SDR vs BDR. What is the Difference?

Understanding the difference between the two positions once and for all.
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Do you know the difference between SDRs and BDRs?

It's a common question, particularly in the sales world. In order to better understand the different roles that they each play in today's tech industry, let us take a deep dive into what an SDR (Sales Development Representative) and a BDR (Business Development Representative) are.

We'll explore how these two professionals interact with potential customers throughout their process, discuss the differences between them when approaching deals, and also look at why it is important for businesses to distinguish which rep position is best suited for specific customer scenarios.

So come along as we unravel this often misunderstood concept!

What is an SDR?

An SDR is a professional who specializes in outbound prospecting and lead generation for a sales team. An SDR's primary responsibility is to identify and qualify potential customers or clients, often through cold calling, email outreach, and other proactive means.

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) are integral members of any sales team. They play a crucial role in identifying and reaching out to potential customers, as well as qualifying them.

SDRs collaborate closely with marketing and other sales reps to determine the most promising leads for specific products or services.

As part of their responsibilities, SDRs also spearhead marketing efforts, devising engaging campaigns such as email newsletters, social media posts, and online advertisements to generate leads.

What is a BDR?

As an inside sales position, a BDR is responsible for identifying new business opportunities and nurturing relationships with potential customers. Collaboration with marketing teams is key for effective lead generation and driving pipeline activity.

BDRs often serve as the initial point of contact with prospective customers, making it essential for them to possess excellent rapport-building skills, lead qualification expertise, and a commitment to delivering high-quality customer service.

Equipped with a vast toolkit of best practices for lead generation and customer relationship management, BDRs contribute significantly to the success of businesses.

SDR vs BDR. Key differences

Lead vs Relationships

SDRs have a singular objective: to generate leads for account executives (AEs) for successful closures. They begin by assessing inbound prospects and skillfully guiding them through the initial stages of the sales cycle until they transform into qualified opportunities, ready for AEs to pitch and close the deal.

On the other hand, BDRs focus on building relationships within their assigned territory, rather than promptly handing leads off to AEs.

While SDRs are responsible for qualifying incoming leads, BDRs take charge of generating new opportunities.

Quantity vs Quality

The role of an SDR includes inbound prospecting and creating new opportunities for Senior Sales Executives. This position requires SDRs to invest more time and effort due to the turnover rate of prospects. They make additional calls and send more emails to prospective clients, even if those clients may not be as interested in signing up.

On the other hand, a BDR focuses on nurturing leads generated from cold efforts and converting them into valuable opportunities. They prioritize developing relationships with leads and ensuring a good fit with their company's offerings.

Inbound vs Outbound

BDRs primarily focus on outbound activities, involving cold leads, such as cold calling, cold emailing, social selling, and face-to-face interactions. They aim to develop long-term relationships and forge partnerships in untapped markets, always on the lookout for fresh opportunities.

On the other hand, SDRs concentrate on inbound activities, catering to warm leads. This includes following up with organic leads from marketing campaigns, addressing online inquiries, and fostering short-term relationships.

SDRs also collaborate with the marketing team on lead management, scoring, and qualification.

SDR or BDR - Which One is Right for Your Startup?

The choice between an either in-house or outsourced SDR and a BDR depends on your company's needs. If you require swift handling of a high volume of inbound leads, an SDR is the recommended option. On the other hand, if your goal is to build meaningful relationships with your ideal clients, a BDR would be the more suitable choice.

It's crucial to acknowledge the significance of both SDRs and BDRs in your company's sales cycle. SDRs play a vital role in qualifying leads accurately before passing them to your Account Executives.

Without SDRs, there would be no assurance that the information provided to your AEs is correct. Similarly, BDRs excel in converting qualified leads, who may not be familiar with your product(s), into valuable opportunities.

Moreover, it's worth considering that some companies create hybrid roles combining aspects of both SDR and BDR positions.

The complexity of your product and the size of your target audience, among other factors, will influence whether to keep these roles separate or not. Ultimately, the necessity of both roles at different stages of a company's success becomes evident.

Remember, creating a successful sales team requires a balanced integration of SDRs and BDRs, depending on your unique circumstances.

Outsource SDRs & BDRs With SalesPipe

At SalesPipe, we pride ourselves on being experts in the SaaS space. With a team of seasoned sales professionals who specialize in selling SaaS products and services, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with it.

Our goal is to help you reach your target market and close more deals.

Why Choose SalesPipe

Results-Driven Approach: We have a proven track record of helping startups increase their sales. By working closely with you to set clear goals, tracking your progress, and providing regular performance updates, we ensure that you achieve the results you desire.

Flexibility to Suit Your Needs: SalesPipe is highly adaptable to your specific requirements. Whether you need a dedicated team of SDRs or BDRs or wish to collaborate with your existing sales team to scale your operations, we've got you covered.

Seamless Collaboration: Our CEO will serve as your main point of contact throughout the process. We pride ourselves on being responsive to your needs, going above and beyond to assist you in achieving your goals.

Here's What You Can Expect...

Access to Seasoned Sales Professionals: Our team of experienced sales professionals will work closely with you, leveraging their expertise to help you close deals effectively.

Focus on Core Business Activities: By entrusting your sales operations to SalesPipe, you can focus on your core business activities, such as product development or customer service.

Scalability: As your business grows, we will ensure that your sales operations can scale accordingly. With SalesPipe, you'll be prepared for future growth and expansion.

Cost Savings: Outsourcing your sales operations to SalesPipe can save you money on sales costs, including the expenses associated with hiring and training new sales representatives.

SalesPipe is the ideal choice for startups seeking to outsource their sales operations. With our expertise, results-driven approach, flexibility, and seamless collaboration, we are committed to helping you succeed in the SaaS space.


To sum up, SDRs and BDRs are integral to successful sales teams but serve very different roles. Businesses must understand the difference between SDRs and BDRs to ensure they are able to hire the right person for the job.

Even as the two overlap in the modern sales process, they remain distinct positions with distinct responsibilities. Though it can be difficult to figure out exactly which strategy should be applied for SDR and BDR roles, offshore SalesPipe could make streamlining both processes easier.

Ultimately, having a great understanding of SDR vs BDR allows organizations to find more success in their sales tactics as well as properly allocate budgets.

If you're ready to get started with scaled partnerships to utilize outsourced SDRs with SalesPipe, contact us today!
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