In today’s progressively real-time, high-stakes corporate buying environment, the typically behind-the-scenes sales development team—also known as the outbound prospecting or lead generation team—is increasing in significance in organizations worldwide.

According to a detailed study of sales development representatives (SDR), performed by sales acceleration software leader, today's typical inside sales organization now has one SDR for every three account executives.

“Sales development is arguably the most important role in sales,” said Gabe Larsen, VP of “These specialized reps tend to be the magicians of today’s sales organization, bringing in potential customers seemingly out of nowhere.”

The study of nearly 1000 companies—called The State of Sales Development 2017 and developed in partnership with SalesForLifeBridgeGroupDriftDatanyzeOneMob, and TenBound—reviewed the structure, systems, people and pipeline of the companies' sales development organizations.


  • The estimated total number of SDRs (611,933) comprises 25 percent (24.6%) of the 2.7 million inside sales reps
  • The study revealed there are three types of sales development reps: inbound (reps who prospect to contacts who know their company), outbound (reps who prospect to people who don’t know their company), and blended

“Sales development reps partner with account executives to generate qualified pipeline,” Larsen said. “They tend to be excellent prospectors, technology savvy and quick on their feet.”


  • The average company spends an average of $3,827 (including CRM) on sales development reps
  • The typical SDR is using 4.9 sales tools


  • The average SDR base salary is $43,499, with an average on-target-earnings (OTE) of $83,484
  • The average tenure of a sales development rep is 2.7 years, which includes a 4.0-month average ramp time


  • SDRs do an average of 93.8 activities per day
  • These activities lead to an average of 13.6 meaningful conversations a day, resulting in 12.3 opportunities accepted per month and almost 12 closed deals per quarter

“The SDR function is a testament to organizations practicing efficiency in their sales models,” said Amar Sheth, VP, Customer Success, Sales for Life. “By investing in this role, a significant amount of burden is lifted from other players on the team while customer learning is deepened. The role isn't just here to stay, it's here to make sales teams flourish.”

To obtain an executive summary of the State of Sales Development 2017 study, click here.