Top 12 Tips on How to Get a Business Development Job and Succeed in It

Starting a career in sales can be very rewarding, and challenging. Companies expect results and look to acquire sales talent that can meet and exceed company expectations. But how do you make yourself a more attractive candidate? What qualities are recruiters searching for in a new salesperson, and how do you work from day to day to crush your sales goals?

Many job seekers who consider going into sales look to friends for guidance, so we asked 12 top Business Development and Sales Development professionals for their best tips on getting hired and establishing an awesome career in sales.


Matthew Fuller  

Business Development Representative, Buildium

To be successful as a BDR, I think it is important to maintain the same attitude each day. It is easy to get down on yourself when people are not answering the phones or things are slow. If you maintain the same attitude each day and trust the process, you will find success. Also, being open to feedback and willing to learn will lead to success. When you start at a company, there is lots to learn and keeping an open mind will allow you to grow as a BDR exponentially.

Danielle Cremmen  

Certified Sandler Trainer, Sandler Training – Sales Associate, Salefish LLC  

Know your Why. The role of a BDR can be dauting and repetitive. It’s important to understand your Why- the reason you get up in the morning, eager to do your job. Your Why is your personal goals, your dreams, what gives you energy, and most importantly, what motivates you. A good BDR knows how to reach their professional goals, a great BDR knows how to align their professional goals with their personal goals.

Be a great BDR. Create a Why for excellence.

Meaghan Dorsey  

Senior Business Development Representative, Insight Squared

Ask questions- Be a sponge and learn as much as you can. Do your research before the interview. Come prepared to prove your research and why your skill set will contribute to your future company’s growth. “Close” everyone you interview with. When you land the job, keep learning. One of the best parts about being a BDR is being able to learn from all the successful leaders in your company that were at one point in your position.

Daniel Lawson  

Sales Development Manager, Carbon Black

My tip for landing a BDR job and then succeeding in the role is to always show off your true personality.  I interview candidates weekly that  come in with a memorized script and never give me a true reason for why I should hire them.  Same goes for once you are in the role, BDR’s are always afraid to fail or try new things and will just read off a script leading to a lot of hang ups or no reply at all.  The best BDR’s we have are the ones that take the training we give them and then add in their own personality and style to it.  That makes them stand out both internally and to prospects/customers.

Olivia Cotroneo  

Business Development Representative, Veracode

Being a Business Development Representative is a great opportunity to be an expert on your company’s product and learn a tremendous amount of information and skills before advancing in your career. In order to land a job as a BDR I believe it is extremely important to show an eagerness to learn and self-motivation.  As a BDR you are completely in control of your own success. BDR managers are looking for employees who want to learn as much as possible, be successful in what they do and show passion. To be a successful BDR, I believe the most important traits are organization, self-motivation, competitiveness and curiosity. These traits are important because each individual is required to structure his or her own day, prioritize work and meet goals set by the company.

Victoria Sena  

Sales Development Representative, Datadog

I’d say my biggest tip for the BDR role is finding a good way to stay organized. Whether it’s writing all your notes in a book or notes in your computer/ CRM but keep it consistent once you pick a method. It is so easy to lose track of which lead says what during your outreach and to make sure no one goes cold you need to stay on top of everything but it all starts with how you log your notes. If you can’t find your notes after a month of talking to someone, its basically like you never made contact. Its something so small but can make a huge difference!

Daniel Regis  

Business Development Representative, Zaius

I would say the one thing that has allowed me to find success in my BDR role is Confidence. I know it sounds cliche, but confidence in your process, technique,  ability are all essential to success. There are always going to be ups and downs (in anything you do, especially sales), buts it is about what you do in the down times that will determine your long-term success. Confidence in doubling down on yourself when the going gets tough.

Courtney Thompson  

Business Development Manager, Fuze

As I look back on what it took to be successful and really get the attention of executives when I was a BDR – I found that being persistent is key. You need to be able to reluctantly follow up and provide value in the easiest, shortest way possible. Executives live on their mobile devices – it is important to provide value in ~1-2 sentences.

Shelby Theim  

Business Development Representative, Mimecast

Prospecting and cold calling is hard- we all know this but there are ways to make it more enjoyable and with a better payoff. In my experience, to be successful in a Business Development role means more than making the dials, sending the emails, and knowing what your company does. Yes, all those are important, but what really matters is the value you bring to each prospect. Understanding their business needs, as well as individual needs, and understanding where your company can make a meaningful difference is most important. To most prospects it doesn’t matter that I sell email security and archiving. What matters to them is I make their day to day jobs easier, more efficient, and less of a stressor. If you can show them how you can help them personally, not just a stale “my company does this”, you will go much further.

Steven Charnley  

Business Development Manager, ViralGains

Do your homework: Before you pick up the phone or send an email, know why you’re calling this company, person and how your product can help them be more successful. Not only does doing your research empower you to build rapport with your prospect, but more importantly, it allows you to deliver a relevant message with more confidence.


Katlyn Greenman  

Manager of Business Development, SnapApp

How to land a job – it’s all about the questions they ask in the interview. Do they ask about whether the company has a ping pong table or a beer fridge? What the hours are? Or do they ask how they can be successful in the role? Do they ask what they need to do to become a top performer on the team, and what they need to do to get through the BDR progression path as quickly as possible? I like to hire for traits that can’t be taught, like grit, passion, and eagerness. These traits all come across by the questions they ask you as the BDR manager in the hiring process.

Michael Hartman 

Oracle, Business Development Representative: Analytics Consultant

Business development is the first step in a sales career and provides multiple crucial skills to entering a closing role. The challenges facing those in business development are establishing a relationship, and earning the trust of your prospects despite having less than 30 seconds to do so. Providing value to your prospect ensures that you are captivating their interest and not wasting their time. My biggest tip for new reps is centered around organization. Staying organized in a sales role will make or break you; those who can stick to a schedule and effectively track upcoming tasks will be much farther ahead than those who try to “wing it”. Organization is about finding what works for you, and everyone is different in how they plan out their days, track tasks, and measure success. Those who can figure out what works and what doesn’t, will be the most successful BDRs.


Jonathan Samuels  

Founder and CEO, The Sales Club

Body language is important in a BDR interview. Shake the interviewer’s hand firmly while making eye contact. Walk with confidence and sit up straight. Smile. Show genuine enthusiasm and confidence for the job. At the end of the interview close them for the next step and ask for their business card so you can send a thank you email when you arrive home.They’ll expect good follow up from a potential salesperson they’d want to hire

Please Like and Share these tips to help others!

This article is sponsored by The Sales Club, a jobsite where salespeople go to grow their careers. Whether you are searching for your first sales job or looking for a better one, we can help you find the job you’ve been searching for. We have the top companies’ open sales positions all in one place in a simple, easy to use jobsite platform. Check out The Sales Club at 


Jonathan Samuels

Hey I’m Jonathan. I created The Sales Club ( and love talent acquisition! I have 20 years of recruiting experience and innovation. I like to work out, watch silly TV shows and maybe have a slice of pizza to break up my healthy eating habits. I hope you enjoy my blog page. Please share them with your friends!

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