Tips to Onboard SDRs for Sales Success

Written by Zackary Archer

Zack Archer is a UF graduate with a B.S. in Advertising and a former SDR from The Selling Factory. He currently resides in South Florida where he works full time as an Account Manager for an advertising agency.

Photo by Content Pixie from Pexels

So, you just landed a job as a sales development representative – CONGRATULATIONS and welcome to a cohort of millions of other individuals looking to foster their sales skills development. Becoming a sales development representative can be an exciting kickstart to anyone’s career, as it opens numerous doors to that individual through networking opportunities and sales skills development. 

Value of Sales Development Representatives

The role of sales development representatives is one of the most important and arguably the hardest, as they build the foundation for your sales pipeline and work to create predictable revenue for businesses. Attracting prospects is only getting more challenging in the already competitive field of sales, and it’s not surprising that new SDRs get caught up in the numbers game and personal success.

While closed deals and predictable revenue are the ultimate goals of sales development, understanding your customers’ needs on a basic level is what really drives a product or service’s sales success. Sales development also requires complex collaboration within your team and the styling of many different hats, such as research, marketing, and outreach.

So how do you go about taking on a role that requires empathy while also being a part of a numbers game? Based on my experience, here are 6 tips to sales success as a new SDR.

Tips for a New Sales Development Representative

  1. Be open-minded: Training to be an SDR requires dedication and patience. It won’t just happen overnight. As you begin the process of training, you learn not only the skills you will have to have to execute the routine of an SDR but also the skills you already possess and how you will strengthen them further. In sales, rejection is inevitable, and you will learn to keep pushing regardless. Being resilient in the face of adversity will foster your sales skills development and eventually narrow your contact lists to only the warmest leads.

  2. Understand your market needs: As an SDR you will be well-rounded in what product and/or service you will be delivering to customers. Whether the sale is B2C or B2B, an SDR is bound to learn the ins and outs of the product to gain traction with customers who have an interest. The hardest part is, of course, getting the customer to even listen to what you have to say at the start. The heart of the tips to sales success is understanding your customer’s needs and being able to convey the key benefits of your product in a way that resonates with them. Once you have their interest and intrigue, you’ll notice it’s a piece of cake.

  3. Take initiative: Onboarding as an SDR can be overwhelming at first. You’re excited to start, but all the extensive training and uncertainty are making you nervous about what is to come. Sometimes, you may think that asking a “simple question” is just a waste of time when sales managers actually encourage questions from their representatives. Other times, there is an opportunity presented that you might pass because you have self-doubt. So, next time you are unsure of something, be the first to ask questions and be curious about those opportunities. You don’t even have to wait for your sales manager to ask you before you start seeking more ways to grow. 

  4. Be excited about what you sell: You may not always be content about the product or service you are providing for customers. Finding something within the product or service that really resonates with you, such as a feature or design can be a motivating factor when you speak with customers. Understanding your customer’s needs and your product’s key value points is critical when executing your pitch. The only way to gain intrigue from your customers is to match the enthusiasm you want your customers to have for the product.

  5. Motivate your peers before they motivate you: After becoming an SDR, I noticed that much of the motivation came from my fellow SDRs cheering me on with the success I was having with customers. An important part of being an SDR is keeping the energy alive within your department or team of fellow SDRs. Conveying your admiration for their work ethic is a great way to show that others’ work is just as important and that you notice it! Others will eventually notice you, too, and it keeps you feeling accomplished as you continue to succeed in the role of a SDR.

  6. Be confident in everything you say: As an SDR, you have to have confidence and just jump in. If you struggle with this, then I always tell people, “fake it till you make it.” Essentially, what I mean is to be to the point when speaking with customers, and from thee, you will build your sales confidence. Most of the time customers will ask you questions that you may not know off the top of your head. That’s why you have to plan ahead in what you want to say in response to things you may not know right away. With that, you want to have a powerful voice and response because any little hesitation may cause customers to think otherwise. Research and preparation build confidence, and confidence helps you hit your quotas.

Enhanced Onboarding for SDR Success

So, now that you have the background knowledge in ramping up to be an SDR, it is time to put your knowledge to the test by putting in the work. By following these tips to sales success, you will feel more prepared for your task assignments and begin to see the results that drive predictable revenue. 

While we all love to accomplish the goals we set forth, always remember that understanding your customer’s needs is foremost, and these needs are subject to change as well. Reflecting on those needs in your pitch can make a difference in sales success. 

Approach customers with what you can give rather than what you can receive from the situation, and you’ll be much better off in your new role!

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.