Best Practices for Managing SDRs: How to Build and Manage an SDR Team

Managing SDRs is one of the most challenging jobs with some of the biggest payback. To help with the best practices for managing SDRs, The Bridge Group looked at SDRs of 355 B2B businesses in their SDR Metrics Report.

The survey is dominated by SaaS companies, and while it’s well worth the read, our favorite findings are below.

Best Practices for Managing SDRs

The Goal of Your SDRs Should Be to Fill Calendars.

Some SDR teams focus on setting introductory meetings for sales reps/account executives while others take it a step further and try to provide interested prospects, known as qualified opportunities.

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Bridge makes the point that the decision to provide one or the other should be based on how full the sales reps’ calendars are: if your sales reps have full calendars, then the SDRs should focus on qualified opportunities until you can hire more sales reps.

If the calendars are empty, then focus on getting sales reps less qualified introductory meetings as well as qualified opportunities. In other words, fill their calendars.

Best Practices for Managing SDRs: The Goal is to Fill Calendars

How to Build a Highly Efficient SDR Team

Only separate the SDR team if you’re getting enough inbound deal flow such that you need to staff at least two SDRs on the task full time. Otherwise, the SDR team should handle both inbound and outbound deal flow.

The average ratio is 1 SDR for 2.5 account executives. Smaller companies tend to have a higher ratio of SDRs to AEs, meaning one SDR supports even fewer AEs.

How to Manage SDRs

Review the Promotional Path with your SDRs

The typical SDR has only 1.3 years of experience. That number has declined every year since 2010 when the number was 2.5 years. Of course, the more complex the product and the higher the ACV, the more experienced the SDR needs to be.

The average ramp time of an SDR is 3.2 months and the average tenure of an SDR is only 1.4 years. To improve these metrics, promote your SDRs frequently (junior, associate, senior SDR) and give them the opportunity to become AEs.

Know the Average Quota of an SDR

The average quota of an SDR is 21 meetings set or 13 qualified opportunities per month.

Obviously quotas vary widely, based on ACV/deal size as well as whether your SDRs are focused on outbound marketing or inbound cultivation, the size of company they’re calling on, maturity of the market, etc. Make sure quota is attainable, otherwise, you’ll dis-incentivize reps and burn them out. On average, 68% of reps hit quota.

Have Your SDRs Meet or Exceed Dials and Conversations

On average, SDRs make 46 dials per day with 5.8 quality conversations. Obviously, if your group is more email-centric, dials come down. On average, SDRs make 8.2 attempts per prospect. According to Bridge, 9 to 12 attempts is the sweet spot.

Use Dialing Technology as a Best Practice

Groups using dialing technology reported 28% more dials and 30% more quality conversations per day. This is because dialing tech promotes efficient routing, sets a nice cadence, provides analytics, and can even gamify the process of out-bounding. In regards to email, 86% of companies in the survey use some sort of email technology. Nowadays, there are a plethora of sales prospecting tools that can streamline sales teams’ workflows.

The Average SDR Manager and SDR Compensation Plans

What is the Typical SDR Manager Compensation Plan?

The average compensation for an SDR is a base salary of $46,000 and OTE is $72,000. Bridge Group believes the pay is low and falling because companies are hiring less experienced reps.

At least 79% of companies have some sort of variable pay or commission for “meetings set” or other metrics — don’t use “opportunities won” though. Bridge makes the point that there is too much outside of an SDRs control once he sets a meeting successfully.

What is the Compensation of an SDR Manager?

The compensation of an SDR Manager is $129,000 USD on average. Additionally, on average, one SDR manager oversees 8.1 SDRs.

Sammy is a co-founder of Blossom Street Ventures. They invest in companies with run-rate revenue of $2mm+ and year over year growth of 50%+. We can commit in 3 weeks and our check is $1mm. Email Sammy directly at

  • Originally published October 30, 2018, updated June 27, 2024