The title of Sales Development Representative (SDR) has become commonplace in software companies around the United States. SDRs are tasked with generating and qualifying leads for Account Executives — the closers — primarily through cold emailing and calling.
It’s a great entry-level position for salespeople looking to get their foot in the door with a tech company to pursue their goals of working in tech sales. And if you’re good at your job, disciplined, and focused on studying your product and the customer, it can be extremely lucrative for an entry-level job.
In this article, we’ll talk about the average sales development representative salary, as well as how much average income they make in total.
Average Salary for SDRs
According to Glassdoor, sales development representatives in the United States earn an average base salary of $49,166 per year, which rises to around $54,000 per year for reps with 4-6 years of experience.
To get a more broad picture of the salary potential, we found that Builtin’s data puts the average salary at around $53,872 per year, and Zippia has it at $59,961 per year.
In general, as an SDR, you can expect to earn an annual base salary, the regular payments that are yours regardless of sales performance, of anywhere between $49,000 to $60,000. And if you’re above the 90th percentile of earners, you can expect a base salary of $76,000 per year.
To expand your view here’s a look at some of the salaries software companies are paying their SDRs:
But keep in mind that salary is only a part of an SDR’s total compensation. The highest-earning reps are those who can bring in a lot of their income from commission.
How Much Do SDRs Make in Total Compensation?
The average total on-target earnings (OTE), which includes any commissions or bonuses, is $74,178 per year for SDRs in the USA.
Like base salary, the average total compensation increases as reps gain experience and promotions. Senior SDRs, who typically have been in an SDR role for 2-4 years, bring in an average of $89,672 per year.
Although averages are important, it often helps to look at what various companies are paying their SDRs if you want to get a good idea of what you can earn in this job.
Below are some of the earnings of sales development reps at top software companies:
- Salesforce: SDRs at Salesforce, a top CRM provider, earn an average of around $65,000 per year.
- Oracle: BDRs, another title used to describe entry-level prospecting sales reps, earn an average of about $66,000 at Oracle.
- Workday: SDRs here earn an average compensation of around $57,000 annually.
- SAP: Earning on the higher end, SDRs at this tech giant receive an average of close to $75,000 per year.
It’s important to note that these are just averages and that many SDRs are able to earn around six figures per year after a few years of working in the position, especially in the software industry, where demand for quality tech is high and the comp plans reward excellent performance.
And even if SDRs fail to reach such high earnings, they are typically promoted to Account Executive by that time anyway, where they can often earn double what they did in their SDR position. In fact, AEs bring in average total compensation of around 113,000 per year, according to Glassdoor’s data:
This is exactly what happened to me. The first year on the job I made about $73,000 in total, but during that fifth quarter with the company, I earned just over $12,000 in commission alone, which put me on track, with my 50k salary, to earn about $100,000 in my second year as an SDR.
I likely would have too if it wasn’t for the pandemic’s strangling effects on commercial building owners (clientele) along with a drift in my preferences from selling to writing — oh, and those meddling kids!
My Scooby Doo reference aside, SDR is a great position to get into if you are looking to make money quickly. The best part is you don’t even really need any sales experience. I was fresh out of college when I started. What you need to succeed is grit, social skills, a good product, and a drive to learn.
Bottom Line | Sales Development Representative Salary
Sales development representatives are well compensated for their work, often receiving base salaries of 49k-60k and total compensations of around $74,000 per year. It’s also a fantastic way to learn the ropes of software sales so that in around two years you can move onto higher-paying positions.
Not to mention, if you join a company with good work culture, it can be a rather fun job, despite its challenging nature. To learn more about becoming an SDR and their responsibilities, check out our ultimate guide on SDRs.