Today’s SDRs are young and hungry. They expect to be rewarded and promoted, but companies don’t always do a good job clearly laying out expectations. What does an SDR need to do to get to that next level? What kind of performance is expected? And, what resources does the company have in place to help the SDR get there?

The average tenure of sales development reps keeps falling: according to The Bridge Group, it was 2.2 years in 2014 and it’s now down to 1.4 years. That’s just 15 months! It’s imperative for sales managers to ensure quick ramp up for new SDRs, and also to show them that there is a viable career path at the company. Two ways to achieve this: structured content and early promotions.

First, structured content. To be successful quickly, SDRs need to be dropped into a system. That system needs to have tested, effective content (call scripts, email prospecting templates, objection handling guides, and more) that make it automatic — an SDR doesn’t have to think about what to do, they just need to execute. A structured system will help them create the muscle memory needed to face prospects day-in and day-out. They can focus on honing their skills of persuasion instead of bumbling over what to say and when to say it. Giving SDRs a rigorous touch plan, with each piece of content scripted out for them, helps ramp them much, much faster. Check out our Sales Cadence Playbook to see how we do it.

Second, early promotions. The best sellers will have lots of opportunities. If you want them to stick around, you need to show them that there are worthwhile opportunities at your company. They must see a career path and it must feel like it’s within their reach, or they’ll bail and go elsewhere. To create this sense of fast movement and upward trajectory in your sales organization, promote select people before they’re truly ready. It’s a powerful way to signal (to that employee as well as to his or her peers) that you take career development seriously and you’re willing to take a risk on someone to get them to the next level. Moving someone up the ranks before they’re ready often requires more work and attention on the part of the sales manager: you’ll have to do more coaching and give more feedback until the newly promoted SDR settles in. But, doing so is yet another way to show that you’re committed to advancing the careers of your team.

Make the most of your SDRs. Foolproof their ramp time with structured content and promote them into prime roles early as a way to signal your trust and commitment to rewarding career paths at your company.