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Setting Up Comp for Enterprise SDRs


This post comes from our good friend Lars Nilson, VP of Global Sales Development, Snowflake.

We are both part of a sales community called Modern Sales Pros where folks ask questions like this. This was his response to this question around setting up comp for enterprise SDRs and it was so good, I asked if we could use it. Fortunately, he said yes.


Just one person’s opinion: In most SDR Operations, SDRs are trained, enabled, and guided to generate and produce meetings for the AE’s they support. Those meetings will sometimes become opportunities and enter the forecast and sometimes they won’t (based mostly on factors outside the SDR’s control).  

An SDR should 1) be guided by their AE to get meetings for the personas accounts they covet and try and penetrate or 2) follow up on inbound and drive targeted outbound motions into personas and accounts within some form of Target Addressable Market for your company.  

The question should be; was the meeting the SDR secured and that executed valuable to the AE and to the business? (ie: right persona, right account, wrong timing, and the AE is super grateful for getting a chance to brand herself and her technology to prospect for some future motion). If yes, then I would pay the SDR on that meeting ALL DAY LONG as they’ve identified  a future prospect and they can pick up another more targeted motion down the road or we’ve identified somebody who will never buy and we can purge them from the system saving valuable time in not repeatedly sending content and messaging to them or their org. in the future. Both these types of meetings are Valuable to the business. 

Also valuable is the feedback that should come from AE’s when a meeting does not convert to the pipeline. That closed loop feedback loop is a must but can be very difficult to enable. If you get this right, you have incredible learnings flowing back and forth to/from AE and SDR.

Turns out the that hardest part of closing any deal is…. FINDING IT. No first meeting, no potential active prospect. 

SDRs find stuff better than anybody…pay them for trying to find stuff…pay them on what they can control – getting that meeting.

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