5 Keys to Success as a BDR

It was the first week of September, I was starting my professional career as a Business Development Rep at VA Partners and with my 23rd birthday close, I had little idea what the future held or what success as a BDR looked like. I had people to look up to, mentors, a wonderful team, friends doing the same, but would I be able to do the same?

It’s been more than half a year and looking back at the momentous journey it has been, I have taken strides both personally and professionally in ways I couldn’t have foreseen. And as someone who has now found reasonable success in their chosen craft, here are some keys to success I’ve found:

  1. Learning to believe in the process– If you’re like me and had a decent working knowledge of what tech sales was before starting your job, it’s possible that you would have heard stories of people closing six figure deals and progressing the career ladder. But did you hear about the late evenings when they were calling up their 50th contact for the day? The grind that is the life of a BDR has certain blue-collar elements to it and on bleak days, believing in the process is the only luxury you can afford. Believing that following a sales cadence, the call script, and following through will bring results is the silver lining on cloudy mornings and an earthy reminder on good days.
  1. Invest in your personal development– This is especially important for those just starting out as a BDR because that’s when the clay is wet and you’re most impressionable. You build habits for an entire lifetime and while some jobs operate around an assumed requirement of learning to reinvent, sales is one of those professions where the onus of developing a personal portfolio is entirely upon you. 

Look around you, look for trends and solutions your work deals with and learn about those spaces. Read and seek relevant knowledge- even if it’s on your own time. Look at the quota but also look beyond it. Some of the most successful salespeople I met did.

  1. Become a better listener– Salespeople are in their chosen profession because they like connecting to people or are good at it and with it comes the desire to talk. But finesse happens when you listen. It gives you the ability to master human psychology and learn to read the room. I would go so far as to say that 50% of your success as a BDR hinges on your ability to listen well.
  1. Develop humility– Success as a BDR is not a solo train, as much as it might seem so. Whether you’re a BDR, Account Executive, or a Business Development Manager, much of it pivots around how the entire sales team functions. Where did you get that lead from? Who helped you out on that question you didn’t know the answer to? They say it takes a village and it’s no different in sales.
  1. Learn the technical skills needed for the job– Each job has certain generalist and specialist responsibilities. Don’t believe in skimming the surface when it comes to skills, dig deeper. A lot of your success as a BDR will depend on it. Become that CRM expert everyone falls back on to get crucial things done. Introduce easier, more efficient ways of working that will save people time. Add value by being true to your strengths and aligning with the values of your company.

While I hope that this journey will add to it more echelons of success as a BDR, for now I will reiterate what one of the industry mentors once said. They were asked what traits in a person reveal their relative success as a BDR- it’s their ability to fight mental stagnancy– the ability to evolve. If you are looking for more creative ways to boost your sales, connect with us.

5 Keys to Success as a BDR