Alphabet Soup: What is the difference between an LDR and an SDR?

What’s in a name?

Well, for most salespeople, the title in front of their name matters little.  What matters to them is how they can help you. Yep, you heard that right.

Contrary to stereotypes perpetuated by at least one bad salesperson experience, salespeople are in the business of helping people find solutions to everyday challenges, both simple and complex. Some salespeople subscribe to the belief that, despite their role, they need a lofty title only to reassure their customers and prospects that they have the clout to solve their problem. We get it, but in all honesty, cultivating sales is often a team effort.  And if it’s not, it should be.

However, sometimes it’s good to know a salesperson’s title so that you can understand the extent (or limitations) of their responsibilities. But when you consider the alphabet soup used throughout the sales and marketing profession – BDR, SDR, LDR, ISR* – it’s easy to get confused. To help clear up some confusion here’s 5 quick and easy FAQs to differentiate between an SDR and LDR:

1. Do SDRs and LDRs provide the same type of support?
Nope. An LDRs primary focus is to provide top of funnel support through cold calling, inbound and outbound campaigns, event recruitment and reheating cold leads. Because of their role, LDR’s generally reside under the marketing umbrella.

SDRs are more strategic and typically align by geography, industry and/or sales rep. They focus on turning marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads. Because they are focused on the mid-funnel pipeline, they reside with the sales or marketing functions.

2. What does an SDR do that an LDR doesn’t?
A lot. While LDRs open the door and create a good first impression, SDRs build ongoing relationships with targeted accounts through calling, researching and profiling; understanding the decision-makers and influencers by building account maps; reaching out to all stakeholders in a purchase decision through email, social platforms, the phone and the old stand-bys: direct mail and in-person. And they continuously educate buyers and manage opportunities as they make their way down the pipeline. Much more than you expected, huh?

3. How do you measure success for an LDR vs an SDR?
Because these two roles play in different levels of the funnel, the success metrics reflect their focus.

Televerde LDRs are responsible for providing top of funnel support through lead generation. Their key focus is to engage buyers in relevant, meaningful interactions to uncover needs through inbound/outbound campaigns, event recruitment and reheating cold or discontinued leads. This means that LDRs are measure on:

♦ Number of decision-maker connections;
♦ MQL to SAL conversion rate;
♦ Hours per deliverable;
♦ # of calls per hour;
♦ % of talk time

SDRs need to be fast, flexible, self-motivated workers who learn quickly. Whether engaging on the phone, in the social realm or via email, a good SDR ensures prospects are nurtured from lead through opportunity. This also ensures all stakeholders have the information needed to move to the next step. SDRs are generally measured on:

♦ # of meetings scheduled;
♦ # of contacts added to the database;
♦ Pipeline generated;
♦ # of target accounts penetrated;
♦ SAL to SQL conversion rate;
♦ Revenue attributed

4. Do I need both?
Definitely. You can find success using LDRs alone, but you’ll reach ultimate success by adding an SDR layer. Right now, it’s all about account-based everything, which means building account maps, using social-selling, and making sure every action you make caters to the individual persona and account. Are you handing sales incomplete leads?  If you’re only using an LDR, it’s very possible.

To let your field sales team focus on closing, consider adding an SDR in the mix to focus on target accounts and create deeper customer connections. If you only implement LDRs you’ll have a high volume of leads but no one to nurture them. They’ll end up falling through the cracks, going cold and eventually dying. With an SDR layer, no lead will be left behind.

5. Do LDRs and SDRs belong in Sales or Marketing?
Since LDRs focus on the top of the funnel and qualifying leads from marketing activities, this role sits decisively in the marketing realm.

But when it comes to SDRs, it’s fair game, or at least, it needs a fair assessment. Depending on things like career progression, ability to manage, and other company priorities, SDRs can sit in either sales or marketing. Not sure where this group belongs at your company?

You’re not the only one wondering this. To help you figure out what’s best for your organization we’ve created this simple worksheet.
Let’s face it, your sales team is in need of support so they can be more efficient. When you add an SDR layer, it may add to the number of acronyms, but it will also add to the bottom line.

Contact us today about how our representatives can assist you!

* BDR: Business Development Rep; SDR: Sales Development Rep; LDR: Lead Development Rep; ISR: Inside Sales Rep
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