Understanding Sales: Interview with Max Sakiewicz.
I wanted to get a better understanding of sales, so I interviewed a sales development rep. Max Sakiewicz answered all of my questions like a good sales rep would, concisely. This is what I learned.
The exact responsibilities of an SDR will differ with the company. However, there are some commonalities with what the role entails in general. An SDR at PandaDoc bridges the gap between prospect and account manager. They are there to make the whole process of selling smoother, which is a big part of any sales job.
Cold calling is universal with entry-level sales. To rise in the ranks, everyone who starts in sales has to grind away on cold calls at least for a little while. Sakiewicz's job centers around cold calling. This can get a little tedious, but the more you do it the easier it gets. Max said he started with 120 calls a day, connecting with 5 people. He now connects with the same number of people, but with half as many calls. If you want to progress communication skills, a job in sales is the quickest way to do it.
Cold calls are an essential part of sales, but research and prospecting have to be done before the number is dialed. You have to understand who is being contacted and what type of person they are. For Max, this means working with the marketing team and filtering the research they collect into profiles that are more likely to be receptive. He especially looks for people with a background in sales because they can relate better to his situation.
This role is for people with "thick-skin". You can't get discouraged when people hang-up. What helps cope with this constant rejection is the environment any startup creates. Sakiewicz pointed out that one of the most rewarding parts of his job, next to producing competitive numbers, is just being around other high achieving people. Everyone finds comradery in getting their job done well. Any fast-paced company understands that, if someone is surrounded by extremely productive people, that person will produce results too.