What's It Like Being a Female SDR?

AKA Choosing the Right Work Environment For You

By Alexa Rzasa — Project Manager @ demandDrive

Hey There!

I’ve been wanting to write a blog about being a female SDR since I became one back in the summer of ’16, but alas, here I am a Project Manager, finally putting pen to paper. Anyways, this blog isn’t just about being a female SDR, its about choosing the right work environment for you and level setting your expectations.

If you’ve ever gone through a job hunt, then you can probably relate to how painstaking the application, interview, and feedback processes are. You probably understand the numbers game that is trying to find a job, and the dozens upon dozens of applications that trickle into maybe a handful of interviews, and that’s all before we get down to the feedback process… which usually results in a handful of rejects, some vague suggestions, or no response at all. Sound familiar? Great! You’ve basically done SDR prospecting before.

And just like SDR prospecting, there’s more to it than just getting a job offer/passing an opportunity. Finding the right environment requires the answers to the following 3 questions:

What goals are you trying to achieve with the position you take?

I’m an entrepreneur at heart, I want a position that is going to set me up for success when I eventually go out on my own. Personally, when I was looking for my first entry level SDR role, I was looking for an organization that was going to allow me to grow my network, hone in on my communication skills, and allows me to have a holistic work experience to set me up with skills for future positions. Basically, I was looking for a company that was going to train me and provides the tools needs to learn a new skill, coach and provide feedback, all while allowing for internal professional growth.

Are the people whom you will surround yourself with going to challenge, mentor, and shape you?

I wanted to be surrounded by people that were going to challenge me, mentor me, and promote self-growth as well as professional growth. Having the ability to work with, receive feedback from, and build personal relationships with a mentor was a huge factor in my decision to come to demandDrive. Growth comes from being uncomfortable, being uncomfortable comes from learning something new. Constructive growth comes from learning something new, receiving feedback that may be uncomfortable, and then learning from it. In particular for me, having women in upper management - especially in an industry that is male-dominated - is turnkey. @LindsayFrey (Founder) & @SarahFotos (VP of Client Engagement) have been exceptional role models & extremely open in taking the time to personally coach and provide feedback to not only myself, but everyone at demandDrive.

Is there an opportunity to grow?

This comes bundled together with figuring out your own goals & the availability of a mentor within the company you’re exploring. When I interviewed at demandDrive, I saw a start-up at the beginning of its growth spurt. They were (and always are) looking for SDR candidates who wanted to help grow demandDrive internally, in addition to jumping into a sales role. Coupled with having a badass line-up of women in management, it was a no-brainer for me to take a role at demandDrive.

If you’re choosing a career in sales, I can assume that you’re cool with failing most of the time. Just like a job hunt, it takes research, preparation, personalization, uncomfortable conversations, and resiliency to survive. That being said, accepting your first job offer isn’t always the best idea. It’s vital to your personal and professional growth to find a role where you’re supported, challenged, and heard, even if it means you may have to turn down a more immediate offer.

In short - if you can survive the job hunt, you can survive the SDR role, you just need to find the right environment to succeed.