Career Definition of a Sales Development Representative
A sales development representative helps generate and facilitate sales for a company. They may be involved in initiating contact with potential customers through phone calls, known as outbound prospecting/cold-calling, or they may respond to inquiries that are generated through advertisements, known as inbound lead follow-up. It's common for them to communicate with potential customers by phone and by email, although they may also meet with potential customers. Their objective is to identify the potential needs of the customer, qualify their interest and viability, and create a relationship that will help drive the sale.
Once they have generated a solid lead, the sales development representative will connect the lead to a salesperson. They may set up in-person meetings, or they may arrange for other methods of communication, such as an email follow-up or a phone call. Their objective is to effectively and efficiently connect potential customers to sales staff so that their company profits through sales. Their duties also involve following up with people who expressed interest but have not purchased goods or services. Ultimately, they aim to expand the customer base for their company.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Customer service skills, interpersonal skills, time management skills, analytical skills, mathematical skills, ability to meet deadlines, teamwork skills|
|Median Salary (2020)*||$44,299|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)**||2% (wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives)|
Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Although it can be possible to become a sales development representative with sales experience, most employers seek applicants with a bachelor's degree. Although employers may consider any degree suitable, it may benefit those considering this career to study business, market research, or marketing. Coursework in sales techniques, marketing, and communication are highly beneficial. Those who hope to work with scientific and technical products may benefit from a bachelor's degree in a scientific field relevant to the specific company products.
Sales development representatives must have strong communication skills so that they can effectively interact with potential customers and sales staff. They need teamwork skills to ensure that they work as an effective part of the sales team. Customer service skills are important since the success of their role depends on meeting customer needs. Analytical skills can be crucial because they can help them determine which products will be most suited to the customer's needs and identify the salesperson who is most knowledgeable about those products. They need good time management skills so that they can meet outreach targets and respond to queries as efficiently as possible.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes sales development representatives in the larger group of 'wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives.' The BLS indicated that from 2018 to 2028, these sales professionals will see a 2% job growth rate. According to PayScale.com, the median income for sales development representatives was $44,299 per year as of 2020.
The role of a sales development representative may also appeal to individuals interested in different types of sales careers. Learn more about different sales professionals by following these links.