The Trials and Tribulations of a Rookie SDR

By September 19, 2016
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How about that ride in? I guess that’s why they call it Silicon Valley.

My first month as a Sales Development Representative has come to a close, but I feel like it’s been longer. This month was about learning the lay of the land. You know how it is—learning the space, how our product fits in, acclimating to the office environment. Since this position is my first real gig out of college, the idea of predictive marketing and sales in general, seemed pretty intimidating. I was a little skeptical about how I would actually translate my college experiences and personal character into something constructive in the workplace. And more than that, as something that will hopefully enable me to be an efficient and worthy EverString employee.

It’s safe to say my fear and intimidation around not fitting the EverString standards or not being able to sell the way I wanted to was just that—fear.  Although I’m still a grade-A rookie in the SDR pit, I want to share three key lessons that I’ve learned in my first month. Hopefully these learnings will also help you on your way to being educated and productive SDR, and a part of the close-knit office family without being the weirdo in the corner by the punch bowl. If you are a rookie SDR, please engrave the following thoughts into your conscious, you will thank me later.

Find Comfort Outside the Comfort Zone

You’re in a new world, with no previous knowledge of what you’re doing, surrounded by a bunch of people that understand everything better than you do. Although this sounds like an uneasy situation to find yourself in, understand that everyone in the room was at one point in the position you’re in now. Once you can find some comfort in that, use this time to play the rookie card, and ASK QUESTIONS. Your coworkers want you to succeed, and (if your coworkers are awesome like mine) they will do whatever they can put you in the best position to reach your goals. Because think about it, in the end, your goals translate into company goals. It’s holistic!

Take The Time To Really Understand The Product You’re Selling

Like almost anything in the real world, and especially in the tech space, it takes time and effort to completely understand something. In this case, it’s your product— what it does, how it does it, how it helps your target audience, etc. Unlike college, there are no answer keys available for rent in this scenario.

You have to develop this understanding by putting in the time to figure it out. This “figuring it out” takes a lot of learning from other people. Do you have a recorded version of your President or CEO’s pitch? Listen to it as many times as you need to to be able to recite it back yourself. Listen to other people talk about the product—the Field Marketer, VP of Product, etc. Then sit in on AE discovery calls. Get all of the insight you can gather and do a lot of listening. This will allow you to be elastic in your pitch. So whether you’re talking to a Director of Demand Generation or a VP of Sales, you’ll know how to position your product offering. The main goal is not to tell a prospect what your company does, the goal is to explicate how your company will add value to their relevant business efforts.

*Pro-tip: When you’re learning, give yourself space to fail. You’re going to make mistakes. Fail fast. The faster you fail, the more time you have to succeed and prosper in your space. I believe that once you penetrate this learning barrier, no objection, shortcoming, or error will hinder you from reaching your personal and business goals.

Be Human

Although this last concept might sound a little ridiculous since we’re all scientifically proven to be classified as humans (homo sapien sapiens), try to understand that everyone you work with, everyone you reach out to each day, and everyone else, lives a life. Don’t be robotic in your conversations with people, personalize your outreach and tailor your message to the person you’re trying to reach. Be honest with both your fellow colleagues, employers, and prospects.

These are just a few of the many things I have learned throughout my long span of 1 month as an SDR in the predictive marketing space at EverString. I hope this short narrative reaches the iPhone of another rookie SDR about to start his or her first day, so he or she can stop worrying and start working.

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