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Sales Development

As a Sales Development Representative (SDR), you focus on outreach, prospecting, and lead qualification. To do so, you need to have an understanding of not only product and industry knowledge, but also sales soft skills, and internal tools and processes. This handbook page will act as a guide to those topics as well as general information about the SDR team.

Reaching the Sales Development Team (internally)

Slack Channels


Issue Boards & Team Labels

SDRs use the SDR Issue Board to track relevant GitLab issues involving the SDR team. This is a global issue board and will capture all issues in any group/sub-group in the repo when any of the following scoped labels are used.


In your first month at GitLab we want to help ensure you have everything you need to be successful in your job. You will go through enablement videos, live sessions and activities covering a wide range of getting started topics.


The SDR team aligns to the Commercial and Large sales teams. These teams are broken down into three segments: Large, Mid-Market and SMB which are based on the total employee count of the Global account. *Note: The commercial sales team includes both Mid-Market and SMB. This segmentation allows SDRs and Sales to be targeted in their approach and messaging. The segments are aligned to a region/vertical and then divided one step further via territories in the regions. Our single source of truth for determining number of employees is DataFox followed by DiscoverOrg.

SDR Team Breakdown Geo = SDR teams that align directly to sales territories and AE/SALs that work a geo territory * Commercial (MM & SMB) * West Enterprise * East Enterprise Named = SDR team that supports only Named SALs/Accounts Acceleration = Aligns to account based marketing target accounts and Large geo territories for a period of 60 days in which they will work closely with the geo SDR to warm up the territory. To read more about this alignment please head over to the Account Based Marketing page

SDR Compensation and Quota


You will have a monthly quota that is based soley on Sales Accepted Opportunities (SAOs). During the Ramp Period (Months 1-2) once you have achieved quota, each additional opportunity is paid at the Month 3 base rate.


If you exceed your SAO quota, there is an accelerator based on progressive tiers of quota attainment:

Closed won business from SAOs

As an SDR at GitLab, you will receive 1% commission for any closed won opportunity you produce. To be paid on your closed won business, your activity should clearly depict that your prospecting work sourced the opportunity.

SAO Salesforce Reports

Activity & Results Metrics

While the below measurements do not impact your quota attainment, they are monitored by SDR leadership.

SDR Tools

SDR Workflow & Process

As an SDR, you will be focused on leads - both inbound and outbound. At the highest level, a lead is a person who shows interest in GitLab through inbound lead generation tactics or through outbound prospecting.

Inbound Lead Generation

Inbound lead generation often uses digital channels - social media, email, mobile/web apps, search engines, websites, etc - as well as in-person marketing activities to meet potential buyers where they are. When people interact with GitLab, we use lead scoring to assign a numerical value, or points, to each of these leads based on their actions and the information we have about them. Once a lead reaches 90 points, they are considered a Marketo Qualified Lead or MQL.

Working Inbound Leads

SDRs are responsible for following up with MQLs by reviewing their information, reaching out, and working with them to understand their goals, needs, and problems. Once you have that information, you can use our qualification criteria to determine if this is someone who has strong potential to purchase our product and therefore should be connected with sales for next steps. As you are the connection between Marketing and Sales you want to make sure every lead you pass to the Sales team is as qualified as possible.

These MQLs will show up in your lead views in Salesforce. The views, listed below, allow you to see your leads in a categorized way to simplify your workflow. Leads are routed to you and flow into your views via the tool LeanData which takes each lead through a series of conditional questions to ensure it goes to the right person. Even though all SDRs leverage the same views, they will only show you leads that have been specifically routed to you. You will be responsible for following up with all of the leads in your MQL views by sequencing them. Once sequenced, their lead status will change and they will move from your MQL views allowing you to have an empty view.

Lead Views

Contact Views

You also have two contact views. COMING SOON! Our end goal is to route contacts to these contact views if someone is already a contact in our system but has taken a lead qualifying action or requested contact. After a certain amount of time, the record ownership will transition back to SAL/AE ownership.

Lead and Contact Status

Lead/contact statuses allow anyone in Salesforce to understand where a lead is at in their journey.

Inbound Lead Workflow Checklist

IMPORTANT: For Mid Market SDR reps, if the account your lead matches has the account type 'customer,' this lead will need to be worked by your aligned AE. Update the lead owner and let them know. You can determine this via the LeanData section in Salesforce or by leveraging the 'Find Duplicates' button at the top of the lead in Salesforce. Look to see if the account this lead belongs to has a CARR value (total annual recurring revenue this customer brings) associated with it. Lastly, you can search for the account to look for the CARR value.


Outreach & Marketo

If the lead is yours to work based on all of the above, sequence them in Outreach using the master sequence that correlates with the Last Interesting Moment. You can also look at the initial source and Marketo insights to get a holistic view of what a lead is looking into. There is an Outreach collection of sequences for inbound leads for each region. These collections contain a master sequence for nearly every inbound lead scenario.

Qualification Criteria and SAOs

Qualification criteria is a minimum set of characteristics that a lead must have in order to be passed to sales and become a Sales Accepted Opportunity (SAO). You will work to connect with leads that you get a response from to obtain this information while assisting them with questions or walking them through how GitLab might be able to help with their current needs. The qualification criteria listed in the linked handbook page below aligns to the 'Qualification Questions' sections on the LEAD, CONTACT, and OPPORTUNITY object in Salesforce. In order to obtain an SAO you will need to have the 'required' information filled out on the opportunity.

When a lead meets the qualification criteria and you have an IQM/intro call scheduled with your AE/SAL, you will convert the lead to an opportunity.

Questions about a lead?

Use slack channel #lead-questions

Technical questions from leads?

Working with 3rd Parties

  1. Gather billing and end user details from the reseller:
    • Billing company name/address:
    • Billing company contact/email address:
    • End user company name/address:
    • End user contact/email address:
    • Snippet in outreach
  2. Create a new lead record with end user details
    • Ensure that all notes are copied over to new LEAD as this is the LEAD that will be converted.
  3. Converting the new lead
    • Name opp to reflect reseller involvement as shown here: “End user account name via reseller account name”
  4. Convert original reseller lead to a contact associated with the reseller account
    • If an account does not already exist for the reseller, create one when converting the lead to a contact.
    • Assign record to the same account owner
    • Do NOT create a new opportunity with this lead.
  5. Attach activity to the opportunity
    • On the reseller contact, go to the activity and link each activity related to your opportunity to the opp.
      • Activity History > click edit to the left of the activity > choose 'opportunity' from the 'related to' dropdown > find the new opportunity > save
  6. Update the opportunity
    • Change the business type to new business and stage to pending acceptance.
    • Under contacts, add the reseller contact, role as reseller, and primary contact.
    • Under partners, add the reseller account as VAR/Reseller"

Drift Chat Platform

We use a the chat platform Drift to engage site visitors. As an SDR, you are expected to be active on Drift throughout your work day. The tool's handbook page will walk you through guidlines, best practices and troubleshooting.

Outbound Prospecting

Outbound lead generation is done through prospecting to people who fall into our target audience and could be a great fit for our product. Prospecting is the process of finding and developing new business through searching for potential customers with the end goal of moving these people through the sales funnel until they eventually convert into customers.

You will work closely with your dedicated SAL or AE to build a strategy for certain companies, parts of your territory or personas you as an aligned team want to target. It is crucial that you are very intentional and strategic in your approach and always keep the customer experience in mind. When reaching out, offer value and become a trusted advisor to ensure we always leave a positive impression whether there is current demand or not.

Targeted Accounts

Targeted account: an account in which you as an SDR have developed an account plan with your AE or SAL and are actively targeting via outbound prospecting.

Targeted Accounts should be kept up-to-date in Salesforce in real-time, and checked as soon as you begin the account planning process. If the account does not have activity associated with leads/contacts over a 30-day period, the account should not be flagged as targeted. Each SDR is allowed 40 targeted accounts at any given time. If you feel this is too low, please connect with your manager.

If you check the targeted checkbox, you are committed to:

Keeping your targeted accounts up to date is especially crucial when the Acceleration Team is entering your territory. The Acceleration Team typically generates a regional account target list 60-days prior to entering a region. At that point, any SDR target accounts” will be suppressed. Two weeks prior to kickoff, the Acceleration Team will schedule a kickoff call to:

Outbound Workflow

IMPORTANT: EMEA reps, old leads/contacts can only be called or emailed if they were in our system from May 2018 or later. Any lead/contact that was brought into our system prior would need to opt in to communication. Any new leads/contacts can only be called or emailed if they have been brought in from DiscoverOrg. You can also leverage LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Step 1: Industry and Customer Profile Knowledge

Step 2: Research

Step 3: Strategize and Prioritize

Step 4: First Touch

Event Promotion and Follow Up Assistance

The SDR team will assist the Field Marketing and Corporate Marketing teams through event promotion and follow up. Learn more about Field or Corporate Marketing via their linked handbook pages. When these teams begin preparing for an event, they will create an issue using an issue template. Within that template is a section titled ‘Outreach and Follow Up’ for the SDR team to understand what is needed from them for each event.


  1. The Marketing Manager creaetes the issue and fill out the goals in the section, ‘Outreach and Follow Up’. They will also mention the appropriate SDR manager based on the region of the event or bandwidth.
  2. The SDR manager will select one SDR rep from their team to be the project lead for this event and mention them in the issue.
  3. The project lead will read through the goals outlined and begin completing them.
  4. Once an action is finished, the SDR rep will review it with their manager and then edit the description of the issue to link to the completed action item.
  5. The project lead will send the sequence to MktgOps or SDR Enablement to add both sequences to the Outreach collection.
  6. SDR Manager and project lead will then connect on the date to launch the sequence and enable any other SDR reps assisting with this.
  7. SDR project lead to announce the follow up sequence availability in the relevant SDR slack channels.


Event Promotion

Event Follow Up

Sequence Information

SDR Standards

Named SDR Team

The Named SDR Team supports only Named SALs/Accounts. Their comp structure is based on SAOs and Qualified Meetings (IQMs) per month.

Qualified Meeting

What is considered a Qualified Meeting?

A Qualified Meeting is a meeting that occurs with a prospect who is directly involved in a project or team related to the potential purchase of GitLab within a buying group, either as an evaluator, decision maker, technical buyer, or influencer within an SDR Target Account. To be considered qualified, the meeting must occur (prospect attends) and new information must be uncovered that better positions the SAL and Regional SDR to create a SAO with that particular account based on the SAO Criteria as stated in the handbook.

Qualified Meeting Process

A “New Event” IQM gives an SDR the ability to track every meeting that is scheduled and held in Salesforce without having to prematurely create a net new opportunity. SDRs can tie any event (IQM) to an existing account, opportunity, etc.The purpose of creating an IQM in salesforce is to provide the ability to track how many IQMs are being created per SDR and what the results are of these IQMs.

How to create an IQM in SFDC

Within Salesforce there is a button titled “New Event” which you can access on your Salesforce “Home Screen”, and in the “Open Activity” section of any Lead, Contact, Account, and Opportunity record.

Under “Open Activity” on the Lead Record - Click on “New Event” button and you will be directed to the new event screen where you will see multiple fields to complete (see image below). Once a meeting with a prospect is confirmed, the SDR will send either a google calendar invite to the prospect (include their SAL) and/or send a meeting in, then create a new event IQM under the lead (or contact) record in Salesforce and include their Pre IQM notes in the Description field. Please note**If you create a meeting through, it will create a calendar event with all the info populated from your New Event IQM!! For a visual/video walkthrough of this process take a look here.

Once the IQM occurs, then the SDR can add their Post IQM notes and update the Event Disposition accordingly (If SAO, convert Lead to Contact record and create new opportunity with same process as outlined in Handbook or reschedule, etc.)

How to Create an IQM in Outreach

In Outreach, you have the ability to book a meeting directly from a prospect overview. Even better, this can be done while you’re on a call with a prospect or immediately after without having to leave Outreach. Booking a meeting from Outreach will automatically pull the following fields directly into an SFDC event object:

Select “book meeting” from the prospect actions menu. For a visual/video walkthrough of this process take a look here.

Named SDR Compensation

The Enterprise Named SDR team compensation is based on two key metrics: Qualified Meetings Occurred and Sales Accepted Opportunties (SAOs). The Named SDR Team has a monthly goal for both Qualified Meeting (30%) and SAO (70%) component which works out to a 70/30 variable split. Accelerators will be consistent with those outlined in SDR Compensation and Quota. For accelerators, the individual quota is determined by each SDRs SAO attainment.

Acceleration Marketing

The Acceleration team is responsible for generating awareness, qualified meetings, and pipeline for the GitLab sales team. The team uses tactics like digital advertising, outbound prospecting, social selling, warm calling, and creative outreach to evangelize and educate prospects on what is possible with GitLab. There are two primary focus areas for the Acceleration team in FY21:

  1. Account-based Marketing Account Management (beginning in Q2)
  2. Territory Warm Up (currently active)



AMER Alignment | Large

The Enterprise AMER Acceleration team aligns to account based marketing accounts and Large geo territories for a period of 60 days in which they will work closely with the geo SDR to warm up the territory. For territory warm up, the Acceleration team is broken up into two teams of three SDRs (Delta Team & Bravo) and paired with the geo SDRs responsible for the region. To read more about this alignment please check out the Account Based Marketing page.

Region Team Acceleration SDR
AMER Bravo Team Shawn Winters
AMER Bravo Team Kevin McKinley
AMER Bravo Team David Fisher
AMER Delta Team Brandon Greenwell
AMER Delta Team Matthew Beadle
AMER Delta Team Michael LeBeau

Note: For territory warm up, the Acceleration AMER team does not cover Named Accounts. Only Geo Regions.

AMER Alignment | MidMarket

The MidMarketAMER Acceleration Team is coming, but currently on hold. The plan is to hire two Acceleration SDRs to focus exclusively on the MidMarket accounts in North America. One will be focused on Mid-Market East and the other on Mid-Market West. SMB Accounts & Regions will not be covered by Acceleration.

EMEA Alignment | Large

SDRs on the EMEA Acceleration Team are each responsible for a specified Enterprise Geo or Geos (listed below) and will cycle through Target accounts on a weekly or monthly basis. The maximum number of active target accounts at one time is 200. Target accounts should be prioritized using the Net New Account Scoring and Prioritization Model and follow the Net New Outbound Framework.

Region Sub-Region Acceleration SDR
EMEA France / Eastern Europe Anthony Seguillon
EMEA Germany / CH/AUS Christina Souleles
EMEA Nordics / Benelux Goran Bijelic

Other EMEA Regions will be covered on a rolling basis. The team will work together to warm up new territories for a period of 60-days on an as-needed basis.

Acceleration Compensation and Quota

The Acceleration team's compensation is based on one key metric: Team Qualified Meetings Occurred

It is important to note that the Acceleration Team has a monthly team goal for each geography (AMER & EMEA). Team members must work together to achieve the monthly Qualified Meeting number. Accelerators will be consistent with those outlined in SDR Compensation and Quota. For accelerators, the individual quota is determined by dividing the team number by the total number of SDRs on the Geo team.

The Acceleration Marketing Team will also be measured on the following:

The above measurements do not impact team quota attainment but are critical to being successful as a member of the Acceleration Team. The team's focus should always be achieving the Qualified Meeting Quota.

What is considered a Qualified Meeting?

A Qualified Meeting is a meeting that occurs with a prospect who is directly involved in a project or team related to the potential purchase of GitLab within a buying group, either as an evaluator, decision maker, technical buyer, or influencer within an SDR Target Account. To be considered qualified, the meeting must occur (prospect attends) and new information must be uncovered that better positions the SAL and Regional SDR to create a SAO with the account.

Acceleration Workflow & Process

Issue Board & Labels

The Acceleration team works from issues and issue boards. If you are needing our assistance with any project, please open an issue and use the ~Acceleration label anywhere within the GitLab repo.

The Acceleration team uses this global issue board.

Global labels used by the team:

Working with Sales and SDR Teams

The Regional Sales & SDR Teams have a direct impact on the Acceleration SDR team’s success. It is important to set clear expectations and establish open lines of communication. The geo SDR Teams have knowledge and intel on the accounts and territory and are expected to contribute with both prioritization & execution.

For Acceleration coverage, meeting cadence consists of the following:

Acceleration SDRs should participate in initial IQMs and are required to make the Regional Sales and SDR teams aware of all Meetings, Opportunities, and Next Steps.

Opportunity Creation and Handoff Process

When creating opportunities, the team should follow the process outlined in the Business Ops section of the handbook. Acceleration SDRs are required to include the following information in the Description field of the Opportunity record:

The Acceleration SDR is also required to TAG the appropriate Regional SDR in the Sales Development Representative Field on each Opportunity.

Post-Meeting Scenarios

  1. IQM occurs and results in a Sales Accepted Opportunity (SAO), the Opportunity should be moved from Stage 00 - Pre-Opportunity to Stage 1 - Discovery. Next steps for sales should be outlined in the `Next Steps
  2. IQM occurs, but still needs further qualification to be considered a SAO, the Opportunity should be moved to Stage 0 - Pending. In this case, the Acceleration SDR is responsible for owning next steps or handing the account and lead over to the Regional SDR. Ownership of Next Steps should be outlined clearly in the Next Steps field on the Opportunity.
  3. IQM occurrs, but is deemed Unqualified, the opportunity should be moved to Stage 9 - Unqualified
  4. IQM does not occur as scheduled (due to a cancellation or no show), the Opportunity Stage should remain at 00 - Pre-Opportunity. And it is the Acceleration SDRs' responsibility to determine and assign next steps to themselves or the Regional SDR.

Target Region Selection & Coverage Requests

The ABM Manager and the Acceleration Team Manager are responsible for determining Acceleration Execution Teams and Target Regions. Target Regions will be prioritized based on:

  1. Sales Hiring Roadmap
  2. Demandbase Intelligence
  3. Regional Sales Director / E-Team Request
  4. Area Sales Manager Request
  5. Field Marketing Request
  6. SDR Leadership Request
  7. Field Sales Request
  8. Manager Discretion

If you would like to request Acceleration Coverage, please create an Issue on using the acceleration_coverage_request template.

Acceleration Tactics

Target Account Identification

Identifying known and unknown Target Accounts is an important first step in the Acceleration Coverage Process. To determine the target accounts for a region, the following process should be used:

  1. Identify known accounts from
    • Pull Accounts by *Account Owner* using this report
    • Exclue ALL Customers
    • Exclude SDR Targeted Accounts
    • Exclude Accounts with Active Opportunities
  2. Identify unknown accounts from DataFox
    • 2000+ employees for Enterprise, 1000-1999 for Mid-Market
    • Exclude Government / Public Sector
    • Filter by Region (State or Metro)
    • Exclude Existing Accounts (via SFDC export and DataFox upload)
    • Match Subisidiaries
  3. Combine Salesforce & DataFox target account lists
  4. Dedupe & Review
  5. Share Target Account List with ABM team for Demandbase appending and targeting
  6. List Match in DiscoverOrg (by company domain)
  7. Execute saved Boolean searches and append prioritization data to target lists
  8. Run CE Usage Reports & Append data
  9. Divvy up target accounts
  10. Review final Target Account document with Regional SDR & SAL teams
  11. Ensure SDR Targeted Accounts & SAL suppression lists are up-to-date
  12. Finalize Target Account List
  13. Pull target prospects (by titles & keywords) from DiscoverOrg
  14. Submit Issue for Marketing Ops DiscoverOrg Prospect List upload

Territory Warm Up - Scoring & Prioritization Model

The next step after identifying all of the Net New target accounts in a region is to prioritize them. The scoring model below should be used to determine the Net New Account Tier which will help guide prioritization and prospecting efforts using the Outbound Prospecting Framework (below).

A Tier Accounts - Have at least 4 out of 5 qualifiers below

B Tier Accounts - Have 3 out of 5 qualifiers below

C Tier Accounts - Have 2 out of 5 qualifiers below

D Tier Accounts - Have 1 out of 5 qualifiers below

F Tier Accounts - Have 0 out of 5 qualifiers OR zero direct revenue potential in the next 3 years


Territory Warm Up - Outbound Prospecting Framework

Tier Goal Priority Level Outbound Tactics
A Accounts Conversations, IQMs, MQLs High (60% of focus) Hyper-personalized, simultaneous targeting, creative, direct mail, targeted ads, groundswell, events
B Accounts Conversations, IQMs, MQLs High (30% of focus) Hyper-personalized, simultaneous targeting, creative, direct mail, targeted ads, groundswell
C & D Accounts Conversations, MQLs Low (< 10% of focus) Automated role- / persona-based outreach, groundswell
F Accounts Eliminate from SDR target lists Low (< 2% of focus) Do not target or attempt to qualify

Acceleration Programs

The top priority for the Acceleration team is providing a great experience for the individuals that we engage with. In an effort to better understand and reach prospects, the team is encouraged to iterate and continuously improve how we tell the GitLab story. "Acceleration Programs" are MVCs that are tested, measured, and then expanded as success is proven.

  1. The first step in launching a project is to share the idea in a team call.
  2. After the team has an opportunity to provide feedback, a tracking and measurement plan should be created and documented.
  3. Once that is complete, the tactic or strategy should be incorporated into the individuals' outbound process and measured over a period of four to eight weeks.
  4. During the testing period, measurement is required and results should be documented weekly.

If, after analyzing results, it appears that the tactic will generate at least a 1% lift if incorporated into the Outbound SDR Workflow, an issue should be created with the :acceleration programs: label and a rollout plan should be created.

Active Acceleration Programs can be viewed on our Global Acceleration issue board.

Helpful definitions

Territory Warm Up - The concept of focusing on a sales region for a period of time (typically 60 days) in an effort to generate Qualified Meetings, SAOs, and Pipeline. This is an important strategy for developing new and underperforming regions while generating opportunities for new SALs and AEs.

Groundswell - An outbound strategy focused on filling the top of the funnel by generating engagement, opt-ins, MQLs, and uncovering intent signals. This strategy typcially incorprates more automation than other more direct outbound prospecting tactics. The strategy should be used with lower-level prospects and lower tier accounts.

Hyper-personalization - This is the concept of combining real-time data extracted from multiple sources to create outreach that resonates with prospects on an individual level. The desired outcome is to establish relevance with a prospect as a first step towards a conversation.

VITO - A "Very important top officer" or an Exeutive Buyer, C-level prospect, or important Influencer. For these individuals, hyper-personization is required. VITO prospects should never be reached out to with generic or automated messaging.

Warm Calling - The method used to strategically incorporate phone calls and voicemails into an outbound prospecting workflow. The idea is optimize outbound productivity by only using the phone when targeting engaged, validated, and/or VITO prospects.