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Sales Development Recruiting Tips for Drafting an All-Star SDR Team

4 min read
Apr. 15, 2016

shaunricciThis sales development recruiting post was written by guest, Shaun Ricci, a Canadian entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of Ideal. He served as Co-Founder and COO of Field ID until it was acquired in December 2012, and is also an active writer, documenting his wins and losses while building his startup sales team. 


The rise of the sales development function has been called the “biggest trend in sales today.” The Bridge Group’s sales development survey found that nearly 1/3 of sales leaders say their biggest challenge is recruiting sales development representatives (SDRs).

Here’s a handy infographic with the stats on sales development recruiting for your company:


How many SDRs do you need to hire?

That same Bridge Group study found that the ratio of SDRs to account executives (AEs) for an average company is 1 to 3.9.

TOPO’s research found for high-growth companies, their ratio of SDRs to AE is 1 to 1 — the same ratio recommended by Salesloft’s CEO, Kyle Porter. Keep in mind that Salesloft falls squarely into the “high-growth” category.

Kyle’s advice is based on the numbers you need for an account executive to win a certain percentage of opportunities: the number of SDRs you need equals the number of daily meetings you need booked for all account executives, divided by the number of daily demos booked per SDR.

How much experience should an SDR have?

In general, an SDR is considered an entry-level sales position, which means the amount of previous sales experience companies look for when practicing sales development recruiting is on the lower side.

The Bridge Group also found that SDRs had on average less than 2 years of previous sales experience, with 28% having less than one year of prior sales experience. Their research found that the prior sales experience required increases with average sales price.

How much should you pay an SDR?

The survey found that SDRs’ compensation had an average split of 64% base salary and 36% variable compensation.

Your own compensation ratio will likely vary, but this is a good reference point to keep in mind when discussing compensation with newer SDRs who may fixate on base salary numbers.

The survey also found that compensation correlated with prior sales experience: SDRs with less than one year of sales experience earned 15% below the average, whereas SDRs with more than three years of sales experience earned 16% above the average.

How long does it take an SDR to ramp?

An SDR’s ramp up time is going to depend on several factors including the length of your training process, so ramp up time is going to vary a lot across companies.

The average ramp time for an SDR (3.8 months) is slightly lower than the ramp up time for an AE (4.4 months). But found that providing even just a small amount of coaching to their SDRs cut their ramp up time by 50%: That’s just three hours a month of sales coaching to cut a SDR’s ramp up time from four months to two.

What quotas should an SDR achieve?

The survey found that on average, 66% of SDRs attained their quota. The bottom 20% of SDRs averaged 60% of their goals while the top 20% of SDRs averaged 158% of their goals.


  • Average number of dials per day: 52
  • Average number of conversations per day: 8
  • Average number of attempts per prospect: 7


  • Average quota for appointments set per month: 20
  • Average quota for appointments converted per month: 8
  • Average quota for opportunities passed per month: 8
  • Average quota for opportunities accepted per month: 6

How long does an average SDR stay?

Because an SDR is usually considered an entry-level sales position, the average tenure of an SDR tends to be short. In the best case scenario, you’re promoting your productive SDRs into AEs or other positions fairly quickly, often within less than a year. After all, the average tenure of an SDR is 2.2 months.

Nearly 50% of company’s bottom line depends on the quality of your SDRs

The Bridge Group found that on average, 45% of company revenues are sourced by SDRs, which makes recruiting the right SDRs so important.

Ensuring your SDRs will hit their quotas requires productive on-boarding, an effective sales process, and using the right tools to hire the right people for your company in the first place.

Are you looking for sales development recruiting help? Use Ideal to automate candidate sourcing and duplicate your top sales performers.

For a more comprehensive look into Salesloft’s internal SDR process, download the second section of our newest playbook trilogy, The Sales Development Playbook: Executing. In this section, we share the ins and outs of efficiently using Salesloft to call and email prospects. Download our free white paper and optimize your sales efforts to start crushing your sales development goals today.