The Bridge Group is a SaaS sales consulting firm that we hold in high regard. They release outstanding sales data which can be found at their site, bridgegroupinc.com. We recently reviewed their “SaaS AE Metrics & Compensation Report” which compiles data from 287 executives at SaaS companies with median revenue of $27mm and median ACV of $32k. We also reviewed “Sales Development Metrics and Compensation research Report” which compiles data from 434 executives at SaaS companies with median revenue of $24mm and median ACV of $28k.

Both are worth the read, and below I summarize some of the big take-aways.

SaaS AE Metrics & Compensation Report

38% of pipeline is from Marketing. This includes inbound SDR support. If your ACV is $5k to $25k, the share from marketing ranges between 48% and 60%. The larger your ACV, the less of your pipeline will come from marketing, but it is still very significant.

You need SDRs. 68% of companies use SDRs, even smaller ones. High growth companies are twice as likely to use SDRs. On average, 74% of AE pipeline is sourced by Marketing, Inbound SDRs, and Outbound SDRs combined.

35% of companies rely on AE’s for expansion. Only 20% of companies rely on AE’s for renewal.

$300 per month on AE support. Excluding the CRM, the median spend on other technologies for AE’s is $300 monthly.

AE’s are more experienced. Average experience prior to hire is now 3 years. This is up from 2017’s average of 2.6 years. The average ramp time is 4.3 months.

Average tenure is 2.5 years. So after ramp, you have roughly 26 months of productive sales from a new hire. Median annual turnover is 28% whether voluntary or involuntary.

70 activities per day. On median there are 23 phone activities, 25 emails, 12 Linkedin actions, and 10 other.

Demos and quotas. Median demos sit at 5 per week per AE and median quota is $775k annual. 65% of AE’s achieve quota.

Median earnings. On target median is $158k (may be dated) split 50/50 between base and commission. 80% of OTE’s are over $100k. Median commission is 10% of ACV. The 75th percentile receive 12%.

Reps are distributed. 48% have reps in different locations. Offices are added through M&A and, increasingly, due to difficulty recruiting and retaining talent at headquarters.

Teams are small. The median number of reps reporting to a leader is 7. Managers make $156k, Directors make $218k, VP of Sales make $262k on median (note this data may be dated given current environment).

Sales Development Metrics and Compensation research Report

Reporting. 65% of SDR’s report to the head of sales as opposed to marketing. However, “a point worth mentioning is that inbound teams are roughly twice as likely to report to Marketing as blended or outbound groups.”

2:1. There are generally 2 outbound SDRs for every 1 inbound SDR.

The quality of meeting. 37% of companies task their SDRs with setting introductory meetings, 31% are tasked with setting semi-qualified meetings, and 32% must set fully qualified opportunities. “As a rule of thumb, you should deploy an introductory meeting charter when the market for your product is immature and/or when your Account Executives are suffering from “empty calendar syndrome.” If your sales team is screaming for more “at-bats,” then break glass and set meetings. Conversion rates, qualification criteria, and cost per meeting all go out the window when AEs calendars are anemic. On the other extreme, if your AEs are drowning in pipeline, then a fully qualified opportunity charter is appropriate to ensure each new opportunity has been vetted for qualification.”

The ratio. The average is 2.6 AE’s for every 1 SDR. Higher growth, smaller companies may experience a tighter ratio.

Locations. 48% of companies have reps in different geographies.

Experience at hire. SDR’s hired today have only 1.4 years of experience. In 2010 it was 2.5 years.

Ramp time and tenure. The average ramp time is 3.2 months and the average rep lasts 1.5 years. That means you have about 15 months of productivity. Interestingly, “Companies hiring the least experienced reps experience significantly lower average tenure. This point is critical and needs to be baked into your overall strategy.”

Promotions. 69% of companies have a path for an SDR to become an AE. 57% use step promotions. “For those respondents with an SDR-to-AE promotion path, reps spend an average of 16 months in the SDR role prior to promotion.”

Attrition is high. “Total attrition averages 39%, with involuntary attrition making up nearly two-thirds of that. Companies with revenue below $20M experience significantly higher attrition than larger companies.”

SDR salaries. SDR’s total comp is $75k of which $48k is base salary (this is likely dated). “On average, “high-growth” companies pay slightly higher OTEs ($80K).” Additionally, “There is a strong impulse to equate quality with closed business. This often translates to paying the bulk of incentive compensation for SDR-sourced wins. From a management perspective, this is couched in terms of “driving alignment with the business.” From a rep perspective, this often feels like “screwing me for things outside my control.” We believe that you shouldn’t tie more than 20% of incentive compensation to “opportunities won.” If you have a complex sale with cycles running 120+ days, don’t tie any incentive comp to wins.”

Quotas. “quota for an Outbound SDR with an ASP of $200K+ went as low as 2 opportunities per month. While quota for an Inbound SaaS SDR with an ASP of less than $5K went as high as 60.” For setting introductory meetings, the average is 21. For fully qualified opportunities, the average is 15. On average, 68% of SDRs achieve or beat quota. The median pipeline generated is $2.7mm.

Dials per day. The average is 45 dials per day leading to 5.1 quality conversations per day. SDRs make 9.1 attempts per prospect. Companies spend about $371 per month on technology tools for each SDR, with an average of 4 technology tools used.

Rep to leader ratio. The number of SDRs reporting to a manager is 7.4 on average. The leader comp is $127k on average.

The full reports are well worth the read and has charts and graphs for every metric. Again visit bridgegroupinc.com to get them.

Visit us at blossomstreetventures.com and email us directly at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com. All founders welcome! We invest in companies with run rate revenue of $2mm to $30mm, with year over year growth of 20% to 50%+ depending on revenue. We lead or follow in growth rounds and special situations like inside rounds, small rounds, rushed rounds, corralling investors with our term sheet, bridges, inbetweeners, cap table clean up, and founder secondary. We can commit in 3 weeks and our check is $1mm to $2mm. Email us!

co-founder at Blossom Street Ventures. Email me at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com