Sales Development Rep Skills Needed (Updated 2023)

When training or hiring SDR’s, there are some “must-have” skills to generate the sales leads your company needs. 

Here are the Top 7 Sales Development Representative (SDR) Skills Needed For 2022:

1. Critical Thinking

Sales development reps (SDR’s) usually have an ocean of information at their fingertips, more than they or their prospects will ever need. However, none of it is useful if SDRs can’t quickly process and analyze it to apply only what they need.

That’s critical thinking, and it’s a vital skill for SDRs. They don’t need to know everything, but they need to know how to find out everything.

This SDR skill came from’s “15 Skills Sales Development Reps Need to Master Now”.

2. Active Listening

This is a very important skill in prospecting, but not many SDRs can do this well. 

Your candidates must be able to qualify prospects during conversations to understand if they could benefit from your product or service.

Going through a qualification checklist is not enough. An SDR must focus on the conversation to gather additional nuggets of information that you would only get from actively listening to a prospect’s phrases or words.

This SDR skill came from’s “10 Proven Sales Development Representative Skills and Traits to Look for”.

3. Highly Customized Outreach

It’s always been tricky for SDR’s to balance quantity and quality when prospecting. 

Seeing that balance shift, the most successful reps are actually slowing down, spending more time on outreach and connecting with fewer prospects.’s “10 Skills Every Sales Development Rep Needs to Master in 2020” article, shared this other SDR skill.

4. Know Who to Target

The decision-maker isn’t always the target, and SDR’s should be skilled to know whom to target within an organization. 

Influencers, direct and indirect, often help SDR’s get the appointment booked, and regular conversations with various prospects within an organization are likely to become a primary prospect.

This SDR skill came from’s “14 Skills Sales Development Representative Have Mastered”.

5. Resilience

SDR’s get hung up at least once every day! 

And the leads are inbound. You will also get people on the line who have no interest in speaking with you, or who have already decided on another product or service.

You need to be able to pick yourself back up, remember that it wasn’t a personal attack on you, and put yourself in their shoes. You never know what the person on the other end of the phone might be going through.

This SDR tip came from “10 SDR Skills Every Sales Development Representative Needs”.

6. Creativity

Modern SDR’s must be creative. 

It’s not enough to blindly follow a process. The modern selling landscape has changed drastically in the last 15 years.  Back in the early 2000’s, sending out thousands of emails asking for a referral was good enough. 

Now, we live in the world of hyper personalization and educated buyers. Great SDRs must be able to adapt to the changing landscape and think for themselves.

10 Traits of Great Sales Development Rep Hires” shared this SDR skill.

7. Be Curious

The role of SDR is still evolving and we’re bound to learn new insights and gain new perspectives on how the role should be handled as we progress through the digital age. This is why curiosity is a great asset.

Be curious about the industries you offer services too, be curious about your service, and be curious about new ways of solving problems.

This SDR skill came from’s “5 Characteristics of Success for Sales Development Representatives”.

How to Use the Top 7 Sales Development Rep Skills Needed in 2022?

Pro Tip: Don’t forget, before your reps start reaching out to prospects, you need to be sure you have the correct B2B lead generating tools to find email addresses, direct dial phone numbers, and even cell or mobile phone numbers for the Decision Makers you are targeting for your outreach.

Swordfish AI provides the most accurate B2B contact information, including cell phone numbers and email addresses of executives, managers, and key decision-makers. Try Swordfish AI now.

Cover Image Licensed from: / Roman Samborskyi

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