Episode TwoHundredFourteen

Where Do You Go After the SDR Role?

Guest: Sphera

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About This Episode

No matter how good your SDRs are, the odds are they won’t stay SDRs forever, since the average tenure for a SDR is just shy of a year and a half. 

Which begs the question: 


As an SDR, how do you prepare for what’s next? Where do you go after your role as an SDR? What options are out there, and how do you know which one is right for you? 

On this episode of the Sales Engagement podcast, we sat down with 4 different folks from Sphera who have all navigated through the SDR role into something different. Whether they became an AE or CSM, they all had some great things to say on how they navigated their careers. 

Raise Your Hand Early & Often

The most overwhelming thing we heard from every person on the interview was that in order to set yourself up to succeed at whatever comes after the SDR role, you have to advocate for yourself early and often. 

That means having the discussions with your manager about what you think might be next. While it can be intimidating to talk to your manager about wanting to move on to a new role, any SDR manager worth their paycheck will understand that as soon as an SDR lands in the role, they are already being shaped for whatever is next. 

What are the pieces of the SDR role that you love? Is it hunting out prospects? Building out cadences and talk tracks? Talking to current clients?


What do you love doing, and what do you hope you never have to do again? 

You’ll be shocked at how supportive and helpful those SDR managers will be when they know what your aspirations are for your career. 

SDR to AE

The SDR to AE role is a strong jump. 

Plenty of SDRs make the leap to an AE, as it often seems to be the natural progression for someone who’s gotten really good at the SDR role. 

But how did Imani do it? 

“I talked to my manager about where I’d be successful, but also where I’d see challenges. The conversations were full of honesty and transparency, and that really set me up for success in moving into the AE role, and helped make the decision to move much easier.” 

What was the most important skill she learned as an SDR that helped her as an AE?

Listening. 

Hearing what people are saying. Listening to the timeline decision makers. And learning to pay attention to the little details.  

SDR to Customer Service Manager

Trevor went a different route. 

He knew pretty instantly that the SDR role wasn’t one that he wanted to do long term, and that was okay. 

“I loved being in a client facing role, having those conversations, and helping people out with problem solving, and the CSM role seemed to be the natural fit for me because it allowed me to work with all the same product groups I had as an SDR. Whereas the AE role limited me more.” 

He didn’t want to do the outbound work of the SDR, but wanted to stay connected with the clients. 

His advice for moving from one role to another?

Communication. Constant communication with your manager, and talking to folks that are in the roles that you want to move into.

SDR to SDR Manager

Harry reinvented himself. 

After a career in sales retail construction, he re-entered the tech world as an SDR, and really found his calling as an SDR manager. How did he know?

When you spend your free time helping not your quota, but helping others hit their quota, that’s a pretty sure sign that you’ve got a career of management in front of you. 

What was the overwhelming advice from all our guests?

Put in the work. First you need to perform, but raise your hand early and often, and make sure and keep those open lines of communication with your manager regarding your career aspirations. 

The sky’s the limit. 

This post is based on a podcast interview. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.

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About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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