However, about 65% of the time the SDR function reports into sales. The following checklist of questions can help determine whether the Sales Development function should be part of the sales or marketing team: Is marketing aligned with the sales process? Does marketing have a demand generation team and does that team integrate campaigns with the sales team? Does the demand generation and sales development team meet weekly? Does the marketing function include a demand creation, product marketing and field management function? Do the SDRs have a dedicated system to track inbound and outbound phone calls and emails? Are there spot bonuses for SDRs based on number of meetings or attendees confirmed to attend events? Is there an inside sales function and is the plan to develop SDRs into ISRs? As a result, I like to build a marketing organization that includes a very strong demand generation team and an equally strong demand management team (Sales Development Reps). This is dependent on a strong working relationship with the sales team and a dedication to driving meetings that convert to qualified sales opportunities.
Where does the Sales Development Representative (SDR) role fit best within a B2B organization?
And, where is the dividing line between sales and marketing?
These are the two key questions to ask when defining the sales development role. Why? Because the answer can vary greatly based on how the organization handles demand management – and whether the SDRs should reside in the sales or marketing group.
The impact of a SaaS-driven sales model over the past 15 years has created some challenges concerning how sales and marketing work together. There are numerous books, posts and articles being written about SaaS sales (not to mention conferences and consultants), but there is no definitive answer as to the optimal sales process and organizational structure. As a direct result, aligning sales and marketing can be challenging.
In short, I believe the sales development function can belong in marketing just as well as in sales — and there are many examples to prove either side of this argument. However, about 65% of the time the SDR function reports into sales. Assuming that there is an SDR Manager, this alignment is usually successful. But, if there are only one or two SDRs and they report directly to the VP Sales, this could be a disaster.
If an organization’s VP of Marketing has a background in product marketing, field marketing or has actually sold, there is a good chance that the SDR function would be successful in marketing. SDRs are an integral component of the customer acquisition process as they should be promoting and following up on each integrated campaign. In addition, the materials marketing delivers (messaging, content, website, campaigns and events) should be leveraged by the SDRs in their daily activities. And, most…