5 May

Posted by Sam Lewis

Intro to being an SDR in the SAAS industry


What is an SDR?

A Sales Development Rep (let’s call them SDRs from now on) is a salesperson that works at the start of the sales process. When you’re an SDR, your job is to reach out to prospects who may not know anything about your company or what you sell – and begin a relationship that will end up in a sale.

You have several tools at your disposal to grab your prospects’ attention – you can make cold calls (don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds!), send emails, reach out on LinkedIn, even make short snappy videos. Whatever works, basically!

Once you’ve got hold of your prospect, you’ve got to:

  • Build a rapport with them – make them like you
  • Work out whether they have a need for your product – and get them
  • Move them to the next stage of your sales process – usually booking a

After that, an Account Executive (AE) will take over and close the deal. Good
SDRs are a valuable part of the sales team, as the warmer your prospects are at the start of the sales process, the more likely they are to become customers.

SDRs are typically first jobbers, often straight out of university. Being an SDR is not an easy job, but it is fun, well-paid, and you’ll learn skills that can take you anywhere.

Now you know what an SDR is, would you like to become one?


What it takes to be an SDR !

Do you think you’d make a good SDR? Here are 7 skills you need to be a
successful SDR:

  • Communication Skills – Can you talk to someone you’ve never spoken to before and get them interested in the product you sell? It takes confidence, curiosity and fast-thinking
  • Listening – Being an SDR isn’t about you talking. It’s about asking the right questions, listening to the answers and adapting your approach based on what the prospect says
  • Creativity – Every prospect is different. Sometimes you need to be creative to find the angle and grab their attention
  • Organisation – Good time management is essential when you’re an SDR. You also need to prioritise the most important tasks and make sure no prospect gets left behind
  • Eagerness to Learn – Do you have that curiosity and drive to get better? SDRs have to be open to learning new skills every day. They also have to be coachable, acting on real-time feedback
  • Tenacity – It takes an average of 8 cold calls before you actually get to
    speak to a prospect. The best SDRs never give up hope
  • Resilience – When you’re an SDR, getting hung up on or told to go away is part of the job. But you can’t let it stop you. Successful SDRs always find a way to get back up after getting knocked down

Now you know what it takes to be an SDR, do you think you could do it?

What is SaaS?

In the old days, if you wanted to use a computer program, you used to have to download it from the internet onto your PC, where it would sit forever. Or even worse, you’d have to load it onto your computer from a CD! (remember those?) Today, we have Software as a Service (or SaaS for short) – and everything is a lot easier. In a general sense, SaaS is software that is sold to another business!

SaaS apps sit in the cloud rather than on your computer – and you can access them with any device that’s connected to the internet. It’s no wonder that SaaS is taking over the world – the global SaaS industry is worth almost $150 billion and growing!

SaaS is all around us. If you listen to music on Spotify, watch shows on Netflix or ride an Uber, you’re using SaaS. However, many of the best SaaS products help businesses sell to other businesses. We call that B2B SaaS.

B2B SaaS apps give their users several advantages, especially compared to those old-style computer programs:

  • You can access SaaS solutions anywhere from any connected device, even your phone. You no longer have to be sitting at your office desk to get work done
  • Users don’t buy apps outright. Instead, they pay a monthly or yearly
    subscription to use their solutions. This is much more cost-effective for
  • SaaS products are updated automatically, so users always have the latest version with the best features

Because the SaaS industry is growing so fast, SaaS companies always need
talented salespeople to take their products to market.

Do you think you have what it takes to sell SaaS?


Progression Paths as an SDR!

Being an SDR isn’t just a job. It’s your first step towards a glittering career - in sales and beyond. When you become an SDR, the average time you’ll spend in that position is 13-18 months. What happens after that? If you work hard and achieve results, just about anything!

You might decide to become an SDR Manager – and help bring through a new
generation of talented salespeople just like you. Or, you might prefer to become an Account Executive (or AE) and work at the business end of the sales process, closing deals.

If you make a success of these roles, you may end up leading the entire sales team. Of course, you don’t just have a choice of new roles; you have a choice of companies to work for too. Will you stay with the company that you started with or move on to pastures new? With new SaaS companies starting up all the time, all looking for talented salespeople, you’ll be a sought-after prize.

But what about if you don’t want to stay in sales? Don’t worry; with the skills you picked up as an SDR, you can succeed in almost any other industry. Whatever a company does, they’re sure to employ someone who can demonstrate communication skills, creativity, grit and resilience. After 18 months as an SDR, that someone is you!

So remember, an SDR isn’t just a fun, exciting and well-paid job for now – it’s a stepping stone on your journey to a brilliant career.