Challenges Faced by Sales Development Reps and How You Can Solve them?

Sales are at the core of any successful business. Making it important to identity and solve the challenges faced by SDRs.

You could boast of having a stellar product, but without focused sales machinery, it would be challenging to scale your topline. Recruiting great sales performers is a herculean task. Hence, most sales leaders prefer to build learning systems, value-driven processes constantly, and performance-driven incentive plans to motivate and retain their sales force.

Approach each customer with the idea of helping them solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.

Brian Tracy

Sales Development Reps (SDRs) are normally at the start of their careers.

When they join the workforce, they are young, energetic, and eager to learn. It is up to the sales leadership to maintain their motivational levels. Well-trained and knowledgeable SDRs are the future of a successful sales team. 

While sales leaders could help solve a few challenges – most of the time, SDRs will need to do some heavy lifting themselves if they are looking at a long-term career in sales.

The job of an SDR is not easy, and you are bound to face different challenges while accomplishing your goals. You will often have to deal with rejection like, “Not interested,” “I’m out of town,” “No way,” or “Maybe later” from prospects when pitching your brand or products. Struggles like task repetitions and rejections cause burnout. SDRs are humans, after all.

Since most SDRs are judged based on their capabilities of converting cold leads into sales-qualified leads (SQL), they primarily concentrate on meetings booked instead of the process i.e., proper prospecting and lead nurturing. This could affect their performance in sales later.

SDRs can expect to be rejected by 90% of the prospects they reach out to.

SDRs overcome the challenge of rejection by developing a thick skin and learning to see rejection as an opportunity to learn and improve.

As an SDR, you need to be able to handle pressure effectively. Awareness of all your challenges will help you avoid them or quickly find solutions.

SDR Challenges and Solutions 

Most of the time, SDRs find it difficult to achieve their sales quotas. It could be meetings booked or several sales-qualified leads. 

This eventually leads to their burnout and prejudice toward sales. Although now, most companies are trying to create the best working environment for their employees, specific problems persist. Thus, after hours of research, we have listed SDRs’ challenges and ways to overcome them.

Expectations of unachievable targets

One of the biggest mistakes an organization makes is overloading its sales team with high sales quotas without a proper plan.

When these sales targets are not hit, sales representatives feel like they aren’t a good fit for the job. If you are a newbie in this industry, this can lead to an annoying and stressful experience.

Not hitting sales quotas can also lower your self-confidence while doing your job.

Solution

Increasing your monthly quotas doesn’t necessarily mean getting better outcomes. SDRs require proper training and goal setting.

An SDR should know the steps to reach its goal.

This includes –

  • Knowing how many prospects to reach out to daily
  • Analyzing the replies you’ve received. 
  • Scheduling X number of emails daily
  • Following up diligently

Ask your manager to help you segregate these metrics into daily targets to achieve them hassle-free. If you cannot meet these targets, analyze what needs improvement or revise your targets accordingly. Always adopt a measured, thoughtful, and targeted approach that will keep you on your toes as a sales rep.

Lastly, feel free to ask your managers for guidance on achieving your targets efficiently.

Absence of time-saving tools

SDRs spent maximum time (nearly 30 to 40%) on prospecting.

Prospecting is a vital aspect of the sales outbound procedure, as, through this, you have to find potential leads who are interested in purchasing your service or product. The right tools will help your time spent in prospecting – making this task more efficient.

Solution

Many software solutions can help SDRs automate tasks such as lead generation, email outreach, and scheduling meetings. This can free up SDRs’ time to focus on more critical tasks, such as building relationships with prospects.

Tools like ProspectDaddy help with prospecting from Linkedin searches and sales engagement platforms like SmartReach help you create and send personalized cold emails, use spintax which would generate unique emails for each of the recipients, schedule follow-up and automation outreach via channels like Linkedin, WhatsApp, SMS & Calls – thus accelerating the prospecting process, ensuring higher response rates and helping you do an efficient job.

SmartReach.io pricing is based on the number of prospects you contact, the channels you use, and the level of automation your sales process prefers. This way you pay for only what you need. Yes, you get unlimited sending emails with inbox rotation

Improper training

Proper training drives better results.

Improper or no training is another challenge most sales representatives encounter in this field. SDRs are human beings and cannot be automated to achieve higher outcomes. Despite knowing what they should do to meet a particular quota, they fail miserably.

Most companies never teach their sales development reps playbooks to be followed to achieve their sales quotas as they find training time-consuming and expensive.

Solution

Training sales development representatives are necessary for the company’s progress.

Getting regular or at least bi-weekly input from your manager can help you understand where you might be lacking and, in turn, help you become more relatable to your prospects – thus having meaningful business conversations.

If you have not been introduced to a sales playbook to be followed then ask your manager if you could build one for the team. Research the steps involved and create a document for others to follow. This kind of action will showcase leadership skills.

Challenges Faced by Sales Development Reps and How You Can Solve them?

Identifying high-quality prospects

Identifying high-quality prospects is one of the biggest SDR challenges faced.

As an SDR, you’ll spend much time prospecting as the success of a  sales process solely depends on getting high-quality leads. But where do you find the best prospects?

Solution

Getting high-quality prospects are difficult but not impossible. You can try the strategies below to discover prospects who will eventually convert.

Account-centric marketing: Concentrate more on the prospects who might be interested in your brand. You can target them directly with content targeting them – an excellent way of getting organic leads.

Refine the lead scoring method: If you have several low-quality leads, it is high time you redefine your lead scoring procedure. Check out for clear interest indications and purchasing intent among the client. 

Implement different prospecting tools: Prospecting tools like ProspectDaddy, offer invaluable data to help you convert leads. You could use ProspectDaddy to find business emails of the decision-makers on LinkedIn and then move them to a sales outreach campaign.

Regular feedback calls with Sales

Regular feedback from the account executives is essential for the SDRs to know how well they are doing their job.

  • What is the outcome of your hard work? 
  • How did the scheduled demos go?

Following up is needed to understand how you can improve your performance and efficiency. But most of the time, SDRs need to communicate with their colleagues and get an idea about their campaign. It leads to complexities and burnout in them.

Solution

Communication is key!

Proper communication will help you know whether you facilitated the sale of a product or service. It will help you to customize your messaging approach or adjust the targeted audience. Thus, it is essential to establish a follow-up communication channel between the account executives and sales representatives. The absence of this regular communication will affect the sales conversion ratio.

Burnout

Almost 75% of sales development representatives experience burnout.

In certain situations, SDRs burn out swiftly due to high expectations, challenges, and expectations. Also, monotonous jobs like sales could be responsible for burnout since they are target-centric jobs.

There is tremendous pressure for high performance to deliver results continuously. As a result of burnout, a sales team’s productivity and contentment decrease. There should be direct communication with the SDR and the supervisor to reduce burnout.

Solution

Always connects with your managers and sales coaches to discuss why you might be unable to give your best.

There are several reasons why you may feel burned out. This includes

  • Routine/mundane work
  • Personal crises
  • Poor self-care
  • Lack of support

Your managers should be made aware of the challenges you face as they are in a better position to help you identify and tackle the things that are bothering you. Fueling your body with the right nutrients can significantly affect performance and reduce burnout. Discover a menu of varied diet-friendly meals tailored to rejuvenate and support the demanding life of an SDR.

If you are uncomfortable talking to your manager, try getting a sales mentor or you could speak to someone from HR. Make sure you speak with them about what you’re going through. Reaching out for help when needed is key to survival.

SDR challenges and how to tackle those

Uncertainty of growth opportunities

Is being a Sales Development Representative the end of your career?

Absolutely not!

One of the old myths about being an SDR is that there is no absolute career path after this – that it is a temporary way with no growth or promotions. But it is incorrect, as selecting SDR as a career can be rewarding and fulfilling. Several companies pay attention to SDRs’ learning different skills and promoting them for their roles. 

Solution

Seek guidance.

Ensure that you seek guidance from the right sales mentors to help you see the bigger picture. See if there is a person within (or outside) your organization who is five to ten steps ahead of you in their career and ask them if they or could mentor you.

Sales mentors help you not only understand your career in sales but also help you envision your career five to ten years from now. They can also help you create a practical path to achieving your goal.

You are only at the beginning of your journey as a salesperson. You’ve got a long way to slay!

Non-alignment of marketing & sales

Sales and Marketing teams when working together can bring huge success to the organization. Unfortunately, the lack of communication between the sales and marketing teams causes harm to the organization as well as the individual teams. In spite of having the same goal i.e. acquiring new customers, it becomes hard for the sales and marketing team to work collaboratively.

Solution

Encourage the sales and marketing team to work together towards nurturing the leads. Assigning separate tasks in the sales to funnel like which team is responsible for leads screening, who would decide when the leads convert to sales-qualified leads etc, would help to initiate communication between the teams. 

Unable to handle rejection or criticism

Salespeople generally get demoralized when they face rejection or any kind of criticism. This can affect the next sales pitch. The fear of getting rejected again would hold them back and giving their best. The whole thing can be frustrating and can affect their overall performance. 

Solution

Getting mentally prepared that any sales pitch comes along with rejection. Rejection should not be taken personally, it is part of the sales. Keeping a good response ready in case of rejection would help in maintaining the confidence level. Having mock call sessions with seniors so as to practice how to face rejection. Creating sufficient opportunities so that few rejections would not affect your sales quota and your confidence. 

Target alignment

Target alignment is one of the challenges of sales that SDRs (Sales Development Representatives) face. It is the alignment between the target market and the products or services that SDRs are promoting.

SDRs need to focus their efforts on reaching out to the right prospects who are most likely to be interested in what the company has to offer. However, SDRs may not have enough information about the target market, leading to a vague understanding of their ideal customers. Without a well-defined ICP (ideal customer profile), SDRs might waste time on prospects who are unlikely to convert into paying customers.

Solution

Sales challenges can be overcome by developing a well-defined ideal customer profile (ICP). An ICP is a detailed description of the perfect customer for a company. It includes demographics, firmographics, pain points, and buying behaviors. By understanding their ICP, sales teams can focus their efforts on reaching out to the right prospects who are most likely to be interested in what the company has to offer.

Sales teams can utilize data analytics and customer feedback to refine their target market and adjust their strategies accordingly. By analyzing data, sales teams can identify trends and patterns that can help them better understand their target audience. They can also use customer feedback to get insights into what prospects are looking for and how they can improve their sales process.

Limited authority

Limited authority is one of the challenges of sales that Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) face. SDRs typically focus on lead generation and qualification, while more complex negotiations and deal closures are handled by Account Executives or other sales team members.

This can lead to delays in closing deals, as SDRs may not have the authority to make decisions that are necessary to move the deal forward. Additionally, SDRs may face challenges in providing customized solutions, as they may not have the authority to negotiate terms.

Finally, prospects may bypass the SDR and request to speak with someone higher up in the organization, which can make it difficult for SDRs to build relationships and close deals.

Solution

The sales challenge can be overcome by providing SDRs with thorough product knowledge and negotiation skills. This will allow them to handle initial inquiries more effectively and close more deals.

Additionally, ensuring a smooth handoff of qualified leads to Account Executives is important. This means providing Account Executives with comprehensive information collected during the SDR’s interactions. This will help Account Executives to understand the prospect’s needs and close the deal more quickly.

Finally, collaboration between SDRs and Account Executives will help to facilitate knowledge sharing and improve the overall sales process. This can be done by organizing regular meetings, sharing sales materials, and providing feedback on each other’s work.

Performance pressure

Performance pressure is one of the biggest challenges of sales that Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) face. SDRs are often under pressure to meet key performance indicators (KPIs) set by their organizations. That includes the number of calls made, emails sent, leads generated, and opportunities created within a specific timeframe. This can lead to stress and burnout among SDRs, as they may feel like they are constantly under pressure to perform.

Additionally, focusing solely on meeting quotas can lead to sacrificing the quality of interactions with prospects. If SDRs are only focused on making a certain number of calls or sending a certain number of emails, they may not take the time to build relationships with prospects or understand their needs.

Finally, SDRs may experience inconsistent performance due to the inherent variability in sales outreach. Even if an SDR is doing everything right, they may not always be able to meet their quotas due to factors outside of their control, such as the time of year or the state of the economy.

Solution

Sales challenges can be overcome by setting challenging yet achievable goals for SDRs. These goals should take into account the market conditions and team capacity.

Additionally, it is important to emphasize the importance of meaningful interactions with prospects rather than just meeting numerical targets. This means taking the time to understand the prospect’s needs and build relationships.

Finally, providing ongoing coaching and support to help SDRs improve their skills and overcome challenges is essential. This can be done through regular meetings, training sessions, and one-on-one coaching.

The business landscape is constantly evolving, and SDRs must adapt their sales approach to stay relevant and competitive. Market changes can include shifts in customer preferences, industry trends, or the emergence of new technologies. By staying up-to-date on market trends and adapting their sales approach accordingly, SDRs can increase their chances of success.

Challenges from competitors

In a competitive market, Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) must differentiate their company’s products or services from those of competitors. This is because prospects often compare offerings and pricing from different companies before making a purchasing decision. If the SDR cannot effectively communicate the unique value proposition, prospects may view all offerings as similar. This can lead to lost opportunities and decreased sales.

Competing solely on price can also be a challenge. When companies compete solely on price, they often put pressure on profit margins and compromise the overall value proposition. This can make it difficult for SDRs to differentiate their company’s offerings and close deals.

Finally, competitors might spread misinformation about a company’s offerings. This can create challenges for SDRs to correct misconceptions and close deals. SDRs must be prepared to address these challenges by effectively communicating the unique value proposition, avoiding price wars, and being proactive in addressing misinformation.

Solution

Sales challenges can be overcome by training SDRs to articulate the unique benefits and advantages of the company’s offerings compared to competitors. This can be done by providing SDRs with training materials, such as product brochures, white papers, and case studies. Additionally, SDRs can be given opportunities to practice their sales skills by role-playing with other SDRs or with sales managers.

Sharing customer success stories and case studies is another way to help SDRs articulate the value of the company’s offerings. These stories can demonstrate how the company’s products or services have helped other businesses achieve their goals. By sharing these stories, SDRs can show prospects how the company’s offerings can benefit them as well.

Providing SDRs with insights into competitors’ offerings can also help them to address competitive objections effectively. This can be done by providing SDRs with information about competitors’ products or services, such as their pricing, features, and benefits. By understanding competitors’ offerings, SDRs can be better prepared to answer prospects’ questions and address their concerns.

Wrapping it up!

As an SDR, you’ll inevitably face some – or all of the above challenges.

Reaching your sales quota should be your top priority, and SmartReach can assist you. 

In other words, SmartReach will help you easily discover and reach out to the right prospects. SmartReach provides a variety of features to help sales teams connect with prospects and increase engagement. These features include multichannel outreach via LinkedIn, WhatsApp, email, SMS, and calls. This allows sales teams to reach prospects on the channels they prefer, which can help to increase engagement and widen the target audience.

SmartReach also provides a shared inbox, which allows all team members to view and respond to incoming emails. This improves communication and collaboration within the sales team, and it can help to ensure that no emails are missed.

What is SmartReach.io?


SmartReach.io is designed keeping in mind the challenges faced by SDR. It helps them reach their sales targets and grow their business. The software is all about making the life of SDRs easier by automating tasks like finding prospects, sending emails, messages and making calls.

It’s important to know that SmartReach.io isn’t a sales agency. Instead, it’s like having a smart assistant that helps you find potential customers, set up meetings, and close deals.

One cool thing about SmartReach.io is that it works across different platforms like email, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and SMS. This means you can connect with customers wherever they are.

To make things even better, SmartReach.io pricing plan that lets you send unlimited emails. This means you can reach out to as many people as you need to without worrying about limits.

When it comes to paying for SmartReach.io, you only pay for what you use. It’s like picking the toppings you want on your pizza – you choose what you need.

And here’s the best part: SmartReach.io plays nicely with popular CRM tools like Pipedrive, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho. This means all your prospect interactions and data is kept in one place, making it easier to turn leads into sales.

So as an SDR, if you want to overcome you challenges and grow your business faster and close more deals, SmartReach.io is the way to go!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why does SDR require an excellent managerial team?

The average working tenure of an SDR is nearly 15 months.

New sales reps need training for a minimum of one year with continuous learning for efficiency. Thus, the senior management has to offer them better training, analyze their metrics, and update their day-to-day tasks to get the maximum output from an SDR. Also, higher management measures their performance and gives feedback about where they are lacking or in which segment they can improve. 

2. How can SDRs improve their performance?

The SDRs’ efficiency determines the lead generation capability, sales health, and ability to complete the quota. SDRs can improve their performance and efficiency in the following ways.

  • Collaborating with the Account Executives
  • Time management
  • Implementing the Prospect-to-Meeting ratio
  • Finding out the appropriate prospects
  • Maximizing the sales intel
  • Automating the tasks by using accurate tools
  • Creating a scalable sales development procedure.

3. What are the primary responsibilities of an SDR?

As a sales development representative, you will play a critical role in the company’s success. The responsibilities of an SDR include the following:

  • Identifying and researching new customers
  • Reaching out to potential leads through emails and cold calls.
  • Moving solid leads through marketing funnels for driving sales.
  • Setting up quality appointments and meetings
  • Creating a long-term relationship with the clients
  • Regular follow-up and communication with the current customers to identify new leads and assess their satisfaction.
  • Building a solid sales procedure for meaningful conversations with prospects.
  • Collaborating with the sales team to meet the targets.
10% Increate in Qualified Leads Per Month
Loved it? Spread it across!
Scroll to Top