sales development representative (SDR)

What is a sales development representative (SDR)?

A sales development representative (SDR) is an individual who focuses on prospecting, moving and qualifying leads through the sales pipeline and then delivers those leads to individuals who are responsible for closing sales. SDRs let the employees that close a sale focus their time and effort on the leads with the highest potential to close.

SDRs are educators who help prospects identify solutions to their problems. They do this by developing an understanding of a prospect's needs and then providing relevant solutions, ideas and information, without "pitching" a product.

A key task for SDRs is to identify and screen out individuals who do not have any interest in purchasing a product and eliminate them from the pipeline to avoid wasting future resources.

Communication channels for SDRs

SDRs utilize the following communication forums as they perform their job:

  • Social media. SDRs share knowledge, such as white papers and webinars, on platforms like LinkedIn. They establish themselves as experts, identify potential targets and initiate introductions.
  • Email. These representatives can initiate email conversations with prospects to educate them further and establish an initial rapport.
  • Phone outreach. Voice communication lets SDRs have in-depth interactions with prospects. Phone outreach is the most challenging forum because it requires many skills, such as active listening, knowing how to overcome objections and self-confidence.

SDRs work behind the scenes to accelerate the sales process for others. They must focus on quality in addition to quantity. Outreach efforts must not be blind and too broad. SDRs should be able to identify and address specific challenges and issues.

Editor's note: This article was written in 2019. TechTarget editors revised it in 2023 to improve the reader experience.

This was last updated in March 2023

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