• Lorraine Buckley

Becoming an SDR and Beginning a Career in Sales

Searching for your first full-time job after graduating can be overwhelming. There are many factors to consider, such as the company type and industry you would like to work in, especially if you've completed a broad degree that isn't particularly specialized.

If you like the idea of exploring the sales field, with the potential to become a leader down the line, this blog post might be of interest to you.

Continue reading if the thought of working as an SDR in a startup excites you or if you want to learn more about what this type of role involves.

The Culture and Advantages of Joining a Startup

After years of studying, you have finally graduated, and you are ready to take on a new and inspiring role. If you are still undecided about what kind of job would suit you first, perhaps working for a startup could be the best decision.

Being part of a startup, especially early in your career, will give you abundant knowledge in various fields and acquire endless skills. Words that come to mind are diversity, innovation, versatility, responsibility, learning, and exploring. Working for a startup can be viewed as more of an adventure than a job.

Startups offer employees a huge platform for learning, a wealth of new skillsets, and the opportunity to tap into numerous roles at once, allowing you to discover what you're best at to continue your career in the most suitable direction.

If you're interested in sales, taking on a role as an SDR in a startup is a great way to kickstart a career in the sales field.

Becoming an SDR in a Startup Company

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) are responsible for beginning any sales transactions for companies, particularly SaaS startups. While titles vary in each organization, SDR's might also be called Business Development Representatives (BDR's) or even Sales Executives.

The main goal of SDR's is to recognize and qualify potential leads that the sales team (generally Account Executives) can convert into a deal later on. Although an SDR is usually a junior role, Hiring Managers should never underestimate the value of hiring talented and skilled SDR's. SDR's are the glue holding a business together, especially startup companies where SDR's are depended on massively to source new potential clients. SDR's are one of the most vital employees that a company hires, especially startups.

Qualities of a Great SDR

They're Driven.

Being an SDR is not an easy job. It requires serious courage and determination to overcome continuous rejection. You must have the drive to go through the ups and downs at work to reach your goals. Excellent SDR's are motivated and ready to work extra hours if necessary from time to time. They're persistent and goal-focused.

They're Interested in Their Sector.

Look at the goal of the business and the product or service they are trying to build and promote. Think about whether this is something you believe in and whether or not you think it can scale massively.

Can you create a connection or at least find some passion in the mission? A person who loves tech will be naturally motivated to sell a new Saas platform. When you love something, it's not really "selling" - you are helping people to live a better life with what you're offering. Try to look for a company that has a mission that you love. Interviewers will view you as someone who knows and understands the market and will have confidence and knowledge when speaking to prospects.

They're Hungry to Learn, and Express Curiosity.

Sales leaders will possibly have practices in place to help you obtain the skills needed to grow and climb the career ladder. Showing your eagerness to learn new things will stand in your favour. Salespeople who portray that they know absolutely everything about the field are questionable. There is always more to learn, no matter what your position is.

SDR's will regularly have to test new messaging styles, meaning they have to alter their work plans to try and enhance overall results. You cannot follow this unless you are a curious person interested in trying out new sales techniques, experimenting, and finding out what works best. Curiosity leads to fresh approaches and innovation, which companies will value. Only someone genuinely interested in the role will test new ideas.

They're Confident.

SDR's focus on outbound sales, being the first point of contact for new clients and interested prospects. SDR's need a certain degree of confidence and comfort with the company's product or service to promote it efficiently with the right people.

Reasons to Consider an SDR Role

Confidence & Choice

For a first job, it is quite a responsible role. You are the initial person that decision-makers will communicate with. By showcasing your company's product to clients, you will gain the confidence to excel in a leadership role later. In addition, by thoroughly understanding your service, competing markets, and the overall industry you work in, you will become an expert in your field.

From FinTech to HRtech to Medtech - there are endless areas to work in within the Saas ecosystem, giving you a broad range of missions to become part of.

Build Resilience and Beneficial Soft Skills

You will build a lot of resilience by learning to handle objections positively, seeing them as a learning opportunity for growth. Taking a step back, reflecting and thinking about where you could improve or what went wrong during your cold outreach methods is a fantastic way to enhance your resilience, which you will carry into any role you ever take on.

Often, you might get endless "no's" in sales before receiving one "yes". That one "yes", however, is going to help your company grow.

Career Growth

If you work as an SDR for a startup company, you could get a promotion very quickly if the company scales fast. What could take 4-5 years in a corporate might be 1-2 years in a startup with the right mindset and positive results.

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