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Five things companies hiring experienced SDRs want to see

If you’re an experienced SDR looking for your next role, you need to show prospective employers that little bit extra. Let’s find out more.


In my last article, I talked about how many companies are hiring SDRs with experience into their teams, rather than fresh grads with raw talent. This is because there are a lot of them in the job market right now (due to Coronavirus and its economic effect) and that experienced SDRs are a safer bet during challenging times.


I actually put a poll on LinkedIn about this subject, asking given the current climate, who you would first look to hire as a new SDR joining your sales team? The result was:

  • 51% - experienced SDRs
  • 18% - grads with no experience
  • 31% - skilled or not; doesn’t matter


Not great news for grads, but if you’re an SDR with the right skills, there are some great opportunities open to you.


If you’re an SDR in this position, looking for your next role, you can’t just turn up to an interview and expect to stroll into the job. You have to show your prospective employer that you are worth the extra money they will spend on you compared to a grad. 


In this article, we’re going to look at five things companies are looking for. Let’s go.

1 – Skills

If a company is looking to hire an experienced SDR rather than a grad, the primary reason is skills. They want to see that you know how to prospect, qualify and do all the other things SDRs do. That way, they don’t have to spend time training someone to do it.


You need to demonstrate that you have the skills and the track record to back it up. Come to your interview armed with stories of success – a highlights reel for SDRs. Bear in mind that they might test your skills as part of the interview process, so make sure you can walk the walk as well as talk the talk.


2 – Business acumen


Where an experienced SDR should have the edge over a grad is in business acumen. A good feel for business means you will have better conversations with prospects - you can talk to them on their level. When you can do this, you gain their respect and trust and it is easier to move them through the sales cycle.


Talking of which, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the sales process – why SDRs do what they do and why it works. 

3 – Fit with the team

When companies hire grads, one of the things they look at is how well the candidate will fit with the existing team. This is still true when hiring experienced SDRs, but they will want you to show something extra.

Can you demonstrate what you did in your previous role to enhance team cohesion? Do you help to train up new starters? Are you a mentor? 

If you can show your new employer that you are a team player who will be a great addition, you are much more likely to be successful.

4 – Attitude

As I wrote in last week’s article, some companies may be suspicious about hiring experienced SDRs. The perception is that some come with their own ‘way of working’ – they are set in their ways and struggle to settle in with their new company’s processes.


You need to show that you are not like that - even though you have experience as an SDR, you still have potential. You must show that you have a growth mindset - you want to improve and you demand feedback to help you get there. Demonstrate that you are coachable – talk about a time when coaching helped you find the right solution to a challenge.

5 – The X factor

Finally, you’re not just competing against grads for this job; you’re probably up against other experienced SDRs too. How do you stand out from the crowd? What makes you a special SDR?

How do you make prospects take your call? Perhaps you’re excellent with video, or you have mastered LinkedIn voice messages? What’s your style when you’re on calls?

Also, you’re more than just an SDR – you’re a human being. Is there something else about you, or something else you do that makes you stand out? Don’t be shy about it!