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How to Avoid Sales Development Burnout

4 min read
Oct. 20, 2015

The specialization of sales teams has hit it’s stride. With a clear line in the sand between roles, the sales development rep and the account executive know their designated strengths and execute accordingly. While the account executive is grinding away, running demos and closing deals, the sales development rep is hustling just as hard to make sure those AE calendars stay booked with qualified appointments. No one knows the grind like an SDR when it comes to prospecting, emailing, and dialing from sun up to sun down.

The objection here? Burnout. How do sales development reps avoid losing steam in a role that takes about as much patience and endurance as a triathlon?

Salesloft SDR Tyler Bliss has a few answers to that common objection. Being a veteran in the sales development role for a few years now, Bliss has learned ways to avoid that classic burnout that so many new reps are afraid of encountering. Here are a few of his tips to staying focused and motivated every single day:

Keep Things In Perspective.

Ever heard the phrase, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint?” Well forget that for a second. While it’s important to maintain endurance in the role, it’s also crucial to know how to break things down to a more manageable distance. The simplest way Tyler has found to achieve bite-size-mentality, is to focus on each week as a separate entity, rather than the month or quarter as a whole.

I [follow] what’s called the Rule of Five. It says that if every day you come to the same tree and give it five hacks with an axe, eventually that tree will fall. I’ve avoided burnout by not focusing on how many hacks it takes to make a tree fall, but focusing on my five daily hacks. -Tyler Bliss


Looking too far ahead can cause you to be overwhelmed by quotas and long distance goals, and you’ll find it near impossible to achieve by day one. Sales is a game of inches, and you can’t turn an inch into the whole nine yards in a day. By breaking down goals into smaller chunks, like week-by-week or day-by-day, you’ll have a better outlook on reaching those smaller goals more frequently.

Incentivize Yourself.

Plenty of companies have incentive programs to keep their SDRs motivated. But it’s about more than outside motivation — you have to find ways to incentivize yourself. Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals with specific rewards, personalized to your interests and priorities. Tyler set up a reward schedule for himself with a little tee-time action each month he hits his goal:

I always reward myself for hitting quota with taking a half day on the last Friday of the month and hitting the golf course. This was a way for me to reset and get ready for the next month. -Tyler Bliss

Small as it may seem, even the smallest rewards can go a long way when you’re holding yourself accountable. Whether it’s a coffee break, a new set of headphones, or a vacation day — choose what’s important to you, what will motivate you, and use that to push yourself each and every day.

Want to know the top takeaway from Tyler’s advice on avoiding sales development burnout? Enjoy it.

I’ve enjoyed my time as an SDR so much because I’ve focused on the day-to-day, rather than counting down the days until I was out of the role. -Tyler Bliss

Sales development can launch your career to great heights if you use the experience wisely. So keep things in perspective and stay motivated, but most importantly, enjoy where you are in your career and soak up the experience while you can.