Employee Engagement

5 Ways To Create A Motivating Career Path For Your Sales Reps


Building a productive, motivated, inspired and successful sales team from the ground up takes a good deal of time, knowledge and best practices. Whether you are a beginning stage startup looking to make your first few sales hires or a later stage startup looking to scale your team, we have put together an Ebook to help make your job a little easier. Below is an excerpt:

5 Ways To Create A Motivating Career Path For Your Sales Reps

woman running

Too often we see entry-level sales reps or sales development reps (SDRs) become demotivated and disheartened overtime. I often attribute at least part of this to an unclear career path. To alleviate this issue set up a two-tiered model using the SDR position as an entryway to the higher, Account Executive (AE) position.

Your SDR’s are your biggest talent pool to choose from when you are looking at hiring AE’s, there should be little reason to hire from the outside. When a company makes it a point to hire AE’s from the outside, that’s when SDR’s become discouraged. They don’t see any clear path to success. When they are working towards the AE position they are determined, motivated, energetic and thorough.

two employees talking

The two-tiered system is also more cost-effective for you in the long run. You don’t have to spend much money on re-training your sales rep and you can promote employees in salary increments rather than shelling out the much higher salary for a more experienced, outside AE.

Once you integrate this into the career path you will not only see a change in the attitudes of the employees you hire, you will also see a difference in the type of candidates who come your way. Quality candidates are looking for a way to substantially progress their career and, the promise of an esteemed position down the line if they produce great work will make your company appealing to them.

Employees celebrating

Regular one on one career chats are important to maintain motivation and focus on long-term goals. Many managers already do this and many companies require it, however, for these meetings to be successful they need to be a safe environment to talk about career as well as progress. Some good questions to ask may be; “Where do you see yourself in the company next year?” “How can we help you get the most out of your experience?” “The next step for you in your career here would be an AE role, what do you feel you need to work on before being ready for that position?”

Here are the five steps to remember when creating a career path for your SDRs:


1. Create a two-tiered model using the Sales Development Rep position as an entryway to the Account Executive position.

2. Make sure the career path is clear from the day the Sales Development Rep is hired in order to keep them motivated and focused.

3. Promote from within rather than hiring outside Account Executives, it’s more cost effective and creates an environment of growth and celebration.

4. Check in regularly with your SDR’s to talk to them about their long-term career goals. Too often SDR’s are focused on completing near-future tasks and quotas which makes it hard to work towards more significant gains and steps.

5. Promote an environment of open communication; a space where it is safe to talk about future career goals and where hard work is not only celebrated but rewarded through promotion and increased responsibility.

Read the full Ebook:

Ebook Book Cover

Download our Ebook: The Startup Guide to Building The Best Sales Team 

Meet The Author

Mike Andersen

Mike Andersen, our vice president of sales here at Hoopla Software, has over 15 years of experience managing and scaling inside sales teams. He has hired over 500 people over his career, and previously grew a team of 8 people to 70 at Aerohive in 3 years, while also growing inside revenue from $3M to $50M to drive the company to a successful IPO. In this eBook he shares tips and tricks based on what he has learned over the years to help you build the best sales team imaginable.