What Is The Average Salary For A Sales Development Representative?

If you have recently interviewed with multiple companies for a Sales Development Representative Role and offers have been extended — congratulations! The hardest part has ended but choosing between multiple offers can be a tricky decision. Whilst there are many different factors other than compensation you should weigh up carefully, we hope this article will arm you with the knowledge of what you can expect for the industry average and determine if you have any potential wiggle room to negotiate a counter-offer.

To make sure there is no confusion — by Sales Development Representative (SDR) we are referring to reps who’s job it is to:

  • Generate qualified leads through target account selling, outbound prospecting, and calling on inbound leads
  • Schedule demos/set appointments

Depending on the individual company, you may be generating inbound leads, you may be required to schedule appointments or it could even be a blend of both. Every SaaS company will have their own preference for what they want their SDR’s to do. That isn’t to say that one approach is superior than the other, merely that it is down to the specific organization and sales/marketing leader.

If you have any friends who already work as an SDR scheduling appointments and they recommend that you take the job generating qualified leads instead, don’t let them sway your choice based purely upon the sales approach. Every day, well oiled sales teams up and down the country are successfully booking appointments or generating newly qualified leads for their Account Executives.

Generating Qualified Leads: Some companies may have very specific and stringent criteria for what actually constitutes as a qualified lead. Regardless, at its most basic level, here you will be passing over leads that have shown at least an inkling of interest and understand what your company does.

Scheduling Demos/Setting Appointments: Newer SaaS companies may be looking to keep up work place morale for their sales force and decide to set the criteria low for who the SDR’s can book a meeting with. To keep the AE’s active, management may want the SDR’s to set as many appointments as they can. This means that these leads are often unqualified and may know the very minimum about the product/service when agreeing to attend a demo.

According to the Bridge Group’s latest research, here are the statistics regarding companies present preferences for sales development approaches:

Sales Development Approach

Compensation

There are a number of factors which play into the average salary for a SDR. These are:

1. Location

The West Coast and Northeast are willing to pay the highest average salary.

2. Level of Experience

SDR’s with less than one year of experience are handicapped and receive 15% less on average. SDR’s with more than three years of experience are able to command 16% more than the average.

3. Average Selling Price

SDR’s charged with prospecting for more costly solutions are able to command higher salaries than the average.

4. Sales Approach

Companies that want their SDR’s to generate fully qualified opportunities are willing to pay more of a premium for it than if they had their SDR’s scheduling demos.

Now that we have examined the factors that affect the average salary for sales development representatives, we can take a look at the figures from the Bridge Group’s Research:

SDR Average Salary

In terms of a historical comparison, compensation for SDR’s today is actually slightly lower than what is was in the past. One of the main reasons for this is that companies are continuing to take risks and hire SDR’s with less and less experience (usually around <1 year). Although SaaS companies are appearing to loosen up their hiring requirements, it should also be noted that the annual turnover for this positions has increased.

Important Factors to Consider

An important factor which plays into your OTE is the variable %. Before deciding which offer on the table is the best financially, you will need to see exactly how you will get paid for the variable %. The majority of companies are going to tie your variable % to either the number of qualified opportunities won or the number of meetings you successfully set. This number will of course be your quota that you need to hit. Try to get a clear explanation of what counts as a qualified opportunity and the criteria that they use. Every company is going to be different on what they mean by a qualified opportunity and how strict or loose it is. We strongly recommend reaching out to other SDR’s who work there before you even step into the interview room. Find out how many SDR’s are reaching quota and if the numbers set are attainable.

What you will also need to find out is if the companies attach your quota to business won. This means that you will only get paid if the opportunity you source gets closed out and won. We believe that having your compensation structured in this way is unfavorable for many reasons:

  • Your compensation is directly tied to the ability of the AE who will be trying to close the deal
  • Your sales cycle could be 6months+ meaning that you won’t be seeing your hard earned reward for many, many months down the line.Having a large part of your compensation tied to a factor out of your control will quickly lead you down the path of frustration so keep that in mind before you make a choice! We hope this article will be able to help you in weighing up what is the best financial deal on the table.

For more research regarding SDR’s compensation and other metrics linked to performance, we highly recommend that you head over to the Bridge Group for the latest reports with which these statistics and research are based on.
If you are interested in reading more content like this feel free to head over to our site - Sales Development Representative Bible