The SDR role is complex. It’s a role where a number of small changes can have monumental effects on performance. It’s easy to get roped into bad habits during your outreach process, and sometimes we may not even know we are doing it! But these small changes can drastically affect our results. That being said, here are 7 bad habits that SDRs should avoid.

Talking too Fast

Oftentimes inexperienced SDRs feel that they are interrupting somebody’s day when they make a cold call, so they try to rush through it. While they may in fact be an interruption, speaking quickly makes you sound less confident, meaning your prospect won’t take you as seriously.

When you hear top executives speak, do they rush through their sentences? Of course not! They are deliberate and authoritative with the words they are saying.

Top decision-makers speak with authority, confidence, and decisiveness. Try to match this type of tone with your cold calls.

Being an SDR That Thinks They Can Help Everyone

The reality in sales is that you won’t be able to sell every single prospect that you talk to. And in addition to that, you shouldn’t sell every single prospect that you talk to.

A key part of the SDR role is identifying the prospects that won’t be a good fit for your product.

Don’t get caught in the habit of thinking that everybody needs your product. In many cases, your product or service isn’t actually necessary for them. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, it just won’t work.

Over-Templatizing Cold Emails as an SDR

Sales engagement platforms make it incredibly easy to blast out emails at scale. We’re often told that input has a direct correlation to output. However, this is only partially true nowadays. If you skip out on the personalization and relevance part of cold emails, you likely won’t achieve the results you hoped for.

A good rule of thumb to follow is that if it looks even remotely like a templated email, don’t send it.

Going into Cold Calls Without a Plan

Cold calling is only scary when you don’t have a plan. Top SDRs know exactly what they are going to say when a prospect answers the phone. They also know exactly how to react when a prospect gives an objection.

SDRs who blindly dial without establishing any type of plan will be unprepared when they receive objections and as a result, book fewer meetings

Don’t know where to start with your plan? Start by breaking your cold calls down into 4 parts: Introduction, hook, objection handling, close.

Here are some ideas:

Introduction: Hi John, this is Bob from Company X. Do you have a quick second here? I promise I’ll be brief.

Hook: “On average, sellers spend 20% of their day on non-selling admin tasks, like updating the CRM. What are you doing to make sure that your team isn’t wasting 20% of it’s time on non-revenue generating activities?”

Objection Handling: *Make a list of the most common objections that you receive and how you plan to overcome them*

Close: “Based on what you said regarding (insert prospect’s problem), it sounds like we can help you solve that. Would it be a terrible idea to take a look at some ways that companies are solving this problem with our solution?”

Using Buzzwords and Marketing Jargon

Buzzwords and marketing jargon are the enemies of a quality cold call. You wouldn’t speak to your colleagues and friends with buzzwords, so why would you speak to your prospects that way?

Getting your point across quickly and effectively is key. Use the same language as your prospect to communicate your point in an effective manner.

Try to break down what problem your product/service solves using everyday language.

Avoid Overexplaining as an SDR

You finally get a prospect to engage in conversation and they ask you a question.

Inexperienced reps often take this opportunity to go into a lengthy explanation discussing every possible way they can help.

This leads to a situation where you are unable to move the conversation forward because you are dominating the conversation. If you’re spending the whole time pitching your product, you won’t be able to move the call to the next step.

Answer your prospect’s question and move the call forward.


Does this scenario sound familiar? Your prospect is mid-sentence with your most common objection. You’ve practiced how to overcome this objection a thousand times and are ready to wow them with your response. You jump in immediately and interrupt them to answer their question.

While you may have found a way to overcome the objection, you just interrupted the prospect and didn’t give them a chance to finish their sentence. How do you think the prospect will feel when they are interrupted? Not good!

Give your prospect a chance to complete their thought and finish their sentence. A good way to avoid interrupting is to actively mute yourself while you are on the call. Only click the unmute button when your prospect is finished speaking.


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