A day in the life of an SDR

Most SDRs work hard all day, every day. But that’s not the same thing as working efficiently. With so much to do, it can be difficult to take a step back and evaluate whether you’re working smart in addition to working hard.

The highest-performing SDRs follow a set routine that maximizes their productivity. Here’s a typical (and productive) day:

MORNING

An effective morning routine is critical for setting up the rest of the day. You want to use your mornings to prep for the day, put yourself in a mindset for selling, and gradually ramp up your sales activities.

8:00: Show up to work well-fed and well-rested. If that means being caffeinated, make sure you’ve taken care of it. The point is to feel your best.

8:15-8:30: Attend a stand-up meeting with your team. What this looks like will vary from team to team, but in general it’s helpful to use the stand-up as an opportunity to gather important information and get yourself pumped for sales success.

8:30-8:45: Review your daily schedule. You don’t want to be surprised by a meeting or customer call. Make sure you have alerts set up so that you can show up on time. If you require prep time before the meeting, build that into your alert system.

8:45-9:45: Check your email and answer quick follow-ups. Most SDRs have a full inbox when first arriving at the office. Taking care of email is a good first task that will get you into the mentality for selling. This is a great chance to send off quick replies, but try not to spend too much time on email early in the day.

9:45-10:15: Prepare a list of prospects you want to contact today. Prospecting is, of course, one of your most important SDR responsibilities. To prospect efficiently, create a list to work from. Before diving into calls and emails, check to make sure you have all of the information you need.

10:15-10:30: Take a moment to grab some coffee, step out for air, or otherwise decompress a bit. You’ll want to make sure you’re fresh when you start reaching out to prospects.

10:30-11:30: Send prospecting emails and make calls. Once your list is ready to go, it’s time to start making calls and emails. Develop a system for doing this efficiently.

11:30-12:00: If necessary, take care of customers and prospects who require longer responses. You may not have had a chance to respond to people who need a longer response from you. Carve out time in your day for that so you can give these customers the time they deserve.

Some tips for a productive morning:

  • Resist the urge to check your email constantly. Five minutes an hour on email adds up, plus it takes you out of the work mentality.
  • Before contacting a prospect, quickly review information about them. It’s helpful to include this on your prospect spreadsheet (or whatever system you use) for maximum efficiency.
  • Take scheduled breaks during the morning. Generally, one or two fifteen-minute breaks are useful for helping you to mentally prep for the next part of the day. Try to arrange things so that these breaks, and your lunch break, are away from your desk. This helps to clearly differentiate work time and break time in your mind.
  • If you have trouble sticking to a schedule, use alerts on your phone or computer. This can help you to avoid the pitfall of spending too much time responding to email and not enough on prospecting.

LUNCH HOUR (12:00-1:00)

Enjoy your lunch! Resist the urge to spring for fast food and eat it at your desk. There should be a clear delineation between time you spend “on” and “off.” Make sure your choice of meal leaves you feeling satisfied and vital, not sluggish or uncomfortable.

AFTERNOON

Once you’ve had a nutritious lunch and a break, you’re ready for a productive afternoon. This is your change to continue prospecting, follow up on things, and prep for tomorrow.

1:00-1:10: Check in with your manager. It isn’t necessary to check in with your manager every day, but you should periodically stop by and quickly fill them in on what’s going on, what you’ve accomplished, and any challenges you’re experiencing. An email can work for this, too.

1:10-1:45: Spend time on relevant social media channels. Social selling has become increasingly important. To really succeed with social media, you need to devote time to it on a regular basis. The post-lunch period is a good time to check in on your feeds and schedule relevant posts.

1:45-2:15: Check your email. Use this designated email time to check for responses on emails you sent this morning. Finish up any longer responses that you haven’t yet taken care of so that you can begin the afternoon with a clean slate.

2:15-3:45: Conduct more prospecting activities. Continue going through your prospect list, sending emails and making calls. To maximize your chance of getting a response, it’s generally best to make contact on different days and times. So, a Wednesday afternoon may be a good chance to call someone that you first called on a Monday morning without receiving a response.

3:45-4:30: Research prospects to contact tomorrow. The last hour or so of your day is a great chance to prepare for tomorrow. Create a prospect list for tomorrow and conduct background research that will help you reach out to them effectively. If you weren’t able to contact a prospect today, make a note to try again. It often takes multiple tries to reach someone. Don’t give up after just one try!

4:30-5:00: Prepare materials for tomorrow’s sales presentations, if necessary. If you’re giving a sales presentation, you should have the prep work ready to go at least one day before the actual presentation—and preferably longer. You never know what might come up between now and then.

To make your afternoon go smoothly, try these best practices:

  • Understand how your energy fluctuates throughout the day. If you tend to have less energy by, 4:00, make sure your afternoon routine works with that.
  • Spend time with your coworkers at some point in the day. This helps motivate you and creates a positive work atmosphere.
  • Be conscientious in scheduling future appointments. Hastily scrawled post-it notes generally aren’t effective for ensuring that you know your schedule.

Experiment to find out what habits work best for you. The most important thing is to schedule your time and follow through on your plan.

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James Meincke

Director of Marketing @ CloserIQ. Previously Recruiter @ ManpowerGroup & Freelance Social Media Strategist. University of Wisconsin Journalism & Strategic Communication Grad.