More than 13.2 million Americans are employed in sales and related occupations. A sales development representative, or SDR, position is an enticing job for people who are entering the workforce. It gives you an in-depth look at the entire sales funnel, helping you to learn skills that you can apply to any industry.
But retaining quality SDR talent is a challenge for employers. The market is competitive, and this position is notorious for high turnover. It’s important to understand the reasons for this turnover so that you can eliminate churn and keep your top talent.
The Problem With SDR Turnover
Research shows that there is a 34% turnover rate for SDRs. That’s a problem for many companies.
SDRs are often the first point of contact between you and potential leads. Employee retention demonstrates consistency. It may boost your leads’ confidence in the company. After all, why would a prospect want to stick with your organization if your employees don’t even want to stay?
Losing employees at this level is also a financial liability. The cost of recruiting and hiring new talent exceeds the expenses associated with employee retention. Unless you’re improving productivity, you’re losing money every time you swap out a proficient worker for a new one.
And in many cases, the SDRs leave the company voluntarily. It’s not like the turnover is caused by businesses firing idle employees. Top talent is leaving. In many cases, your best employees are seeking better opportunities.
What Causes High SDR Turnover?
There are many reasons that SDR employees leave their positions, including the following:
Advancement to other positions or industries
Poor, unclear training, and management
Lack of communication between departments
Do you know why SDRs choose to leave your company? Improving the feedback loop between employees, management, and human resources can help you pinpoint the specific problem for your organization.
How to Improve Employee Retention for SDR Roles
Once you know why you’re losing your talent, you can begin to take action toward employee retention.
No matter how passionate they are about what they do, most employees prioritize their salary. It’s essential to compensate your employees fairly. If their work is not compensated generously, workers feel undervalued. On top of that, inadequate compensation reduces productivity and morale. You’ll improve the talent that you have and increase their longevity with your company if you pay them in a way that makes them feel appreciated.
Taking other steps to recognize their accomplishments can eliminate churn. Some approaches include:
Celebrating achievements – Because SDRs don’t often close sales, they miss out on the recognition that other sales team members get. Track and celebrate milestones and small wins.
Offering incentives – Many companies don’t base salaries on performance, but goal-oriented rewards demonstrate your acknowledgment of workers’ efforts.
Set realistic expectations – An employee who can’t reach their goals no matter how hard they work is doomed to feel unappreciated.
Revamp Your Onboarding and Training
Confusion can quickly make new SDRs overwhelmed. Lack of proper training can cause them to underperform, generating a loop of underappreciation, and low morale that makes them look elsewhere. Many SDRs are new to the workforce and need guidance.
A structured onboarding process gives every employee a fair chance at success. It also enhances their proficiency, which can lead to perks, rewards, and recognition.
Taking calls can be discouraging at first. Providing employees with strategies and scripts can ease them into the process and prevent them from getting overwhelmed by rejection.
Training should be part of your business development strategy. Continue to train and coach your SDR reps. As their skills develop and they take on more responsibilities, reward them accordingly.
An SDR implements the strategies that are created by the marketing team. Nurturing customers requires a strong interplay between these departments. It’s difficult for SDR employees to feel like part of the organization as a whole if they work in a vacuum.
Enhancing communication between departments eases workflows and improves connection among employees. When they feel like part of the team, your employees will also feel more valued. Furthermore, they’ll be able to harness the company’s goals to enhance their own communication with potential clients.
Feedback plays an enormous role in good communication within the workplace. In addition to offering praise and constructive criticism, you should solicit feedback from your SDRs. Find out what motivates them. Address their concerns so that they return the same energy that you offer them.
Provide Advancement Opportunities
Career growth is often a priority for people in entry-level positions. If it’s difficult for them to develop with your company, they might look for a solution somewhere else.
Many SDRs enter this role to learn more about the company or industry. They gain a great deal of experience working in this position. The job requires them to have a working knowledge of the company. A talented SDR picks up many skills that they can use throughout their career.
Providing a clear path for growth can keep great employees in the company. Expenses associated with internal promotions are lower than the costs of recruiting and hiring someone new. In this case, you would benefit from promoting an SDR and hiring new talent that can also grow within the business.
Optimize Your Recruiting and Hiring
An important part of the recruiting and hiring process is qualifying your talent. If you take on a new employee that isn’t a good candidate for an SDR role, you might not be able to do anything to keep them.
Instead of listing vague requirements, such as “team player, strong communication skills” in your job listings, provide details. Give candidates a clear idea of what the job entails and how your company will support them throughout their career with you to engage their confidence from the beginning so that you eventually have their loyalty.