5 Ways to Retain SDRs [and Reduce Churn]

5 Ways to Retain SDRs [and Reduce Churn]

Table of Contents

Retaining high-performing SDR talent is one of the biggest challenges sales leaders and CROs face.

With the median annual turnover of SDRs at 32%, this role has some of the highest turnover of any industry.

The modern workplace is stressful and burnout is especially common among sales teams. If you want to build an SDR team, you need to first prepare for churn.

In this article, we’ll go over 5 ways to retain SDRs so you can keep the pipeline full.

1. Prioritize employee experience

Investing in your SDR team is more than ensuring they have the newest tech stack.

When people talk about workplace culture, they mean the day-to-day experience of working for your company.

Consider your organization: what are the biggest influences on employee experience?

Generally, this experience is most affected by leadership, the working environment, and expectations. Let’s explore how these factors apply to sales teams specifically.

Empathetic leadership

Poor management is one of the most common reasons someone will leave a job. After all, people don’t quit jobs they quit bad bosses.

One of the ways leaders can improve SDR retention is by leading with empathy. This mode of leadership requires not just understanding the emotions of your team but acting in a way that demonstrates you do.

People value feeling understood, especially in a career as difficult as sales.

Inclusive environment

Empathetic leadership is the first step to creating a more inclusive work environment.

One of the greatest motivating factors in the modern workplace is knowing your voice has meaning and by extension your value as a member of the team.

This type of environment fosters greater communication, morale, and collaboration.

Reasonable expectations

Another one of the most common reasons SDRs burn out is unrealistic expectations.

Managing with empathy takes into consideration what an SDR is capable of based on their strengths, weaknesses, and experience.

Setting reasonable expectations creates an inclusive environment that facilitates personal and professional success.

2. Communicate performance

Sales reps need specific and achievable goals to benchmark their efforts in filling the pipeline. However, it’s just as important that SDRs are recognized for good performance.

Sales is tough work. Top performers in a sales career are naturally competitive, proactive, and driven to achieve results.

Even so, everyone likes to be celebrated and acknowledged for their accomplishments.

For SDRs who underperform, there needs to be transparent communication about how they can improve while taking into consideration their unique strengths and weaknesses.

The best chance at success follows a playbook built around open communication that’s tailored to their needs

3. Provide a clear path for career development

The high rate of turnover in the SDR position has many causes like poor compensation, lack of recognition, and burnout.

But for those who are eager to advance their career, the lack of a path for growth within a company is the most likely reason they’ll leave.

Nobody wants to be an SDR forever.

Nevertheless, the skillset the SDR role cultivates is versatile. With the right training and guidance, a sales rep can move horizontally to other disciplines within a company where they aren’t promoted to a Team Lead, Manager, or AE.

Also, establishing a roadmap for growth has the added benefit of saving on the cost of recruitment and further developing talent within a specific company and vertical.

4. Support your SDRs with sales enablement

The best way to equip your SDRs with the right tools and education is through sales enablement.

As the process for engaging buyers changes with digital transformation, sales development teams need to stay prepared.

Outbound best practices are adapting to meet a prospect wherever they are in the buyer journey. A functioning sales enablement program needs to support SDRs along these lines with updated research, material, and strategy.

Some of the resources sales enablement provides include:

  • Automated sequences
  • Standardized reporting
  • Competitive intelligence
  • A library of successful templates
  • Customer case studies

In addition to creating a more efficient team, sales enablement can advance the personal development of an SDR and help them succeed within their role.

Investing in sales enablement is another way for an organization to demonstrate how much they value the growth of their team.

5. Compensate fairly

In the end, most people leave a company for better pay.

The SDR position can be repetitive, difficult work. Offering a competitive salary and benefits is the bare minimum an organization can do for this entry-level position.

Although a purely commission-based salary is increasingly unpopular, providing bonuses for meeting monthly quotas is still a great way to motivate (and keep) SDR talent.

There are few better ways to incentivize your sales development team than adequate and fair compensation.

SDR turnover can come at a high price after recruitment and onboarding. CROs are under constant pressure to hit quotas while staying within their budget.

If you need to accelerate time-to-revenue, contact us and we’ll explore some of the ways our team can fill your pipeline.