4 Exceptional Qualities of a Well-performing SDR [INFOGRAPHIC]


SDR is probably the hardest role to have in the sales department regardless of whether it’s inbound or outbound. This is why when you’re recruiting your own SDR team, you want to make sure that you have the right people in your circle. 

There’s two types of Sales Development Representatives: Those who perform exceptionally well, and those who perform averagely. We want to help you make the right decisions, so we compiled a list of qualities that you should look for when hiring or outsourcing an SDR team


Grit and Tenacity

Excellent SDR

Being an SDR isn’t an easy job. So, what sets an excellent SDR apart from the rest are those who possess grit and are flexible. They know the grueling process of going through dozens of cold calls to find at least one or two leads that are interested. This alone is a draining task and if your SDRs don’t have the tenacity to keep going, they’ll give up and get lax after the first few rejections. Having the grit and tenacity is a must for your SDRs in order for them to maintain their focus on the task at hand as well as bouncing back from setbacks, gunning full-speed towards your company’s goal. 

Average SDR

On the other hand, average SDRs will work towards finishing their goal for the day, but won’t necessarily go the extra mile of pushing for more and become lax after a few rejections have come their way. Setbacks may be harder for them to bounce back from as the focus may be directed more towards the challenge rather than the overall goal.

Related: Responsive Calling: Ways to Make Prospecting Calls that Convert


Excellent SDR

Everyone working in sales knows that everything moves at lightning speed and every delayed minute is another revenue lost. SDRs have to be ready for everything thrown at them and dealing with every circumstance on their feet. Adaptability is a trait all excellent SDRs should possess because the market that they are pitching to could change at any time.  They have to be able to adapt their selling style depending on where the prospects they are calling are located. Proactiveness is key for successful SDRs when it comes to researching and knowing all the different selling tactics during every quarter of the year.

Average SDR

The ability to adapt may be slightly different and a little less practiced. There are times where they find it hard to think on their feet when an exchange with a prospective buyer goes into a different direction than they’ve planned. They usually have a set script for each call and it gets a little difficult when the selling style changes and they are not prepared. A conversation going off-script is this type of SDR’s greatest nightmare. 

Related: How to Lose a Deal: 6 Sales Prospecting Pitch Mistakes

Active Listeners

Excellent SDR

SDRs have to do a lot of talking on a daily basis as that is their main job, but as important as it is for SDRs to have great talking skills, they should also exhibit great listening skills. It’s all about having a conversation with the prospects rather than it just being pure sales talk that’s scripted and rehearsed. When they show the prospects that they are actively listening, it shows that they are genuinely interested and engaged. They’ll also be able to pick up even the most subtle clues that the prospects drop during their conversation which will allow them to present them with the right solutions to their pain points. 

Amazing listening skills demonstrates genuinity and makes your prospects feel like they are being heard out and their needs being addressed. So, be sure that your SDRs are exceptional listeners who are also able to handle objections and even rejections better and take note of what the prospect has said rather than letting frustrations get the better of them. 

Average SDR

These SDRs are wired to focus on making as many sales as possible. So, they will speedrun every call and interaction, and oftentimes it leaves little to no window of opportunity for the prospect to voice out their concerns . The focus is geared towards closing deals rather than sparking a conversation and meeting the prospect eye-to-eye. 

Time Management

Excellent SDR

A big part of having the job of being an SDR is managing and keeping track of appointments, tasks, and statistics in order to make sales. As an SDR, you constantly have to juggle between report numbers, making sure you meet all your quotas, and scheduling meetings, etc. It can get overwhelming really quickly but if your SDRs have top time management skills, they will make sure to keep a calendar and a checklist to make sure that they don’t miss any important appointments, information, staying organized and on top of everything that they’re doing. They not only set goals for themselves but also for what they want to accomplish with their tasks both short and long term. They set themselves up for success and it pays off in the long run for both your company and them as individuals. 

Average SDR

Time management is a huge part of being a good SDR. While your average SDR manages their tasks well, many other tasks tend to still fall through the cracks as not everything may be planned out and organized properly. Usually, the major task (which is calling prospects) is prioritized above all else, which is a good thing, but everything else is more of a to-follow task. This doesn’t leave much room for accomplishment within one day and can cause tasks to pile up instead. 

Related: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing SDR Services


The next time you’re scouting for your own team of SDRs, take the points we listed above as a guideline when you’re interviewing and evaluating your next candidates in order to set apart the average from the excellent ones. Moreover, remember that it only takes a few but great sales development representatives who can help turn the tide of your business. So, take the time to invest, research, screen, and hire only the best that exhibit these traits to ensure your success.

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