What Does A Sales Development Representative (SDR) Really Do?

Team Convin
April 30, 2021
 mins read

Last modified on

Table of Content:

Over the years, the sales teams have adopted changes. In most of the industries, the entire face of the sales teams has changed but the soul and zest of the sales still remain the same.

Sales development representatives were not a part of the teams in the early years. The marketing teams pushed the sales teams to follow the leads whereas the sales team wondered if marketing teams even knew what a potential lead was? To fill in the gap, sales development representatives (SDR) came into the picture.

Now in this article, we will talk about,

  1. What is a sales development representative?
  2. How does SDR fit in any organization?
  3. Responsibilities of SDR.
  4. What does it take to be a better SDR?
  5. Conclusion and tips for SDR.
  6. What skills do SDRs need?
  7. Convin for SDRs

Who Is A Sales Development Representative (SDR)?

The SDR’s are entry-level salespeople who help in qualifying the leads that they receive from the other teams. They have to work closely with the sales team in order to help them by connecting and building a relationship with the leads and to make sure that they are a good fit for your product/service. They do not help in bringing more business as they are not involved in closing the sales deal.

These sales development representatives drag the sales leads across the sales pipeline. They first connect with the leads and then pass them through the lead qualification process to confirm if they are fit for your product/service or not.

Once the lead is qualified it is moved to the senior team for further process.

SDR’s have a sales quota that is mostly calculated quarterly. They work mostly on recurring and depend on the number of qualified leads and they provide that gets closed.

Where Does The Sales Development Representative Fall In The Organization Structure?

As we discussed above, the SDR’s are entry-level salespeople who pursue each and every lead that they have been provided with. Once they qualify it, they pass on the lead to the senior team members like Sales representatives or Account Executives or Account Representatives. In some of the industries, SDR’s work closely with the Business Development Representatives too.

The major difference between the BDR and SDR is a type of lead generation strategy pursue. BDR focusses on Outbound lead generation while SDR focusses on Inbound leads.

There should be a continuous flow of qualified leads from the SDR’s to the Account Executives and other teams. Imagine a situation where the Account executives and senior Sales Representatives are talking to the multiple leads having no idea if the leads are even interested in buying or not. This will definitely make the sales cycle longer and the leads will disappear.

What Do Sales Development Representatives do?

There are two important responsibilities that the Sales Development Representatives follow.

  • Connecting with the leads
  • Lead Qualification

Now let’s discuss the above two tasks in detail.

1) Connecting With The Leads

Now, how do any SDR get in touch with leads? Well, there are few important and often used pointers that help SDRs to connect with the leads.

  • Sending them emails
  • Calling them
  • Reaching out on Social Media
  • Events


There are no set of rules that go into the SDR’s tasks, Few strategies that have worked for me may not work for you. But for our understanding, we follow the generic processes that have proven good results. Now for any of the SDR, what is the lead qualification process?

  • Exploring the market
  • Know your lead

Exploring the market

To find the right customer for your service/product you need to do a lot of market research. Study the problems that these people have and help them find a solution for it. For this purpose, these SDRs use a lot of outreach and discussions.

Know your lead

This is the part where you prepare for your lead. Before building a rapport with them, you want to know them better. For this purpose, Linkedin helps a lot. You come to know the likes and dislikes of them. You can also check the organization they belong to. It will give you information regarding the size of the company, the industry they are into, who is the decision-maker? Etc.

2) Lead Qualification

As a Sales development representative, there are ‘n’ number of tasks that they do. But the major task is to qualify the leads and push them to the other teams. We talked above how these SDRs do not close any deals and neither are they a part of it.


For your lead qualification process, you have to ask the below questions. This will help you decide if the lead is a fit or not.

  • Requirement : Does your prospect need your product or solution? If yes for what purpose are they going to use it?
  • Authority : Is your lead authorized enough to make the buying decision?
  • Budget : Does this prospect have funds to make a purchase?
  • Time Duration : How soon is your lead going to buy your product/service?

Next Step: If the prospect is interested in your solution, what is the next step to move the lead from an MQL to an SQL? Once you know these answers, it will be very easy for the SDR’s to qualify the lead.

What Does It Take To Be A Sales Development Representative?


Any SDR needs to have the below skills be successful.

1. Should know the product in and out

How will you sell if you have no idea what you are going to sell? So any SDR should have in-depth knowledge of the product that they are selling. When they talk to the leads, they should know the features, integrations, pricing, competitor’s details, etc.

Not knowing enough about the product/solution will make it embarrassed for you and the company.

2. Time management and tech skills

Since SDR’s have to connect with a lot of people, they need to know how to manage their time. There will be multiple calls scheduled and email responses that they need to respond to. All of these are not possible without Time Management.

Also, SDRs need to be good with technology too. Every lead that they connect to should have an entry into the CRM.

3. Street Smart

When you are into sales, you should be street smart and understand sales psychology. If you do not play smartly, your competitor will use this as an advantage and within a week your leads will be singing with the competitors.

4. Communication

Sales conversations are high stakes. If you do not say the right things, the lead will slip from your hands. People mostly feel sales are all about how you talk. Well, yes it is but a successful salesperson is someone who listens. SDR’s need to qualify leads and get certain questions answered. But sales calls are conversations, not interviews. Prospects often need a few moments to collect their thoughts – and great SDRs give them those moments by pausing (for at least 3 seconds) before speaking again.

5. Listening skills

When you are in any of the customer facing roles, you have to listen to the person on the other end. Also it is very important to display active listening skills. This is especially important over the phone as the client you are speaking with can’t make note of your body language or eye contact. Practicing active listening by understanding your clients’ needs and demonstrating that you genuinely care for them will also help you build a rapport.

What are the important skills SDR should have?

Sales is a role where soft skills take over technical skills. SDR is one such role.

Convin for SDRs

Convin is a conversation intelligence tool made specifically to ease the job of SDR. It records the activities of sales people during calls, emails, demo calls etc and then shares important insights that will help them close more deals.

Convin can analyze your sales calls to give you insight on what’s being spoken on calls. It also helps you understand what’s working and what’s not so that you can coach your team to replicate your best salespeople. It also helps you get your new hires to speed quickly and gather hidden market intelligence from conversations.


It would be difficult to imagine a day without sales development representatives. With the use of conversation intelligence, these SDR’s now have a chance to help you boost and scale your business into x times. It helps them to qualify leads more precisely. With the use of tools like Convin, these SDR’s get a detailed summary of the analysis of their sales activities. This will help them to understand what are the areas they need to work on.

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