How Can I Improve My SDR Performance ?

Our best insights and know-hows for sales, marketing, and customer success teams.


Sales development representatives (SDRs) help bridge the gap between sales and marketing. They receive the marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and engage with contacts to assess if they are qualified and have a purchase intent.

When measuring the conversion rate for a sales development representative (SDR), you count how many of such marketing qualified leads (MQL) are turning into sales qualified leads (SQL) with purchase intent. An excellent conversion rate is 30%, from lead-to-opportunity, which means 70% of marketing leads contacted won’t turn into anything. Later in the funnel, you will measure the Sales reps’ conversion rate between opportunity and close-won business.

Why does speed matter in lead?

While the average conversion rate is 30%, the variance is wide. The lead conversion variance is influenced by how quickly the sales representative responded to the lead, when they had the first call, and how well the sales representative questioned the contact to learn about the needs, purchase intent, and budget availability.

The impact of speed to call on lead conversion rate is very high. You can improve the conversion rate by 400% if you respond within the first minute. That drops to only 36% if you respond after an hour or just 17% after a day.

How do you calculate lead response time?

The lead response time is calculated from when the company captured the lead to when the sales representative had the first live conversation with the prospect. Your goal is to shorten this time. A common mistake is to measure the time when a response message, or email, was sent to the prospect by the company. Remember, a prospect with a purchase intent will simultaneously reach out to all your competitors.

How to improve SDR performance?

Traditionally, the whole process is driven by the SDR taking action. Instead, it should be caused by the prospect who decides when and how to engage with the company. Call scheduling and live engagement technologies are available to help.

Inbound leads are captured by marketing via web forms. After quick qualification by marketing, these leads are turned into emails and records in the company’s CRM system (e.g., HubSpot, Salesforce, etc.) and waiting for the SDR to read them. The SDR would then draft an email, send it to the contact, and wait for a reply. That would follow by several back-and-forth emails to schedule the first live meeting. This process can take days and weeks. The prospect may lose interest or sign a deal with a competitor by that time.

Instead, letting the prospect initiate a live video call with the SDR or scheduling a call at the prospect’s convenience are better options. Market data shows that these methods increase the probability of converting leads by 90-300%

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