TSE 1271: What Is The Difference Between An SDR and BDR?
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SDR and BDR with Donald Kelly

TSE 1271: What Is The Difference Between An SDR and BDR?

SDR and BDR with Donald KellyThe next 20 episodes will focus on the conversations about BDRs and SDRs. We will be talking about tips, strategies, and ideas about how businesses can prospect better and connect with potential clients. Today’s episode will discuss the differences between a BDR and SDR in terms of what they do, how they do it, and how they earn. 

In the previous episode, Donald was joined by his sales coaching client, Scott Romney. They talked about how businesses can realign and adjust their message to create offers that are irresistible for the prospects, even in a time of crisis. Our level of empathy must increase as we look for ways to understand where people are coming from. Strategies are needed that will help organizations overcome the crisis that many industries are facing in this season. Scott talked about being mindful and sensitive while thinking of opportunities where salespeople can be leaders to their prospects, especially now. 

SDRs and BDRs

A BDR is a business development rep and an SDR is a sales development rep. Prior to predictable revenue, their job was to qualify and set appointments for outside sales reps; however, over the past 20 years, the definitions have evolved. Even before these BDRS and SDRs came to exist, there were only sales reps and everyone was responsible for every stage of the selling process. 

Being a salesman for an organization meant that you were responsible for finding your own leads and nurturing those leads. Your job included going to trade shows and cultivating accounts. Eventually, sales managers realized that if you break down these processes you get to have more functionality and you can have experts in the different parts of the sales process. 

The inside sales team 

As a result, the inside sales team was created to do the research, generate lists, and find the people. Their job is to update the CRM and become an assistant to the account executives. 

Over the years, their job extended to setting the appointment and qualifying the leads. Aaron Ross was working with SalesForce when he realized these functions could be broken down further. There are now inbound people who are responsible for the inbound leads, the leads that are coming in via your websites or those who are calling your business phone number. The outbound team is the people who go after the potential client list and send them emails. They are the ones who are reaching out to clients. 

BDR and SDR can be used interchangeably but based on the definition given by Salesforce, the BDRs are focused on prospecting for outbound leads while the SDRs are focused on qualifying inbound marketing leads. 

The SDRs

The SDR doesn’t have to do the hard work of finding leads. Instead of looking for people, the SDRs job is to qualify the inbound leads, follow up with them, and make sure they’ve been qualified for an appointment. They may get a little less in commission than the BDRs because BDRs are tasked with looking for cold leads and turning them into warm leads. 

Some companies start their salespeople as an SDR because it’s easier. This role helps to train sales reps on how to ask the right questions and it offers a transition to becoming a BDR and then to an account executive. 

The BDRs

For Donald, the business development role is one of the hardest of the sales roles. It’s their job to look for people and find new business. While they may meet many people, not all of them will convert. Only a few will decide to make a purchase because not everyone is ready. At any given time, only 3% of people are ready to make a purchasing decision. If you look at it from a business perspective, the BDRs role is to look for that 3% wherever they may be and convince them to purchase.

Part of the BDRs job is to educate prospects and get them interested in wanting to do business. A talented business development rep builds relationships, connects with people, and shares with enough value so when a client is ready, that prospect will come back. 

The tenure for a business development rep lasts around 14 months and after that, they usually transition to become an account executive or take an entirely different route. The same is true for an SDR, who can also get a promotion. Both of these roles have about 14-18 month terms. 

 The length of time is influenced by the depth of training. This is where The Sales Evangelist comes in.  We help sales reps ramp quicker and perform much faster. If it takes a sales rep to improve his rate in three months, the TSE training will help you do that in two months. The training will help sales reps become more effective at a much faster rate. 

The secret to success

Like any other sales roles, the secret to success is to think of it like it’s your own business. The structure of your day is critical. You need to make sure you understand the purpose of having a plan so you know who you are going after, who your targets are, and your goals are set for the day.

A sales rep needs to stick to one industry in a day or per time period. If you spend your morning prospecting the financial industry, then you should stick with that industry until the afternoon. This will let you focus your messaging and help you deliver the information more consistently. If you are a BDR, this structuring is particularly important. 

Here are final tips: 

  • Be respectful. You are the first point of contact for the company so you represent your company to every initial contact. They will rate the whole organization depending on their interaction with you.  Make it a good one. 
  • Have different templates. This ties back to the idea of structure. Have templates that are geared toward specific industries.
  • Set up a follow-up appointment. 
  • Plan your day, plan your week, and plan your month. It is imperative you know what you need to do. This will keep you in check. 
  • Know your numbers. This includes the number of people you speak to, the number of appointments you have set, the number of calls you need to make, your conversion rate, and so on. 
  • Set your goals. 

“What Is The Difference Between An SDR and BDR?” episode resources

Our goal is to help you succeed especially in this time of crisis. Reach out to us regardless of your financial capabilities and we will give you flexible options. 

If you are interested in more sales stories, you can talk to Donald about it. Reach him via these channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

About the Author The Sales Evangelist

Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth.Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.

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