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What Is a BDR? Why You Need One to Maximize Your Marketing Investments

What Is a BDR? Why You Need One to Maximize Your Marketing Investments

Looking for a quick way to maximize your marketing spend? Perhaps adding a Business Development Representative (BDR) or a Sales Development Representative (SDR) to your marketing strategy is in order.

A high-performance marketing team can only accomplish so much with automation, in our opinion, it needs a human touch and persistent follow up to maximize your marketing efforts.

That human element can be found in the role of a BDR and/or SDR, one that bridges the gap between the marketing team and sales reps.

If you are currently driving solid web traffic and/or leads (MQLs) from your site but not converting leads into sales funnel creation, read on.

This post is going to explore how adding a BDR/SDR to your marketing strategy can help take your marketing program to the next level.

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What is a Business Development Representative (BDR)?

Business Development Representatives (BDRs) are sales professionals who focus on generating new leads for their company's sales team. They are responsible for finding and researching potential prospects and ultimately securing meetings for your Sales Account Executives.  

BDRs work closely with Sales Managers and Account Executives to ensure that their activities align with the company's overall sales strategy. While some BDRs are entry-level positions, others may require several years of experience, especially in sectors where the products/services being sold are highly complex and experience long sales cycles.

Regardless of their level of experience, all BDRs must be excellent communicators and have a strong understanding of the sales process. Business development representatives play a vital role in the success of any organization that relies on sales to generate revenue. For this reason, they are often highly compensated and given significant opportunity for growth within their company.

At their best, a BDR can have good success finding the right prospect and the right contacts at the right time.  However for this scenario to occur with consistency it will require having a solid digital marketing program in place and sizeable investment in modern sales/marketing tools.

For example, a BDR leveraging "buyer intent" data from providers like Bombora or sales intelligence + workflows tools (e.g. Zoominfo) can prioritize outreach to "in market" leads with a compelling message to likely secure incremental sales opportunities for the sales team.  

At their worst BDR's are assigned a list of companies and contacts to call hoping they will get lucky since "it's just a numbers game". This "pray and spray" mentality will generally not yield the type of consistent results sales leaders are looking for, which is why they turn to SmithDigital.


The Ultimate BDR Use Case Example:

The BDR use case I'm about to describe is not easy to pull off nor is it cheap but if you sell large complex products/services keep reading to see how you can build or leverage a team like SmithDigital to pull this off.

This starts with having two things in place. 1) real-time intent data and/or 2) solid web traffic with bottom of the funnel visitors.  

Say, for example, you are a sales/marketing leader for a SaaS ERP software company that sells software and professional services.

Your typical sale is between $50k and $250k and the sales cycle takes anywhere from ~3-6 months.

Given the nature of this type of initiative quite a bit of research takes place prior to making a decision on which vendors to evaluate and ultimately implement.

With so many ERP software providers on the market today how does a potential buyer know which one is ideal for their business?  

Most prospective buyers will spend a lot of time doing online research to try and understand the strengths, flaws, and costs of each system to determine which might be the best fit for their organization.

They may look up customer reviews on highly trafficked sites like G2 Crowd.  

They will likely look up several software vendors' product/pricing pages and download some brochures and whitepapers.

They might even check out some resources from industry analysts (e.g. Gartner) to see what the experts are saying regarding various ERP products.  

The point is, regardless of their behavior, a smart BDR (armed with the right tools/data) can easily identify and follow the data trail that this potential buyer left behind. 

Instead of passively waiting (and hoping) a prospective buyer might fill out a form, engage in chat or make an inbound phone call, a BDR can take matters into their own hands and engage with the prospect by providing helpful/timely information that can aid the buying process and shape the sales cycle.

This is the type of value a BDR can bring to the table.  


What is a Sales Development Representative (SDR)? 

A Sales Development Representative (SDR) works on qualifying and prioritizing inbound marketing leads. These are leads that have already expressed some interest in your products/services by either filling out a form, engaging in chat, or downloading some collateral from your website. Neither a BDR nor an SDR is responsible for running sales cycles and closing deals. That’s the role of a Sales Rep or Account Executive. The job of a BDR or SDR is to start the potential sale process by feeding quality leads into a sales pipeline.  

Take a look at the two examples below to get a better handle on how these two roles differ.


A SDR Use Case Example:

In this example let's assume you're an ERP reseller (VAR) and you have several lead conversions taking place each month for various marketing offers. 

These offers could be for things like pricing requests, software demos, free software trials, competitive whitepapers, etc.

While you are getting a lot of activity you are having a hard time getting many of these "leads" into an actual sales cycle.  

The prospects don't seem to return your emails/phone calls and don't show up to scheduled meetings.

Adding an SDR to your marketing to sales handoff process could help prioritize leads based upon their sense of urgency, type/quantity of activity, and ultimately stay front and center of the leads that engaged with your marketing assets.  

One of the biggest obstacles in this situation is getting uninterrupted time from busy professionals.

It's not that they don't have a need for your product or service it's just a matter of there's only so much time in the day.

Having a persistent SDR with a multitouch approach over a defined duration can help close the gap from lead conversions to sales opportunity creation.


Hire Internally or Outsource?

More and more businesses are considering outsourcing their BDR (business development representative) needs.

The BDR role is important, but it can be costly to keep in-house. There are a few things to consider when making the decision to outsource BDR services.

First, what is the cost of BDR services?

Second, how important is the BDR to your business?

Third, how much internal support is available for the BDR?

And fourth, what are the BDR's core skills?

Before you invest substantial time and money into full-time employees why not prototype the BDR/SDR solution to ensure it's going to make sense for your business model and budget.

You can easily get in and get out of an outsourced BDR program whereas when it comes to recruiting, training, managing and terminating an FTE can be a headache many business leaders want to avoid.

Either way you decide to staff it, having strong alignment between your marketing and sales team is key to finding success with a BDR/SDR team.

However, before you can begin to fully realize the power of a BDR/SDR you need to honestly answer a few questions.

  • Do you have a marketing team (external or internal) that can drive web sessions via organic keywords and/or paid ads?
  • Do you have a compelling product/service offering?
  • Are you willing to invest thousands of dollars in CRM and sales intelligence software?
  • Is your product/service expensive?
  • Do you have someone on your team that can sell the product/service effectively?

If you answered "yes" to all the questions above, adding a BDR/SDR to the mix could make a lot of sense. 

But it's important to keep in mind that a successful BDR/SDR will need the right tools and will need the right support internally to get the results you are looking for.


Getting Started

BDR/SDR services can be an invaluable asset to any business, helping to drive sales and growth.

When selecting a BDR service provider, it is important to choose a company that has experience working with businesses in your industry.

The best BDR providers will have a deep understanding of your target market and will be able to customize their services to your specific needs.

In addition, you should look for a provider that offers a comprehensive suite of services, including lead generation, appointment setting, market research, and more. By working with a top-rated BDR service provider, you can take your business to the next level. 

Grow Business with BDR Services

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