Field Guide for Surviving Your First 90 Days as an SDR


This is your field guide to becoming an SDR; the goal is to provide you with a baseline understanding of all the different elements of the role. This doc cannot make you an expert or even good; that will come from making calls, writing emails, and searching LinkedIn for prospects. 

Nobody starts off as a ‘good SDR’; everyone sucked their first time through (especially me, I was terrible), so don’t worry about being perfect. Instead, just focus on getting in and learning from the feedback for the first few weeks. With time, effort, and guidance from your team, you will get quite good at all these things. 

This is a guide and not a holy book, so there will be exceptions, areas where people have different ways of doing things, and opposing opinions. We’ll do our best to point out resources where you can learn from people that might disagree with what’s in this guide. Just remember, there is no right and wrong when it comes to sales development; there is only what is working well right now for this particular SDR for this particular company.  

This doc is split into two parts; the first contains the overall table of contents of all the things you’ll need to understand to be a successful SDR, and the second breaks all of the things into a week-by-week training plan for you. Think of the first half as the encyclopedia and the second half as the course lesson plan. 

This information will feel a little overwhelming, and that’s okay. You’ll figure it out if you follow the lesson plan and put the work in. The most important piece to understand as an SDR is the customer you sell to. You can be excellent at everything else, but if you don’t understand your customers' needs, then the rest won’t help you. 


Table of Contents


  • Understanding the Role of an SDR
  • What Does an SDR Do? 
  • So You Read Predictable Revenue 
  • SDR Mindset 
  • 7 Habits of Highly Successful SDRs 
  • Channel Theory 
  • SDR Expectations 

Skills Development

  • Developing Empathy for your Customer
  • How to Identify a Good Account
  • How to Identify a Good Prospect
  • Sequence Design 
  • How to Write a Cold Email 
  • How to Personalize an Email 
  • How to Write a Great Follow-Up Email  
  • How to Cold Call
  • What to Do Once You’ve Booked a Meeting
  • How to Handle Objections
  • How to Find Buyer Triggers
  • What Happens If a Prospect No-Shows
  • How to Prospect on LinkedIn