The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your Career in Tech Sales | Part 2 - Qualifications, Attributes and Experience needed
Alma Dassa, School Team @ Jolt
August 27, 2021
What qualifications and attributes does an SDR need?
In-depth familiarity with sales language, various tactics in the field and with proper sales conduct. It is important to remember that an SDR is a sales person. This skill is worth testing if a certification exam is held.
Thoroughness, research and self learning ability. SDRs often work with products, markets and leads that often change. This creates the need for repeatedly learning them well from scratch. In-depth knowledge of the product or service being offered is essential, as is preliminary work on the lead. This skill is worth testing if a certification exam is held.
Excellent orderliness, organization and time management skills result in smooth and well-timed engagement with leads. This conveys professionalism and seriousness.
Perseverance, determination, resilience and adaptivity. SDRs encounter resistance and need to learn how to overcome it, as well as know when it is feasible to move on. These traits are worth examining in a certification exam, with a simulator for example.
Excellent communication skills and high emotional intelligence. Active listening is a key element for SDRs, as is the ability to ask the right questions in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the prospects they are dealing with. Successful SDRs know how to conduct the qualification process as a flowing conversation rather than as a Q&A session. In addition, when presenting the company to the prospects, SDRs need to demonstrate confidence, authority, coherence and persuasion skills. They also need excellent storytelling abilities to arouse the prospect’s curiosity. This is a critical aspect of the SDRs work and should perhaps be tested in the preliminary screening interview held before registration to the course rather than in the certification exam.
Excellent interpersonal skills. Efficient SDRs are those who succeed in building rapport with prospective customers for the purpose of gaining their trust. SDRs need the ability to communicate with a wide range of people using a diverse range of communication channels.
Coachabilty. This entails having the confidence to seek feedback and training from colleagues and managers, as well as the inclination to try new and creative approaches and to exit your comfort zone. This creativity was described by SDRs in a study interview as follows: “This position requires people who reached relevant companies through the window or the roof rather than through the front door, i.e. people with unconventional thinking abilities”.
Proficient English, preferably mother-tongue level. English fluency at this level is especially crucial with regard to the American market, where accent and native-English nuances are very important to the target audience, and American leads may not respond when these are missing. The importance of excellent English proficiency was indicated in an analysis of 21 current job descriptions, which found that 9 descriptions included Native English and 5 included Full Proficiency as a mandatory requirement for the job. This is critical to test even before registration to the course.
Email correspondence skills. Copywriting skills and the ability to improvise on templates to adapt them to the specific needs of each lead are essential, as most first-time outreaches to leads are performed in this communication channel. This is worth testing in the certification exam.
It appears that many of the skills and traits required for the job of SDR fall under the umbrella of soft skills, and thus a claim by Aviram Ganor, VP Sales at Riskified, with regard to the importance of sales people as such comes as no surprise: “Most tend to believe that the parameter that most influences deal-closing is the price, but studies show that only 9% of deals are closed due to price, while more than 50% of deals are closed because the sales person succeeded in actively influencing the sales process.”
What experience does an SDR need?
A report published by The Bridge Group, which provides consultation services to B2B companies directed towards optimizing business and sales development strategies, indicates that the required experience of SDRs employed in recent years dropped significantly and that 41% of the companies interviewed for the report hired SDRs with experience of less than an year ( and an additional 42% hired SDRs with one to two years of experience). In addition, job descriptions indicate that 9 out of 21 hiring companies describe the job as an entry level position that requires professional experience in sales or work with customers (and not necessarily in the specific job of SDR).
We’re growing and looking for a passionate Sales Development Representative (SDR)!
The ideal candidate is an energetic self-starter with the ability to identify relevant prospects, influencers, and key decision-makers within accounts. You will discover qualified opportunities by responding to inbound interests and targeted outbound prospects to build rapport and establish long-term relationships.
Drive top-of-the-funnel lead generation for account executives and sales managers
Update and manage all sales activities, opportunities, and account information in CRM
Consistently achieve monthly quota of qualified opportunities
Find creative ways to generate relevant prospects
At least 1 - 2 years of relevant work experience
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Ability to multi-task, organize, and prioritize work
As a Sales Development Representative, your day to day will be rooted in hybrid Inbound/Outbound lead management. The most important part of your job is collaborating with sales executives on strategic plans for opening discussions, creating relationships, and building a pipeline of future customers.
Being the first point of contact with prospective customers, this position is critical to the growth of our business. We are seeking people that can perform the task with exceptional customer experience while demonstrating the positive impact of our product.
This is an opportunity to take your sales skills to the next level by selling a fascinating, sophisticated, technical product that immediately delivers value.
Why Should You Join?
Grow your career under the tutelage of world-class Sales Development leadership!
Boost your skills by selling a fascinating product that immediately delivers value!
Learn an industry through detailed training led by our world-class enablement team!
What You'll Do
Partner with account executives to start the sales process and expand Sisense's client base
Create sales opportunities by converting Inbound leads and hunting targeted accounts
Support sales on upsells and expansions into existing accounts
Excel in account research, value proposition delivery, and Call/Email Sequence building
Manage a variety of sales prospecting and orchestration solutions
Achieve quarterly opportunity goals
Live our core values: Authenticity, Inclusive, Caring, Challenging & Customer-Obsession
What You Should Have?
Can-do attitude, highly organized and evidence of a strong work ethic
Skilled communicator and a superb listener
Experience working in a high input and time-sensitive environment
Experience with a CRM and/or other sales tools
Ability to maintain European hours on a Monday-Friday work schedule
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Have experience using LinkedIn Sales Navigator or other similar prospecting applications while keeping track of dead-end leads-advantage
So why do so few of us have creative breaks?
Because almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.
Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.
So why do so few of us have creative breaks? fdsdfk
I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...
Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.
And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.
The cognitive load is real, y'all.
But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.
Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.
The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.
Your dreams don't have an expiration date.
Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.
And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.
Here's a challenge for you
Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.
Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.
Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.
When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.
"A spark of inspiration needs an empty cave."
Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.
Taken by over 18,500 people; Calibrated by 100s of tech employees
By taking this 10-min test I can set myself up for success
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