9 Reasons Why Your First Job Should Be In Sales Development

Thousands of people (like myself) graduate college not knowing their next move.  Sales Development gives gritty and intelligent people, the ability to learn at a rapid pace and make a solid income.  It’s a difficult job, and it is certainly not for everyone, but to the ones that can find success, it’s a perfect job to propel your career.  Below you’ll find nine reasons why being an SDR should be your first job.  -BV-

Reason #1 Opportunity To Think Like an Entrepreneur

One exciting aspect of joining a sales team, even more so at a startup, is being in a position to influence the revenue process. To witness firsthand the amount of hustle and grind needed to get that big deal closed. The experience needed to either advance up the ladder or even start your own enterprise.

In sales development, things tend to move unbelievably fast. So when something breaks along the way (Trust me it will), you’ll have the unique opportunity to get your hands dirty and propose a solution directly to the people who can make changes happen. Your perspective matters and could ultimately leave a positive, long-lasting impact for your company and most importantly, your customers.


Alexander Salas Barrios

Sales Development Representative, Nextdoor

Reason #2: Measurable Returns On Hard Work

We get judged by 3 factors: Performance, Perception, and Politics. In many other entry-level positions, the “performance” piece can be vague and the expectations can be unclear, but in sales, we are the masters of our own destiny. It’s growing increasingly rare to find a job where you can look at something like activities (calls, emails, social touches) where the amount you do is [generally] correlated with how well you do.

Because we are in a “you get out what you put in” type of position, you can understand the importance of both hard work and measurable expectations. When or if you want to transition out of sales, that type of work ethic isn’t lost and you understand the importance of finding ways to measure your performance. Getting clear and measurable goals like OKRs can be applicable to any job title, and those types of goals are how we are able to improve in our roles.


Sam Cartwright

Sales Development Representative, ZenProspect

Reason #3: Developing a Fail-Resistant Mindset

Being rejected multiple times throughout your day may not sound ideal and you may scoff at someone telling you it is, but it is. Failure is important to experience and most people tend to fear it or shy away rather than embrace it.

In sales development, you have the unique opportunity to fail fast, which allows you to learn quickly that failure is not the end of the world and that it won’t break you. You learn to persist and accomplish your goals despite being hung up on, ignored, or brushed off. That skill of embracing failure and enduring is priceless and will propel you towards success not only in your career but in your personal life as well.

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Mike Miranda

Sales Development Representative, GitLab

Reason #4: It Builds Your Confidence

Let’s face it. The SDR role isn’t for everybody. It’s a grind, you face rejection and so many obstacles every day. But for those who persevere, who go the extra mile to add more personalization/value into their emails, who go out of their way to seek the help of mentors, read books, listen to podcasts, who master their craft — you realize it was all worth it.

When you finally book a meeting with that c-level exec, when you see one of your meetings turn into a closed-won deal when your prospect posts the email you sent him on LinkedIn and praises it for all to see when you hit quota for the first time. There’s no better feeling in the world. A truly exceptional SDR is one of the most valuable people at a company – knowing you’re making that type of impact is a huge confidence boost.


Jeremy Leveille

Sales Development Representative, LeadIQ

Reason #5: Transferable Skills That Last You a Lifetime

Relationship building and active listening are two main skills that will get you very far in your professional and personal life. They will also make or break you as a sales rep. Being able to build a trusting relationship with your prospect makes a world of difference. Not only will this skill help you to get the answers you need, it could potentially help you down the road in other scenarios that you would least expect.

Being a great listener doesn’t just mean you know when to shut up and let your prospects talk. It means you are actively listening to your prospect’s best interest at heart to uncover how you can make their business/process/life better with the product/service you are offering. This skill rings true in any and every conversation you have.


Jessica Wilson

Business Development Representative, Vidyard

Reason #6: Overcoming Fear and Building Grit

Most people will never cold call a business with the intention of selling their product/service. Most people claim they “would never do that”. Part of what I take pride in as an SDR is doing a job not many people would have the courage to do. Maybe they are not a good fit for the role, but every SDR personality is different and most don’t  “enjoy” cold calling, but they do it in order to achieve their goal.

Multiply a nervous cold call by 10,000 attempts and you have a lot of grit built in that process. This weaves in the above reasons for building up transferable skills- Grit is important in so many different aspects of life, and cold calling is one of the best ways I’ve found to build it. It makes many other tasks appear easy, or at least much less nerve-racking.


Mac Riedy

Sales Development Representative, DiscoverOrg

Reason #7: You’re Helping Someone Solve a Problem

Although I’ve been an SDR for a year now, I don’t think I’ll ever be completely comfortable cold-calling, someone. Even though I know my product will help my prospect, cold-calling someone is awkward and uncomfortable. However one of my favorite parts about being an SDR is when a prospect does answer the phone and is noticeably unhappy that I called them, but nonetheless reluctantly gives me a chance to say my pitch. And then by the end of the call, they are legitimately interested, take a meeting, and add other members of their team to the call.

What I’ve learned as an SDR is that I’m ultimately helping someone solve a problem.

Yes, it will always be a little uncomfortable calling a decision maker and asking for 30 seconds to sell them something. But when I do set up a meeting and have it turn into a closed deal, it’s extremely rewarding and makes this job a lot of fun.


Luke Friedman

Sales Development Representative, Ambition

Reason #8: Being Surrounded By Driven, Hardworking Teammates Who Push Each Other

One of the most valuable skills you can have when starting off in sales is teachability. When you’re teachable and surrounded by a group of seasoned and motivated sales professionals, you are bound to learn something new every day.

Our office is set up with an open atmosphere where you are able to hear each rep in the office. At first, it was somewhat intimidating, but once I was comfortable on the phone I quickly learned how powerful it can be to listen and learn from the sales reps around you. When my pitch is shaky or my tone is off, my team is always there to give me the constructive criticism I need to make sure my next call is powerful. When you are surrounded by sales professionals from all walks of life with different sales experience and backgrounds, make sure you stay open-minded. Take advantage of their knowledge. Listen to what they have to say. Take their advice and constructive criticism to heart. Not every industry allows you to be surrounded by people who push you to be the best you can be, but sales allows you to grow both personally and professionally day after day.


Hannah McNamara

Business Development Representative, DiscoverOrg

Reason #9: A Measurable, REAL Impact Right Out of College

At the end of senior year, you hear the giddly conversations of people’s graduation plans- where they want years of schooling to propel them. Looking back, a lot of these conversations seemed to end with a similar desire, “I want to do something where I feel fulfilled and have an impact”. I thought that was a nice pipe dream…

Coming into this role I had the following mindset. Be here to learn, work your ass off and maybe in a few years you’ll be in a position of influence. However, at one year in I’ve found that my team and I make serious contributions to the business every month. As an SDR, your work has tangible effects on businesses that generate millions of dollars your first year out of school. We celebrate the wins with senior members of the company because, without the front lines of the SDR squad, the business simply can’t grow. So if you’re itching to have a real impact right out of school, try your hand on the phones- you might just find gold.


Sean Breen
Sales Development Maven, TrackMaven

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