A sales development representative (also known as an SDR, BDR, ADR or SDE) works from a targeted list of potential prospects to develop new sales opportunities. Their success is often measured based on the number of qualified leads passed on and appointments set.
It’s all too easy to picture rows of bored people in headsets making cold call after cold call – but that certainly isn’t the case here at Punch!
We caught up with Henry, a keen golfer and self-confessed ASOS addict, to learn more about his role as a sales development executive at one of the UK’s top B2B marketing agencies.
Tell us about your role at Punch!
I’m a sales development executive, which means I seek out opportunities and appointments on behalf of my clients. I spend a lot of time on the phone trying to reach the right people in my clients’ target audience.
What does a typical day look like for you?
After my morning coffee I normally go out into the garden to check on the birds. I see if the feeder needs topping up and have a quick walk around for some fresh air before I start my working day from home.
I check my emails first and then load up what I need for my various projects – I’m working on Pitney Bowes and Ancoris at the moment. It’s the dream to log in and find an email or a LinkedIn message confirming a date and time for an appointment!
I spend the first couple of hours of the day calling through the warm leads – ones that are signalling the most interest and more likely to become sales opportunities. We then have a team meeting at 11am and then another hour or so making calls before lunch.
After lunch we continue working until 3:15pm when we have a whole department drop-in session. It’s a chance to catch up with everyone and have a coffee to break the day up; the same as we would if we were all in the office. Then I tend to go back to making calls, sending emails, reaching out on LinkedIn before wrapping up at quarter past five and settling down for the evening.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
It sounds like a cliché but each day is different and I enjoy talking to a variety of new people every day. A lot of the work I do for Pitney Bowes involves speaking to people in other countries such as France and Germany, which is quite exciting. There’s a lot of variety in the role, meaning you never feel like you’re stuck on one task.
How do you keep sane working from home?
In the evenings I make sure I close my laptop down and don’t check my emails until the morning.
Netflix has been a big help, and ASOS! The amount of things I’ve ordered that I didn’t need is ridiculous! Then obviously chatting to my friends and keeping in touch with everyone is also important.
I’ve been playing golf in the garden as well! I need to keep practising on my golf game while the clubs are shut.
Did you always want to work in sales?
This is a question that I don’t really have an answer for! I guess when I was younger I probably wanted to be an astronaut – I can’t say I remember thinking I wanted to work in sales.
My degree is in History and International Relations which is very different to what I do now, but joining Punch! was a good opportunity for me because I’ve been able to build my confidence, grow and progress. I certainly don’t have any regrets about the route I’ve chosen.
Why did you want to join Punch!?
To be honest, when I was finishing up at University I applied for as many jobs as I could! But Punch! stood out to me because it felt different – I loved the branding and the relaxed feel of the office and the people. I actually turned up to my interview in a suit and was quite surprised to see everyone else in short sleeved tops and casual jumpers!
What are your goals for 2021?
The trouble is, I don’t really know what’s going to happen in 2021! It’s difficult to know what will be possible outside of work at the moment.
My professional goals are to keep progressing, keep working hard and keep climbing up the career ladder. I’d like to be running projects and doing more behind-the-scenes client work.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m still quite young, I’ve no idea where I’ll be in five years’ time. I haven’t thought of that yet. I’m just focused on working hard and progressing in my career. I had absolutely no experience in sales but Punch! has provided me with all the support and training needed to develop my skills and reach my full potential.
What makes a great SDR in your opinion?
Someone who, on the phones, can be confident but not overly confident. You need to let the other person speak.
I’ve fallen victim to this before. I have been speaking to someone and it feels like it’s going in a brilliant direction. Then bombard them with information. It’s like writing an exam – the first question comes up and you just want to write everything down that you know.
Being able to listen to what the prospect has to say is a great trait to have; as well as just being open and friendly.
Three tips for anyone thinking about a career in sales?
Be confident, friendly and chatty. Be engaging and learn to listen. Be resourceful as well – and proactive! That’s more than three, sorry!