In the world of demand-generation marketing, the primary goal is clear: generate inbound leads for the sales team. However, a persistent challenge continues to loom large in many organizations: should the Business Development Representative (BDR) team report to marketing or to sales?
This question has sparked numerous debates, with compelling arguments for both sides. Ultimately, the decision hinges on a BDR's core responsibilities, which typically include booking meetings, engaging in sales-related activities such as calls and conferences, and liaising with both the marketing and sales teams.
In many organizations, the primary point of friction arises with inbound lead forms. When a visitor lands on your website and fills out a “Contact Sales” or “Book a Demo” form, it's clear that a BDR should be responsible for booking the meeting. But, who should be managing the BDR's activities? Should it be marketing or sales?
Traditionally, BDRs have often been housed under sales. However, with marketing's increasing influence over the website and its related activities, an argument can be made for shifting the BDR function under marketing. In this setup, BDRs would report to demand-gen marketers, who spend significant time optimizing the website and ensuring leads are booked.
This isn't a move to undermine the value of sales. Rather, it's about optimizing the use of website data and taking swift action based on that information. In the past, marketing teams would drive leads to the website, get them to sign up for a demo, and then throw those leads over the proverbial fence to the sales team. However, this approach often doesn't tie marketing directly to outcomes.
By placing the BDR team under marketing, the marketing department is tied to a more impactful goal: ensuring prospects show up for meetings. This benefits the sales team as well, as they receive better-qualified leads who are more likely to attend the meetings arranged by the BDRs.
The future of website engagement is evolving. Rather than waiting for someone to fill out a form, BDRs can get involved the moment someone lands on the website. Whether a prospect is browsing case studies or checking out pricing options, the BDR can engage them with messaging tailored to their activity. As the marketing team usually handles website optimization, it's logical for them to guide the BDRs in these interactions.
In conclusion, Warmly recommends moving the BDR function under marketing. This allows for more seamless integration between the marketing activities on the website and the critical sales-related tasks of the BDRs. Ultimately, this aligns with the incentives of marketing, sales, and BDRs, ensuring more effective conversions and business growth.