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For business owners hiring the first (Inside) Sales Development Representative (SDR) can be a nightmare. SDR’s are the face of the company. They are primarily focused on opening the door on behalf of the company they work for with some air support from marketing. – is inside sales outsourcing even an option?

Let’s start with some worrying statistics by The Bridge Group – a respected name in Sales consulting – that is bound to open your eyes about the criticality of hiring the right inside sales or SDR:

  1. The annual attrition rate of SDR’s is a whopping 34% whereas the ideal attrition rate should only be 15%.
  2. In 2010 the average tenure of SDR’s was 3 years but in 2020 it has decreased to just 1.5 years.
  3. The average ramp-up time for an SDR is 3.2 months so forget about full productivity during this time
  4. Hiring SDR costs, including loss of revenues due to the vacancy, recruitment fees and onboarding cost is an eye-watering $115k.

In isolation, these statistics look alarming enough. But in unison, these stats prove that hiring the wrong SDR can break the backbone of growth for your business. Research has shown that in more than 36% of businesses a newly recruited SDR leaves within the first 6 months of hire. Now combine this with the average ramp-up time of 3.2 months and the average recruitment cost and the challenge is more or less defined.

What do you get?

Yes, indeed, a nightmare of escalating costs and waste of invaluable time and resources. At the same time your competitors who have the right SDR’s move far ahead in the game.

The business landscape moving at unprecedented speeds. As the average goal attainment is just over 54% in the industry, hiring the right SDR should be your topmost priority as a business leader. Research has proven that the biggest threat to sales organizations is not losing clients but losing your sales representatives – so it’s needless to say that keeping your SDRs happy is another priority.

Scary right? So, how can you mitigate the risk of hiring the right SDR and how should you go about it?
There are 2 ways you can go about it:

A) Inside sales outsourcing (SDR’s)

B) Hiring your SDR’s by following certain principles to mitigate risk

Both options have their advantages and it depends on your personal preferences, how you want to go about hiring your first SDR.

Take a look at the points of both options and decide for yourself what works for you best.

Option A: Inside sales outsourcing

According to a recent study, mid-market firms that outsource sales gain a significant competitive edge. As a result, many companies now take a different approach, entrusting their in-house sales functions to sales partners. To efficiently drive their sales strategy, many high-growth companies are looking to work with experienced sales partners.

Inside sales Outsourcing  to experienced sales agencies has multiple benefits over in-house hiring.

The benefits:

• Inside sales outsourcing services are typically scalable and adaptable.
• High-end sales and marketing toolkits are available to an outsourced sales team.
• Well-targeted outbound sales call centre can generate more and higher-quality leads.
• Outbound telemarketing reduces the time it takes to convert a lead into a customer.
• Large product campaigns are propelled by sales outsourcing.
• Reduced cost of training and time investment on sales-related activities

Inside sales outsourcing presents its own set of challenges. But overall, it can be a great low-risk option, especially when you lack experience.

inside sales outsourcing

Option B: hiring an SDR

Inside sales outsourcing is not everyone’s cup of tea. Business leaders want to have direct control over the sales function. Other arguments against outsourcing sales functions include risking your reputation, quality control and confidentiality.

Thus, many business owners prefer hiring their own SDR. Here are some tips to mitigate the risk while hiring your first inhouse SDR:

1.  SDR’s who are aligned with the company culture

“Cultural fit” is one of the most popular catchwords in HR and that is for a reason. It is the most crucial factor for success in any position. Even the most talented SDR will perish if they do not comprehend and align with the company’s values, dynamics, and overall mindset.

Thus, it is important to carefully look at this aspect while hiring a new Sales Rep.

Try to find out in-depth what values does the prospective hire stands for. What drives the new hire and why do they think they can be a good fit culturally. Look for small gestures and signs, often they speak much louder than the words coming out of their mouth.

2. Hire a hungry storyteller 

As a business leader, you already know that a sale is all about telling convincing and compelling stories. But what is the point if that talented and experienced storyteller leaves your business within a year at the first chance when a better opportunity comes along?

Often businesses make the mistake of going for the most experienced and reputed name who is in high demand in the marketplace and more often than not such personnel cares only about the money. Past history of multi-turnovers should ring an alarm bell as this suggests a clear pattern.

Rather hire someone who is young and passionate, someone who may not be too experienced but is hungry for success. But ensure that this hired personnel is a great storyteller.

3. Keep your SDR’s engaged with a clear plan for growth that is in line with their career aspirations

According to a Gallup Report, 85% of the employees are disengaged in their jobs and that the attrition rate of disengaged employees is five times higher than engaged employees.

The report further states that the reason for this disengagement is mainly due to the following 3 reasons:

• Roles and KPI’s of the employees are not well defined
• They do not have a clear understanding of their career trajectory and path
• Employee feels they are undervalued in terms of compensation and accountability

What this statistic proves is, while hiring a new SDR, if you can define her role clearly, understand what are her career aspirations are clearly and make her accountable for her KPI’s, then you will have a great chance of keeping her engaged and by extension retain her longer.


The onboarding of your first SDR can be a daunting challenge, and getting it wrong can greatly impact your growth. Hiring the wrong inside sales or SDR, costing you direct hiring costs, time and missed opportunities.

So, hiring the right SDR is crucial for your success. You can go about it in 2 ways
A) Inside sales outsourcing is a great low-risk option.
B) Judicially hire to mitigate risks keeping in mind that your hiring be based on
-the right Cultural fitment
-hire hungry storytellers and
-SDRs who are fully engaged

Keep this in mind to ensure you hire the right SDR to fuel your sales pipeline and accelerate your business growth.

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Challenges in hiring your first SDR