About ❓

An entry level position in sales would be a Sales Development Rep (SDR) also known as a Business Development Rep (BDR). 

The job of an SDR/BDR is to qualify sales opportunities i.e. make sure they are a good fit. A qualified sales opportunity or sales qualified lead (SQL) could be a prospect who has left their name, role, company name, has showed intent to buy and wants to book in a meeting with a senior colleague known as an Account Executive (AE). 

SDR/BDRs may work inbound leads where a prospect comes to you or outbound where the rep must source their own leads. 

Qualifications Needed 🎓

There are no specific qualifications needed. Sales reps come from all sorts of different degree backgrounds from History, Politics and Psychology. 

The most common college course include:

  • Bachelor in Business Studies (BBS)

  • Bachelor of Science (Marketing) 

  • Management Information Studies 

  • No Degree at all

Skills Needed 🔨

Working in sales requires a wide range of skills and being customer facing and metrics driven, requires a particular mindset. Some important skills include the following:

  • Strong communication skills

  • Organisation and time management 

  • Collaborative and coachable 

  • Highly motivated and self-driven 

  • Ability to pitch and sell 

Responsibilities 🙌

As mentioned the main job of an SDR/BDR is to build pipeline for the sales org. They are the first point of contact for a business and work with various different stake holders.

  • Work with Marketing team(s) who provide Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

  • Outreach to prospective customers via email, phone and potential social media (LinkedIn).

  • Work with customer support/success to help with more technical questions or issues prospects have or face

  • Qualify leads and handover to Account Executives to close the deal 

Salary Expectations 💰

Sales reps receive commission on top of their salary. The combination of the two is known as their 'On Target Earnings' or OTE. 

  • Salary: €25,000-€35,000

  • OTE: €35,000-€45,000

Working Hours ⏰

Working hours will vary for sales reps and you more than likely will be working longer than 9-5. Things can get particularly stressful with late evenings at the end of each quarter. 

Career Prospects 📈

There are many options available to people who join as an entry level sales rep (SDR/BDR). Your initial move will be into a closing role either as an Account Executive (AE) who close new business deals or an Account/Relationship Manager (AM/RM) who grow existing accounts. 

In smaller companies there may not yet be an SDR function so you can enter as an AE who normally looks after the full sales cycle - qualifies leads, closes new business and grow existing business. 

Sales enables you to also work cross functionally and move into other business functions such as Marketing and Customer Success. 

A basic chain of command in a sales org looks something like this:

  • VP 

  • Director

  • Manager 

  • AE/RM

  • SDR


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