Being an SDR; The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…

Being an SDR; The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth...

Blog post by Emma Lowman, Practice Manager, UK & Europe

You’ve been to Uni, got your degree, moved to London and realised the price of avocados and renting a 1 bed flat in Clapham means its probably time to start looking for a job. In the current climate, where simply turning on the news and hearing the word ‘Brexit’ gives a rush of uncertainty, it’s important to consider a career and role that might not be replaced by a robot in the near future.

I’ve been working at Salt for 6 years, specifically focused on finding great commercial talent for a variety of different disruptive SAAS Technology businesses. It’s difficult to feel worried about the economy when I recruit in such a fruitful and rapidly expanding sector that is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.

One of the best ways to get your foot in the door at one of these companies is to join as an SDR, a Sales Development Representative. Coming in at the bottom level is a fantastic way to learn the ropes of the business and gain an understanding of how the company works, learn the product inside out and receive training that will set you up for life. Combine this with a great financial package, potential stock options, maybe a Deliveroo allowance/ pool table/ beer fridge and the question is, why WOULDN’T you want to be an SDR?

Being a successful SDR takes resilience, hard work, intelligence, ambition and it all starts with securing a first meeting. I thought I’d reach out to a few of the great leaders I’ve worked with over the years and find out what it takes to be a great SDR and what advice they can give you to nail that interview…..

Raj D’arcy – Head of Inside Sales @ Airship

Founded in 2009 as a pioneer in push notifications, Airship (formerly Urban Airship) now gives brands the user-level data, engagement channels, AI orchestration and services they need to deliver push notifications, emails, SMS, in-app messages, mobile wallet passes and more to exactly the right person in exactly the right moment — building trust, boosting engagement, driving action and growing value.

What advice would you give an SDR on how to nail an interview?

Research – and not just the company, but all the people you are meeting with, and understand what interests them, so you can make sure you answer things in a relevant way. And on this topic, prepare your questions in the same way too, don’t just make them about fact finding for yourself, show use it as a chance to prove you want the role!

What advice would you give an SDR on how to be successful in the role?

Of course, the SDR role is one that takes resilience and consistency, coupled with intelligence, but the best SDR’s I’ve seen are able to build a solid foundation for their work, then use their own initiative to think outside the box and ‘cut through the noise’. And remember, build your own personal brand!

Kurtis Winn – Head of Inside Sales @ Exponea

Exponea transforms data into customer relationships. Built on top of a Customer Data Platform (CDP), Exponea combines data-gathering and analytics capabilities with real-time data updates and direct campaign execution. This enables all communication channels to be orchestrated from one place, creating a smart and consistent feel for every customer. Exponea is proud to work with market leaders (including Arcadia Group, Missguided, T-Mobile, and many more), helping them to achieve true personalization at scale.

What advice would you give an SDR on how to nail an interview?

In my experience the biggest reason why candidates fail is because they simply don’t do enough research. In order to nail an interview you simply must be prepared. Quite often candidates aren’t prepared and don’t know enough about the technology, competitors, industry and/or don’t bring in a notepad or a form of taking notes for the interview. Turning up late, dressing inappropriately or if it’s a Video Interview – not being in a quiet, uninterrupted space with a constant internet connection – are also things which aren’t going to impress the interviewer and not help your cause. Make sure you have key examples and specifics of Deals, Targets, Achievements, ask questions and whatever you do – DON’T FORGET TO CLOSE (and then follow up after)

What advice would you give an SDR on how to be successful in the role?

To be successful as an SDR – in my experience, it’s all about attitude, desire, urgency, and hunger. Upskilling yourself as soon as you can with the product, learning and nailing your sales pitch, understanding your customer and mapping out your total addressable market will set you up for success. After that the most important thing in the early days as an SDR is Activity – high levels of activity create momentum. Momentum helps generate Energy – energy is infectious, it helps breed Confidence. That confidence will come through in conversations that we’re ultimately trying to have with our prospective customers and that confidence will help us pick the phone back up again enthusiastically when we are told no or have the phone put down on us!

Pierce Morrison – Associate Director, Inside Sales EMEA & APAC @ Sprinklr

Sprinklr is the most complete social media management system for the enterprise. They help the world’s largest brands do marketing, advertising, care, sales, research, and commerce on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and 21 other channels globally – all on one integrated platform. With more than 1,100 employees in 10 countries, they serve global organizations like Nike, McDonald’s, Microsoft, half of the Fortune 50, and 1,000 other brands who see it, too.

What advice would you give an SDR on how to nail an interview?

Do your due diligence on the product and how it solves business pains. Always ask inquisitive questions on specific case studies you have researched.

What advice would you give an SDR on how to be successful in the role?

Being organised is the key to success and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is the key to learning. Adopt the growth mindset and always seek opportunities to develop.

Elliot Howley – SDR Manager @ Hibob

In late 2015, Hibob was built with the understanding that the world of work is changing. they believe that people are more than just numbers, resources, or talent and that decisions made about them should be personalized, holistic, and data-driven.

And they haven’t stopped building since. Their 130 people in New York, London, and Tel Aviv are working every day to help the companies that are changing the world, change for the better themselves. They provide a SAAS based HR Tech platform and sell to some of the market leading brands and customers.

What advice would you give an SDR on how to nail an interview?

Be prepared, bold and confident. Call the sales team before your interview and gain a better understanding of the process.

 What advice would you give an SDR on how to be successful in the role?

Accept all advice and criticism, failure is a learning experience and the path to success.

So lovely SDRs, now you have the tools and knowledge to not only ACE the interview but also to build a long-term career, what’s stopping you? 

If you would like for me to arrange an interview at any of these amazing businesses then drop me an email at or call me on 07800891048.

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