What Is a Sales Development Manager?

A sales development manager is responsible for overseeing a company’s sales development team, but they’re more than supervisors. We’ve gathered information about their responsibilities, salary, and skills to provide you a clear picture of what a sales development manager is. 

The Roles and Responsibilities of Sales Development Manager

Sales development managers are often confused with business development managers. Some of their responsibilities overlap because their main objectives are to improve revenue and brand awareness, but they are distinct.

Sales Development ManagerBusiness Development Manager
Identify leadsIdentify growth opportunities
Train and oversee SDRsCreate business strategies
Develop and close leadsAchieve overall sales objectives

Business development managers monitor growth opportunities and create strategies to open new markets. Sales development managers focus on overseeing the SDR team, researching, managing lead qualification, and developing them to close sales.   

Here’s a closer look at the responsibilities of a sales development manager role:

It takes several months to equip an SDR for their role. During their first few months with the company, they need to undergo extensive training to familiarize themselves with the company’s sales playbook, brand messaging, and products and services. This information allows them to handle any questions from a lead during an appointment setting call

The sales development manager provides all necessary training. They choose and implement effective training methods to help new and existing SDR team members drive the company’s sales objectives. 

Supervise hiring and onboarding of new SDRs

The sales development representative manager works closely with human resources to find the best SDR candidates. They provide a detailed job description with the necessary skills and qualifications for a candidate. They also have the final say regarding who’s shortlisted, interviewed, and accepted. 

Once a candidate is chosen, the manager oversees the onboarding process. This includes negotiating the employee compensation and contract, as well as helping them assimilate into their new work environment. 

Manage Lead Qualification

Companies use various methods when identifying prospect clients, including product trials, consultations, referrals, social media, and marketing but not all prospects become leads unless their level of interest is determined to fit as a potential customer. The process of filtering prospects to leads can be time-consuming but is crucial to ensure that only high-quality leads are pursued. This is where sales development managers come in. 

Part of their responsibility is to filter out leads from prospects. They then assign these leads to SDR so that they can book appointments and work on closing deals. By doing this, companies save time and resources instead of pursuing all the potential leads even if they are not verified. 

Oversee SDR team metrics

Sales development managers ensure the SDR team’s performance meets the company’s standards. They intervene when employees underperform, identify the root cause of the problem, and offer recommendations such as refresher training or one-on-one coaching. 

They also monitor the team’s overall performance and assess whether the set goals are achieved. If it isn’t, they must come up with strategies on how to compensate for the deficit and improve for the next period. 

Improve SDR retention rate

SDRs stay with companies for an average of 14 months, then either quit or shift to a different career path. This short job tenure is understandable due to the role’s stressful nature, but a skilled sales development manager can take steps to reduce the chances of them leaving. 

For example, one of the reasons many SDRs cite for wanting to leave their job is a lack of career development. To combat this issue, sales development managers must provide them with continuous training and coaching to create a sense of professional growth

Coordinate with other departments

A sales manager has to coordinate with leaders from other departments to achieve the company’s sales objectives. This requires them to attend frequent meetings, maintain performance and progress reports, and develop strategies that support the goals of other departments. 

Salary Range for a Sales Development Manager

PositionAverage SalaryAverage Bonus & IncentiveSalary Range
Sales Development Manager$94,710$27,800$26,834–$408,294

According to Glassdoor, a sales development manager can earn between $26,834 and $408,294 yearly. The average salary for this role in the United States is $67,910, but this figure doesn’t include benefits, commissions, and bonuses, which could amount to an average additional pay of $27,800 annually. Adding in the extra benefits, the expected total value of a sales development manager in the U.S. is about $94,710.

Several factors affect the level of compensation a sales development manager receives, including:

  • Experience

People with experience as an account manager or SDR are sought-after candidates. They can leverage their experiences to ask for a higher salary and compensation package compared to someone transitioning from a different career. 

  • Education

More education doesn’t guarantee a higher salary, but it does increase your chances. Most organizations require their business development managers to have at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably with a major in marketing, business, or management.  

It’s possible to become a sales development manager with a GED or high school degree, but expect a lower salary or plan to negotiate, using your extensive experience to compensate for the lack of a bachelor’s degree.  

  • Certifications

Certifications are tangible proof of a person’s knowledge and skills. Sales development manager candidates who hold high-value certifications have greater chances of being hired and can ask for higher compensation. 

Must-Have Traits in a Sales Development Manager

Effective sales development managers need strong communication, leadership, technical, and interpersonal skills. They should also have the following traits:

  • Passion

Along with their job-specific responsibilities, sales development managers have to deal with pressure and unforeseen problems daily, which can be draining. To prevent burnout, a sales development manager must have a passion for their job. 

Passion helps them handle difficult and stressful situations so they can carry on with their day-to-day tasks. 

  • Articulate

An exceptional sales development manager must be able to convey their thoughts and ideas in a comprehensible and compelling manner to their team members, clients, and other organizational stakeholders. This is a vital trait to drive sales and build genuine relationships with leads. 

  • Exceptional Listener

Exceptional listening is a mandatory skill for an effective leader. It  shows the people they work with that they respect and care about them. This trait is vital for building a positive rapport with the SDRs as well to lower the company’s employee turnover rate. 

Being a good listener can also help sales development managers create a more productive workflow for their team. By listening to their pain points and suggestions, they can make decisions that accommodate everyone on the team. 

  • Creativity

A skilled sales development manager knows there’s no “one size fits all” approach to achieving sales objectives. Because the markets constantly change, the solutions and strategies that worked in the past will be less effective or outdated. This short shelf life makes creativity an essential trait. 

Being creative allows sales development managers to develop fresh and relevant solutions. It makes them versatile and adaptable to market fluctuations. 

Are you interested in working with a team of SDRs with a rockstar sales development manager in the lead? SalesRoads is here for you. Call today and watch new opportunities walk through your doors.