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Sales Strategy

7 Ways to Prevent Turnover for Business Development Jobs

Business development jobs are one of the hardest entry-level roles to endure.

The average turnover rate for sales employees is nearly triple that of other industries, making it difficult for today’s companies to sustain successful business development programs.

With a fast-paced environment, steep expectations, and endless activities, many new BDRs get burned out by bad experiences with a team or terminated for lagging in performance.

In this post, here is a breakdown of 7 different approaches to help companies provide better experiences, improve performance, and increase employee retention for BDR teams.

1) Ongoing BDR Job Support

Business development representatives manage an endless list of activities to find opportunities, start conversations, and set meetings.

While the job may be entry-level, it’s a fast-paced environment full of encounters with unfamiliar situations and unique challenges.

To maximize the success of a BDR team, it’s important the company provides whatever on-job support is needed to help reps do their jobs better, faster, and more efficiently.

A collaborative marketing team, sales automation tools, and 1-on-1 coaching sessions with a manager are all great ways to help support BDRs in their day-to-day job.

2) Accessible Career Development

Beyond compensation and work environment, younger employees entering the workforce are seeking opportunities for mentorship, branding, and career development.

Sales is an invaluable industry to enter. Many motivated individuals in the sales space crave to level up their skills and achieve professional milestones.

A Business Man with a Suitcase Walking Up Stairs That Looks Like a Bar Chart

A clear development and promotion path can help give BDRs the clarity they need to grow, while access to mentors can unlock numerous opportunities for learning and networking.

Not only does assistance with personal branding help develop a rep’s career, but it also improves their performance as a business development professional.

3) Motivate Job Performance

Business development representatives are expected to deliver a lot. However, they’re often not rewarded for consistently hitting quota or overachieving.

While not every BDR is motivated by money, there are many creative ways to incentivize productivity and performance from a business development team.

Research from LinkedIn in 2020 states that time perks are growing as an incentive with heavy demand from today’s younger workforce.

Earning breaks before the weekend, stopping work early, and paid time off days are a few examples of the benefits companies offer to BDRs that consistently perform well.

Whether it’s through compensation, time perks, or promotion paths, business development reps should be rewarded for overachievement and incentivized to reach ambitious goals.

4) Business Development Jobs Need Team Collaboration

Team culture influences a lot: communication, transparency, accountability, and productivity are largely defined by the way business development teams interact with each other.

Without alignment between each BDR, the manager, and the work environment, it’s hard to keep teams motivated and even harder to prevent employee turnover.

A Team of People Sitting at a Meeting Table

A positive culture should make each contributor feel welcomed, supported, and encouraged by the group to achieve goals as one solidified unit.

Roundtable discussion, group practice, feedback sessions, and bonding activities are all effective ways to bring a team together and get each rep more involved in the organization.

5) Continuous Training & Learning On the Job

A customer acquisition strategy is dictated by buyer behavior. Sales professionals are constantly gathering new information, learning new skills, and testing new approaches.

Business development jobs involve a lot of repetition and practice, but most BDRs aren’t given a comprehensive education about sales processes or best practices.

Many companies don’t allow SDRs or BDRs to control their own prospecting, do discovery, or close a deal. For reps wanting to become an Account Executive (AE), it’s often hard to acquire the right skills to get the promotion.

An easy way to expose BDRs to other parts of the sales process is AE shadowing. By collaborating with a senior seller, reps can see the full picture without being directly involved.

In addition, a lot of business development & sales communities have emerged in recent years to provide the resources, e-learning courses, and content to help BDRs level up their game.

6) Be Open to BDR Feedback

Business development reps are on the frontlines of customer acquisition.

Each BDR experiences the unique situations, reactions, and outcomes of trying to engage with real buyers. Why not gather this invaluable intelligence to improve the team?

A Hand Pointing at a 5-Star Rating System That's Coming Out of a Tablet

While those in business development jobs may be newer to sales, they still gain daily insights that can be used to improve the process, targeting, messaging, and marketing.

By collecting feedback from BDRs, companies can better adapt to buyer expectations and provide compelling sales experiences that stick out against competitors.

7) Management Tips for Giving Feedback

When hiring for a business development job, it’s important to understand that most applicants will be newer to sales or potentially entering the professional world for the first time.

There is so much to learn in sales, which can often become an overwhelming and discouraging factor for BDRs. Feedback can’t be applied if there is too much information to absorb.

One way to improve learning and development for reps is to keep feedback focused and positive: dive into one specific piece of constructive feedback and then highlight some wins.

Focus with feedback helps increase the chances of improvement while making it easier for new BDRs to develop skills and gain confidence in their role.


Business development might traditionally be an entry-level role, but it’s quickly becoming more important, specialized, and notable within organizations.

However, many companies still struggle to attract, ramp up, and retain reps long enough to build momentum with a BDR team.

To maximize the success of a business development program, it’s important to provide structure, support, and enablement so that BDRs can level up and deliver results.

With these 7 tips, companies can improve their chances at keeping good BDRs for longer while accelerating performance for every rep on the team.

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Sales Strategy

7 Ways to Prevent Turnover for Business Development Jobs

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