Everything you need to know about a career as a Sales Development Representative
The main goal for Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) is to qualify leads for Account Executives.
They’re responsible for keeping the sales pipeline full of qualified leads. To do this, they spend their days talking to potential customers through social media, email (both 1:1 and drip campaigns), phone calls, and, increasingly, video messages. Then, once a lead is qualified, they pass it over to an Account Executive to close the sale.
Salesforce initially pioneered this role to maximize efficiency on their sales organization. They even went as far as to call them the “superheroes of your sales team.”
As you can see from Google Trends, searches for SDRs has grown exponentially over the last decade. This is especially true in B2B and enterprise sales teams.
In fact, in a survey from Bridge Group, 6 out of 10 SaaS companies have at least one SDR on staff.
Most SDR positions are entry-level roles. This role is ideal for someone looking to break into sales or marketing. It can also be great for someone who is entrepreneurial and wants to develop their sales chops so they can start their own business someday.
Depending on the company, the prospecting that SDRs do can be either cold or warm outreach. Often, it’s a mix of the two.
For warm outreach, marketing has already supplied and qualified the lead list, so they’re dealing with marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). These leads come from social media, blog posts, white papers, and online advertising (i.e., Facebook ads, Google Ads, etc.). These leads are often easier to move through the sales funnel because they’ve already opted into learning more. It’s now the SDR’s job to figure out if they’re a qualified buyer or simply browsing.
Cold outreach works the same way except you have the added burden of generating awareness and educating them about your company.
Running a successful sales team is all about having solid systems and sales processes in place.
When it’s just the founder(s) and a couple of individual salespeople, having a robust CRM software (such as Salesforce, Hubspot CRM, or Pipedrive), a sales playbook, and some energy can go a long way.
However, as your business scales, you need to build out more systems. It’s no longer efficient to have salespeople do all of the tasks.
You need to divide up the roles and responsibilities into prospecting, closing, and management.
This typically means having a VP of Sales, a handful of sales managers, account executives (i.e., closers) and SDRs (i.e., prospectors).
Here are some signs it’s time to hire SDRs:
When you do hire an SDR, it can be helpful to hire two or more at a time. There are many advantages including:
The starting annual salary ranges from $40,000 – $70,000 USD. SDRs receive bonuses typically on the number of sales-qualified leads or sales-qualified appointments.
|San Francisco, CA||New York, NY||Austin, TX||Chicago, IL||Los Angeles, CA|
|Base | OTE||Base | OTE||Base | OTE||Base | OTE||Base | OTE|
|$50-65K | $75-95K||$50-70K | $70-100K||$40-60K | $50-70K||$40-55K | $55-75K||$45-65K | $60-90K|
An SDR’s core responsibilities include:
Most sales organizations measure their SDRs on a combination of output and performance-based metrics.
Here are some examples of output metrics. These metrics are tied to effort.
Here are some examples of performance metrics. These are the metrics that you should tie any performance bonuses to.
In our experience, it’s better to hire for attitude instead of amplitude, especially for an entry-level SDR position. You can teach a new hire how to use your CRM software, strategies for writing great cold emails, or specific product information within a few weeks on the job. It’s much harder to change a candidate’s attitude or coach them on personality.
Here are the key traits and skills we look for when hiring SDRs:
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