7 Vital Qualities Every Hiring Manager Is Looking For When They Hire An SDR

qualities of a great sales development rep (SDR)

Sales Development is the hotbed career aspiring money-makers are desperate to get into and launch their career from. San Francisco Bay area SaaS startups cannot hire SDR talent quickly enough because of the accelerated business growth opportunities that talented SDR’s produce for their AEs.

But what makes one of these super hot startups choose one individual SDR over another for a position on their Sales Development team?

7 Qualities Of A Great SDR

  1. Drive
  2. Sector Interest
  3. Keen Learner
  4. Curious
  5. Skillful
  6. Team Player
  7. Aspirations For a Successful Sales Career

1) Drive

It’s well known that SDRs have one of the hardest jobs around in business. It takes serious grit and determination to fight through the rejection, difficulties, and let downs of being in sales development. This is why drive is a requirement for any aspiring SDR.

Being a driven person will mean you’re ready to go through thick and thin in your work to reach your goals. You will have automatic motivation and will be prepared to put in the extra hours, turn up for work early, and generally make a good SDR. The best ones are persistent and will put in the time, so being a driven person will show hiring managers you are ready to work.

2) Sector Interest

If you’re passionate about a subject that you can find work in, it will greatly assist with your application. In terms of SDR roles, look towards your target business vertical to find this connection. A person who loves technology would find a great deal of motivation and satisfaction in selling a great new technology service or product.

The key is to find your chosen topics and areas you could create this connection to. In interviews you will subconsciously light up and speak much more naturally when you begin to talk about the sector the business works in. On the flip side, candidates who have no interest in a particular vertical will find it harder to converse as naturally and go the extra miles as you could, simply because you’re invested in the heart of the business.

Hiring managers will recognize you as a person who needs no help in understanding the market they are in and someone who will be able to speak very well to clients and prospects. They will know you’ll be more likely to work hard and enjoy your work in a sector you love. These ingredients equal a better SDR.

3) Keen Learner

SDRs often land at the lower echelons of the career ladder. It is very important for any SDR or future sales development leader to always learn. Even CEOs continue to learn on a daily basis, so it’s key you show your willingness to learn.

The awareness that you need to learn a lot to become successful in sales development will present a good case with hiring managers. They will likely have programs and inductions to help you learn the ropes and gain the key skills you need, but showing you are aware of this already will only be a plus for them.

Quite frankly I would never hire anyone who thought they knew all there is to know about a subject or discipline, as things change so quickly. So show you are ready and willing to learn as much as possible.

4) Curious

SDR’s often have to try new messaging, different techniques to reach out, and generally tamper with their work so that they can improve results. You cannot do that unless you are a curious person who wants to try new things, find out what happens and experiment, and then optimize the results.

Being curious also leads to new ideas and innovation, which every company worth staying with for a long time will love. Anybody can follow orders, but it takes a certain type of person to put their own spin on a process or email body and test it out.

Curious people always ask questions so they can get to the heart of why something is done in a certain way, unearth new ways and find new opportunities. This is where exciting things can happen.

5) Skillful

One way to impress the team you’re joining is to show them you’re cut from the same cloth as them. If you can cold call the team leader and relevant managers, email them and socially surround the leaders and the team, you’ve already shown that you’re developing the core sales skills needed to be successful.

This demonstrates a level of commitment and serious interest in working with the company; a persistence that tells the company you’re bought into what they do and are dead serious about becoming a part of their team.

Not every candidate going for a job will do this, and even if there are other SDR candidates calling into the business for the job you want, if you manage to reach out in a more creative way and get your interview or call back, you’ll have the respect of the hiring manager and sales leaders.

6) Team Player

Great SDR teams are made of team players, not lone wolves. Sharing what is working, giving feedback and collaborating is a great way to build on overall SDR team success. If you show signs of becoming a lone wolf, hiring managers may easily see you not fitting into the ethos of the team.

When sales leaders share how they reward their teams for hitting quotas, they often reward the team with a day out, beers, a day off and all sorts of team-orientated experiences that are designed to boost team spirit and collaboration. All of this doesn’t work and does not incentivize the team if they’re all in the game for themselves and not interested in the team as a collective. Nobody builds a team like that.

Plus, any business can fail if the collective fails – even if one person is a superstar and crushes it. It is about the team, so showing you’re all about the team effort will help the hiring manager picture you in the team and build you into their unit.

7) Aspirations For A Successful Sales Career

Sales is hard. You don’t get into sales and stay there if you’re not bothered and could happily do anything for a job. If you really have aspirations of a career in sales, it’s good to tell your hiring manager what that looks like. Even better, knowing roughly what the path to achieving that goal looks like is a good sign you’re a good individual with a plan, ready to execute it.

If you have serious ambitions and plans to become a VP Sales with a team of 20, you can’t do that without starting sales somehow. For employers, this is good knowledge that the candidate is serious and will do what it takes to reach it.

Looking for your next big sales role? Create a profile on Rainmakers and take your sales career to the next level!


Also published on Medium.