9 Best SDR Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)
Updated March 10, 2023
Whether you're applying for your first sales job or you're an experienced sales representative, obtaining an interview is the first step in building a successful career in sales. In an interview for a sales position, the interviewer assesses your hard skills, soft skills and behavioral intelligence. Being well-prepared for the sales interview is key when applying for a sales development representative job. In this article, we share the most commonly asked SDR interview questions and tips on what the recruiter is looking for in your responses.
What is a sales development representative (SDR)?
An SDR is the primary point of contact between a business and its customers. In this position, you build relationships with clients and network with others to persuade them to purchase a company's product or service. As a sales representative, you're also responsible for identifying new business opportunities and customer leads. Your job also involves preparing the sales pitch, negotiating prices and answering any questions or concerns that a customer might have.
What are the roles and responsibilities of an SDR?
As an SDR, you play a critical role in scaling a company's growth. Here are some other roles and responsibilities of this job:
Research and identify new customers
Reach out to potential leads through cold calls and emails
Set up quality meetings and appointments
Move solid leads through marketing funnels to drive sales
Build lasting relationships with customers
Build a solid sales process to spark meaningful conversations with prospects
Regularly follow-up and facilitate communication with existing customers to assess their satisfaction and identify new leads
Collaborate with the sales team to meet the company's targets
9 SDR interview questions with answers
By preparing answers to commonly asked interview questions, you can provide confident and compelling responses to make a lasting impression during your job interview. Here are nine questions commonly asked in an SDR interview:
1. How do you deal with rejection?
As a sales development representative, handling setbacks and rejection happens often. When you respond to questions like this, it's important to demonstrate your learning ability and show that you can take an unsuccessful situation and see it from a new perspective. Explain that you're ready to receive negative feedback and can accept your mistakes when required. After all, a good sales rep takes rejection positively and demonstrates intelligence and persistence when dealing with new leads and customers.
Example: "I've learned not to take rejections personally and to remain professional in every situation. I try to end conversations on a positive note and do my work the best I can."
2. What aspects of sales development do you enjoy the least?
This is often a tricky question where the recruiter tries to understand if your goals and priorities match with that of the company. Your answer should demonstrate enthusiasm and resilience even when you're describing a less desirable aspect of the sales job.
Example: "Often, I don't enjoy the paperwork, but I understand it's a necessity. I believe it's also a good time to reflect on what went well with a particular sale and what could have gone better."
3. Tell me about a time when you faced a setback. How did you handle it, and what motivated you to keep going?
Sales and prospecting is a challenging role where you may experience a lot of setbacks. The interviewer often asks this question to evaluate your confidence and resilience when faced with a challenge. Supporting facts with real-life examples can make it easier for the recruiter to understand your skill sets and thought processes.
Example: "When I first started as a sales representative, I would occasionally fall behind on targets. After meeting with my manager, I realized it was a lack of confidence in my ability. My manager and I confirmed it would be good to shadow a senior sales rep to watch how they went through the sales process and ask questions. In less than six months, I started on my own and overachieved my targets."
4. Do you have any questions for me?
This is a classic interview question asked in almost every interview. The recruiter will evaluate the amount of preparation you've done, so you want to ask well-planned questions relevant to the job or company. You can also use this opportunity to inquire about your job, the expectations and other points that the recruiter may have missed addressing during the interview.
"In your opinion, what direction do you think this company is taking in the next five years?"
"What type of training and personal development courses does the company provide?"
"What are the current goals of the department?"
"How soon are you looking for someone to start?"
5. Why do you love the sales job?
Though this is a simple question, it is an opportunity to talk about the current industry situations and how you would fit into that environment. When a recruiter asks this type of question, they aim to identify your passion and internal drives. While salary, promotions and reputation act as external motivators for this job, you need to display a passion for the work that aligns with the business goals and shows a long-term outlook.
Example: "I love meeting new people and problem-solving. Sales perfectly combine both of these loves. When I was in high school, I got my first job as a sales associate at my uncle's store, which never seemed to have a lot of business. In the first week, I was able to sell more than the store had sold in an entire month, and in less than six months, we could achieve record profits. That experience made me realize how much I loved this work, and I've been in sales ever since."
6. How do you engage a prospective customer?
Once you have researched and identified ways to reach out to a prospect, the next important step is to engage with them. As a sales rep, you are likely to spend much of your time reaching out to potential clients through emails or phone calls. When a recruiter asks about your engagement techniques, you should demonstrate a solid approach for getting through gatekeepers and reaching out to prospects to converse. Listen closely and respond engagingly during the interview process.
Example: "I believe listening is the key. It helps me connect with prospects by talking about what interests them and offering any insights or experience I have. Also, I ask questions to understand them better and determine how products or services could fit in their lives."
7. How do you react if you can't meet the sales goals for a particular month?
Often, there are situations when even the most effective SDR can't achieve their sales target. It's important to demonstrate to the recruiter that you don't get panicked by challenges and can execute plans to turn things around. Your response should cover the importance of proactively monitoring one's performance and taking actions to fix it. You should also demonstrate the willingness to learn and ask for help when needed.
Example: "When I can't meet the sales target for a month, I don't panic and I stay focused. I create a strategic outreach plan that may include reaching out to high potential clients or finding new and exciting business opportunities to bring in last minutes sales. The plan is to focus on consistency and targeted task numbers."
8. What is a recent thing that you've learned?
Often SDRs have to ask insightful questions or make personalized conversations with prospects. So, you have to learn new tools, techniques and resources to get the best responses from the prospects or lead meaningful communications with them. When faced with this question during an interview, it's best to respond enthusiastically and demonstrate your appetite for learning by sharing any helpful knowledge you picked up recently.
Example: "I believe learning is a lifelong process. Recently, I took a certification course on the topic sales analysis using PowerBI that showed how to leverage PowerBI to analyze the KPIs in the sales data."
9. Why do you want to be a part of this company?
This is yet another classic SDR interview question often asked in many interviews. Based on your response, the recruiter understands if you were proactive enough to research the company and its offerings before the interview. If you have done an in-depth study, you can build a personalized communication around your perception of the company and how you would fit into their environment.
Example: "I've always felt excellent customer service is a crucial part of any winning sales strategy. The reputation your company has for maintaining and nurturing long-term client satisfaction has always impressed me. I also appreciate your mission statement and believe in what you stand for."
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