Doing Whatever it Takes – Thoughts on Excelling as an SDR

To be honest I’ve never been much of a Celtics fan (or a Lakers fan for that matter), but as a kid I used to re-watch the playoff match-ups between the Showtime Lakers and the Celtics on a near weekly basis. I found it fascinating how Larry Legend, while clearly outclassed athletically, was able to seemingly will the ball through the net time and time again. Larry said something in the midst of all these gladiator matches that has stuck with me since my childhood, something that has helped shape my life:

“I’ve got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” – Larry Bird

While I couldn’t necessarily support Mr. Bird on the mullet, I could get behind the belief that to accomplish your dreams you need to put in the work. When I began my career as an SDR, I didn’t know a thing about ABS or ABM or ABE or whatever the kids are calling it these days, but what I did know about was how to grind and how to outwork everyone. That’s the secret I am hoping to share with every SDR out there – the most controllable part of your success is you and the effort you bring each and every day.


I came to Outreach at an amazing time in our company’s history, as employee #22 and SDR #5. I quickly learned that no support/ops personnel worked in our east coast sales office. So I learned the Outreach platform better than anyone and immersed myself in learning how to use SFDC so I could help support the day to day needs of our quickly growing SDR team. I spent nights for the first few months teaching myself how to use SFDC (I’m from central Pennsylvania folks, no one here has ever even heard of a CRM before). Our Director of Sales Operations took notice to my late night extracurricular jaunts through our Salesforce and decided to channel my passion for some good and enlisted me in account sourcing.

When I wasn’t making calls I was writing LinkedIn messages & emails. When I wasn’t writing, I was sequencing (Outreach lingo – if you haven’t joined the club yet you should). When I wasn’t sequencing, I was prospecting. When I wasn’t in the office, I was on my couch sourcing accounts until well into the morning hours. I won’t lie to you and say that keeping up with the daily duties of life as an SDR while sourcing accounts and building reports/analyzing data was easy. I swear for the first five or six months I didn’t sleep more than 4 hours a night. If my peers put in 8 hours, I put in 10. If they put in 12 I put in 14. None of this is meant to gloat or brag (“WOW Alex you’re so awesome!”), but to show the level of effort it takes to stand out and to excel. I saw an area where the company needed me and I grabbed it by the horns. I encourage everyone reading this should take a good long look in the mirror and ask themselves if they really are doing everything they possibly can to master their craft (SDRing for most of you, but applies to any role) while also doing everything they can to help out in other ways.

As an SDR it is easy to get worn down by the daily grind; hundreds of phone calls, emails, LinkedIn accounts visited, and most of all “NO!” So to all of the SDRs out there the biggest piece of advice I can give is to never stop working. Even when you think you are maxed out there is another level you can take it to, I promise. I don’t care how talented you are, if you aren’t working, someone else is.

“Talent is never enough. With few exceptions the best players are the hardest workers.” – Magic Johnson

-Alex Lynn-

Alex Lynn is a Sales Development Manager at Outreach, and is an energetic sales professional that is all about the data. He firmly believes as a team, when one member wins, every member of the team wins. His diverse background includes going to Undergraduate school for Physical Therapy, to running operations for 26 different Verizon retail locations, to coaching youth basketball, to being an avid outdoorsman.

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