5 traits of successful SDRs in 2023 and beyond

In today’s issue, I’m going to share the 5 traits of successful SDRs in 2023 and beyond.

I thought about writing this guide after taking part in the Sales Performance Growth Summit. I joined a session about the biggest challenges facing sales leaders in 2023, and these 5 traits stuck.

When I started working in sales, being an SDR was just an entry-level job, and the ambition of most of them was to become an AE. Nowadays, being an SDR is an opportunity to create skills that can be used for a lifetime, document them, and open a sea of opportunities for financial, and personal development.

Here are 5 traits of successful SDRs in 2023 and beyond:

Trait #1: They protect their time

Being a successful SDR is 80% activity, and 20% creativity. Which means most of your time should be spent prospecting. Unfortunately, in most sales organizations, a big part of your day is be wasted in meetings, chatters with colleagues, or breaks.

Successful SDRs know they won’t reach their targets if they don’t create a system to protect their time.

A good way to do so is creating time blocks. You can do it by identifying when you’re the most productive, and add a blocker into your calendar. I recommend adding 1 to 3 blocks of 60 minutes minimum per day. Ideally, your blocks should be at the same time every day, so your colleagues can predict when you’re available and when you’re not.

Here’s an example of a time-blocked schedule:

Time block example

Trait #2: They prospect every day

Prospecting isn’t super glamorous. It’s a lot of repetitive tasks, yet it’s the lifeblood of every sales organization. If you can’t create enough activities, you won’t book meetings, and you’ll lose motivation.

Filling your time blocks with a constant flow of prospecting activities is how you avoid that problem. I recommend dividing your monthly goals into daily activity to get more control over your outcomes.

For example, if you’ve identified that you need to create 600 touchpoints (calls, emails, LinkedIn messages, etc.) per month, you need to divide it by the number of working days (in general 20 per month). In our example, you’ll need to create 30 (600/20) activities per day.

It’s a lot simpler to deliver 30 touchpoints per day every day than skipping days and having to play catch up.

Trait #3: They focus on the basics

There are a few basics when it comes to prospecting; knowing your Ideal Customer Profile, understanding their problems, and using them in your messaging.

A lot of SDRs I meet have no clue who their ICP are, what problems they are trying to solve, and how to communicate them properly. They end up pitching about their solutions, focusing on features, and getting no responses.

I recommend SDRs to build and ICP matrix (the type of company, and the job title), list problems and symptoms for each type of prospect, and use them heavily in their messaging.

Open your prospecting sequences and check if there’s any mention of what your solution does. If it’s the case, you’re most likely focusing on features, and killing your reply rates as a result.

(Note: Go check The Cold Message System if you need to create messages with 38% reply rates).

Trait #4: They document their journey

For a few years now, more and more SDRs have been documenting their journeys on LinkedIn. Sales leaders are realizing that employing reps with an audience is a great way to build brand awareness, start more conversations with prospects, and book more meetings.

Think about 5 sales influencers you’ve recently heard of. Chances are most of them are/were SDRs. I’ve interviewed many of them and they all attributed building a personal brand as the key to their success.

Documenting your journey as an SDR is great way to build an audience. Quite simply, it helps people who are a few months behind in their careers, and they engage with your content. As a result, it gives more visibility to your profile, and gets decision-makers familiar with you.

As an example, my brother has been working as an SDR for 3 months, documenting his journey every day, and he’s already receiving requests to coach SDRs by people who follow him.

Trait #5: They keep experimenting new tactics

Finally, successful SDRs understand that the tactics that work now, likely won’t work in the future. As they get discovered, they quickly get adopted, and prospects become numb to them.

A good way to avoid losing your edge is to create an experimentation system for your sequences. I recommend following this structure:

  • Define the scope of your experiment
  • Define one metric that you want to influence with your experiment (e.g. connection request acceptance rate)
  • Define your assumptions for the experiment
  • Define success thresholds
  • Run your experiment in 2 weeks sprints

Here’s an example of my Prospecting Experiment Canva:

Prospecting Experiment Canva

It’s important to note that experimentation shouldn’t prevent you from focusing on the basics. Experimenting is often more interesting than repeating the same tasks over and over, but without enough activities, the best tactics won’t get you to your targets.

And these are the 5 traits of successful SDRs in 2023 and beyond.


  1. They protect their time
  2. They prospect every day
  3. They focus on the basics
  4. They document their journey
  5. They keep experimenting new tactics

Hope this helps.

P.S. When you’re ready, here are 5 ways I can help you.
  1. Build your outbound prospecting system from scratch here (230+ students)
  2. Write cold messages that get a 38% reply rate and 27% meeting rate here (40+)
  3. Book me 1:1 or for your team here
  4. (NEW!) Sponsor my newsletter & get 3K+ eyeballs on your ad!

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