Episode OneHundredThirtyThree

What to Look for in an SDR Role

Guest: Cara Felleman and Madison Zeinert, Resy’s Director of Inside Sales and SDR Manager

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About This Episode

Being on the ground floor of a startup as an SDR can be very exciting.

It can also be a little overwhelming searching for the right startup to dedicate your time to. What if their processes are different? What if you have to learn a new technology?

Luckily, Resy’s Director of Inside Sales, Cara Felleman, and SDR Manager, Madison Zeinert, have joined me for this Women in Revenue Wednesday session on The Sales Engagement Podcast.

They list a slew of factors to look for before hopping on board a new company as an SDR. And, as long as you find these elements, it’s likely everything else will work itself out.

  1. Cross-functional collaboration
  2. Helpful feedback
  3. Opportunity to grow
  4. Passion for the industry

1. Cross-functional collaboration

When Resy was in its infancy, Cara and Madison point out that cross-functional collaboration helped their team tremendously. This type of teamwork is absolutely something to look for in a new company.

Collaboration across specialties in an organization opens team members up for transparent communication and goal alignment. When you see these two components at play in a company, it should tell you that the people value honesty and teamwork.

Other benefits of cross-functional collaboration include:

  • More holistic insights. As an SDR, you’ll have a clearer view of your buyer personas and what prospects want if collaboration is cross-functional. Absorbing insights from other functions of the organization — like marketing or accounting — will give you a better understanding of your customers.
  • More engagement. When employees know they’re being heard by other areas of the business, they’ll be more apt to be engaged in collaboration. This cultivates a culture of understanding and innovation. (Plus, it’s just more fun to be a part of.)
  • More diversity. Cross-functional collaboration involves individuals from all parts of the organization. Involving different specialties, ages, and other demographics will help develop more intriguing ideas and approaches to problems.
  • More accountability. When your team is coming together to make an action plan, there’s naturally more accountability for individuals to complete their objectives. If you know someone else’s job is contingent on yours, it’s likely that you will feel extra responsibility to produce a finished product.

Cross-functional collaboration should absolutely be a component that you look for in any startup you join. With this type of open communication, you know your objectives as an SDR will align with the rest of the team’s.

2. Helpful feedback

Have you ever had a job where the boss doesn’t tell you where you went wrong, just that you’re wrong? Even if it was for the sake of being nice, it’s still essential for a leader to communicate the areas in which you can improve and how.

When she was a new SDR to the company, Madison realized how important it was for her leaders to share specific feedback with her. It gave her the opportunity to grow and correct anything she might’ve been doing wrong.

Not to mention, it always feels good to receive positive feedback from your team. It tells you that you’re on the right path and encourages you to keep going.

Helpful and specific feedback should be present in any organization you’re considering joining. If no one is candid enough to share feedback with another team member or employee, you’ll know that there isn’t much room for growth.

3. Opportunity for growth

Let’s go a step further and look at the literal opportunity for growth within the company. 

Especially if you’re joining a young startup, you want to be sure there’s a level up from SDR. Will you be the first SDR and hold the responsibility of building scalable processes as Cara did for Resy?

When corresponding with a company you’re thinking about joining, make sure you have the following questions answered:

  • Are there any formal or informal mentorship opportunities at the organization?
  • What career development opportunities are provided by the company?
  • Is there room for me to practice newly acquired skills in addition to my SDR role?
  • Are there opportunities to be reimbursed for continued education?
  • How defined are the steps to promotion opportunities?
  • How often do senior roles become available for consideration?
  • What is an example of successful career growth in your organization?

Clear opportunities for growth are valuable to an SDR’s career. You’ll want to find a company that’s ready to help you grow in your career and your life.

4. Passion for the industry

In any SDR role you choose, you want to make sure you have a passion for the industry you’re getting into. 

If you’re in the SaaS space, are you excited about what the product helps the customer achieve? Is the company focused on shoveling products out the door or are they genuinely passionate about the problem they’re solving?

Cara emphasizes that passion will take you a long way in your career. However, don’t feel bad if the passion that was there needs some reigniting. Some things you can try to reignite passion in your career could be:

  • Calling on a mentor
  • Becoming a professional mentor
  • Professional peer meetups
  • Listening to podcasts focused on your job (like The Sales Engagement Podcast!)

Having a genuine passion for the industry you’re in or entering will undoubtedly help you find success in your job as an SDR.

For more engaging sales conversations, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

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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