Managing your SDR’s

We got another great survey from Bridge Group which looks at the SDR teams of 355 B2B businesses.  The survey is dominated by SaaS companies, and while it’s well worth the read, our favorite findings are below:


The goal should be to fill calendars.  Some SDR teams focus on setting introductory meetings for sales reps/account executives while others take it a step further and try to provide interested prospects, known as ‘qualified opportunities’.  Bridge makes the point that the decision to provide one or the other should be based on how full the sales reps’ calendars are: if your sales reps have full calendars, then the SDR’s should focus on qualified opportunities until you can hire more sales reps.  If the calendars are empty, then focus on getting sales reps less qualified introductory meetings as well as qualified opportunities.  In other words, fill their calendars.


Separate inbound qualification and outbound prospecting if your flow is that strong.  Only separate the SDR team if you’re getting enough inbound deal flow such that you need to staff at least two SDR’s on the task full time.  Otherwise, the SDR team should handle both inbound and outbound deal flow.


The average ratio is 1 SDR for 2.5 account executives.  Smaller companies tend to have a higher ratio of SDR’s to AE’s, meaning one SDR supports even fewer AE’s.   


The typical SDR has only 1.3 years of experience.  That number has declined every year since 2010 when the number was 2.5 years.  Of course, the more complex the product and the higher the ACV, the more experienced the SDR needs to be.  Average ramp time of an SDR is 3.2 months and the average tenure is only 1.4 years.  To improve these metrics, promote your SDR’s frequently (junior, associate, senior SDR) and give them the opportunity to become AE’s.


The base salary of an SDR is $46k and OTE is $72k.  Bridge Group believes the pay is low and falling because companies are hiring less experienced reps.  At least 79% of companies have some sort of variable pay or commission for ‘meetings set’ or other metrics – don’t use ‘opportunities won’ though.  Bridge makes the point that there is too much outside of an SDR’s control once he sets a meeting successfully.


The average quota of an SDR is 21 meetings set or 13 qualified opportunities per month.  Obviously quotas vary widely, based on ACV/deal size as well as whether your SDR’s are focused on outbound marketing or inbound cultivation, the size of company they’re calling on, maturity of the market, etc.  Make sure quota is attainable, otherwise you’ll dis-incentivize reps and burn them out.  On average, 68% of reps hit quota.


On average, SDR’s make 46 dials per day with 5.8 quality conversations.  Obviously if your group is more email centric, dials come down.  On average, SDR’s make 8.2 attempts per prospect.  According to Bridge, 9 to 12 attempts is the sweet spot.


Use dialing technology.  Groups using dialing technology reported 28% more dials and 30% more quality conversations per day.  This is because dialing tech promotes efficient routing, sets a nice cadence, provides analytics, and can even gamify the process of outbounding.  In regards to email, 86% of companies in the survey use some sort of email technology.


On average, 1 manager oversees 8.1 SDR’s.  The compensation of a manager is $129k.


Overall, this blog post doesn’t do the study justice.  It’s well worth the read and can be downloaded at  Thanks to Bridge Group for putting this together.      


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