Sales Development Reps in Startups

Sunday textile market on the sidewalks of Kara...

Image via Wikipedia

When most first-time entrepreneurs think of hiring their first sales rep the immediate thought is a traditional sales person that will do deals. In reality, most entrepreneurs are better off with sales development reps — a fancy term for cold callers and appointment setters. The idea is that the entrepreneur should be on the phone or in person selling the deal for the first 10 customers with the sales development rep coordinating appointments.

Here are some thoughts on sales development reps:

  • Typically junior people that are much more affordable than sales reps
  • The goal is to cold call, handle inbound leads, and schedule appointments
  • Compensation is typically a base (e.g. $35k) plus variable pay (e.g. $175 per completed appointment)
  • Great when paired with an entrepreneur early on as well as paired with team lead sales reps once the sales team starts to grow
  • Helps develop a separation of specialties as well as provides a career path to be promoted to sales rep (acts like a farm system)

Sales development reps should be seriously considered by entrepreneurs as a cost effective way to help with sales early on and as a way to more efficiently acquire customers once sales reps are in place.

What else? What other thoughts do you have about sales development reps in startups?

2 thoughts on “Sales Development Reps in Startups

  1. I can’t tell you how badly I wish I had (been able to) read this in the 1995-2000 timeframe. I think I knew better, but I ignored my inner voice and keep trying to hire sales people who almost always failed and had to be fired. What you describe sounds like such a better way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.