I see calls for advice for first time or new SDRs nearly every day on LinkedIn. These tips will help you become a successful SDR and ensure you are promoted faster in any organization. Here are my top three recommendations for your first year as an SDR in a simple to remember format:
Come to work. Seriously, just don’t miss work. Don’t take long vacations. Don’t schedule that trip to Europe you’ve been dying to go on your entire life during your first year as an SDR. Take care of yourself so you’re not sick all the time. Get rest, drink water, meditate, try to exercise if you can. Do everything you can to have impeccable attendance. Obviously things happen to everyone, you’ll inevitably miss some work, but try to make it an exception and not a rule. People are watching and optics really matter.
Don’t show up to work late, don’t leave work early. In fact, show up a little early and stay a little late, this is your opportunity to spend time with the senior members of your organization. They are free from their meetings and generally available to spend time with you. Ask them for advice, ask about career opportunities, ask them what they’re working on. Get to know these people and make them your advocates. You’d be surprised what the occasional five-minute conversation with your VP of Sales or VP of Marketing can do for your career.
You don’t know everything, in fact you know very little. And guess what? That’s totally fine. We don’t expect you to be experts on day one, but we do expect you to work hard and learn a lot. Lean into the process of learning and become an expert on your company’s selling process, value props and demo. Learn about the customer you serve, what metrics matter to them, what do they spend time thinking about, how are they measured on success. Remember that during this process you need to have a thick skin, your managers are only trying to help you. They may not know exactly how to do that (probably a good topic for another post), but trust that their intentions are at the very least altruistic. You are an investment for your company – they want to drive maximum value out of you. They expect you to improve, so grow the hell up and improve!
Don’t Slow Up
I’ve seen this in nearly every SDR I’ve managed or worked with – the slowdown. Just about the time you start to get good at the job your natural inclination will be to start taking it easy. Don’t. Don’t slow down at all. If you are the top SDR at your company then you’re no longer in competition with your peers, you’re now in competition with yourself. Have you booked the most meetings in company history? Good, now go beat that. Have you created the most pipeline in a single month? Perfect, now leave that record in the dust. How about sourcing closed-won deals? If you haven’t done that, go take the top spot for that metric.
Don’t slow down, don’t you dare slow down. While management will value the work you’ve done in the past, throwing up a bad month when you’re in line for a promotion is a bad sign. It signals that you can’t multitask or that you are potentially running out of steam. If you ever played sports, you know the phrase – run through the line – which means don’t pull up right before you hit the finish line. So don’t have a bad month during your interview process for your promotion.
Enjoy the Glow Up
If you’ve done all of these things, you will be promoted. Celebrate and enjoy the new title and additional income. Then get back to tips 1-3 right away.
This post originally appeared as a LinkedIn article.