In the 5+ years I’ve spent meeting modern sales leaders and working with SDRs within our network, I’ve learned from the front lines of 200+ SDR and sales teams about what’s really going on within the SDR function and how it could impact the role in the future.

The good news is that there’s no consensus on what works and what doesn’t work, since every director, manager, and SDR for that matter thinks that they have the secret sauce of connecting with prospects. Some use the fanciest sales engagement software in existence, while there’s a new cohort of directors that refuses to implement any tools until their SDRs practice writing personalized emails that deliver value.

With the SDR role being one of the fastest emerging roles, and sales leaders being the #1 position founders and CEOs struggle to hire, we believe that there’s no better place to start a sales career than the SDR role. With companies spending $900B on the development and implementation of sales organizations (including automation, AI, BI, and new tools to accelerate growth), I do think the SDR role will evolve as a result of new technology—just not how some technologists are predicting it will.

The role will now require mastery in different areas to differentiate and provide value to prospective companies. If everyone has access to the tools, the playing field is leveled in that respect and SDRs will need to think outside the box while ensuring they don’t fall behind the competition.

This means SDRs will need to be equipped with approaches to quickly learn about a prospect, enter data, and analyze their process faster than ever. Among these, the top skills in 2019 that modern sales leaders have to coach reps on will be:

  • Time Management
  • Prospecting
  • Providing relevant information that stands out

SDRs will need to be networking ninjas outside of their computers, meeting new people and getting themselves out into the community. They will need to constantly be learning and becoming consultants.

So if you’re an SDR or SDR leader, I wouldn’t be worried about the noise of the SDR role dying. I’d be worried about staying up to date on the latest sales technology as a bare minimum. I’d find ways to constantly refresh your knowledge, and ensure that you’re viewing sales as a craft with increasing demands for human creativity.

The modernization of sales will require a new type of seller, and if anything, the SDR role will just become more lucrative for candidates. The SDR role will also become more competitive and it will be important for companies to secure the type of talent that can grow into the new human-first sales. I’m excited to be working alongside so many innovative companies that are embracing the future of business.

About LaunchSource: LaunchSource is the leading platform for hiring, training, and retaining entry-level and early-career sales professionals. We work with high-growth technology startups as they grow and scale their inside sales organizations. Ping Sasanka on LinkedIn to learn more.

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