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Introduction: What is Tonality?

As a sales development representative (SDR), having a good understanding of tonality is essential for success in sales. Tonality is the way in which someone speaks, and it can have a huge impact on how your prospects perceive you. This includes the pitch, volume, and speed of your voice. It’s also known as vocal variety, and it is, as you know, an important tool for sales development representatives (SDRs).

Why Tonality Matters

When you’re speaking to prospects, the way you speak is just as important as the words you say. If your tonality is off, it can be off-putting and make prospects feel like they’re not being listened to. Using the right tonality is key when it comes to convincing prospects that you have a valuable solution. Your tonality should convey enthusiasm, confidence, and a willingness to help the prospect. It’s important to remember that when you’re speaking over the phone, you don’t have the benefit of body language or facial expressions to help convey your message. For this reason, relying on good tonality can make your prospect feel comfortable and therefore more likely to engage in conversation.

How to Improve your Tonality

Good tonality can help you to build rapport with prospects. If you’re speaking in a friendly and conversational manner, it helps build trust and relationships with prospects. This can be extremely useful when it comes to closing deals and building long-term customer relationships. Not everyone has a naturally engaging tone on the phone. But the good news is, having a natural and engaging tonality is a skill that can be improved upon! Here’s how:

  • Start with a smile: There is a saying in sales development: “Smile while you dial”! That’s because smiling can help you project a friendly and confident tone, even over the phone. Give it a try with someone you trust like a manager or colleague, chances are they will be able to tell the difference between you speaking with and without a smile.
  • Use vocal variety: Vary your pitch, volume, and speed to keep your conversation interesting and engaging. Just like you would in a conversation with a friend, your tone will change based on the topic. If someone is going through something difficult, you may speak more softly and choose more empathetic and encouraging words. If someone is celebrating some big and exciting news, you may speak in a higher pitch, a bit louder, and with more animation. The same goes for speaking with prospects over the phone!
  • Listen and adjust: Active listening is a huge part of being an SDR. You should always be listening to the prospect’s true pain points and reactions to you over the phone. This is also true for your tonality. Pay attention to how the prospect responds to your tonality. If they seem uncomfortable or uninterested, adjust your tone accordingly.
  • Practice: As in all things, practice makes perfect! Practice your tonality with friends or colleagues. Record your conversations and listen back to see where you can improve.

Don’t forget, tonality can also be used to emphasize important points. By speaking with a higher pitch or with more enthusiasm, you can draw attention to key points and make them stand out. Highlight or boldface portions of your script to remind yourself of areas where you can use a change in tone to sell the meeting. Eventually, this will become second nature!


Tonality is an important skill for SDRs to have. The right tonality can help you effectively communicate your message and build rapport with prospects. It’s important to remember that over the phone, your tonality is the only way to convey emotion and enthusiasm. With practice and dedication, you can develop the tonality needed to turn prospects into customers.

Becca Fields-Poniskaitis

Head of Marketing

Becca is using her varied marketing experience and breadth of skills to build and develop a world-class, in-house marketing team here at Alleyoop.