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Sales Development Representative

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What Is a Sales Development Representative? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Sales development representatives (SDR) focus on outbound prospecting and lead qualification, getting possible customers to begin the sales process. Here’s what to know about an SDR’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.


What Is a Sales Development Representative?

Sales development representatives work in inside sales, reaching out to prospects and qualifying leads for sales teams to follow up on.


What Do Sales Development Representatives Do?

Sales development representatives reach out to prospects and inform them of a company’s products and services. They decide which prospects are qualified leads and connect them to an account executive, inside sales representative or another sales professional.

Sales Development Representative Responsibilities

  • Research and determine businesses that might need your company’s specific product or service. 
  • Reach out to prospects and connect with them. 
  • Share information with prospects and determine qualified leads. 
  • Send qualified leads to inside sales reps, account executives or other sales professionals.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Sales Development Representative

  • Connect with prospects through phone calls, emails, social media messages, short videos and other online formats.  
  • Meet with prospects to discuss company products and services and the benefits they have to offer. 
  • Enter prospect and qualified lead data into a customer relationship management (CRM) system. 
  • Meet with a sales or marketing manager (depends on the company) to discuss branding and sales strategies.

Sales Development Representatives Within a Company

Sales development representatives are entry-level professionals typically found within the sales department. They qualify leads for sales reps, account executives and other sales professionals to pursue as potential customers. Depending on the company, sales development reps may report to a sales manager or marketing manager.

Importance of Sales Development Representatives

By providing qualified leads for sales team members to pursue, SDRs keep the sales pipeline moving, helping teams find new customers that will spur revenue growth.

Day in the life of sales and business development representatives. | Video: Patrick Dang


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Sales Development Representative?

Qualifications to Be a Sales Development Representative

  • Sales, marketing or customer service background. 
  • Experience guiding conversations with customers. 
  • Knowledge of prospecting and sales techniques. 
  • Familiar with phone, video, messaging and written communication tools. 
  • Proven success working in a fast-paced, merit-based environment.

Sales Development Representative Prerequisites

  • GED certificate or a high school diploma. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications or a related field (not necessary, but can speed up career advancement). 
  • At least a year of relevant work experience (not necessary, but helpful to have).

Sales Development Representative Hard Skills

  • Knowledge of prospecting and sales tactics. 
  • Ability to conduct market research and research on various prospects. 
  • Experience writing emails, making short videos, crafting social media messages and producing other forms of online communication. 
  • In-depth knowledge of a company’s products and services. 
  • Familiar with CRM systems and other sales technologies.

Sales Development Representative Soft Skills

Tools and Programs Sales Development Representatives Use

  • CRM systems like HubSpot, Salesforce and Zendesk.  
  • Video creation tools like Loom, iMovie and Animoto. 
  • Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. 
  • Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Webex and Google Meet.
  • Spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers and Google Workspace.
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How to Become a Sales Development Representative

Sales Development Representative Education and Experience

Sales development representatives often only need a GED certificate or high school diploma. But it helps to complete a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications or a related field. Sales development representative is entry-level, but incoming sales professionals may gain relevant experience through roles like marketing coordinator and customer support rep.

Sales Development Representative Certificates and Courses

Sales Development Representative Career Path

In most cases, incoming sales professionals start their careers as entry-level sales development representatives. After two to three years in the position, sales development representatives may take on more responsibilities in a higher-level role like account executive.


Sales Development Representative Salary and Job Outlook

Sales employment is projected to hold steady between 2021 and 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, workers permanently retiring from the field means rising sales professionals will have plenty of opportunities to jumpstart their careers as sales development representatives. 

The full compensation package for a sales development representative depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average sales development representative salary.


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