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How 7 Sales Development Reps Stay Motivated (Part 1)

4 min read
Updated Aug. 5, 2021
Published Jun. 12, 2015

Every sales development rep needs a little motivation to get them through the day. Whether it’s a little friendly competition, a quick game in the break room, or just a quiet run after work, everyone has their individual routine. The daily SDR grind is full of prospecting, making calls, and maintaining emails and follow up, so finding a way to stay competitive, motivated, and positive is crucial to long-term success in the role.

We asked a few of the industry’s top SDRs to see what they’ve found to be the most effective motivator on a daily basis. Here’s what they had to say:

Andrew Warren, QA Symphony

The obvious motivator is success. When there’s a lack of that, scheduling 15-30 minute tasks with assigned breaks every 2-4 hours (breaks include sorting through emails, making a personal call, or a little prospecting) proves to be the best route for keeping that drive.

Allie Schulman, Achievers

Besides the necessary morning coffee, one thing that keeps me motivated is hosting power hours with my teammates. A few of us will grab a free conference room and just hit the phones! It’s proven to be a great way to foster excitement, positive energy and friendly competition.

Steve Ridge, DemandBase

There are the little things: like hitting the gym in the morning to help you wake up or listening to your favorite music on your way into the office to get excited about the day. When you look at the day-in-and-day-out of our role, though, there needs to be more of a mental mindset that keeps you plugging away. Personally, I really enjoy the “hunt.” Finding the right company, then finding the right prospects, then putting together a meaningful message that grabs their attention… all of the build up to when you finally get that person to respond. For me, it’s taking the creative approach and finally getting a response that keeps me motivated.

Shaun Krilanovich, Captora

There are two things that motivate me, really. For one, it’s the friendly internal competition I have with my teammates to finish on top each and every month. The second is when you’re having a rough day or things aren’t trending the way they have in the past, I turn to a little music to push myself through, and more often than not it tends to be a little Taylor Swift!

Bri Bowen, Tinderbox

Being a former athlete, it’s important to me to workout regularly to stay motivated. Starting my mornings at the gym help me have successful days at work. Not only does it wake me up, but it gives me the energy to start each day focused & motivated to accomplish my daily tasks. Plus, who doesn’t love the natural high of endorphins?

Brent Starkey, GuideSpark

One thing that motivates me is the positive reaction we get from prospects once they agree to a meeting. Often times you can spend several weeks to a month chasing a prospect, but once they see what we offer and love our solution, it makes it that much easier to chase down the next prospect. We are truly changing the way companies communicate with their employees, and when that resonates with a prospect, there is no better feeling.

Roeland Delrue, Showpad

When I start dialing, I like to start with the ‘easiest people’. I noticed that when I call some leads that I feel comfortable with, I’ll do better when it comes time to reach out to the harder ones. When I start off with the hard ones, it’s more likely to be a bad call. And it’s never nice to kick off your day/call session with a bad call.

And if all else fails, just play ping-pong for 5 minutes. It really clears my mind and allows to make a little ‘mental-reset’ when I do it. Getting the blood flowing and some oxygen in your body works well for me.


As a sales development rep, what keeps you motivated to hit the ground running every day? Leave a comment below to share your tips and tools for success!