BDR vs. SR: Understanding the Sales Roles and Division of Labor


In sales, grasping the distinctions between Business Development Representatives (BDRs), Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), and Sales Representatives (SRs) is paramount for success.

Each role contributes uniquely to the sales process and overall sales velocity.

Lead vs. Opportunity Distinction

Effectively organizing the sales process necessitates distinguishing between leads and opportunities.

BDRs manage leads while SRs handle opportunities. This division of labor allows for a more efficient sales process.

BDRs: Finding and Qualifying Leads

Business Development Representatives (BDRs) concentrate on discovering and qualifying leads for potential customers. Leveraging tools like email campaigns and cold calling, they engage potential customers to ascertain their suitability for the company’s product or service.

BDRs utilize the BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) framework to assess lead qualification, swiftly identifying and qualifying leads.

BDRs are skilled “door openers” trained to quickly identify leads and qualify them.

SDRs: Inbound Sales Development

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) are typically associated with inbound sales development. Their role involves qualifying inbound leads generated through marketing efforts such as content marketing and advertising.

SDRs leverage their product knowledge to qualify leads, schedule appointments, and pass qualified leads to SRs.

SRs: Closing the Deal

Sales Representatives (SRs), also referred to as Account Executives (AEs), are tasked with sealing deals and acquiring customers.

They engage with a smaller pool of qualified leads over a longer duration, leveraging their expertise to convert opportunities into sales.

SRs work closely with potential customers to understand their needs, offer tailored solutions, and negotiate pricing and terms.

Overlap and Collaboration

Although the roles are distinct, there is often overlap and collaboration between them. For example, an SR may work closely with a BDR or SDR to understand the needs of a potential customer or to gain additional context about a particular lead.

Collaboration between these roles can help ensure that leads are properly qualified and that the sales process runs smoothly.

Improving Your Sales Organization

Understanding the different sales roles and the division of labor between them is essential for a successful sales process.

BDRs are skilled at quickly identifying and qualifying leads.

SDRs are focused on building relationships with inbound leads.

SRs are experienced at closing deals and winning customers.

By utilizing the skills and expertise of each sales role, organizations can accelerate their sales velocity and achieve greater success.


Comprehending the disparities between BDRs, SDRs, and SRs, and how they collaborate, is vital for an effective sales organization. Embracing a division of labor fosters an efficient and effective sales process, ultimately driving sales success.

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