How to Hire and Manage SDRs: A Complete Guide

Mastering the art of hiring and managing SDRs! Explore effective strategies to recruit and successfully oversee Sales Development Representatives for optimal team performance.

"Hiring and managing Sales Development Representatives is not just about filling roles; it's about assembling a team of driven individuals who bridge gaps in your business, turning potential leads into lasting relationships. Nurturing talent, defining clear expectations, and fostering a collaborative environment are the keystones to a successful SDR strategy."

In the fast-paced world of business, Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) play a crucial role in building a robust revenue pipeline. This article will guide you through the process of hiring and managing SDRs effectively.

In this product-led SaaS companies, the journey from an all-inbound model to strategically integrating outbound efforts is a common evolution. As businesses progress from pre-seed to Series A, the focus shifts, often forming dedicated Sales Development Representative (SDR) teams. 

According to a survey by the Bridge Group, approximately 60% of B2B SaaS companies have in-house SDR teams, and the number rises to 89% for those with an annual contract value above $100k. However, the SDR role goes beyond outbound efforts; it can fill crucial gaps in inbound processes. This post delves into our journey, sharing insights on defining SDR expectations, the hiring process, and key considerations for building a robust SDR team. Let's explore the integral role of SDRs and why they matter.

Role of SDRs:

First and foremost, grasp the significance of SDRs in building a healthy and consistent revenue pipeline. Dive into the specifics of their responsibilities, from acquiring and qualifying opportunities to scheduling meetings for Account Executives (AEs).

1. Discovery process: SDRs vs. AEs

Delve into the discussion of who should handle the discovery process—SDRs or AEs? Gain insights into the intricacies of each role and how they contribute to the overall sales journey.

2. Building a sales-assisted journey:

Discover the concept of a product-led and sales-assisted journey. Learn how SDRs can offer sales assistance during the trial phase, ensuring a seamless experience for prospects and maximizing the potential for conversion.

3. Transitioning from Inbound to Outbound:

As SDRs understand the customer ecosystem, guide them in transitioning from handling inbound opportunities to actively building the pipeline through outbound efforts. This strategic shift ensures adaptability to the evolving needs of the business.

4. Maturation of companies: Inbound to Outbound:

Referencing a survey by Bridgegroup, understand how companies mature from relying heavily on inbound strategies to incorporating outbound efforts. Gain insights into the factors influencing this transition and its impact on deal sizes.

5. Navigating unique challenges in different industries:

Explore how SDRs adapt to unique challenges in diverse industries such as software, healthcare, telecommunications, real estate, and construction. Uncover industry-specific nuances and effective strategies for revenue recognition.

6. The role of technology in SDR operations:

Examine the role of technology in enhancing SDR operations. Discuss the integration of tools and platforms that streamline processes, improve efficiency, and contribute to the overall success of the SDR team.

Note: When delving into the process of hiring and managing Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), it's essential to adopt a strategic approach that aligns with the overall business goals. The role of SDRs is pivotal in building a robust revenue pipeline, making thoughtful decisions in recruitment and management imperative.

Hiring process for SDRs: Training, KPIs and collaboration with marketing team:

Navigate the intricacies of hiring SDRs. Gain insights into the qualities and skills to look for in potential candidates, ensuring you build a dynamic team capable of driving revenue growth.

1. Training and development

Understand the importance of ongoing training and development for SDRs. Explore effective strategies to equip your team with the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of sales.

2. Key performance indicators (KPIs) for SDRs

Identify the critical KPIs for evaluating the performance of SDRs. Establish measurable metrics to track success, optimize strategies, and ensure alignment with broader business objectives.

3. Collaboration between SDRs and marketing teams

Explore the synergy between SDRs and marketing teams. Understand how effective collaboration enhances lead generation, improves conversion rates, and creates a seamless experience for prospects.

Role of SDRs and why do you need them?

Early-career professionals known as Sales Development Reps (SDRs) play a pivotal role in establishing a robust revenue pipeline. Their main focus is to identify and qualify opportunities, paving the way for Account Executives (AEs) to conduct product demonstrations for potential clients and ultimately secure deals. In the realm of SDR responsibilities, debates often arise on whether they should focus on inbound or outbound efforts and who should handle the discovery process—SDRs or AEs? These questions spark ongoing discussions and various perspectives within the field.

Alert: Stay attuned to the evolving landscape of sales and marketing. Be proactive in adapting hiring and management strategies to align with industry trends, technological advancements, and shifting customer expectations. Timely adjustments will ensure the effectiveness of the SDR team in driving revenue growth.

SDRs can start inbound and transition to outbound

For many growing companies, the budget and scale often limit the separate hiring of sales and business development teams. Instead, they opt for a sales development team that initially focuses on inbound prospecting and gradually shifts toward outbound opportunities as the need for new prospects grows. 

We currently align with the former approach, it's essential to recognize that being a product-led organization doesn't negate the importance of outbound efforts. The role of an SDR extends beyond the typical BANT qualification, emphasizing sales assistance throughout the customer journey. In a product-led and sales-assisted journey, SDRs play a crucial role in assisting trial users, ensuring they make the most of their experience and addressing any challenges they encounter. 

This personalized approach helps SDRs understand the customer ecosystem and product solutions, providing a seamless experience for prospects. As SDRs familiarize themselves with the process, they can transition to upstream activities, contributing to outbound efforts and pipeline building. Bridging the gap between inbound and outbound strategies becomes integral for companies as they mature, offering better control over deal sizes in the pipeline.


Summarize the key takeaways from the article, emphasizing the pivotal role of SDRs in driving revenue growth. Conclude with a call to action, encouraging readers to implement these strategies for success.