Hiring Guide

Sales Development Representative (SDR)

Specific duties of a Sales Development Representative can vary from business to business — along with factors like company culture, work environment, and team dynamics — it’s vital to tailor any job description and interview content to your company’s needs and expectations.

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Why you should hire a Sales Development Representative

Sales Development Representatives help companies successfully achieve their sales targets by connecting with qualified leads through outreach and prospecting to determine whether they are a good fit for the business. They provide essential sales support by moving leads through the sales pipeline to help more senior sales team members convert leads to paying customers.

In this hiring guide, we'll provide everything you need to hire a great Sales Development Representative.

Top skills for Sales Development Representatives

Identifying Potential Customers

Market Research
Lead Qualification
Business Acumen

Generating Sales Leads


Fostering Customer Relationships

Active Listening
Relationship Building

Professional Sales Conduct

Verbal/Written Communication
Organizational Skills

Sample Sales Development Representative job description

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) are generally responsible for moving qualified sales leads through the initial stages of the sales pipeline. SDRs focus on ‘outbound’ leads by identifying, connecting, and qualifying leads that have particularly high buying potential. Doing so requires them to research, proactively reach out, and develop knowledge of particular markets and customer segments. They connect with potential customers to educate, answer questions, and send resources about the company's offerings. They contact every lead and determine who stays and who goes.

SDRs are usually evaluated on the number of qualified leads they move through the pipeline. It is a commission-based role, and their commission is determined by the number of deals they pass compared to their target or quota. Context is also important to consider when hiring Sales Development Representatives. Some key factors to consider when hiring for them include prospecting volume, industry, and your company's ideal customer persona.

Sample interview questions for Sales Development Representatives

Question 1

How do you think you would go about finding our ideal prospects? What kind of information would you need before reaching out to them?

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What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to identify and screen potential customers based on their characteristics and propensity to buy product/service

Answer tips

  • Exhibits knowledge of who your company's key prospects are
  • Clearly explains how they would perform the research and what resources they would consult
  • Explains what information they would need find to accurately identify prospects
  • Shares how they would evaluate information to identify whether the prospect would be a good fit

Question 2

Describe a time something didn't work out as well as you had hoped. Maybe you failed to achieve something or experienced rejection. How did you respond, and what did you learn from the experience?

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What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to exercise resilience to overcome obstacles

Answer tips

  • Shares a specific strategy for dealing with failure/rejection
  • Clearly describes the situation and why it didn't work out as expected
  • Maintained a positive outlook despite adversity 
  • Viewed the experience as an opportunity for learning and development
  • Discusses how to apply learnings to future experiences

Question 3

We're going to do a short, two-minute role play. Imagine I am a potential customer for [insert company’s product/service]. How would you run a cold call?

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Hireguide I/O Psych Validated
Alycia Damp, PhD IRHR

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to effectively cold-call potential customers

Answer tips

  • Asks questions to learn about the customer's needs
  • Uses active listening skills (e.g., repeats identified needs back to customer)
  • Identifies whether the product/service is a good fit for the customer
  • Tailors the call to the customer's needs and focuses on the solution
  • Is warm, personable, and authentic