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SDR team: sales’ or marketing’s responsibility?

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SDR team: sales’ or marketing’s responsibility?

You’re building your sales development rep team. But where should they belong- sales or marketing?

You’re building your sales development team, but it seems like they’re floating in the middle of marketing and sales functions. Where should they belong?

First, consider the attributes of both the Head of Sales and Head of Marketing. If both are equally qualified, we recommend that they are a part of the marketing team. To explain, let’s look at both options.

When marketing should own the SDR team

The marketing team is the master of generating opportunities. They are generating leads using both inbound and outbound tactics. This makes inbound marketing and outbound sales inter-functionally related.

Furthermore, the SDR team will have one dedicated market research role, or each SDR will be doing their own digging. Therefore, the marketing team will need to lend expertise. When it comes to conferences, marketing and outbound can coordinate an effective field strategy.

If you’re whipping up a ton of inbound leads, the SDR team should absolutely belong to the marketing team. Qualifying inbound leads is a middle-ground for prospecting and marketing. Plus, low-touch inbound leads generated by marketing will definitely need to be touched by outbound sales.

Properly-trained SDRs will be focused on systematic, high-conversion outbound. To achieve this, they’ll need to be armed with relevant content and thought leadership influenced by marketing.

When sales should own the SDR team

It’s likely that the marketing team will be hesitant to take on SDRs. Sales teams are more familiar with the skills and processes of outbound sales. Many marketers have a misconception of what outbound sales is, and aren’t willing to realize how similar SDR functions are to marketing processes. The sales department is likely to be better at teaching transferable skills and make both the outbound SDRs and the inbound SDRs feel more at home. 

Marketing for the win

Choose wisely when it comes to who’s responsible for your sales development reps. If possible, put them on the marketing team. Being on the same team is always more streamlined than working together cross-functionally.

See what marketing guru Dave Gerhardt had to say about which department should own outbound SDRs – sales or marketing.

Check out more Quick Answers here.

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