Landing a BDR role without experience

November 13, 2023
min read

If you're here, it's most likely because you're caught in the biggest Catch 22 of our time: you're looking for a first Sales job to gain experience, but you're not getting a first Sales job because you don't have experience.

I know, I know.

Hopefully, this guide offers comprehensive strategies, backed by research and data, to navigate and excel in this journey.

1. Research The Role

A deep understanding of the BDR role is crucial. BDRs focus on:

- prospecting,

- qualifying leads,

- scheduling sales opportunities,

often facing high rejection rates. Is this really what you're looking for? You suuuuuure? If so, carry on.

Data Insights:

  • Rejection Rates: BDRs can face rejection in over 90% of cold outreach efforts. That's a made up number, it can be 100% for days :((
  • Success Metrics: Effective BDRs typically achieve a meeting booking rate of 5-10%. A the Enterprise level, some companies are happy with a 0.1% reply rate.


  • Resilience in Rejection: Viewing each rejection as a learning opportunity is vital. The more NOs you're getting, the sooner you'll get a YES.
  • Understanding Buyer Intent: Ask around, why are people buying? When are they buying? What triggered the need? Who pulled the trigger on the budget?

2. Introspection

This is the most important one. Why do you want to do this? Why would you

Key Questions:

  • Personal Motivation: Reflect on what draws you to this role – is it the challenge, the rewards, or the growth opportunities?
  • Long-Term Vision: Consider if you are prepared for the long-term commitment and the career trajectory in sales.

3. Read Books

Educating yourself through relevant literature is essential for gaining industry knowledge and skills.

Recommended Books:

How to Win friends legit changed my life and is the reason why I can pay my bills for the past 12 years.

4. Follow the Leaders

Gaining insights from industry leaders can provide a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

Influencers to Follow:

5. Badges of Honor

Leveraging past experiences, even from different fields, can provide a strong foundation for a BDR role.

Valuable Experiences:

  • door-to-door sales,
  • call centers,
  • competitive sports
  • Hospitality,
  • Real Estate,
  • Military.

All of these should be leveraged to showcase grit, determination, GSD attitude, resilience, self-motivation,creativity, managing your emotions, going above & beyond. All important traits of a successful BDR.

6. Free Trial the Tools

Familiarizing yourself with key sales tools is essential in the modern sales process.

Key Tools:

  • Sales Navigator,
  • Dialers (Orum, Salesfinity),
  • Sequencing (, Mailshake),
  • Data (, Lusha),
  • CRM (HubSpot, Zoho)

Mentioning these tools will add to your credibility. By showing you already know, you're anticipating a lot of objections.

- SalesNav is a must, you should play around and get toknow it like the back of your hand.

- For Dialers, you should share metric about dials, connect, booking rate, SQL rate, pipeline generated, progress over time.

- For Sequencers, you should talk about copywriting, AB testing your stuff (copy, hours, subject lines), call to actions.

- For Data, how you segment your lists, how you target, the different copies per persona.

- CRM is very basic, no need to expand too much on that one.

7. Think Local, act Local

See these headline-grabbing, super sexy, glamorous firms on LinkedIn? Yeah, they aren't your crowd.

These guys get 100s if not 1000s of applications when posting a job ad for a BDR role. Unless the CRO is your dad or your aunt, you stand absolutely no chance.

And don't get fooled by the LinkedIn posts from VP Sales saying "they had no experience, I gave them a chance and now they're my top performer". They're exactly that, just LinkedIn posts.

No, you want to join an unsexy, local B2B firm with an already existing Sales team (no Sales team = no training, you're not going to go far).

Think about Manufacturing, Telecom, Medical, Supply Chain/Logistics, Professional Services etc... There's legions of these firms in any part of the globe that are making a killing, very quietly.

And the experience you acquire there as a BDR will be easily transferrable to any other industry and will pave the way for your transition to an AE role (if it's the path you decide to take, which, you should :)

8. Volunteer

Volunteering provides hands-on experience and is a strategic way to build sales skills, example:

  • Engaging in internships,
  • fundraising,
  • working with non-profits,
  • participating in community and industry events.

9. Volunteer part 2 (slightly controversial)

Here, I'm basically suggesting you work for free for a month, so make sure you're comfortable with that. Here's a suggested process to accelerate your job search:

  • Build a list of 30 local B2B companies (see #7),
  • Identify key sales decision-makers (Founder, Sales Director, VP Sales..),
  • Offer to work for free in exchange for training and commission
  • Learn the ropes, get rid of your fear of rejection
  • Master your copywriting skills
  • Get amazingly confident over the phone
  • Book qualified meetings
  • Feel the rush of talking to a stranger and turning them into a prospect within 4 minutes
  • Launch your Sales career

This is a bold move, ok. If you're not ok with that, it's fine. I know we all have bills to pay. You can even try part-time and keep a "flipping burgers" gig to keep your finances afloat. Look at it as an investment in your career.

Reach out if you need more!

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