Outbound Sales roles – Sales Development Representative

In this series of articles, we describe the roles in Outbound Sales: Sales Development Representative (SDR), Account Executive (AE), and Inside Sales.

What is a Sales Development Representative?

A Sales Development Representative or SDR is the person who initiates the sales process. They generate and qualify leads or potential clients.

This is a pivotal role in sales.


The Sales Development Representative will ultimately close meetings for the Account Executives (AE), who will close the sale. If the AEs don’t receive good and enough leads to fill the pipeline sales are likely to fail.

What are their responsibilities?

A day in the life of an SDR:

  • Identifying potential clients and their decision-maker. Analysing their needs and how our product will solve them.
  • Contacting the lead through cold calling, cold emailing, LinkedIn messages, and other ways of communication.
  • Qualifying the leads and close meetings for the qualified leads and the Account Executive.

What skills should an SDR have?


Mainly for two reasons:

  • The SDR must keep the CRM updated. Otherwise, they could lose opportunities due to not contacting a lead on time or sending the wrong information.
  • Communication-wise, the SDR should have a structured and concise pitch.


One of the secrets to a good prospection is research. The more you know about your lead, the more personalised your pitch will be.

Speaking of pitch… A good SDR knows what questions to ask. When curious, they will be led to ask more and better questions, gathering information that will be gold for the AE and the rest of the company.


The Sales Development Representative must empathise with the interlocutor. Having a great pitch will make little difference if the SDR can’t engage with the lead. SDRs should understand their leads and adapt to their communication accordingly.

Active listening

Selling is not a synonym for talking but listening. By asking the right questions and listening actively to the lead, we can glean much more information than by talking.


Just like any other sales position, performance is measured by objectives. The SDR role is not an easy one, and this ambition will drive them to keep fighting despite the obstacles.


SDRs will receive more ‘noes’ than ‘yes’s’. In fact, they will probably be ghosted more often than rejected. Without resilience, an SDR is likely to give up not long after embarking on their journey in SaaS Sales.

Learn more about Outbound Sales roles: Account Executive and Inside Sales

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