Ode To The Sh*ttiest Job In Tech

Bill Balnave
3 min readApr 12, 2022


This one may not be popular. I’m not typically taken to controversial topics, but I am inspired this morning based on a couple of angry, hostile posts I’ve already read.

So, this is for all of you who make a living finding people to sell to. You have titles like Business Development Rep or Sales Development Rep or Inside Sales. You might be part of the marketing department or the sales department. Your job is to wade into the vast world of LinkedIn profiles and email addresses and find your company’s next customer.

I have mad respect for you. This job is not easy. You suffer the slings and arrows of angry business leaders whose time is very valuable and doesn’t include dealing with unsolicited communication from you. You probably want to quit, every day.

I get your messages, and I do my best to respond to all of them. I’m not always successful. Most of them don’t apply to me and aren’t helpful. I know you reached out based on my title. We all know title is not a great equivalent for job responsibility, especially these days.

And some of the messages are obviously generic and have used technology to fill in important facts like first name, title, company name, etc. That’s ok.

I know that you would love to take the time to get to know me and my challenges and pains and problems so that you could come prepared. But all you have to work with is a LinkedIn profile and some company information. That’s not enough. The only way to get to know me is to reach out — which is what you’re doing.

You find yourself in a paradox. People don’t want to talk to you unless you come prepared knowing things about them, which is near impossible to do without actually talking to them.

I’ll do what I can to help your cause. I believe your intent is genuine. You just want to know if perhaps you have something beneficial to offer me. I also know that I don’t have all the answers or good ideas. And maybe, you do.

In the end, I know that behind this message or email is a person, or group of people, human beings, who are trying to build a company. Or bring a new idea to market. Trying to make a meeting count to get their bonus. Trying to make a name for herself. Trying to make a living.

So to all of you SDRs, BDRs, and ISRs, I say — keep going! Your tenacity and resolve is impressive. I have no special selling or persuasion techniques to offer. My only suggestion is that you act with genuine intent. You can never go wrong with that.

And for all of you business leaders who pontificate about all of the things an SDR must to do to be worthy of your attention, and the gauntlet they must walk to get a meeting — remember, that’s a human being. Trying to do a job. Striving to be successful. Just like you.



Bill Balnave

Half geek half sales guy wholly opinionated writer who found sales engineering and made a good living at it. Giving back to help those looking to do same.