SDR vs BDR: What's the Difference?

Written by Adam Grossman

An ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development, he is a cofounder and the Chief Development Officer at The Selling Factory.

It’s no secret that having a strong sales team is essential to the success of any business. Selecting an SDR or a BDR for your sales team is one of the most critical choices you’ll make when building the foundation for your company.

But why would you need an SDR vs BDR? Which solution is better for your business? Or for your career? To answer these questions and more, it’s important to understand an SDR and BDRs respective roles and responsibilities.

While one position isn’t necessarily better than the other, knowing their differences can help you make a better decision for yourself and your business. Whether you’re looking to hire an SDR or BDR, find a top job, pursue career training, or review salary information, read on to find out everything you need to know about these important sales roles:

What is a SDR (Sales development representative)?

SDRs are responsible for generating leads and scheduling appointments for the sales team. SDRs achieve this through outbound prospecting, such as cold-calling or emailing potential customers who are a fit for a business.

In short, SDRs generate leads. They work closely with the marketing department to ensure that the leads they generate are high-quality and aligned with the organization’s buyer’s persona.

What does an SDR DO?

A day in the life of an SDR will usually consist of a few things:

They might begin their day researching target accounts and building lists of contacts. Some companies have lead generation specialists to build prospecting lists for SDRs. This can allow them to focus on what really matters, which is getting in contact with new leads.

SDRs also qualify leads once they’ve researched them. This can be done by phone, email, or social media. LinkedIn is a great tool for SDRs because it usually has all of the information needed to conduct outreach to a prospect.

Once SDRs have qualified the leads they’ll begin making contact. They can send personalized emails and make cold calls. SDRs are responsible for tracking all outreach activity within the sales team’s CRM (customer relationship management) software.

Another thing SDRs are responsible for is attending weekly meetings to report progress. Since SDRs are the ones talking to potential clients, they can often give the marketing team a better understanding of the lead quality coming through the marketing and sales funnel.

How much does and SDR make?

The national average pay for an SDR is $51,720 per year. When you break down industry, experience, and location these figures can vary greatly.

For example, an SDR with only one year of experience working in Florida makes around $42,000, while that same SDR in California might make a starting salary of $53,000. SDRs in the 90th percentile earn around $72,500 annually across the United States.

How to Be a successful SDR?

The best SDRs are excellent communicators with a natural ability to build rapport quickly. They’re also highly organized and detail-oriented.

SDRs that properly manage their outreach efforts ensure that no leads slip through the cracks. The most successful SDRs are resilient, in the pursuit of a “yes” from a prospect. They also make an effort to collaborate with other members of the sales team to get feedback and improve their performance.

Listening to veteran SDR outreach calls is a good way for newcomers to learn how to book more meetings. Finding the best SDR training programs can also be valuable for the success of individuals and businesses.

What is a BDR (Business Development Representative)?

BDRs are responsible for developing relationships with potential customers to sell products or services. They work closely with SDRs to ensure that the leads they’re given are qualified and ready to buy.

While the end goal for a BDR is also selling, they’re more focused on account development through educating the customer and nurturing the relationship.

What does a bdr do? 

There are a few things that BDRs do on a day-to-day basis that may seem similar to an SDR. Yet, there are distinctive differences:

For starters, BDRs develop relationships with potential customers. That means they may conduct business lunches with prospects. Or they could attend conferences to drive awareness. BDRs are responsible for prospecting new accounts through email, calls, and social media – some of the functions similar to SDRs.

However, BDRs tend to do a deeper dive into customer accounts. Instead of cold pitching, they might instead conduct “needs analysis” conversations with potential buyers. BDRs will also make the decision of when to pass a lead onto a member of the sales team.

One of the things that BDRs do is provide feedback to improve the lead generation process. Since they’re always having conversations with potential customers, BDRs can be a huge source of knowledge for both marketing and sales teams.

How much does a bdr make?

The national average base pay for a BDR is $47,240 per year. The highest paid BDRs are earning around $80,500, with about two to four years of experience on average.

Just like SDRs salary can vary as well. BDRs typically are paid commissions, which can make their earning potential even greater.

How to be a successful BDR

The best BDRs are natural relationship builders with exceptional communication skills. They’re also competitive by nature and possess strong negotiation skills. The most successful BDRs are organized and willing to try new things. 

Finding a balance between personalization and efficiency will go a long way in a career as a BDR. BDRs that thrive don’t get discouraged easily and remain creative to foster the right relationships.

What’s Better? SDR vs. BDR 

If you’re in the early stages of growth and need leads, choosing an SDR might be your best bet. Yet, if you want to better understand and develop your product-market-fit, adding a BDR role into your sales organization can help you refine your approach. 

Since BDRs can do what SDRs do, you could go the route of hiring a BDR first and then adding an SDR to your sales team later. Ultimately, looking at what stage your company is in, is a good place to start before hiring for either role.

Your Sales Team Deserves the Best SDRS and BDRS!

The main difference between an SDR vs BDR is their focus, and the most effective sales teams will have both. We suggest taking a closer look at your needs and objectives to make the most informed decision.

If you’re looking to get started with an SDR and BDR for your business, consider outsourcing the roles on a fractional basis. The Selling Factory hires college students to work micro-shifts (two to four hours per day) that can help your company scale. Our student hires are from top universities, native English speakers, eager to learn, and high-energy.

The companies we serve receive superior results because our teams are better communicators versus overseas options, more productive than internal hires, and more affordable than domestic outsourcers.

Interested in learning what The Selling Factory can bring to your business’s sales efforts? Contact us today to learn more! 

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.