What Does a Sales Development Representative Do?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 24 December 2019
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A sales development representative attempts to generate sales by following leads provided by a company’s marketing department. Using these warm leads, the sales development representative primarily works with a telephone and e-mail to contact customers or potential customers. He or she typically tried to set appointments with those contacts and passes the information on to the outside sales department.

Duties of a sales development representative commonly include participating in marketing campaigns and using databases to identify possible customers. The representative contacts these leads to pitch a particular product or service offered by the company. He or she might identify and target clients who have purchased similar items in the past to inform them about special offers.

A sales development representative might use databases to research buying habits and develop opportunities to increase sales. People in this profession commonly work closely with the company’s information technology department, as well as marketing and sales teams. They also might be responsible for handling sales calls that come into the office while the sales team is out.

Firms hiring a sales development representative typically want experience in sales, marketing, or customer service. Past experience in telemarketing might be a requirement in some companies, along with a history of working in a certain industry, such as financial markets. In larger companies, a bachelor’s degree in a related field might be necessary.


People working in these jobs typically possess outgoing personalities and the ability to communicate with all types of people. They need to clearly explain the benefits of the product or service the company handles and form relationships with new clients. Basic sales skills represent common requirements of the job.

In some companies, a sales development representative uses the Internet as a social networking tool to generate new business. This person might conduct research on strategies used by competitors and look for sales trends in the marketing area. Good computer skills and familiarity with social media represent assets in some firms.

Recordkeeping defines another task usually handled by the sales development representative. He or she might log every contact and results of each conversation. The representative might set a schedule for calling each customer at a later date and note whether the customer seemed receptive to new products or services.


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