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The Complete Salesforce Business Development Representative Review Guide

Learn about the Salesforce Business Development Representative (BDR) salary, culture, and role.

Role Basics

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What does a Salesforce Business Development Representative do?

Salesforce Business Development Representatives are responsible for outbound prospecting within their assigned territory. The goal is to find and qualify opportunities for the Account Executive. You will be required to complete 60 interactions (LinkedIn message, e-mail, or call) per day if you are an enterprise BDR. If you are a commercial BDR, 45 of those 60 interactions will be required to be calls. You can expect 70% of your day to be spent prospecting, and the other 30% to be spent on customer calls and administrative work.

Salesforce also has two other flavors of the BDR role – the sales development representative (SDR) role and the Business Development Associate (BDA) role. 

The SDR’s primary responsibility is to handle all inbound customer leads. They do not do any outbound prospecting. 

The BDA’s primary responsibility is to help the BDR teams build customer prospecting lists.

What type of work experience do you need for this role?

The BDA role is an entry level position in which no prior work experience is required.

The SDR role requires 6-9 months prior experience in the BDA role or as an SDR. 

The BDR role requires 2-3 years prior experience as an SDR or in some sort of sales capacity.

A typical career path for a new grad in sales at Salesforce will go BDA > SDR > BDR.

How is the sales org structured?

The Salesforce sales org is an extremely complex maze, but we will do our best to break it down.

Salesforce structures their sales org by account size, vertical, product, and geography. 

The spend segmentations are: SMB, growth, commercial, enterprise, and strategic accounts. 

There are multiple verticals, some of which include: CMT (communications, media, and technology), HLS (healthcare, life sciences), financial services, and core (no specific industry).

Salesforce in 2021 has several different products outside of their core CRM product, including Slack, Mulesoft, Tableau, Marketing Cloud, etc.

From there, Salesforce further segments by geographic location.

An example segmentation for a BDR might be: Enterprise HLS BDR.

Which Salesforce offices do BDR’s work at?

BDR’s work at the San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, New York City, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Irvine, and Toronto.

SDR’s mainly work out of the San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, and Indianapolis offices.

Culture and Daily Life

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What's the Salesforce sales culture like?

Salesforce is known for having a very collaborative, team-friendly environment. You have tons of resources at your disposal from mentors to regular sales training.

The BDR program heavily focuses on career development. Most BDR’s get promoted into an AE role within 15 months.

Salesforce BDR’s do 20% more daily interactions on average compared to the average Oracle SDR.

What is the Salesforce BDR turnover like?

About 80% of Salesforce BDR’s stay at Salesforce for more than one year and many consistently promote into Account Executive roles.

BDR’s rarely leave to other companies, and if they do it’s because they received a stellar offer from Microsoft, Google, or AWS.

Salary, Commission, and Quota

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How much does a Salesforce BDR make?

Salesforce BDR’s earn a $50,000 salary and $25,000 in commission (bonuses), for a $75,000 OTE (as of 2020).

You can also earn half a percentage point of revenue on deals that you sourced that resulted in closed revenue.

For more detailed Salesforce compensation data, visit our Salesforce company page.

How are the quotas structured?

Salesforce has a monthly quota, at the BDR level and Account Executive level.

The commission is split 70/30 between how your sales org performs against the plan and how you individually performed against the plan.

The individual metrics are based on four components. For an enterprise BDR, your metrics might look like this:

  1. Number of meetings (16-20 / month)
  2. Pipeline amount ($900,000 / month)
  3. Number of opportunities created (6-9 opportunities / month)
  4. Closed revenue ($25,000 to $50,000 in closed ACV / month)

Salesforce Competitors

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How competitive is the product and solution set?

Salesforce has the best in class CRM solution. It also owns Mulesoft (integration), Slack (employee communications), and Tableau (analytics), which are best in class for their respective industries. 

The products will certainly not stop you from winning deals.

Who does Salesforce compete with?

Salesforce competes in many different spaces. However, some of their biggest competitors are HubSpot, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP.

Tips to Succeed

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What is the best Salesforce sales org to sell in?

The Strategics Org covers Salesforce’s top 100 customers. You will have the easiest time selling into these accounts.

How big of a role does territory play in your success?

At the BDR level, success is probably 60% territory 40% aptitude. If you have an AE who is reluctant to sign off on opportunities that are ‘on the cusp’ of being truly qualified, you might struggle.

What is the sales training like?

You will have a two week onboarding program with the Sales Enablement group where you will learn basic sales skills and learn the internal systems.

Throughout the year, there is a dedicated sales enablement team for your org who will continue to help you grow your sales skills at Salesforce and promoted into an AE role.

What advice would you give to a new rep?

  • Getting promoted is your first job as a BDR – don’t worry about selling. You will learn how to sell the products when you promote into the SMB Account Executive role. 
  • Develop strong relationships with your Account Executives as they are the ones who sign off on your opportunities
  • Network internally so your name is top of mind for promotions
  • Leverage all of the training available
  • The Salesforce name alone will get you meetings as a BDR so don’t stress too much about being a perfectionist when prospecting

Is now still a good time to join Salesforce as a BDR?

Yes. There’s never been a bad time to join Salesforce. They have been consistently growing organically and through M&A. Although the pay is industry average per our data, the training, products, and people are all top of the line.