What is the difference between a BDR and an SDR?


Dec 26, 2023


12 min read

Sales Development Representative and Business Development Representative are terms that even seasoned professionals might find confusing and challenging to distinguish between. The most important responsibility of sales development representatives (SDRs) is to locate and evaluate potential sales prospects through inbound marketing channels. Business development representatives (BDRs) use outbound sales channels primarily to find new business and look for markets for leads.

SDRs and BDRs have significant roles in the sales cycle. Differentiating between these two inside sales professions might be challenging because they are somewhat similar. Let’s understand in this article what is the difference between SDR and BDR and how they fit into an organisation.

In the fast-paced world of revenue, even seasoned professionals find it challenging to manage the complexities of responsibilities like Business Development Representative (BDR) and Sales Development Representative (SDR). Meaning of BDR is a proactive person who identifies and develops capacity to broaden the enterprise’s reach. A Sales Development Representative (SDR) is responsible for prospecting, qualifying leads, and setting up initial connections as they are the first point of contact for potential clients.
This comprehensive analysis aims to shed light on the differences between BDRs and SDRs, highlighting their vital roles in an agency’s success but also downplaying their unique functions. Understanding the minute differences between those roles is crucial to optimizing sales strategies and promoting long-term b2b growth.

 Meaning of BDR


Though subtle, the distinction between Business Development Representatives (BDRs) and Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) is crucial in determining how an income group functions. SDRs are primarily focused on qualifying incoming leads; they work to produce leads so that Account Executives (AEs) can close deals. They carefully screen incoming prospects, guiding them through the first stages of the income cycle until they are ready for AEs to make a pitch and eventually close. Distinguishing between Demand Generation and Lead Generation is paramount in crafting a robust marketing strategy, while BDRs and SDRs play pivotal roles in nurturing prospects and driving conversions within the sales funnel.

In navigating the complex landscape of SaaS marketing in a startup, it’s crucial to discern the nuances between Demand Generation and Lead Generation. Demand Generation focuses on creating awareness and interest at a broader scale, shaping the market and generating demand for products or services. On the other hand, Lead Generation is a targeted effort aimed at identifying and cultivating specific individuals or businesses who have expressed interest and might convert into customers.

On the other hand, BDRs shift their focus to outbound leads, which are experts at generating prospects inside their domain. They actively foster and expand relationships with possibilities, therefore their role goes beyond simply transmitting outcomes in AEs in B2B marketing. While SDRs focus on quantity when handling an overwhelming amount of incoming leads, BDRs focus on high quality, cultivating fewer but greater valuable leads that align to the saas marketing customer journey within their saas marketing budget.

The distinction between outward and incoming further highlights how different these positions are from one another. SDRs focus on incoming leads that come from online interactions and form submissions, which are products of the business’s marketing initiatives. BDRs, on the other hand, focus on outbound leads and use proactive techniques like cold calling and emailing to find new business prospects.

Furthermore, there is a difference between the general objectives of business development and sales. SDRs work their way through the sales environment, focusing on closing deals with prospective clients for goods or services. BDRs, on the other hand, fully commit to the field of business development, creating new connections with potential clients and guiding them through the sales funnel using services like saas seo, saas semantic seo, paid ads and account based marketing.

Essentially, although SDRs and BDRs both add to the sales funnel, their distinct areas of expertise are inbound vs outbound, Sales vs. business development, quantity vs. quality, and inbound vs. outbound all combine to create a tapestry that maximises lead generation and drives the B2B company towards long-term growth in a cutthroat market.


Examining Variations in Sales Duties in Sales Roles

Both BDRs and SDRs have fantastic responsibilities and are essential to the sales cycle. SDRs focus on qualifying incoming leads and direct their efforts toward converting potential clients into remodeling opportunities. They work closely with the sales and advertising departments, interacting and exerting pressure on meetings for high-income executives using a variety of communication methods.

Conversely, BDRs focus on creating new business prospects through outbound SaaS marketing channels. They engage in deliberate outbound prospecting, actively seeking potential prospects, using techniques such as nonviolent calls and emails. Their main focus is on the lead era, and they are always coming up with new ideas and methods to provide opportunities for the revenue pipeline.

Essentially, while SDRs concentrate on qualifying incoming leads and ensuring a seamless handoff to top sales executives, BDRs are all about the outward pursuit of new business opportunities. Both positions are essential to a thorough sales strategy and have a distinct impact on the company’s growth and success in the highly competitive sales environment. According to InsideSales, Sales Development Representatives who make 12 contact attempts perform 16% better than those who contact less. If you have already made eight attempts to reach a prospect, making another four attempts using different communication channels can significantly increase your chances of a positive outcome.

Lead Generation : An Essential Task for BDR and SDR Positions

In the ever-changing world of sales, lead creation is a fundamental component and the major responsibility of both Business Development Representatives (BDRs) and Sales Development Representatives (SDRs). Notwithstanding their subtle differences, both positions come together at the crucial task of introducing prospective clients to the realm of opportunities.

By concentrating in the skill of qualifying incoming leads, SDRs are able to carve out a place for themselves. SDRs closely monitor leads that have been contacted through various channels, such as website enquiries or saas marketing mix to be followed, in order to maximise their potential. Their goal is to ensure that quality leads go smoothly into the sales funnel by evaluating their conversion potential. This approach entails working together with advertising teams to coordinate efforts for identifying, engaging, and nurturing leads that highlight genuine hobbies in the products or services offered.

BDRs actively contribute to broadening the income pipeline’s reach on the outbound front. Equipped with an array of versatile tactics, such as cold calling, emailing, and targeted outreach, business development representatives venture into unexplored regions in search of fresh business prospects. Their task is to identify and generate clean leads, bringing life to the revenue cycle by aggressively seeking out potential clients who might not have started working with the agency yet.

Essentially, SDRs guard incoming leads, making sure they are qualified and prepared for the sales journey, while BDRs act as sales explorers, breaking into the market’s barren landscape to plant the seeds of opportunity. When combined, such responsibilities create a comprehensive strategy for steer generation that strengthens the agency’s growth in a cutthroat industry and enriches the revenue stream.

Common Aspect of BDR and SDR Roles in Outbound Sales

One crucial similarity between the responsibilities of Business Development Representatives (BDRs) and Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) is the engagement in outbound income operations. BDRs actively use cold outreach strategies, such as nonviolent phone calls and emails, to identify and engage with potential new clients. They take a proactive approach, exploring new ground to find potential for capacity and grow the sales pipeline.

At the same time, SDRs recognize how vital outbound initiatives are to completing their responsibilities. SDRs participate in outbound activities in addition to qualifying inbound leads, which is their major focus. This aspect involves building and maintaining connections with leads generated by advertising campaigns, demonstrating a comprehensive approach to interacting with potential clients. To provide a well-rounded approach that incorporates both inbound and outbound lead technology strategies, it is essential for both BDRs and SDRs to include outbound income practices.

Common Aspect of BDR

Finding Possible Clients for the Sales Pipeline: A Process Called Prospecting

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and Business Development Representatives (BDRs) work together to achieve great focal points through prospecting, a fundamental sales characteristic. As proactive prospectors, BDRs actively seek out new opportunities using cutting-edge methods. They use innovative approaches to identify potential clients and spark interest in the company’s offerings. Their endeavour involves exploring uncharted ground and actively seeking out and expanding prospects to enhance the revenue stream.

SDRs, on the other hand, contribute a more sophisticated approach to prospecting by handling leads who have already made contact. It is their responsibility to qualify those leads, carefully evaluating if they are a good fit for the employer’s offerings. This dual approach to prospecting ensures a comprehensive plan, with BDRs leading the way in identifying the most recent opportunities and SDRs enhancing and qualifying leads who have shown some interest. Together, these two activities increase the pipeline’s effectiveness.

  • Qualification: Determining the Conversion Potential of Leads

    Business development representatives (BDRs) and sales development representatives (SDRs) both depend on lead qualifying. SDRs carefully assess incoming leads to assess their conversion potential and ensure a smooth handoff to top income executives. When evaluating, BDRs focus on the quality of leads generated from outbound efforts. Their role is to nurture those leads, build relationships, and make sure that the organization’s services are solidly aligned. In the crucial task of evaluating leads, BDRs and SDRs collaborate well, adjusting their approaches to smoothly incorporate quality leads into the sales funnel.

  • Customer Acquisition: Methods for Attracting New Clients

    The ultimate goal of both Business Development Representatives (BDRs) and Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) is customer acquisition, but their methods are different. SDRs focus their energies on quickly turning qualified incoming leads into clients. When making a review, BDRs pay attention to how to transform outbound leads into opportunities so that top income executives can intervene and close deals. These many routes all contribute to the overall objective of growing the clientele, demonstrating the collaboration between the specialised functions of SDRs and BDRs in the ever-changing field of customer acquisition.

  • Managing Lead Progression Through the Sales Process: Sales Funnel

    Leads must be guided through the complexities of the income funnel by SDRs and BDRs. SDRs concentrate on guiding incoming leads through the initial phases of the sales cycle. Conversely, via actively seeking out and creating new opportunities, BDRs proactively shape the income pipeline. Their combined efforts ensure a continuous flow of opportunities via several levels, from initial interest to skill possibilities, all in line with the main objective of optimising conversions and improving the effectiveness of the sales process.

  • Cold Outreach: Initiating Contact with Potential Clients

    Within the nation-states responsible for BDR and SDR, cold outreach is a collaborative effort. BDRs aggressively reach out to new clients using methods such as cold calling and emailing, taking the initiative in starting the conversation through outbound prospecting. In the interim, SDRs may also engage in cold outreach, concentrating on leads generated through advertising campaigns. With each team contributing to the process of connecting with potential clients, this collaborative strategy guarantees a complete outreach approach, demonstrating the flexibility of each team’s duties in the dynamic panorama of initiating valuable encounters.

  • Sales Development: Focused on Creating and Expanding Sales Opportunities:

    Business development representatives (BDRs) and sales development representatives (SDRs) work together in sales development, which is a crucial field where each brings unique skills to the fore. SDRs are experts in identifying, developing, and fostering opportunities within the current sales funnel. They concentrate on transforming qualifying leads into concrete opportunities for closing, guaranteeing a smooth passage through the sales cycle.

    Concurrently, by aggressively promoting the expansion of sales opportunities, BDRs actively contribute to the larger picture of sales development through b2b saas marketing strategy. Using their outreach, BDRs hire creative prospecting techniques, including cold calling and emailing, to create new business opportunities and spark discussions.This cooperative synergy between SDRs and BDRs ensures a comprehensive approach to sales development, wherein both teams work together to strengthen the current sales funnel and investigate opportunities for its ongoing expansion. Their combined efforts highlight how important it is to have a thorough sales development strategy while navigating the difficult sales environment.

Role Differentiation: Recognising the Special Duties of SDRs and BDRs

To put it simply, the distinction is seen in the focus on outbound lead technology for BDRs and inbound lead qualification for SDRs. While SDRs use advertising to influence prospects, BDRs actively search for new business opportunities through outbound channels.

The decision between a Business Development Representative (BDR) and a Sales Development Representative (SDR) depends on the particular needs of your organisation. If managing a large volume of incoming leads quickly is your top priority, then using an SDR could be the best option. On the other hand, a BDR is a better option if your goal is to develop connections with desirable clients and investigate new business opportunities.

The sales cycle depends heavily on both SDRs and BDRs. SDRs are excellent at qualifying leads and ensuring that Account Executives (AEs) receive reliable data. BDRs, on the other hand, focus on turning qualified leads—including those who aren’t supposed to be interested in the product—into real opportunities.

The length of the target audience and the complexity of the product will determine whether the SDR and BDR responsibilities are kept distinct or combined. Many agencies think that a hybrid strategy is advantageous, especially in the SaaS B2B sector.

Key insights from the Bridge Group’s “Sales Development Metrics and Compensation Study Report” shed light on industry trends:

1. Reporting: SDRs often report to the head of sales (68%), while around 60% of inbound teams report to saas marketing strategy.

2. BDR-to-SDR Ratio: As of 2021, there were generally 2.3 BDRs for every 1 SDR.

3. SDR-to-AE Ratios: The average ratio is 1 SDR to 2.6 Account Executives. High-growth companies exhibit lower ratios.

4. Experience at Hire: SDRs/BDRs hired today typically have an average of 1 year of experience, down from 2.5 years in 2010.

5. Locations: Post-COVID, 90% of groups reported being fully or partially remote.

6. Compensation: Median on-target earnings were $80K, with a base:variable split of 68:32. Median OTE showed modest increases, continuing a decade-long trend.

Understanding these dynamics empowers companies to make informed decisions on structuring their sales teams for optimal performance and adaptability to industry shifts.

Special Duties of SDRs and BDRs


The subtle but crucial differences between the revenue functions of BDRs and SDRs are crucial for building a cohesive and environmentally conscious sales team. Depending on specific needs, your organisation may find it beneficial to combine inbound lead qualifying with outbound lead production.

Gaining an understanding of the distinct duties of BDRs and SDRs is essential to developing a well-rounded sales strategy that addresses different revenue cycle components. And at Saffron Edge, a SaaS marketing agency, we offer a tailored solution to elevate your inbound and outbound efforts.

With our specialised team of BDRs and SDRs, we bring expertise to the forefront to ensure your brand connects with the right audience. Partner with us to harness the power of targeted campaigns with efficient prospecting, you should hire SaaS marketing experts who are focused on maximizing your business potential in the B2B landscape.

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