10 Sales Leaders Reveal Their Top SDR Traits

Finding SDRs whose personalities align with your values and goals can be tough.

How do you narrow down on the top traits of an SDR before you share an offer letter with them?

We asked 10 sales leaders on what traits they look for when they interview remote sales development representatives. These are SDR traits that create stellar sales teams.

Let’s dive straight into what they said:

I look for a strong intent to learn. It’s very important for reps to have that learning ability. 
Even if you don’t know about the product, domain or solution, you can always pick it up if you have a learning intent. Whenever I see this as a negative, I tend to not go for the candidate.

Abhijeet Vijayvergiya, CEO and Co-Founder at Nektar.ai

For me, the top traits have to be grit, creativity and a passionate curiosity.

 Connor Strapp, Sales Leader at InsightSoftware

Being goal-oriented is #1. And goals change over time. They start with learning the products or services, to building certain personal skills, to meeting or exceeding goals etc. Great reps use effective questions and listen well to the answers.

Shawn Greene, Sales Training Leader at Savage and Greene

Customer empathy is highly undermined. I see that it reflects in the responses. 
It is the most important aspect. “People make decisions.” It’s a game of mind vs ego, and salespeople need to be there for customers, for anything, even non-related ones, in their fastdial list.

Aditya Sharma, SaaS Entrepreneur

Proactiveness. I’ve never seen an SDR be successful without this trait. If you are not proactive, then nothing happens. A sale doesn’t happen by chance or by luck. A sale happens because people make it happen. If you’re not learning, questioning or engaging with your peers, clients or your manager to get feedback, then sales probably isn’t for you.

Greg Meehan, CRO at Supahands

I think the #1 trait for an SDR is agility. The ability to quickly learn, test and adjust your prospecting tactics so they are aligned for maximum results of connecting with your ICP. In a similar way, being able to learn your prospect’s industry will position you as a relevant peer, will highly increase your response rate, and help you identify who’s in the market for your product or service.

Ariel Navon, Revenue Operations at Bidlago

The number 1 trait I look for is confidence, followed by attitude, aptitude, drive and grit. If they have those traits, they can learn everything else, It has been a very successful recipe for the hundreds of SDRs that I have hired, trained and coached.

Michael Basso, Founder & CEO, Inside Sales Command

For me, active listening, persistence and the ability to learn as well as unlearn are non-negotiable traits in an SDR. I always test candidates on these skills and it gives a clear idea of how they will fare in the field.

Siddhartha Saxena, Sales Director at iZooto

The top skills I look for are tenacity, project management skills, intellectual curiosity and business acumen.

Sebastien Van Heyningan, RevOps at Central Metric

I look for cultural fit, coachability, curiosity, ability to learn, emotional intelligence, empathy and resilience. Some nice-to-haves are sense of humour, team player, ambition, humility and bravery. The only skill I value because I struggle to tech is writing, but it is not a deal breaker.

Ricky Pearl, CEO at Pointer

So there you go, tips straight from the horse’s mouth. These have helped us in our hiring process for a sales development representative and we hope it will be of value to you too.

On the basis of our learning from sales and revenue leaders, here are some of the top traits that we have defined for us at Nektar when we hire a sales development representative:







Team player



Active Listener

We did a detailed post on the basis of our interactions with these sales pros and have collated the list of top 10 traits that are non-negotiable for a sales development representative.

Check them out here.

If you have anything to add to this list on the basis of your experience in hiring a sales development representative, do share your inputs in the comments below.

If you’d like to contribute to our blog, reach out at [email protected]


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