The five qualities of a great SDR leader

Jul 20, 2021

If you don’t have an SDR Team Lead in your team, you could be missing out on significant benefits. But what makes a successful SDR leader? Let’s find out more.

If you have an SDR team as part of your sales function, do they have their own dedicated team leader, or do your SDRs report to the same sales manager as your other salespeople? By creating an SDR Team Lead role, either by promoting one of your current SDRs or hiring someone in, you can gain several exciting benefits:

  • Picking up the slack – Your SDR Team Lead acts as a bridge between management and the SDR team, freeing up your sales manager’s time and offering your SDRs dedicated support
  • Elevating performance – SDR leaders can make SDRs perform better with on-the-spot advice and coaching. They can also test new ideas which could improve your results
  • Hiring – Your SDR leader can play a significant part in hiring new SDRs, as they know exactly what to look for and what type of person will be successful


So, you can see it’s a great idea to bring in an SDR leader. But, what type of person would be best in the role? Should you appoint the SDR in your team who has the best results, or the one who makes the most calls? 

While consistency in the SDR role is an excellent quality, you need to look for more clearly defined leadership skills. Here are our five qualities of a great SDR leader.


1 – The right personality

The best SDR Team Lead will have a calm and composed personality. The life of a salesperson comes with dizzying highs and demoralising lows, but the sales leader should try to keep things steady and maintain their team’s focus on the job.

Your SDR leader should also be open and honest. They should be vulnerable when they need to be (not everything is easy when you’re a leader). They should also act with total integrity.

SaaSLeads’ CEO, Will Koning, cites empathy as an excellent quality for an SDR leader. Being an SDR is a tough job and you face rejection dozens of times a day. Being able to appreciate the job SDRs do is a big plus for a leader. Our COO, Chris Ritson, finds an interest in developing skills is essential, as well as terrible jokes!


2 – They’re a team player

Your SDR Team Lead should be the type to lead from the front, not be a backseat driver. Being an SDR leader is not about telling people what to do; it’s about supporting them on their journey and helping them develop.

Sometimes in sales, when you’re chasing a target at the end of the month or trying to nail down an essential deal, it’s all hands on deck. The best leaders aren’t afraid to hit the phones with their team when needed – their knowledge and experience might come in useful. Plus, it shows how much they value their team and their success.

The team leader should also take ownership of team cohesion, which is even more important while we’re all working remotely. It’s up to the SDR Team Lead to organise Zoom team-building games and virtual drinks!


3 – They’re an effective communicator

SDR leaders need to be great communicators. Their position between management and the SDR team requires them to be able to manage up as well as down. 

Your SDR Team Lead will be giving constant feedback to your SDRs. They need to be honest, but offer feedback in a constructive and motivating way, never demoralising. When giving feedback to SDRs, you need to remember that they’re usually young people taking their first steps in the sales industry. They need your feedback to get better, but it has to be done correctly.

The SDR leader will also be communicating regularly with management, updating them on the progress and results of the team, but also giving insights from the front line and proposing ways to improve the sales process. This requires a different style of communication, more direct.


4 – They’re data-driven

Your SDR leader should have a handle on all the metrics that matter in your sales team. They should be able to spot problems before they happen and take steps to fix them. This analytical approach is invaluable to a sales manager, providing an extra pair of eyes and ears.

Data should also inform the way they lead their team. For example, by analysing individual SDR’s results and activity levels, they can spot if someone is having trouble with a particular aspect of selling – and address it in the right way.


5 – They’re a coach

Your SDR Team Lead should be able to coach their SDRs to improve. This is not by telling them how you would do it; it’s by asking the right questions that help them discover the correct answers for themselves.

Now, you can train people to coach, so don’t worry if no one in your SDR team has any coaching experience. However, there are qualities of good coaches that come naturally, including curiosity, patience and a positive attitude.


Final thoughts from our Team Leads

Torron Iveson, advises that Team Leads be the sat-nav, not the driver. In his experience he’s found that often you’ll know the answer to their question or the problem they face, but giving SDRs all the answers is a short term fix and encourages the wrong behaviours. 

Instead he encourages you to think about questions you can ask to help them find the answer themselves or challenges you can set them so they uncover it themselves.




When you figure something out for yourself you build confidence and you learn the lesson better than if the answer was given, as well as encouraging autonomy, accountability and responsibility.


Sonia Gonzalez Guillonneau believes that being an SDR Team Lead means being people driven and putting your team first. Being able to mentor, teach, support and inspire your team to be the best and most successful people and sales professionals they can be.


Find out more from

At, we build sales development teams and deliver them to the heart of your organisation.

Our SDRs are experts at creating value for our clients’ customers. We show them how to generate excitement around the impact your product brings, moving your prospects through a structured sales process, which inevitably results in more deals.

If you would like to build your SDR team with talented graduates from SaaSLeads, or to find out more, visit our site –


Sonia Gonzalez Guillonneau

Sonia is an SDR Coach at

Sonia is half Spanish – half French and speaks fluent English, French and Spanish. She has lived in England since 2007 and has a degree in Art History with French from the University of Sussex.

Her professional background before joining SaaSLeads was in tech sales and management of a video games studio.

Since 2017 she has created video and photo content for her YouTube and Social Channels to satisfy her creative side.

You can find Sonia on LinkedIn here


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