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


In sales, understanding the differences between the roles and responsibilities of Business Development Representatives (BDRs), Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), and Sales Representatives (SRs) is crucial for success.

Each role has a unique function that contributes to the sales process and overall sales velocity.

Lead vs. Opportunity Distinction

To effectively organize the sales process, it is important to differentiate between leads and opportunities.

Leads are handled by BDRs, while opportunities are handled by SRs. This division of labor allows for a more efficient sales process.

BDRs: Finding and Qualifying Leads

Business Development Representatives, or BDRs, focus on finding and qualifying leads for potential customers. They use various tools, such as email campaigns and cold calling, to reach out to potential customers and determine if they are a good fit for the company’s product or service.

Once a lead is identified, BDRs use the BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) framework to determine if the lead is qualified and should be moved on to the next stage of the sales process.

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

SDRs: Inbound Sales Development

Sales Development Representatives, or SDRs, are often associated with inbound sales development. They are responsible for qualifying inbound leads, which are typically generated by marketing efforts such as content marketing and advertising.

SDRs use their knowledge of the company’s product or service to help qualify leads, set appointments, and pass on qualified leads to SRs.

SRs: Closing the Deal

SRs, also known as Account Executives (AEs), are responsible for closing deals and winning customers.

They work with a much smaller count of qualified leads over a longer period of time and are skilled “closers” who have the experience and expertise to convert opportunities into sales.

They work with potential customers to understand their needs, offer solutions, and negotiate pricing and terms. SRs use their expertise to build relationships with potential customers and close deals.

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.


By understanding the differences between BDRs, SDRs, and SRs, and how they work together, you can help ensure that your sales organization is effective and efficient in driving sales success. Remember that the division of labor ultimately leads to a more efficient and effective sales process.

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