Career in Sales

8 Career Goals to Set for Yourself in Your First Year as an SDR

Sales development representatives (SDRs) are becoming increasingly prominent in the business landscape. Many companies realise they can achieve more significant revenue growth by structuring their sales teams according to their roles and objectives. 

SDRs have specific performance metrics and goals that benefit the entire sales operation. As a result, the first year as an SDR may present many challenges and opportunities. This article looks at some career goals you can set for yourself in the first year as an SDR.

Career Goals for the First Year as an SDR

As sales professionals, it is essential to develop human-centred skills, such as communication skills, managing relationships, and teamwork, in the first year. 

You will notice everything from tech onboarding, training, interactions with different departments, practice with warm leads, researching, prospecting, sending outreach, etc. 

Setting goals to stay at the top of your game in an entry-level position is essential. Here are eight goals you can focus on in the first year:

1. Ask for guidance

Ask for guidance

While it is expected to maintain a self-starter attitude early on, it is imperative to reach out to your colleagues and managers in learning the ropes of sales. 

Be eager to try new things, ask questions, and take notes during meetings and one-on-one sessions with top-performing experts. This will help you understand more about the products, competitors, value, and customers. 

2. Improve your prospecting strategies

Every lead you talk to during prospecting is ‌ the perfect fit for your product or has the potential to be. After the first month, as the sales conversations grow, you can develop techniques and processes to improve prospecting. 

This requires identifying and differentiating leads vs. prospects through researching, preparing a customised pitch for each prospect, and repeating your strategies to understand the areas of improvement. 

3. Hone problem-solving skills

Salespeople become successful not just with their ways of selling products but also with their problem-solving skills. As a beginner, you can start understanding the pain points and developing the innate ability to anticipate problems and find a way around them. 

A problem-solving checklist will allow you to list the steps you need to follow in different situations. Another way is to follow a three-way process of asking relevant questions, identifying and following different solutions, and finally, offering a solution. 

4. Document customer information and communication

Along with a deep understanding of products, salespeople are familiar with their prospects and needs. Since your role would be around qualifying leads and outreach, you can bring some smaller deals to a close after the six-month mark and document the communication. 

This will help you understand the company's value proposition you are working for. In addition, it will familiarise you with important KPIs and aid in evaluating your performance. 

Related: What Opportunities Are Available After an SDR’s Role: AE or SDR Manager?

5. Build positive rapport across different personality types 

Often, it takes a dozen cold calls to find one lead who shows an interest in what you have to say. A good SDR is adaptable to different selling situations, and the same goes for being able to hold conversations with people of different personality types. 

This also applies to making connections outside of sales, such as customer success, marketing, and product development. Utilise those in your network or connection base who can assist you in influencing the deal. 

The connections may come from other contacts in the prospect company or connections that can help influence decision-makers. They may also share quick-win opportunities.

Related: How Sales and Marketing can Collaborate to Increase Growth

6. Develop strong customer service skills

Develop strong customer service skills

The best way to understand what a prospect need is by simply listening to what they say, asking questions to understand their needs. 

After that, you can gather meaningful takeaways and ask follow-up questions that rely on the prospect's statement. In addition, introduce new products or services to clients using a personal sales script you are comfortable delivering. Again, anticipate questions and concerns ahead of time.

Another way to persuade customers to purchase is to demonstrate your genuine interest in their success. Rather than focusing solely on outstanding customer service, learn to give customers a positive and holistic experience. You can achieve this by putting more emphasis on customer success.

7. Keep up-to-date with industry trends

It is important to revamp your sales strategy by staying updated with the latest trends in the sales world, such as the rise of artificial intelligence, automation of various sales processes and an increase in video’s impact. 

Familiarise yourself with the CRM system your company uses to help you automate routine tasks as time progresses and develop delegation skills.

Related: 5 Sales Trends Shaping the Future of Sales

8. Undertake responsibilities 

Since the first year plays an important role in your sales career, achieving and exceeding your targeted sales goals early is essential. 

Successful salespeople break large sales targets down into smaller targets, set activity goals, focus on customer service and pursue qualified sales leads. 

Develop a plan that includes a sales activity target. Analyse past activity records and determine how many appointments, phone calls, emails, referrals, and follow-up contacts are made by the most successful salesperson in your company or industry. Then, look at what you do each week to increase sales and learn what doesn't.

With Juno School, our interactive online courses teach you everything you need to know about sales in eight weeks - and help you gain a competitive edge when looking for a job. Apply at Juno Business School today!

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