manner. If they’re inbound leads, respond as quickly as you can to when they’re generated. Even when they do not respond the first time, be consistent and persistent in making sure you get the prospect on the line.

Be careful not to push too hard when the timing is not right.

There’s a fine line between challenging and pushing, and you need to own it.

Is there anything else you believe should be on this list?

As always, let me know how I can help.