SDR Best Practices for Hyper Growth

SDR Best Practices for Hyper Growth

In 2014, research and advisory firm, TOPO, benchmarked the sales development representative (SDR) position within high-growth technology companies. The benchmarks reveal specific and useful patterns for other companies to leverage to help accelerate revenue growth. They include:


  • 50% of high growth companies less than $25M maintain a one-to-one SDR-to-sales ratio. A one-to-one ratio between SDRs and account executives creates both focus and discipline at the territory level. Each account executive has dedicated demand generation versus having to share it with others.


  • 27% of SDR teams use BANT (budget, authority, need and timeline) to define SQLs. A sales qualified lead (SQL) is a prospect that meets the minimum qualification criteria. Today, 77% of companies use ANUM (authority, need, urgency and money) or AN (authority and need) as their SQL definition.
  • 37% of SDR teams keep call length with prospects under 10 minutes. Companies that keep call length under 10 minutes generate the highest number of SQLs. There is little to no correlation between call length and SQL quality. Calls over 10 minutes occur because SDRs lack call structure.
  • 55% of sales development teams incent SDRs on SQLs. The quality of leads passed to sales by the SDR team is governed by the SQL definition. SDRs should be compensated on deliverables that they can control – SQLs is one of them.


  • 60% of SDR teams are specialized toward inbound and outbound. Inbound marketing creates a high volume of leads to qualify. Studies suggested that inbound leads contacted within 1-3 minutes have the highest probability of being qualified. This SLA requires a dedicated team.


  • 71% of SDR teams respond to inbound leads within five minutes. According to, the highest conversation rates happen within three minutes of download because the prospect is thinking about you and your product. As time goes on, the prospect’s attention span fades.


  • Average employee tenure for SDRs is 14 months. Sales development is often a “stepping stone” to other areas of the organization. Overall, the average SDR tenure is 14 months with 85% of SDRs remaining in the role for less than 18 months.


  • 50% of SDR teams leverage five or more technology applications. The foundation of the sales development stack is CRM, data tools, email tools and sales intelligence. The next layer is auto-dialers, third-party analytics and touch management solutions.


  • 50% of SDR teams include LinkedIn in their touch pattern. LinkedIn is the predominant source of business, contact and prospect intelligence for B2B salespeople. A best practice is to a “triple touch” (call, email, LinkedIn) in the first serious of touches to the prospect.
  • Average number of touches per day is 95. While sales is a numbers game, quality should not suffer. Process, technology and tools (auto-dialers, email automation, etc.) should be leveraged to drive the right balance of automation and personalization.
  • Average number of touches per lead is 8-12 times. Each lead (person, not account) should be touched 8-12 times across multiple channels (email, voice, etc.) over a 2-4 week period. There are multiple people to sell to at a company, so each person should get 8-12 touches.

All contents copyright © 2015, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.


3 Responses to SDR Best Practices for Hyper Growth

  1. Robert Konsavage says:

    Well written post.


  2. Darrin Rivero says:

    Great post!


  3. Violet Carl says:

    The SDR position is here to stay. Thanks for the post. Great stuff!


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