What is a Sales Development Representative (SDR) and What Do They Do?
By Josh Slone
Just hiring a “salesperson” won’t work. You need to fully understand what a Sales Development Representative is and what their responsibilities should be.
You need to have a sales strategy that draws potential buyers in, and another strategy that goes out and finds clients from scratch. To do this, there are two primary roles that should be a part of the sales team.
These roles are the Sales Development Representative (SDR) and the Business Development Representative (BDR).
This post aims to give you a detailed look at the Sales Development Representative role.
Loose terms and poorly defined roles and sales terms will, at best, cost you money. Over the long haul, an unclear sales process will give the competition an opportunity to surpass you in their ability to woo leads effectively; potentially causing significant harm to the health of your company.
A Sales Development Representative is often used interchangeably with another sales role called a Business Development Representative (BDR).
While this is common, it’s not accurate—yet another thing we hope to clarify with our sales definition post series.
By the end of our time here you should have:
- A detailed definition of an Sales Development Representative
- A comprehensive view of the role
- A good idea of characteristics quality SDRs share
What is a Sales Development Representative (SDR)?
Sales Development Representative (SDR): A type of inside sales rep who focuses more on inbound lead qualification, moving leads into and through the sales funnel, and setting up sales qualified appointments.
You’ve probably seen a “How It’s Made”, right?
A product is being made in bulk, mainly through some type of automation, but there are always real people checking the quality of what’s moving by on the conveyor belt.
Someone has to be there to make sure things are running right, pick out the defectives, and push the quality stuff to the next stage of the process.
This is a decent illustration for an SDR. Basically, they work the line.
By focusing more on lead qualification, they play a crucial (and often missing) role in the sales and marketing of an organization.
A lot of the process can be automated (like most of the products on How It’s Made)—but sales is about having a conversation with the right people.
SDRs often times start that conversation with leads by reaching out and taking them through the early stages of the pipeline, either getting them ready to talk with a closer or finding out they’re a suspect with no intention of buying at all.
SDRs are usually compensated and rated based on the number of sales qualified appointments (SQAs) they garner for the company.
That compensation isn’t typically going to be as high as a BDR, due to the different nature of the role. (Handling inbound sales requests is much easier than generating your own.)
Now that we have a basic look at the term, let’s deep dive into the role and the benefits that an SDR can have in a healthy sales machine.
What Do Sales Development Representatives Do (Exactly)?
While the example we used of a conveyor belt may have given you an Go to the full article.