How to Nurture your Top Sales People

How to nurture your top sales people

It’s no secret that there’s a huge attrition rate in top sales positions, regardless of industry. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that more than two thirds of companies experience an annual turnover rate of up to 35% in their SDR (Sales Development Representative) staff.

On their own, these statistics are alarming, however when you realise that the remaining one third of companies experience an annual turnover rate of between 35% to 55%, retention suddenly becomes a major priority.

Importance of retaining top sales people

When you add up the costs of recruiting, onboarding and training top sales people, as well as the loss in revenue when they leave, SDR attrition is a problem that needs to be resolved quickly. Unless you reduce your attrition rate, these costs are ongoing and if the rates increase, the money your company loses increases accordingly.

It’s essential to understand that the SDR role is an essential step in the sales process. They find and engage qualified prospects, handing them over to account executives who close the deal. This two-stage process allows SDRs to become highly specialised at identifying leads in specific industries or locations and reaching out to them.

One of the successful elements of an SDR job is that they make contact with prospects early in the sales process. They are well-versed in engaging with prospective leads, often before they realises a need for your products or services. This early contact gives your business a competitive edge allowing you to forge relationships that can last for years.

Experienced SDRs are highly focused on qualifying prospects and identifying their pain points. The result is that deals are closed quickly and efficiently and revenue increases. The quality of contacts made and the number of leads that are passed onto account executives are what defines a top SDR.

Will the Great Resignation mean the end of SDR jobs in your company?

Many people employed in SDR jobs are likely to be included in the Great Resignation. This term relates to the mass exodus of employees from jobs that no longer fulfill their needs, following the pandemic. In fact, Microsoft found that 41% of employees were seriously considering quitting their jobs in 2021, hoping for better pay, conditions and benefits.  

That’s because people on lockdown had plenty of time to think about their work-life balance and career paths. This created a seismic shift in people’s perceptions of their careers, resulting in a major change in employee-employer dynamics. In other words, when people are unhappy with their work and there’s no room for negotiations with their employer, they vote with their feet.

It's well-known that recruiting top sales people is not easy at the best of times. Unfortunately, the Great Resignation has meant that SDR jobs are becoming even tougher to fill than normal. Given that the hardest part of the sales funnel is getting prospects to engage with your brand, sales teams and account executives are starting to seriously feel the loss of experienced SDRs. This loss results in fewer qualified leads, reduced revenue and slower growth.

The challenge of hiring and retaining people in SDR roles

The SDR role is a high-powered position, requiring a unique set of skills. It’s a demanding and exhausting job that can quickly burn out your top sales people. Unless you nurture your SDRs, they are likely to re-evaluate their employment and search for a more worthy role elsewhere. With an average tenure of 18 months, the time and costs involved in recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training SDRs can be a high price to pay when they leave so quickly.  

If you consider the type of skillset required by the top sales people, however, it’s easy to understand why they are difficult to recruit. These skills include a positive and curious mindset, as well as patience and empathy, tenacity, resilience and consistency. They also have confidence in their own abilities and an eagerness to continually learn. To hire someone with this skill set requires a large network of contacts and a significant amount of time. It’s not an easy task.

Then, once you have recruited your SDR, you still need to keep them happy in their work. That’s because the type of person who excels in this role has certain expectations. These expectations include an appreciation of their worth and the role they perform within your company. It also includes opportunities for furthering their career and a positive and supportive work environment.

Instead, many top sales people don’t feel appreciated at work and see no opportunities for developing their career. They also feel overwhelmed by their workload and a lack of remuneration. These are some of the reasons why it’s difficult to fill an SDR job and keep them with your company for longer than 18 months. So what can you do?

Best practices for retaining SDRs

Reducing the attrition rate of the top SDRs in your company is vital to your growth and will give you a competitive edge in both the short and long term. The best way to address this issue is to follow the following five best practices.

  1.     Show your SDRs that you understand their value and appreciate their efforts.
  2.     Invest in training and create a career path for your SDRs.
  3.     Develop a positive work environment for everyone.
  4.     Ensure that SDRs receive adequate compensation (both salary and bonuses).
  5.     Provide new challenges and opportunities to keep your SDRs engaged.

Leveraging lead generation and sales acceleration expertise

SalesPond excels in two areas that are vital to the ongoing growth and expansion of companies involved in sales. These are, first, training exceptional people for a demanding SDR role (also called Catch & Release), and second, providing highly experienced SDRs to companies who want to outsource this role to a reputable company.

Catch & Release

In this highly focused nine-month program, we source and train talented individuals who become exceptional SDRs. They operate across a range of industry verticals and can be quickly and efficiently hired by your company to grow and expand your sales team. This program allows you to leverage our lead generation and sales acceleration expertise.  


SDR-As-A-Service is a very cost effective strategy used by many successful companies around the globe. This involves hiring our experienced SDRs to work full-time or part-time on one or more of your campaigns. It’s a fast way to create a top sales team who can quickly achieve your sales goals.  

Please contact us for more information on our Catch & Release Program or Outsourcing an SDR role. 


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