July 19th marks my first two months as a Sales Development Representative with Softmax Data. As a recent graduate with a B.A in anthropology and environmental studies, these past two months have been a real learning curve to say the least.
Welcome to the real world. No more lengthy, jargon-y, academic, twenty-page papers. You must learn to communicate with your prospects as efficiently as possible. This means short sentences and basic vocabulary. Nobody has the attention span to read your email beyond 4 sentences.
You can read a million books, articles or LinkedIn posts on how to add value or be a top sales rep, but the best way to get good at your job is by jumping right into it and finding your way. Yes, mistakes will be made. But you are human and that is what makes you a great sales development representative. Time and experience will be on your side. Of course, supplementing knowledge always helps – just don’t get stuck in theory!
My Top 3 Suggestions for New Sales Development Representatives.
1. Get out of the sales mindset. Starting as an SDR, I was worried I would be interrupting somebody’s day just to sell them something. This was a bad mindset. Your phone call will bring value when you are able to educate and advise your prospects. If they don’t need your service or product – no sense in wasting anybody’s time. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Onto the next.
2. Set realistic goals. This can be a tough one. If you are entering sales, it is likely you are somewhat competitive and want to be the best. But starting out in sales is tough. (Especially in the midst of a pandemic!) Take the time to sit down with your manager and set some realistic goals and adjust them accordingly.
3. Organization. This cannot be stressed enough. Take some time out of your day to sort your life out and prioritize your most important tasks. An SDR has a lot of responsibilities. Once you start building up that list of prospects it can almost seem unmanageable. Keeping your CRM organized, and up-to date can be a real-lifesaver and help you prioritize what’s important!
Final Thoughts: There are many invaluable skills that can be learned in sales – that can be carried on for the rest of your life regardless of the career path you choose to take. Many of which cannot be taught in school, but are learned through experiences such as my 3 month internship here at Softmax Data. I am looking forward to finishing up the rest of my internship with a strong finish.